Remembering Marie

 The noise of the growing and curious crowd, tractors building berms, and news helicopters hovering overhead still couldn’t drown out the sound of the massive waves produced by Hurricane Marie, which churned into a Category 5 storm in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles off the coast of Baja back in the late Summer of 2014. 

Lifeguards tried their best to close one section of this local beach to keep the crowds safe as the moving machines made small hills of sand to protect the homes in the crosshairs of the mighty waves.

Marie produced the surf event of a lifetime to the coast of Southern California. Instead of the usual 1-2 foot waves the locals were used to at this beach, this storm created waves 10-15 feet. More popular surf breaks along the coast were getting pounded by 20 and up to 30 foot giants.

And the surfers came. They came on the biggest day. They dreamed about this day; years for some. Many were literally in over their heads and left injured, exhausted, and disappointed. News circulated quickly that a fellow waterman lost his life that day. They underestimated the power of Marie.

The people kept coming the days that followed. Most came to marvel at one of the most powerful natural forces known around the world. Some came to ride giants. They all came to experience the force of Marie.

California Winter

 Winters along the coast of Southern California can get mildly cold (it was freezing this morning though) and a little more than barely wet (especially during this drought.) The winter swells keep the surfers and photographers fully engaged.

That is part of my perspective on Winter because I spend time in the water trying to catch waves and take pictures whenever I’m close to sand, rocks, and ocean.  Although this part of the world only gets two seasons: warm-and-dry and cool-and-not-as-dry, I still appreciate the latter as much as the warmer one. Looking to stay engaged with winter all winter long.

Stoked Defined 

 Stoked [stohkt] adjective. Slang.

The web dictionary defines stoked as “exhilarated” and “excited.” I usually use other words instead of “stoked.” I use words like “excited” and “thrilled.” That changes today.

I got into solid head high surf with a group of friends at the crack of dawn. It was very crowded by 6:30am, but I carved out a little space for myself and caught a few lefts that will keep me smiling throughout the day. It was great camaraderie and great surf. I am “stoked” and will be using that word a lot more.

The Mission at San Juan Capistrano

 I went on a field trip with my daughter’s class to Mission San Juan Capistrano. It is a beautiful place in a beautiful city. I know beneath the beauty are stories of struggle and pain mostly told by those who had no voice.

See the visual essay on Steller.

Taking Pictures at the Beach

  This is a spot in Newport Beach, California. I surfed the little beach break they call Blackies earlier in the week, but this one afternoon I brought my family to walk around. When the kids saw the rocks it was inevitable that they would end up climbing on them.

As the kids were playing, I observed people taking turns taking pictures at the edge of the rocks. As I got closer, I saw one young lady walk cautiously further out towards the edge of the rocks before noticing her 2 friends. She posed and waited patiently for her friends to take the postcard picture, but they were preoccupied taking pictures of themselves. Blame it on the selfie stick.

Check out the visual essay on Steller

Surfer John


I met this surfer man at dawn
who introduced himself as John.
Hoping for waves but most were gone,
so he kept chatting looking to bond.

I studied where he parked his old ride.
His car was filled with older things inside.
I wondered if his belongings could share their pride.
What tales they’d tell and secrets they’d confide.

John said that he lived down the street
I gather he’s says that to all those he meets.
He’s really a millionaire being discreet.
Looking for someone to sit in his passenger seat.

To take on adventures up and down the coast
Taking surf safaris that only few can boast
My theory is that he’s got pockets deeper than most
searching for someone he could trust and host.

Then again, he could be this guy named John who wanted to surf, and I let my imagination get away to share on this post.

Thoughts on Throwback Thursday #tbt


I posted this picture on Instagram and FaceBook on Throwback Thursday. Who switched it anyways? I thought it was Flashback Friday.

My son and I walked through Venice Beach back in 2009 with a Canon Rebel. We were armed with a 2GB card for pics and $25 for lunch.

We had a fun time that day people watching and taking pics. He’s an adult now, so the question is, “Did I provide a lot of memories for future Throwback Thursdays?” Am I providing enough for my wife and daughters?

I think most of us agree that the things we attain and our accomplishments mean very little when we have no one to share them with. Our greatest investments will be time spent with those who are closest to us.

What are you doing to deposit memories in the bank for future Throwback Thursdays?

Read my latest 1-minute story, “One Morning In Venice” On Steller


“Venice was and is full of lost places where people put up for sale the last worn bits of their souls, hoping no one will buy.” ~Ray Bradbury

Check out my latest 1-minute story “One Morning in Venice” on Steller:

https://steller.co/s/4j98WKFgf3s