now from the North Island of New Zealand

Author Archive

9 outta 10, eh? May 1, 2018

DSC_0116DSC_0093MetService surf forecast was a 9 at Fitzroy and the waves didn’t disappoint. Gorgeous as! The Stand up paddlers caught plenty a few hundred meters down at East End and, thanks to the southeast winds, all of New Plymouth experienced good sized breaking waves. I’m keen on going out tomorrow if I can find a longboard spot or…nice shoulder to ride. Might be bigger too, whomp!

Surf in the Southern Hemisphere. April 30th, 2018

DSC_0028 (1)There were plenty of clean waves today at this in town beach break. The outgoing tide walled up the earlier peelers at Fitzroy Beach.

12,000km southwest of Port A.

Old Town Expression Session. Oct 21, 2017

DSC_0362Harvey who?  Port Aransas celebrated its 107th Birthday with several traditional Old Town Festival events.  The Expression Session Surf Contest felt like an ocean-centric revival of the spirit. Folks gathered, cheered, photographed, swam, surfed, ate, laughed and played on the beach. It was a gorgeous day! Thanks to everyone who stepped up to make it happen, especially Cameron Pratt, the first to say, “We’re gonna do this!”

Summer on the Other Side. June 24, 2017


When it’s windy, hot, and crowded on the beach,  the evenings on the backside of our island  are  blissful.  The last two are shared here.      In Piper flats light breezes blowing through the mangroves surrounds you with a whistling  sound as you drift along.  Herons squawk loudly and egrets track your every move.    At Charlie’s Pasture  jackrabbits bound on and off the trails, often leading you on a good chase.  Water birds loop above then land for a stroll in the flats.

Whether you walk, run, bike or boat the other side is the best place to be at sunset.


Beach Vault! June 17, 2017

Port A Beach Vault. June 17, 2017


If you weren’t at the Port Aransas Beach Pole Vault meet on Saturday,   you missed some red hot action!    Temperatures were high,  so was that bar the athletes fearlessly  flung themselves over   The best women jumped 14 feet and the men 18 feet;   but the dedication and effort exhibited by all the competitors was world class.    The coaches will tell you pole vaulting is all about speed,  but without that intangible “thing,”   raw talent only takes you so far.   These guys and gals have it.   Good luck to all the vaulters and the future world campions that came to Port A to showcase their skills.

Congratulations to Greg West of West Athletics Vaults Crew-  It was a spectacular event. Click here for results/info.








Happy Dad’s Day. June 18, 2017

Remember those cheesy Father’s Day cards with pictures of fish, boats, and camping gear?   Well,  at least for most Port A dads,   these are common passions.    A few days ago,  Des ventured over to the north jetty,  yes on a surfboard,  and lured in one after another.   Frying up the speckled trout will be a family affair today.    Let’s feast!

Marinedream Boat. June 8th, 2017

DSC_0691                          Happy  World Oceans Day!

From river racing canoe to ocean cruiser, this boat has been transformed into a unique, single-man exploration vessel.  Ask Dave or Des for the whole story and Scott can fill in the Austin viewers. It’s a beauty and it’s for sale!

(comment below for inquiries)

G.I. Joe lands in Port A. May 14th, 2017.


Stan Weston, the creator of the G.I. Joe military action figured passed away on May 1st.   After learning a bit more about the maker,  we decided to pull these dudes out of their GI Joe lockers and play.   My son bought a nice collection at a garage sale a few years ago.   Their outfits and gear are cool, of course, but I was surprised when we pushed a  button and heard one speak  Korean, Vietnamese, or Japanese; I’m not sure which.

GI Joe’s were the first articulating dolls and, boy do I remember the first time I got my hands on one.   I  really pushed the limits of those joints!   Their fuzzy hair and beards and that scar fascinated me.   He was way neater than barbie.

Anyway, I found out that Stan Weston sold his concept to Hasbro in 1963 for $100,000 and declined the tiny royalty offer.   Since 1964 something like 400 million G.I. Joe’s have been sold,  so if you do the math, that’s a few billion dollars in sales.   A year before his death he was able to settle with the toy company, and hopefully, at age 83, got a few bucks back!

Here’s to you Stan, and everybody out there who had a great idea that made someone else rich!   But the joy you brought to boys, and girls, is priceless.

Don’t take my Ektachrome away. May 10th, 2017.


A  friend  and  fellow  surfer,  Ewell  Clarke,  promised  to  dig  through  his  old   slides and  found  some  Port  A  sessions  from  1982-85.   This  one  was  shot  with  high  speed  Ektachrome  film,  300mm  lens,  from  the  dunes,   and  without  autofocus –  not  available  back  then.   Ewell  writes,  “Hope  you  can  see  the  riders;  shooting  from  the  dunes  they  sometimes  disappeared  in  the  trough  on  bottom  turns.”

I  like  this  photo;   the  feathering  wave  is  good  size,  similar  to  our  last  wind  swell.   Nice  to  see  3  surfers  sharing  the  wave  too.

Also,  I  appreciate  the  image  because  it  was  taken  on  slide  film,   the medium  I  learned  with.   It’s  known  as  color  positive  film,  “slide,”  or  “transparency”  film.   No negatives.  What  you shot  was  what  you  got.  Exposure  couldn’t  be  adjusted  in  development  so  you  had  to  know  your  settings  in  different  light   by  heart.   And  there  was  no  autofocus,  you  chose  the  focal  length  and  hoped  the  image  was  in  focus,  or  used  manual  and  lined  up  little  blurry  half  circles  over  the  subject.   Remember?    Oh,  the  anticipation  of  pulling  a  newly  processed  slide  from  the  box  and  holding  it  up  to  the  light  to view  it  for the  first  time!    Sometimes  I   got  a  gem.

Thanks,  Ewell.