Thursday, February 20, 2014

200 Videos


My Vimeo account has reached 200 videos. While I know that’s a bit like saying “AC/DC made 15 Albums” when really they made essentially the same album 15 times, it’s significant nonetheless.


As such, here is number 200. Hope you’ve got 20 minutes to kill.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Time to Sail

I’ve satisfied my need to sail for years now solely with my windsurfing quiver. Windsurfing is fun; but it is also not quite like “proper sailing”. First off, it’s a serious workout, and anything more than two hours just wears me out. Secondly, it’s all about speed. It’s possible with my big board to tool around in light winds, but I’d rather be planing, so I generally don’t go unless the wind is up and strong. Finally, they are limited in adjustment – you can’t change the sail area without completely re-rigging a new sail. Pick the wrong sail for the conditions and you can ruin a session.

For the last 3 summers I’ve looked at Hobies, namely the Tandem Island sailing kayak/trimaran. This year I pulled the trigger. It took some doing…had to clear out a bunch of toys that were for the most part collecting dust – but I got it.

To say I’m pleased would be a gross understatement. The thing sails like a dream; points well close-hauled; performs nicely on a downwinder, screams along the beam reach. The first time I took it out, I unfurled the sail and she took off with a bone in her teeth – too much sail! No problem – pull the furling line, the sail reefs and voila – reduced sail area, better control. I’m still shaking her down – haven’t even come close to pushing her – but man what a joy. Comfortable, roomy out on the trampolines, easy to rig, transports on the top of the truck…why didn’t I do this sooner?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Life has been off-the-richter nutso unbelievable. If 25 years ago you told me I’d be living this life I’d never believe it. Everything is clicking – work, family, surf…not much else to say but ENJOY THE ALOHA!!!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

5 Years Ago

We divide our lives into the “before and afters” of major events. These singularities are when things change radically; occurrences that shake up our world and cause us to undergo a metamorphosis as a person. There were several in my life: When, at 14, my parents retired and moved from the only home I knew on a lake in rural Massachussetts to a condo in Florida. Certainly, when I got married, a little over 20 years ago. Graduating AOCS and receiving a commission in the Navy. There were a few others…then there was cancer.

The first two months of diagnosis weren’t a radical change to my life – it wasn’t until week 4 of the initial 6-week chemo regimen that I even felt any side effects. I kept working, and kept up with my running and surfing.

I think the biggest “before and after” point was 5 years ago, when I had my colon resected. The surgery itself went smoothly for the most part (read here for my sister’s posts on my surgery). The following year would be one where I was challenged throughout, and came out a changed person.

I’ve made changes that I never would have considered before. I’ve done things that I had no desire to do before, accomplishments of a personal nature that only take on meaning in the context of surviving. More than anything, I’ve discovered a desire to enjoy every aspect of every day; to find the beauty in the mundane; to soar with the eagles even when sitting in the fourth meeting of the morning. Certainly in these five years the volume has been turned down – but it has remained fixed at a level that is far above where it was before.

With that – I’ve documented as much as possible on video and in pictures. I hope and pray that someday, far in the future, when I’m gone, my kids and grandkids will watch, read, and know these things about me.

With less and less blogging (thanks for nothing, facebook) I’ve quite the video backlog. Enjoy.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Fresh Fish

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Close Encounters…of the Toothy Kind

I’ve written about sharks before. In over 30 years living by and playing in the ocean, I’ve had more shark encounters than I can list. Most of them are fairly serene, small to medium sized sharks just taking a look before departing the area. A few have been hair raising – a car-sized bull shark in the Gulf of Mexico, big hammerheads in Kaneohe Bay, the grey reef shark I ran over and startled while paddleboarding. Until today I had never really seen a shark in full predator mode.

It started out last night, when a call to “the general” got me a spot on a boat for a sunday morning free-dive spearfishing trip. I ran off to the dive shop to get new bands for my gun, and a few other things (ended up walking out with a new wetsuit…but that’s how trips to the dive shop go). I had my gear checked out and in order, everything ready to go. My computer had died, so I couldn’t’ download the surfing video from my gopro, so I decided just to leave it at home and go dive without a camera.

We launched and went out to our spot near the Pearl Harbor channel. Despite days of calm winds, the visibility wasn’t all that good – maybe a 6 out of 10. I scored early, pounding a small roi about 50 yards from the boat – a good sign. My partner and I headed over to the channel and started working the edge of the reef. We were staying 20 to 30 yards away from each other, close enough for support but far enough that we weren’t interfering with each other’s area. There wasn’t much action – I worked for about an hour with only a small to’au to show – when a school of large palani showed up in about 30 feet of water. Normally I’d pass on palani, but these were big ones, and there wasn’t much else around. I shot one and it did the “death dance”. It took me a while to get it up and under control and I remember thinking “well, if there are any sharks around, that will be like a dinner bell”. I dispatched it with my knife and put it on my kui, attached to my float.

I keep my gun clipped to my tag line just in case I shoot something real big – so I’m holding the gun, attached to a long line going to the surface, ending in my float and kui (stringer) with the 3 fish. Feeling good, my bottom times increased and I started exploring the little caves and holes looking for a big roi or omilu. The fish disappeared, which had been happening all dive – suddenly there would just be nothing, and I’d have to move on to another portion of the reef. I was down at about 40 feet, near the end of my 50 foot tag line, when I felt a tug on my line. I figured it must have gotten tangled on my partner’s line. Looking up I saw a surreal sight: A big (8’-10’) tiger shark had my tag line in it’s mouth, about 15 feet from me. Big, wide head. Beautiful tiger stripe patterned brown body with a sharply contrasting white underbelly. Holy cow, a shark has my line.


Shown: Artists’ DepictionPB250024

My first impression was “good, he’ll bite through that line, and I’ll let him have the fish”. I gripped my tag line and pulled. The line did not part. I was now in an underwater tug-of-war with a shark. His body started to go more vertical – we had drifted out into the channel proper, in deeper water. I held on, hoping the line would part. It did not. Now the shark was MAD, body facing downward nearly vertical. It began to thrash – I remember seeing bubbles cavitate off it’s tail – pulling me down, and my gun was pulled out of my hands. I thought “okay, you win” and headed to the surface. I don’t know how long all this took – I’m sure I was under for well over a minute from the start – but I didn’t feel out of breath. At the surface I watched as my float (made from a large boat fender) started motorboating around the channel, tombstoning and occasionally disappearing completely. I found my partner immediately, and swam calmly – but swiftly -  over to him. I explained what happened, and I took his gun which he had clipped on to his float (he was using a 3-prong) and we headed over to the other guys working the shallows for tako. We all went back to the boat and looked for my gear. The buoy was floating mid-channel and not drifting. We got to it, and unbelievably it was all there – float, line, gun, and even the fish! The float line was tore up, but still intact, and he didn’t bother with the fish – all very unusual.

We moved over to another spot but I decided to call it a day – I had a decent kui and a good story, and that was enough for this day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More Video

I’m getting caught up with all my video from the last two months. Here’s the latest.

Catherine is getting good:

A quick session while Angelyne has v-ball practice: