Illustration for World Mind-Surfing League

I’m going to insert this into the piece, but, since I have enough folks who get a message, psychic or over the mysterious intranet, when I post something new, I’m putting it here first. I’ve got a secret (okay, letting you in on it) plan to get this to the WSL, which I love (and was watching earlier, before the Seahawks game started. Wouldn’t it be great if they did a little skit where…

Image (22)

…Hey, if you have some contacts… that’d be great. Greater. Also, I wouldn’t have finished the drawing if the surf had just cooperated and followed the forecast.

Seattle Seahawks, “the Wave” rolls on…. and on, and…

seahawksspecial 001o

It’s a bit disturbing, if not irritating, that the color I apply to the drawings doesn’t come through the cosmos and onto the computer screen. Please take my word, the original color is WAY more intense. Maybe this reflects how my calm demeanor is way more controlled than my inner Seahawks fanaticism.  Living on the northwestern-most chunk of the contiguous United States, I tend to believe any west coasters- Charger, 49er, Raider (jeez, even Arizona and, gulp, Denver) fans- should, at least for this game, root for the Seahawks. Hawaii, Alaska? Yeah, and… it’s not like everyone has to love the team whose play on the field reflects the bird that glides, majestically, on ocean updrafts; swoops, attacks, tears, shreds… while the Patriots; maybe they’ll wait until they see the whites of the eyes of… that may be too late.

If I could figure out how to change the size of… wait… Goooooooo0SeaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawksssssss!

Okay, and back to calm, mellow… waiting, waiting… eeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

You Should Have Been There an Hour Later

fatguy setting up

Thanks to Jeff Vaughan for the photo of the guy on the unbroken wave that, also, looks like it might not break. Jeff is a longshoreman, loads ships all over Puget Sound, down to Aberdeen. On this day he was working an afternoon shift in Port Angeles. I was the first one out in waves that would have been difficult to catch on a regular long board. The tide was a little too low for the slow-motion-Malibu rights.

A little later, though, the tide came up, pushing (I don’t always believe this surfer theory) the swell up a bit. By the time I’d  caught a bunch of dribblers, and some other surfers came out, the lefts on the other side of the little bay, totally flat at dawn, were starting to work. Honest. Lined up, spinning, I caught a few before I had to, had to go to work.

As did Jeff. But first he took a few shots of waves hitting the outside indicator. Maybe he’ll send those to me. Oh, sorry; if you’ve never surfed the Straits of Juan de Fuca, this is really as big as it gets. Oh, and, I guess Jeff missed my cutback, set up bottom turn, sidestep to the nose. Maybe next time.

Magical Mysto Surf Spot

Ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest at the tail end of the seventies,I’ve had dreams of waves breaking, perfectly, in some secluded cove, protected from the onshore wind; wrapping around a small headland, clean while, offshore, whitecaps bump against each other.

Of course, in my dreams, the waves are rights. Maybe it was a transference from San Diego, some extension of the Mysto spot, Ralphs, at the end of Point Loma, a remembrance of working at the submarine base, imagining some big south swell finding its way into the depths of San Diego Harbor, maybe hitting at the little pier where the Navy divers hung out.  Maybe the dream was based on a remembrance, fondly saved, of waves on the island offshore of Lupe’s Left Loopers in Mazatlan; a real south swell with waves wedging themselves between the main island and another one yards away, peeling past the rocks in absolutely clear little waves, wrapping, wrapping, dreamlike.

The Straits of Juan de Fuca act as that island, cleaning up Pacific storm-born swells, taking that ‘lump’ out of them, and, with the right swell, the points and headlands and hooks created by the rivers running off the Olympics groom these swells into… well, they’re mostly lefts. Still.

But, sometimes, the west wind howling from way out in the open ocean, still crazy passing Port Angeles, still out of control approaching Port Townsend…


But for the Occasional Distraction, Life Would be…

But for the Occasional Distraction, Life Would be...

…way more tedious.

I copied the first Little Mermaid drawing, then, and this was probably a mistake, continued filling in the background on the copied version. Oops, all the pencil lines are now permanent, the detail is less detail-ish, and, as always, I, and probably you, can see it’s just lines and dots.
Lines and dots.

Now, since I always seem to go on about my latest surf session, and I did surf some SUP-only sized waves yesterday, Tim Nolan and I being the only ones catching any, the paddle providing as much of the power on some rides as the wave, and Archie Endo, who turned down the chance to go with me to low tide Favorite Spot, texted me late last night he ended up surfing two to three foot peelers for three hours near dark on the high tide at Backup Spot, and there were many opportunities to talk surf in the parking lot; I will, instead, in keeping with the theme of distractions, and working toward the eventual story of surfing as the ‘other woman,’ I will, instead mention that, while cellphone shopping with my wife, Trish, at Costco, there was a call from Stephen Davis, hydrosexual (that story also coming soon), who had not returned my 6:30 call inviting him to go along, and, when I mentioned this incoming call to Trish, somewhere between the bananas and the peaches (white or regular?), she asked, “Can’t you, for once, put me ahead of surfing?”
Oh, yes; of course.
And I did, And, forced to make a choice, I almost always have.
Almost always. Of course, I’d rather it not be a choice of either/or.
Lines and dots; either and or.

(Pick an adjective) Distraction (or is it an adverb as distraction is an action)- Part One

(Pick an adjective) Distraction (or is it an adverb as distraction is an action)- Part One

I plan to put in some magnificent surf in the background. I meant to make the “Little Mermaid” statue less, um, rendered. Once I made the face too dark, I was stuck. Maybe I’ll make the magnificent surf all junky and crowded with surf class kooks. Maybe I’ll edit out the last line. I meant novices in the life-affirming sport/lifestyle/whatever you think it is of surfing. Probably I’ll eliminate all the above.
I should at least get credit for eliminating the real background.
Stay tuned, and thanks for dropping into
Not a secret spot. Quite.

Oceanside Pier awaiting lightning

Oceanside Pier awaiting lightning

I’m working on a story from my high school era (also working on dividing my long surfing career into segments), after friends got licenses and cars, days when we’d speed to the beach after school. And, surf-whore that I was, I’d ride with pretty much anyone who would drive. When I had access to a car, I’d probably (likely) ask for some gas money.
In this story, probably in the spring of 1967, Melvin Glouser was the driver, Phillip Harper and I the passengers. The surf was small and extremely glassy. We’d parked in the free (then) lot by the first street south of the pier that went down to the beach.  There were rumblings in the sky and lightning in the distance, possibly moving closer.

“If lightning strikes whatever is highest in the vicinity, and, other than the pier, that would be us,” I postulated… A couple more rides and we got out.
En route home, Melvin, who I frequently accused of having “Farmers’ Toes” because of stubborn follicles, particularly around his big and next digits, nevertheless treated Phillip and me to ice cream at 31 Flavors ( I mean Baskin/Robbins). Phillip and I each got two scoops, but Melvin, since he was buying, got a three-scooper.
It was raining and completely dark as we headed back to Melvin’s parent’s car. Maybe lightning struck nearby, maybe he slipped; whichever, all three scoops dropped to the wet pavement. We all just looked at them for a minute.
Then, no doubt, Phillip and I looked at our own scoops, probably took a big bite; one of us calling “Shotgun” before the other. Or Phillip just got in the front seat. Or we finished our ice cream cones, Melvin his cone, just to keep the car a bit neater.
Like I said, I’m working on it.
Or maybe, if I get time to do a drawing… three scoops falling, dramatically lit by the lightning, just a hint of some hairy toes on the black asphalt… and I do have at least a couple more stories involving Melvin. Later.

Hey, Todd; thanks for letting me know…and good luck, man

Hey, Todd; thanks for letting me know...and good luck, man

My whole day started out with me trying to catch up on some paperwork before I, maybe, wrote something about snaking Westport standout Dane Perlee out on the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Then my morning plans were wiped out by electronic disconnections leading to many minutes spent on the phone. I did get some proposals written and sent off while on hold, but then… well, one can’t expect to wail every day.
So, looking for some photos of Dane to steal, hopefully one of him doing an Alex Knost bottom turn, a casual move he has down, but claims Alex got it from him; I came across a photo of him, traced it to One Ball Jay’s site, then, scrolling down, found this ad for a big Todd Fischer-led event… and it’s TOMORROW!
And it’s in Westport. Having known Todd before he risked everything to switch careers from Plumber (a highly paid trade) to Artist (not much room at the top and notoriously poverty-inducing), and wanting nothing but huge success for him, I… well, I can’t go; I have to make up for not making real money today… I’m giving him a realsurfers shout out.
For what that’s worth.
So, all you Seattle surfers who consider Westport a local beach… and I do enjoy the party atmosphere of Westport, like, once or twice a year… go and check out Todd’s event as part of your sunny/no-waves-on-the-Straits (really) Saturday. It’s tomorrow. Go!
Meanwhile, if I get my chores kind of in the direction of caught up; maybe I can work on my Dane Perlee story.
Meanwhile… as Dane’s Daddy, Al, owner of (you know this) The Surf Shop in Westport, says, “Westport has a lot of beach; waves for everyone.” See; it’s friendly. Again; go!
And buy something from my friend, Todd.

Classic Head Dip

Classic Head Dip

I’ve sort of figured out how to put a drawing onto my old computer, transfer it to a flash(thumb?) drive, move it to the realsurfers site via Trisha’s computer.
This drawing is from some classic Ron Stoner photos reprinted in “Surfer’s Journal.” It was a small part of a larger Malibu scene from, I think, the contest in 1965 that, incidentally, my sister Suellen attended; convincing our Dad to drive her up there. I passed on it.
Look for more drawings of classic surfing moves in the future. Meanwhile…