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.

All Day Port A. April 30, 2017

DSC_0383The Port A Surf-a-rama continued with north by northwest wind conditions all day.  It was a Sunday worth re-living!

Port A Surf-A-Rama, AM session. April 30, 2017

DSC_0563Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Monster Wave and Surfer Show at the pier!

more photos of afternoon session to come.

Golfing for Trinity Day School. April 28th, 2017

DSC_0130Hey Golfers! Trinity by the Sea Episcopal Day School thanks you!  

Click for PHOTOS

Earth Day 2013

2 do-gooders, 2 kayaks, and 2 plastic mattress bags = Happy Earth Day! 

As  everyone  knows,  St.  Joe’s  tends  to  collect  plastic  bottles  like  nobody’s  business.   One  November  day  a  few years  ago  we  hatched  a  plan  and  set  out  to  do  our  part.   It  was  our  “earth  day.”

We   kayaked  over  to  St.  Joe’s  from  the  south  jetty,   strolled  the  beach  and  dunes,  and  stuffed  as  much  plastic  as  possible  in  our  “trash  bags”.    Once  filled  we  tied ’em  up  to  our  kayak  and  SUP   and  launched  from  the  north  jetty.

Towing  the  loot  back  across  the  ship  channel  was  the  real  adventure.   High  winds  made  excellent  sails  of  the  huge,  floating  bags  and  carried  us  a  bit  off  course.   Jen  managed  to  wrap  her  towing  rope,   big  bag  and  part  of  her  partner’s  gear  around  a  piling  near  the  UTMSI  docks.  The  spin  maneuver did  halt  our  westward  progression,  but  let’s  just  say  Des  and  his  knife  were  needed  at  some  point.

Luckily,  being  strong  paddlers,  and  despite  the  hooting  and  laughter,  we  did  manage  to  arrive  on  the  south  side with our recycling cargo intact.   James  Derkits  took  our  rescue   call and  sped  over  to  pick  us  up.

Filming  from  a  fast  moving  SUP  while  paddling across  the  channel  was  some  of  the  best  video  I’ve  ever  taken – that  I’ve  never  seen  beyond  the  viewfinder!  I  keep  hoping  it  will  turn  up  on  a  hard  drive  somewhere  in  the  future.