Friday, February 27, 2015

iCe waVes and broNze waVes

Bronze sculptures by Bud Hedrick

Thursday, February 26, 2015



surf history
Surf History
Our local California newspapers are a treasure trove of historical information. The papers contain articles and images that most often never made it into the history books. Stories that, although forgotten, remain locked in time on microfilm reels tucked away in the metal file cabinets of local libraries and historical societies.
I’ve spent a lot of time in California institutions sitting in front of microfilm readers. Most of my research covers late 19th and early 20th century California wave motors; turn of the century attempts to harness the power of waves and tide to produce electricity and run machinery. This research has been a decade long intermittent process that will probably result in a book never written, but I love the pursuit. I love libraries. I love historical societies and local history. And I love surfing.
Engaging in this kind of research has led me down some unexpected informational paths, like the late 19th century accounts in San Diego newspapers of, a post OK Corral, Wyatt Earp acting regularly as a boxing referee. It has also led me down paths that are more aligned with my ocean related interest and passion. Thumbing through an index, I always look up surfing relevant keywords. This is how I came across one the earliest mention of surfing in the Los Angeles Times.

The article was written by Walter Hough and appeared in print on August 6, 1893, almost 14 years before George Freeth first arrived in California. The article is titled “In the Swim: Swimmers and Swimming in the South Seas – Curious Customs and Appliances in the Tropics and the Arctic – In Labrador and the Sandwich Islands – On the Tigris.” The article in full discusses numerous swimming feats and the benefit of different swimming techniques and aids. The part most interesting to me is Hough’s account of the “surfboard swimming of the Sandwich Islands” that “both sexes engage in.”
Hough describes the surfboard as “a plank of light wood twelve to fourteen feet long, with one end rounded; the edges are also rounded, but the other end of the board is left square.” Written 42 years before Tom Blake is attributed to inventing the fin, the author says that “a piece of cloth is usually bound around this end perhaps for the support of the foot while swimming or rather being projected like a cannon ball by the wave.”
I love the naiveté of this article as the author explains surfing to the virgin Los Angeles readership.
Sometimes they stand erect on the boards, but they usually crouch, or lie down, and keep balance with a dexterous stroke of the foot or hand, or by swaying the body.
However old the article, there are some things that are still completely relevant. It wasn’t ok to ditch your board then and it’s not ok now.
To be compelled to leave the board and dive back under the wave is considered very disgraceful; and besides, the oiled, polished, and highly valuable board, which has required a whole tree trunk for its manufacture, is lost.
Hough notes the “Sandwich Islander skill in swimming,” no doubt something many modern-day, post-leash advent, Southern California surfers often lack.
After exposing the reader to a number of different aids or “helps in swimming” from around the world, Hough ends the article with a run-down on swimming technique and best practices like “not to stay in too long.” He makes sure to note in his last sentence that the “rules do not apply to those summer-resort bathers who deck themselves in gorgeous bathing suits, and then don’t go into the water at all.” The rules still do not apply.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

People who watch birds are different than the rest of us.

Obviously Duke never lived in Florida.

Japanese gardens, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
                                                                     2 - 3 - 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015


If you didn't google "madcat and rico from puerto rico" here are a few highlights from California earlier this month.

Point Reyes

Marshall's, Petaluma, Northern California

Napa Valley with Bud

Bud and Casi's house

Bodaga Bay

San Francisco with Nick

Venice with Pat

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Bird

This is not a bird 

This parrot is in fact a female model who posed for Johannes Stötter, a fine art body painter. Using breathable paint, he spent hours
painstakingly turning this woman into the image of a parrot,
brushstroke by brushstroke. The model's arm forms the parrot's
head and beak, and her legs form the wing and tail feathers.
Remember: always take a closer look as things aren't always
what they appear to be. Once you see her, the bird disappears.

Malibu Pier
Central Florida last Thursday

Del Rey Beach, South Florida last Thursday. 

Banana Dang, Oceanside California 2 weeks ago 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Click on pic to enlarge

PONO is exceptional at delivering high res sound !

Feb 18, 2015

Zambrana Surfboards - The Ofiical Surfboard of Rincon Surf Report.Rincon is going off! The swell is still solid and the form has finally been groomed. The wind is light offshore and the conditions are glassy. The surf is 2-4ft overhead with double overhead sets and perfect. I haven't seen Rincon break this perfect in a long time. What a run of swell we've been having!

Monday, February 16, 2015

geographical mixed bag

Three great shots Justin took last Thursday at Pelicans here in Central Florida.

Leon's new organic veggie supply. Dec. 2014
That must be Justin in the 3rd pic up from here! 

TRES last Friday

 If you didn't google " madcat and rico from puerto rico...These are a few highlights from California last week. 

Left to right: Dick Metz, some kid he found at the Outrigger Canoe Club, Tom Morey, Paul Straugh Jr.

Pat Lennon