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.

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.

Surfing Lessons

20130709-101551.jpg I tried shooting in Panorama mode with my son’s iPhone. It turned out distorted, I but had to capture my son as he studied the break before paddling out. I’m sometimes comically lame when surfing, but I love it. I’m learning some life-truths in the process. They’re not in any order of importance or sequence:

  • Always assess first.
  • Milk the moments.
  • Don’t do life alone.
  • Be patient.
  • Do things with soul.