Aqua Space Coaster

The coolest presents really are the ones that are handmade, with care, from a friend.  Case in point: the Aqua Space Coaster made by the multi-talented Mark Urkov.


Hand planes are just bitchen.  Like getting through on the phone to make a request on The Mighty 690AM (c. 1978) or an Orange Julius on a summer afternoon.  If you know, you just know.  I fully intent to have the coaster at School Yard by the weekend.  Boss.

I asked Urkov about his inspiration; perhaps this was not such a good idea:


California Tuesday

Hooky with dad…


5:45 — wake, coffee, donut hole, hard boiled egg, coffee
8:15 — arrive Bear Mountain (probably the last snow of the season); realize no one is on the mountain (score)
11:00 — burgers, Sarsaparilla, lazed about in the sun for 20
1:00 — pack and rack, we have shite to do
3:30 — grab boards and towels and head to the beach
4:00-5:00 — small west swell, sunset, “Dad, I’m tired, will you please carry my board?”

Now if I could just work the dirt bikes into the picture…

Not Right

Sunday, February 10th, 2014

Zip-line Instructor: “Trust your gear.  All you have to do is put trust in your gear.”

Me: “You’ve just handed me a pair of gardening gloves from Home Depot; they are meant to arrest my descent at 50 mph, 300 ft. off the ground…and you want me to trust my gear.”

Zip-line Instructor: “Exactly.”

Me: “You, my friend, are an idiot.”

Zip-line Instructor: “You’re in a tree, with your 10-year old son, and you paid for this.”

Me: “Good point.  Let’s do this.”

What’s in a Picture?

What’s in a picture?  For starters, an insurance co-pay of $590 for an MRI, a surprisingly painful series of Cortisone injections, and the not-so-welcome news that I received a 50-60% “slap-tear” of my upper, long biceps tendon.  But what a shot, huh?


Indeed, the details around the shot—on the periphery, as it were—are far more interesting.  Location: Pipeline (Ehukai more precisely); Event: Da Hui Espression Session Invitational Bodysurfing Contest.  Three long-time friends, as well as my ripper of a son, Daniel, converge on the North Shore for a week of waves…and we were not disappointed.  Solid 6-8’ surf at Wiamea most of the week and bigger few days for the Da Hui event.
I’m not so sure how exactly we got in, but it came down to Da Hui looking kindly on a few old mainland lifeguards, some of whom they’ve seen at local contests (thanks uncle Teddy) and a few random contacts (Al seems to know everyone), as well as sitting around patiently for four hours until they gave us the go-ahead and our own heat at the peak of the day.
None of us disappointed; all charged.  And, as for the shot, which was taken from a drone camera some 15’ off the deck, well let’s just say it was awesome right up until that point where I blew a fin and got punted into Pipe.  I took four or five solid sets on the head while trying to get the fin back on, at one point grabbing a rock/corral head to keep from sliding farther down the beach.
As a lifeguard, I know that I would have been paying attention to my sorry ass getting drilled inside, but I was in good company—a North Shore guard in my heat was getting waxed next to me and we were both giving it all we had to get back in front of the scoring tent.
A few days days, a few beers, a thousand laughs later and what had transpired started to sink in.  Generosity abounded on the beach and we had Pipeline all to ourselves for a magical few hours.  Fantastic waves, great mates, and Daniel watching his dad.  Too cool.

11/11/13 — Perfect


Just another day in the middle of November, but this…

“Dad, every son should have a day like this on the water with his dad.”

…and it was perfect.  Thank you, Robert Semour Thurmond, for many, many days on the water like this day.

I2I Waterman Relay

Island to Island Waterman Relay race time!  I’ve got an amazing and eclectic paddling team assembled (dubbed Team Bern-Out), calling in good weather for this painful 32-mile relay, and ready to get my luau on with friends and family.  Santa Barbara Island to Catalina Isthmus…let’s do this.  Race prep and photos to follow.

Team Bern-Out CollageEightIslands2

Edit: two quick details, because ‘inquiring minds want to know.’  The team name, “Team Bern-Out” showcases Bernadette Foote, who, being our youngest paddler, is going to carry us old guys through the rough moments (and sections) of the race.  As for the discrepancy in mileage on the image, ‘dirt creatures’ should know that it is actually 28 nautical miles, which translates into roughly 32 miles of deep, blue water.  Critter-country here we come!