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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.