February 5, 2013
My lips were burned and my armpits ached from three days of wearing a wet suit more than clothes. Surfing encourages greed. Scarcity explains it. When the waves are good, life comes to a screeching halt, and you scramble to satisfy your thirst saved up during the long flat periods. My thirst wasn’t satisfied, just dulled to the point where I could comfortably pass up a session.
“Ehhhh, how is it?”
“Really good, there are barrels all over the place. I’m suiting up right now and paddling out. Gotta go.” Trevor hung up.
“It’s really good,” Good, I said to Dan as I plugged my phone back into the cigarette lighter. ”Trevor is going out right now. You wanna go?”
Dan was fresh off a cross country road trip, where the closest he got to waves was tanker wake in the Gulf. ”Absolutely. Nice point break. Long, workable rides. Are You?” Dan said mimick Keanu Reeves in Point Break.
Looking into the rear view mirror, I stared at my chapped lips and sunburnt face. I was exhausted and, based on the amount of cars in the parking lot, I knew I wouldn’t get many waves. I didn’t feel like scrapping with 300 people for a wave or two.
“Na man. I’m going to lurk on the beach for this one.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Yah, the juice won’t be worth the squeeze. I’m pooped.” I said with hint of conflict.
By the time we made it to the beach, the sun was flirting with the hills of the Channel Islands. I walked with Dan along the beach to towards the river mouth. The crowd was emptying out. Familiar silhouette and boards took off at the river mouth and pumped into the cove.
“You’re blowing it.”
“Yah, you’re probably right.”
Dan strapped on his leash and waded over the rocks. The current pulled him down towards the flag pole as he started paddling. Waves kept rolling in with no end in sight. Checking my watch, I looked at the sun. If I ran, I could get a few.
Here are some more links,
Out of Reception (Tumblr),
January 2, 2013
BC or Bust Part 2
We were a few hours out of Tofino when the wind picked up. The mellow waters of the fjord lost their shine, developing half a foot high waves that rattled the small aluminum boat and all of our supplies. Sitting on a cooler with enough food, water and beer for two nights, I bounced along as Jeremy piloted the seventeen foot aluminum boat towards the mouth of the fjord. The cold air and increasing waves kept small talk to a minimum.
“How long till we get out of here?” I yelled to Jeremy.
“Yah,” I replied nodding towards the mountains on the right.
“15 minutes. It’s going to get rough for an hour or so.”
I smiled in acknowledgment.
Twenty minutes later, our boat was cutting through five to eight foot ground swell a mile off the coast of Vancouver Island. Dressed head to toe in Gortex, frigid water covered me each time we bounced off the the top of a wave. Keeping my head down, I avoided the bulk of the spray, but this left me blind from anticipating the jolt of larger waves. Every few minutes, a wave shook the boat like a screen door, jaring me from my perch on top of a Coleman cooler. One such wave sent my Wayferes flying, eventually shattering against the gunnel.
After that, I went quite and focused on nothing, the way you do on a long run. Time stands still and speeds ahead at the same time.
A trail to hot springs.
The BC Ferries.
Jeremy and Trevor kickstarting a fire.
A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver.
Jeremy checking the weather forecast.
Equipped to rip.
Trevor at the Harbor.
Sea lion Bonanza.
With a descending whine, Jeremy eased off the throttle and the boat coasted. Looking up from my stopper, Jeremy motioned towards a stretch of ocean just off of a point. Shifting the throttle handel back into reverse, he anounced, “Thats the wave. The tide is still way to high.”
“So we made it?” I asked, signaling my relief.
“Yah we are going to camp over in the bay.”
“Awesome. I want to get the fuck off this boat. That was brutal.”
“Ahh come on” Jeremy said in his Vancouver accent. ”Last winter Pete, (Peter Devries a pro surfer from Tofino) and I made the same trip in three times the swell and howling 30 knots.”
“I don’t doubt that shit, but I’m a land lover. I feel 3 inches shorter.”
“Cry about it pro blogger (Jeremy’s nickname for me). The winds nice, lets get our camp set up. We’ll be able to surf before sunset.”
Standing up, I stretched and looked down at cooler. One larger circular dent in the green aluminium correlated with the placement and subsequent jarring of my ass during the ride.
Here are some more links,
BC or Bust Part 1 (ART),
BC or Bust (Cleanest Line).
December 22, 2012
BC or Bust Part 1
Keeping my eyes on the empty 101, I retrieved my iPhone from my camera bag and tapped the top button, illuminating the screen. 10:13.
“How are you guys doing?” I asked Jeremy Koreski and Trevor Gordon. ”I’m pretty spent.”
Waking from a doze, Trevor spoke over the syncro’s highway noise, “How far are we from Crescent City?”
“Hhmm, maybe four hours? We just passed Garbville, the pot capital of the world, and we’re still a few hours from the coast.”
“Yah, lets call it,” Jeremy agreed.
“Cool, I’ll look for a place. We are in National Forrest now, gods country.” I turned down the heater, in attempt to keep me from nodding off at the wheel.
A few miles a head, I spotted a gravel road heading off the highway on the right. Down shifting, I breaked and prepared to take the gravel road at speed.
“Shit..Is everything okay?” Startled, Jeremy moaned from the backseat.
“Don’t worry, this is not my first rodeo,” I laughed as we bounced up the steep grade, coasting down from 60 to 35mph.
“You sure this is Kosher? What kind of road is this?”
“Ehh it looks like a logging road. It’s in really good condition,” I surmised looking at the well worn tire tracks. For a mile or two, we rumbled up the steep grade in second. Along the way, we passed a few drive ways with gates and “No trespassing” signs. This raised some redflags, but I kept my mouth shut. In northern California, these signs, when coupled with large gates on dead end access roads, often indicated a thriving local economy. Marijuana cultivation. They proprietors are notoriously paranoid and often chase people away from their property with friendly serving of rocksalt courteous a 12 gage shotgun. I wanted none of this but after a full day of surfing Ocean Beach in San Francisco, I could have fallen asleep at an Insane Clown Possie concert.
Spotting a large shoulder out on the right, I pulled over.
“This should be good,” I told Trevor and Jeremy as well as myself. Rocking between first and reverse, I found a level spot and turned off the van.
Crawling over camer bags, surfboards and food for three for a week, I cleared space for three on the folding bed.
“It’s going to be real cozzie tonight,” Jeremy laughed.
“Sure is, either that or one of us sets up a tent, and it sure as fuck wont be me.”
No one volunteered and within a few moments, the three of us were laying down. Pillow talk was scarce and in a few minutes all over us were snoring.
Trevor on the six string early one morning.
Equipped to rip!
Trevor and Joe Curren checking waves on the Northern California Coast.
Joe searching for steelhead in Oregon.
Kanoa Zimmerman removing a stick from his truck at Ocean Beach.
Laying it out plain and simple.
Howling off shore somewhere on the southern Oregon Coast.
Unmuffled engine breaking started down the logging road before sunrise. Rapping a fleece around my head like bandana, I prolonged the inevitable separation from my sleeping bag.
“Rise and shine, its buttwhipping time!” I announced to Trevor and Jeremy.
Grumbling, we emerged from our sleeping bags and set t he van up for transport. Firing up engine, we headed down the gravel road towards the 101.
“We’ll be in Arcata by lunch.”
Here are some links,
BC or Bust (Cleanest Line).
November 21, 2012
Local Wild Life
A few dozen flies buzzed around the tent early one afternoon in Kamchatka, Russia. The potential annoyance of one landing on my face kept me from dozing off. Reaching for a fleece, I covered my head and rolled over. The tide wouldn’t switch for another three hours and I was dead set on following my breakfast coma down the rabbit hole. Shoving my face into my makeshift pillow, I laid still.
For a few minutes, my technique kept the flies at bay. Slowly however, the constant buzz intensified until it inevitably landed on my ear.
“Fucking flies.” I swatted my ear, dislodging the culprit.
Sitting up, I noticed that Cyrus had, much to the chagrin of the flies, synched the hood of his knapsack tight around his face so just his nose and mouth were exposed. Stifling my curses, I kicked off my sleeping bag and unzipped the tent.
Crawling out through the opening, I quickly zipped the screen shut behind me. Standing up and stretching, I looked around our camp. A dozen Russian 4×4′s dotted the beach. The uncommonly warm fall day lured hundreds out from the closest city, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, to enjoy their weekend.
“Jesus Christ. It’s like Pismo Beach out here,” I yelled to Chris, a staff Photographer at Surfer from the central coast of California, sitting on the grass watching Keith and Dane play guitar.
“Yeah, but I’ve never seen that at Pismo,” Keith said motioning over my shoulder.
Everyone fixed their gaze on a family of three standing around an Izuzu SUV some fifty yards away. The man, presumably the husband, was shirtless and brandishing a handgun. The woman, wearing a bra and sweat pants, stood a few feet away with a young girl. Resting the gun on the hood of the SUV, the man reached through the driver’s window and retrieved a handful of glass bottles. Chucking the bottles one at a time into the sand he grabbed the handgun from the hood of the car, pulled the slide back and handed it to the daughter. As if she had done this hundreds of times before, she eagerly took the pistol from her dad’s hand and pointed it in the direction where he had thrown the bottles. For a few moments she steadied the the pistol with both hands, then a pop, and a glass bottle broke. A small plume of CO2 floated out of the barrel.
“No fucking way…It’s a pellet gun,” I laughed.
The girl quickly followed up with another shot and continued until she emptied the clip. Eager to take part in the violence and stimulated by the warm day, the mother, without warning, kicked off her flip flops and stripped off her sweat pants.
“A G-Banger!!! Yes.”
“You have got to be fucking kidding me. Is that neon?”
“Sure looks like it.”
Two fresh-caught silver salmon by Keith.
Trevor Gordon is putting together a zine on the trip. I’ll post about it when it’s out.
An active Volcano.
A local salmon poacher enjoying a mid morning swig of vodka and a cigarette.
Dane and Trevor debating whether to head back out.
An empty coastline.
A fisherman lives in this house by himself from April until October each year.
Trevor heading out for a session.
A remote cabin accessible by helicopter in the summer and snowmobile in the winter. That stream is filled with geothermal hot water.
Chris Burkard and Ben Weiland have an article coming out in the December Issue of Surfer Magazine.
A salmon poacher’s vodka, waders and dog at a river mouth.
Keith in transit on the helicopter.
Hand done camo on a micro 4×4 vehicle.
Local wild life.
By this time, everyone, including Serge, our Russian guide, had gathered around watching the spectacle unfold. Taking the gun from the daughter, the mother marched into position and took aim. The husband interrupted her with an inaudible sentence and reached back into the driver’s window and grabbed a few more glass bottles. With the new targets in place, she opened fire.
Sensing our gaze, the daughter turned and looked towards seven Americans and a shirtless Russian with Binoculars. Ducking behind a tent, we laughed like middle-school boys.
Here are some more links,
“Do Not Frustrate…” (ART).