About Me

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Sacramento, California, United States
so salty pieces of coral from surfing Hawaii in the 60's and 70's getting reef pounded living in my body fall through my skin from time to time!

sailing to Oahu

Jimi Hendrix was playing on Oahu. I had never sailed. Surfed Mexico, California, Hawaii! Aw, how hard could it be to sail 90-110 miles from Kauai to Oahu? Piece of cake, right? Remember it was the 60's! This is so bad. We thought we were looking at Kaiena Point,Ohau, knowing we weren't going to make the concert! But at least we were in site of Oahu-wrong! Coy, who had never sailed before, me,who had never sailed before, jeff and Abbott etc. We were looking at the sleeping giant on Kauai! We had done three-sixty's in the night! We sailed on the only tri-marran I've ever sailed on ( except later ) in my life, missed the concert! It was at the Waikiki Shell Ampitheater ( Moon eclipsed . We finally made Nawilwili Harbor! The Skipper tried to give us his boat saying, " It's trying to kill me"! We watched him go stark raving mad not even realising that had we got caught in the channel current we were on our way to Japan! Remember it was the 60's and we were going to see Hendrix. I left out some of the good stuff but I will make up for it later!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hanalei, Kauai....Hawaii. Rice Mill Daze 1968-1971

Jeff, no shit! We scored dude. No it wasn't all fun and games! It was what it was. We
Note:  This is what came out of Hanalei.
Your son and my nephew, Ian...........

knew what special was and what wasn't! I don't place the past as you should have been here

yesterday. Either do you. I will, however, never forget the magic and the blessings I felt to surf with

a few good friends on days where God Himself smiled upon us and we knew it. I don't need to re-capture that! I loved because I am loved. If not those days and the people I was allowed to share those experiences with would be a lie and that is simply not possible. Thank God for witnesses that are still alive or no one would believe that the past was as real as today! " I've been born ", said John Bylander! Coy says," Get back Jo-Jo ", and Bubby Laughs. Lunchmeat doesn't get it and frowns as Ambrose takes a six footer through the bowl and Ralph waits. Patiently for the clean-up

Which cleans me and Jim Pollack out after each of us had ripped three waves to the bowl where Joe Boguest took off in front of us! Sound familiar? Heh! It was a gas wasn't it, Jeff. I love you, man. You know that........RB.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today in Hanalei, Kauai. Not Yesterday

Dated and filed.  I don't want to go home.  Why should I?  I live on a river. I can take the American, to the Sacramento, to San Francisco, to Hawaii and points unknown!   Guess where I am?  Obviously I'm not in Hawaii or New Zealand!  Nor will I be anytime soon!  I'm cool where I are.  An old friend that is young wrote what is below.  If I was there I would be surfing waves that are still unimportant to people who treasure being on camera.  To me a true surfer is invisible, kind of like God. or the wind.  The only reason we know that wind exists is by what it effects.  I feel it on my skin and it moves my hair but I can't see it with my eyes. David, in the Bible wrote, " Though I walk through the valley OF THE SHADOW of death, I shall fear no evil!   Well crowds on waves on Kauai are like ideas!  Many are meaningless and even more just clutter what is beautiful by it's being
      I have many friends on Kauai, who not only know me but love me.  The few I have here that are still alive, I have had to make.  This is a sad thing. The river that runs to the sea replenishes itself.  I am comfortable.  This is important.
show details Dec 22 (6 days ago)

Is it "have I lived too long", or "have I lived to long----for a little surf and satisfaction"? Probably the latter. Yup-- I'm glad I didn't plant my ass in Hanalei, tho I'd have gotten lots of days slipping out between the cracks, it's still discouraging to show up at Middles at 7AM these days only to feel blessed to get the last spot in the parking lot (if the surf isn't good, that is-- if it's good you missed parking by an hour.) Forget Black Pot-- you gotta park at the pavilion and walk to the pier. Women and children--2 more generations-- too dumb to lay-down geezers (you lookin' at me????), and the horde of 20-somethings hoping for that cover shot, not to mention the fleet of strokers on 10' stand up boards, acting like Laird only in their ability to catch every smallest ripple from beyond Impossibles thru the pier. I'm driven to the thought that 99% of surfing has not much to do with riding perfection-- the drive/check/wax-up/paddle-out/duck-dive/sit there/ find your take-off spot/stroke-in/ fade or bottom turn are all pretty much the same whether it's 8' west swell Hanalei or 8" on-shore "Behind-the-Golf-Course." Then there's a few seconds of delight or terror, depending on how far behind the peak you are, tempered by how on or offshore the wind is and how many others have the same idea you do.....and then it's over and you are back to step 3 of the 12 step--"Paddle back out & try again." Yup-- to each his own, but at the end of the day I usually get a few good-uns around here, with a 10 minute drive and a lot less expended testosterone as opposed to an hour drive for a few good'uns and a whole lot of frustration. The last time I surfed Middles-- 6' & I waited out the back on my 7'2" for half an hour, dodging long boarders & standups. Finally took off on a beaut, only to get jumped & stuffed behind the bowl by a life-guard (and friend--a drummer who's gigged with us, for cryin' out loud!) riding a 9'0" on his coffee break. "Sorry 'bout that," he grins-- "You waited a long time for that one." I just paddled in. "You're welcome, asshole----" Later-- J

Sunday, December 26, 2010

You Try Leaving It Behind 1865

       There was a moment when I thought I might want to be a part of this frontier city.  Now it will be business and a token participation by myself or a representative of our company.  My interests in San Francisco have been reduced due to a particular incident that altered the direction and desire I felt compelled to offer to a city that is and will become even more, a central staging point of sound business on an international scale. 
       Human beings are not possessions.  I can not live in or around the people who would call themselves
aristocrats.  There are very wealthy people here who believe their station in life is above the lives they
stold and/or manipulated to allow an appearance of sophistication that allows a separation between class
and no class.
       Who defines this term?  Class?  In this case, I do!  I would share water with anyone with a heart.
Money doesn't purchase water in a desert where only water has value!  Class is giving water to a dying man in the desert with no money but with heart!  Yours and his........entwined....
        Vigilantism is coming to San Francisco.  Not to protect the innocent as it is set up to be and written of in the newspapers but to protect the interests of people like me!  Property rich, proper schools, proper homes;
wealth built on the backs of the people who are outspoken enough to require the vigilantes we hire to destroy their spirit.  If  their spirit is to rebel, than we destroy them.  Not us, but, the temporary  government we create!
       So, I and my family must leave.  I can't fight a system that created me.  If not for me being shanghaied out of San Francisco itself, I would not be in a position today to leave.  If not for a series of coincidences I would be and still am, one of the lower class.  I am compelled to acknowledge that I remain one of the people.  Not separate or separated by something so unimportant as money! For when I had none, I still saw the nature of an individual man manifested in his actions towards his fellow man. 
       Appearances can be deceptive.  I have been fortunate to have witnessed great deeds and personal sacrifice performed by men of no substance but also by men of enormous wealth.  Here is where truth lays it's head.  Of goodness and evil I am not sure.  However, I am sure that when I have been hungry and been fed by someone who shared with me the little he had, both were enriched beyond our understanding,  Of this I have many examples.  I also am all to aware that those who have much do not share.  It is not in their nature to share as they never feel they have enough.  They are right they don't and never will.  There are exceptions but not many.
       I can not be a part, here in San Francisco, where men who but a few short weeks ago, were the people they have declared war upon.  Under the guise of protecting society, culture and property they are creating a force outside the law called, " Vigilantism "!  Not only is this outside the law, it is unconstitutional!  When the wealthy determine what is best for mankind; my family, my men with their families, my business and all aspects ( eddies and echoes ) of myself  have no choice but to re-locate.  I have been asked to join this demonic group of wealthy, ruling tyrants!  I can not! Now they come against me as a unified group of maddened animals.  Of this I am not afraid.  Fear is not part of a man who has crossed " The Horn " many times. However, I wish to enjoy what is left to me of life with family and friends in the company of truth, honesty and companionship! Sharing honest questions with honest people who are truly searching for real answers to these questions.  I fear vigilantes already have their answers to questions they wouldn't even know how to phrase OR ask!  They care nothing for learning.  They love money and make that very clear to those that can hear.  These things trouble me.
      I can not support vigilantism of any sort.  We leave on the morning tide.  I will miss the flavor of this young city.  I am sure San Francisco will survive the ashes and horrors that are forthcoming as it goes through it's growing pains.  I am also certain it will re-write it's history so that some of it's darkest characters are immortalized by street names and colleges as is the way of man.  How predictable is the behavior of man?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When I love it is forever

     I met this man.  Dave Laurie.  He allowed me to sail with him.  On Guinivere!
Sixty feet, from bowsprit to bumpkin!  Forty tons, three quarter keel of solid steel. Farro cement. Built in Bluff.
God, she went to weather! Ten degrees off the point!   Working hard to thirty degrees off the wind.  With a
sea that matched but never supported the heading we were making!  Never.....ever..
    He did though.  He buried me as we were entering Latoka, Fiji.  I had just untied our 175 lb, CQR when a very large rogue wave covered me and shifted the anchor so that the fluke tore a hole in my foot.  A very large hole!  I'm bleeding all over the deck and am afraid to look because I didn't want to know how badly I was injured.  I walked aft after dropping the pick and said, "  Dave!  Did you see that wave"?  He answered,"  Yea, are you alright "?  I said,"  I don't know"? And went below.
     I went below not realizing how much blood was leaking out of my body!  Blood everywhere!  I asked Jeff, a jewler friend and shipmate if he would sew my foot back together?  He vomited and said what a mess!  He did, however curve an upulstry needle for me.  I ran double twisted stranded dentil floss through the eye of the needle and with a bottle of rum proceeded to sew my foot back together.  Thank God I was a yogi or I couldn't have done it!  It is hard to see the bottom of your foot and even harder to stich it up.  I also am fortunate to have surgical experience.  It was harder to sew my eyebrow damage while looking in a mirror than to fix my foot.That is another story about my face marrying a post hole digger!  I was digging the hole!
      I joined with Dave in Apia, Samoa.  He was born in South Africa and brought to New Zealand when he was 14.  He has passed and was way to young.  Heart attack.  The world is a sorrier place for him not being here.  I loved sailing with him and just hanging out.  He is my friend and I his. You will hear more of him down the line. Love you Dave, with all my heart.........Aloha  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love of it

Where is the sea I haven't sailed?  Show it to me so that in the showing
it can't be said again!
Where is landfall.  I know it is but it has been to long knot!
Where is my warm dry bed?  With my wife there warming me,
loving me for the returning.
Where is my son that has grown and followed his father to an angry sea?
My daughter, married and gone far away with a farmer man whose sea is waves
of grain on a flat ocean of land. 
Oh Lord, did I wrong those I loved by my longing to be in your arms?
The ocean is your song and I am but a ghost and insignificent
in the vast world of wind, tide and sea.
Forgive me for my love of it!  But it is grand!
And I am blessed to sail upon many waters.
Your ocean is my destiny...I can not live without you!  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Watch, Whose Watch

     Whose watch does a navigator love?  Yours!  On your watch I can make no mistakes!  If I give
you a heading and you can't or don't keep it, it's the captains fault.  I can wonder why till the day that
I die?  Is a given heading a hard course?  What?  You saw lights, maybe a lighthouse warning you of
the danger of driving at night with no lights?  Oh, you had an original idea that you know more than the
one who reads the sextant!  Wake the navigator up!  Don't bother the Captain!  What does he know?
      The Captain trusts his navigator.  Shouldn't you?  If not, Why knot?  A watch watches.  A skipper
skips and a navigator navigates!  When a watch skips a navigator, what happens?
      That depends.  Did someone feel or hear a change brought about by watch?  Before any cataclismic
damage was done to vessel and/or crew?  Yes?  Once onboard a sailor is in tune to every nuance his
exoskeleton ( his vessel ) can make.  It is a finely tuned instrument that sings as the ocean and wind place
it where it will.  But safety and direction are the navigators.  He has time on his accurate chronometer
(watch) distance measured by speed over water and Earth with stars, Moon and Sun announcing, " Here is where I am"!
     How can a watcher, tell The Watcher, what to watch for?  Be Leary but not Timithy!  Before changing
course, always ask someone wiser than you, "What is the best course"?  Then go your own way and be
prepared for the price you must pay.  This is how we learn..  There has got to be a more affordable way!
Sometimes learning is a life and death experience.  So is sailing with a good navigator and a crew with a mind of their own!  Arrgh, aground are we on a lee shore?  Die dogs!!!!!! 


This is important.  More important than my meaningless meandering
through hollow portals of past experiences I may or may not remember.
As they were or weren't doesn't hold a candle to this:




It's coming through a hole in the air,

from those nights in Tiananmen Square.

It's coming from the feel

that this ain't exactly real,

or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.

From the wars against disorder,

from the sirens night and day,

from the fires of the homeless,

from the ashes of the gay:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming through a crack in the wall;

on a visionary flood of alcohol;

from the staggering account

of the Sermon on the Mount

which I don't pretend to understand at all.

It's coming from the silence

on the dock of the bay,

from the brave, the bold, the battered

heart of Chevrolet:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,

the holy places where the races meet;

from the homicidal bitchin'

that goes down in every kitchen

to determine who will serve and who will eat.

From the wells of disappointment

where the women kneel to pray

for the grace of God in the desert here

and the desert far away:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on

O mighty Ship of State!

To the Shores of Need

Past the Reefs of Greed

Through the Squalls of Hate

Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,

the cradle of the best and of the worst.

It's here they got the range

and the machinery for change

and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.

It's here the family's broken

and it's here the lonely say

that the heart has got to open

in a fundamental way:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.

O baby, we'll be making love again.

We'll be going down so deep

the river's going to weep,

and the mountain's going to shout Amen!

It's coming like the tidal flood

beneath the lunar sway,

imperial, mysterious,

in amorous array:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean

I love the country but I can't stand the scene.

And I'm neither left or right

I'm just staying home tonight,

getting lost in that hopeless little screen.

But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags

that Time cannot decay,

I'm junk but I'm still holding up

this little wild bouquet:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Monday, December 13, 2010

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Posted by Picasa

Just A Couple Of Friends

Alter ego? The Id....The Ego......and the Super EGO?

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Ghost)?

The Prodigal son returns to the father and we place some shrimp on the barbie?

I came, I saw, I conquered?


Extended family?

Your guess is as good as mine?

What's there to live for?


Please allow me to introduce myself.........

On broadway

Get high with a little help from

Thinking is creating!

Arrghh we armed for combat, matey?

Fetch me my glass....not my eye, fool!

Let them eat what Abbos eat! Larve!

water, water everywhere, not in the Sahara

How deep is water?

How cold is snow?

Where are you, now?

Do you remember tomarrow? Yesterday?

Is is not to be confused with was was!

How about?

So much trouble with so little imput?

Pay attention to the tide! It rocks....

Ebb and flood is a bill you haven't paid!

My mind? I hope you don't.....cause I do!

Game. Know, as in no!

Dice, risky at best, probabillity factor?

No dice.....Golf! Drive for show, putt for dough!

Math is real. Coin toss.......heads I win, tails you lose.....every time!

So the three are we.

Simply, you and me, never together.

always forever alone.

Together, almost never,

Qualified, certified and hog tied

from the beginning,

two or three?

And I ask me?

Can't you sea?

Than I answered a question

that wasn't asked?
Forgive me nothing............

Friday, December 3, 2010

Unknown-hopefully thought provoking.

       I recommend breaking the roots of a shallow fellowship, squandered by ties that are meaningless.
When one's life is jeapordized or comprimized by a childish loyalty or fellowship bound, as if written in stone; because of a behavior and false loyalty that constricts a freedom of spirit and does place chains and constrainsts upon an exploration of freedom itself, let it go or beware.
       A friend lost, is nothing, more or less, than a new Son dawning on a today horizon.  Today one's childhood is forgotten.  Never to be remembered; no matter how hard one tries! In  rememberance is falsehood.  Despicable memories shaped by what one wished was true and buried that truth in a re-writing of a wish into
a dream that becomes stronger and more true in the lie of the telling. I say," scream"!
       Truth does not exist in shadow.  Honesty lives for light.  Captain James Cook was more than a great
Captain. History has no need of a re-write about him.  It is logged!   He knew Bly..... Captain Bly was a prick.  Great sailor, miraculous navigator, lousy Captain.
       Not everyone is designed to be great.  Recognized.  Highly regarded.  If one asked  great men how they arrived in a particular special place of enoblement or a position of respect by their peers, I promise you their uniform answer is, " I did nothing more than anyone would have done, faced with the particulars of that moment in time"!  "I am not a hero". "I am everyman and nothing more".
       My hope is that in the fiction of my life there may just be some truth to it.  Some small meaning that carries the rudiments of the love that I would pray fell upon, not just my family, but upon the family of man.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sea Fever by John Masefield

Sea-Fever  By

John Masefield (1878–1967)

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bad Ass

      I am thrilled to have surfed many famous and at times undiscovered waves with at other times undiscovered friends.  Friendsip is earned, then given!  To ride a wave that had travelled so far to announce itself on a land mass where someone with a surfboard just happened to be waiting, with knowledge to ride this phonomenah!.....Oh!  What a joy....?  How many people know Jeff Hay?  I do.  More people know Joey Cabell and Jimmy Lucas!  Who knows  Robert Stay!  I know them all because they allowed me into a very special world called." Surfing",  Bunker Spreckles, I liked  hugely!  He was generous to a fault.  He loved rideing waves.
       Music, some drugs and an extreme desire to rip the shit out of a virgin wave that had traveled so far to break on a foriegn shore!.  Every wave, unique, original and just yours.  I can place, easily, one hundred names on this paper right now!  Many of them you may know.  Many you may not!  But I do and I will not forget the men who rode waves with me!  The surfing community is like no other, even sailing!  I will never regret dedicating my life to the ocean and riding with her, allowing my devine Mother to shape my heart and gifting me into an eternal understanding of life and love itself!  The very nature of love is written in the footprints left by your feet quickly nuetralized by the ebb and flow of the tide as you watch the sunrise as if it was the very first time!   Which it is!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Last Voyage

        When I was a youth, I thought great thoughts.  I had desires and dreams that weren't quite formulated
into substantial thoughts or directions of purpose that would establish the immaturity and immortality of my youth.  The dreams were and still are real!  So, when does youth stop?
        When is one's last voyage?  When is one's last adventure?  Many individuals would make reference to the idea of death.  They may be right!  I say they are wrong.  I can not know what was in Captain Cooks mind when he was asked by his queen to make his third voyage from England into The Pacific Ocean.  What I do know is his desire was to stay with his family.  Alas, called to duty for God and country, how can one decline? To his death on a very Big Island.....
       History has a bizzarre way of re-writing itself.  We do that as people daily.  There are few that I have met in my life that can truly say they haven't made a mistake or three.  The difference of certain mistakes are
how major are they?
       In hindsight we as a people and I mean ALL people, governments included, realize a mistake has been made!  We only realize that a mistake has been made because the conclusions of said mistake didn't get the results we had hoped for.  Borders are not necessarily a territorial boundary of radom political, racial, monetarial by definition seperation,  governments.  Plural.  Pluralsy is seperation.  I say, know!
       When one visits a foriegn country with a different language, monetary value and culture, do not open your mouth until you can understand the depth of the trouble you are in. One of my heroes, Captain James Cook, was torn apart in Hawaii.  It was his last voyage.  I have one voyage, maybe two left in me.  But then again these are different times.  I think they are worse.  I could be wrong but then, that would be my last voyage and I surely could not handle that!  ARRAGGHH!!.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Someone who knows me

       There are a few people who know me.  There are a lot who don't.  Assholes find themselves
important.  I think assholes are really important to themselves.  Don't you?  I am overly fond of assholes and I pursue them with all my heart and soul.  A prick is a prick!  A cunt is a cunt and an asshole will never be anything other than what he is!  So be it....Kant said, " I think therefore I am " ......I say" If I am oppurtunistic, then let me take advantage of this oppertunity"!  So let us all be healthy and wealthy!  I don't see why not?  Do you? 
      Screw oil.  Fuck Jerusalem but continue to surf and love your ocean,  This is important.  Nothing else is
but this.  Love your ocean.  It is really important.  I mean this......Rip tide.........

Thursday, October 7, 2010

November 11th. 1967

        Oh, how wonderful.  A long airplane ride over a vast ocean.  A big ocean.  The Pacific Ocean.
I am 19.  I have lived in San Clemente and worked at the brand spanking new , San One'fre Nuclear reactor.  Checked out Mexico after my friend got us fired for stealing tools.  We were the first two janitors.
He was the thief.  I was/am an asshole.
        All I ever wanted was to ride very good waves.  Southern California has some real fun waves.  Kansas, Arkansas, Arizona, Wyoming don't have an ocean but they do or did have some very fine missle silos.
My dad took me to these places so that are family could live the " American Dream".  My dream was to surf
waves and enjoy a life on or near a beach.  My dad's idea was to protect our country by making me a local in places where I didn't get to have a name.  I didn't realize how important it was at the time to have an incredable amount of armed Titon Two nuclear warhead missles aimed at our enemies!  I sure do now.
         The heck with surfing and not having a name!  I'm proud to say I went to school with a guy, Jim Ryan,
from Witchata East, Kansas who fell down in the Olympics.  Topeka was very flat also.  Kansas is a place that looks like an ocean if you look at a lot of grain blowing in the wind.  And have an active imagination.
When it snows and freezes don't look for a hill to ride a tobaggon, sled or ski's!  Guess why?
          Cheyenne Wyoming is where I discovered cold!  Not cold like surfing Santa Cruz but so cold that when I spit my spittle broke into pieces when it hit the ground.  40 degrees below.  No surf but the pinball machine and bowling tried to replace my dreams of a perfect wave with me as a masterful rider and failed
horribly.  Frontier Days was great and Jack-a-lopes are fine.  I'm sure no one ever knew my name.  I was called," California ".
          Arizona and Arkansas have nothing in common.  Both states start with an A.  I mean nothing.
I've never met anyone except my sister and brother who have lived in both these states.  Why would you?
My father is buried in Tucson.  Maybe I should exume mother, who is buried in California, and re-bury her next to dad.  The weather is better in Arizona and they should be together.  The only surf in Arizona is a surf machine they built.  In Tucson every high school is named after Southern California surf towns.  It's kind of spooky!
          I land in Honolulu, Hawaii!  Can you smell the air?  Frangipane (plumaria) and an undefinable frangrance!  Youth freed without restraint for the very first time!  Unlimited possibillities.  To taste, touch
and feel a dream long awaited for.  And in the doing, discovery of myself while exploring an island and it's people.  All these years later, I still am discovering myself while exploring an island and it's people 
         All I ever wanted to be is a surfer.  I didn't plan to own a restaurant in Hanalei, Kauai. But we
did.  When I say we, I mean Jeff, his wife Sandy(my sister) and me.  Ralph Young (my friend) also
was our partner.  Equals and friends to this day.  Who would have thought that it was a possibillity that one could actually own
a resturant located in Hanalei Bay?  I don't care who speaks about all the places on Earth!  Hanalei is not only the finest wave I've ever seen or surfed but is also the most beautiful place on Earth. It might just be a memory.  Time has a way of changing what we used to know.  Tourism has a way of re-defining landscapes
in Hawaii!  Maybe the Big Island of Australia is my next Port-of-Call!  Newcastle, New South Wales -latitude 21 south!.............Maco nuts and Kona coffee, yea! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

No Wax

I asked at the store and they said," no wax"!
No pilikea.  The nearest store is only twenty-three
miles the other way through a cane field.

Someone will have some wax.  Someone
always does!  I really wish someone was here!
Billy Shea and I rubbed our boards back and forth
trying to exchange wax but because he had done the
nasty with Sheila on his board the day before, her
sun tan lotion turned the surface of my board into
a slippery slide! 

One thing worse than not having any wax is not
having a surfboard.  Especially in Hawaii.  It's
difficult to return a borrowed board to a friend
in two pieces.  I've seen that done but I found it
was easier to move to another island!  When
McCellan broke Coy's board at Hanalei he had no
problem at all returning it.  He said he was sorry.

You can tell when someone loves you because
they never say they are sorry.  Coy resined
that board back together over at Bubbie's
house.  And, " The Super Scoop" was born.

Without wax this board could not be ridden!
It was a " V".  Not a v bottom but a v as in
child's playground teeter-toter.  One had
two choices.  Ride on the front half of the board
or stall on the back half!  Soul Wevo made it
look easy and stylish.  He was so cool he rode
a wax surfboard I whittled and no one could tell
how many bars of parafin it took for me to make
it.  A week later when they found out that there would
be no wax in Hawaii for a month they asked me
nicely to move into the City of Refuge on the
Big Island.

I flatly refused.  I told them that I knew Mr. Punter.
They staccotoed, " What does that have to do with
the price of Ginseng at Ambroses"?  I countered,
" Absolutely nothing"!  Then I quickly expressed,
" But are we waxing esoteric"?  It was then that
I knew how I was going to survive this ordeal!

Mr. Punter is not only an organic farmer but a
bee man as well.  After I explained my plight he
with vigor allowed me to purchase $ 5,000
worth of honey.  It took me five days but I
was able to seperate the honey from the combs.

I went out to the Taylor hippie camp because
I knew I could score some pachuli oil.  60lbs
of bee's wax mixed with pachuli oil and Old
Spice, packaged as Sex Wax sold like hot
cakes.  This is kind of poetic in that I sold
the honey too!  Tasted great on pan cakes!
Made a lot of money but what is more
important is that I never, to this day, have
been without.  Wax on, wax off!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Ventures, Dick Dale And The Dell-Tones, Jan And Dean, Beach Balls

      I'm twelve years old in Berdoo.  San Bernardino, California..  New Port Beach, San Clemente, Dana Point, Doheney , San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Beach, Trestles all at my finger tips!  If I had a car and could drive.  So there I am with a string tied to my wrist, running out my bedroom window, waiting for my older friends to yank it at 4 o'clock in the morning, waking me up for dawn patrol!  Boards stuffed into the back of my friends "54" Ford stationwagon.  I think one of the reasons God created racks was to save us young children from the noxious vapers our boards sticking out the rear of the stationwagon would draw back in upon us.  Mu lepo!
     In the early sixties there were only three waves in California  that I knew of that could handle anything over twelve feet.  I only got to surf two of them. Lunada Bay, Dana Point  and Steamer Lane are the three.  You may know of others but remember I am 12- 17 years young at the time.  I ended up in Sacramento and got to surf Santa Cruz before I moved to Hawaii. 
      Dana Point ( Killer Dana)  could handle massive swells.  On a large day there was a table rock that set the wave up for an outside take-off.  Position.  The ride, when Dana was huge, would take you through the pier if you allowed it to.  The lifeguards used to warn you off with bull horns because they knew you were going for it!  They never warned me off at Huntington.  Go figure.  When they were building the boat harbour that is there now Dana broke big three days before the new breakwall jetty was finished and Dana Point had a grand farewell.  I was fortunate to be there and say, " Good-Bye"
       At the time I wasn't a sailor but I had read, " Two Years Before The Mast", by Richard Henry Dana.  So I knew that just below the lookout Gazebo near Hobie Alters Surfboard Shop was a break called" A Thousand Steps"!  They used to load animal skins there to take back around " The Horn".  On the other side of that breakwall was a left called" Nepee's".  Then you moved on to Doheney.  That's where the beautiful boat harbour is today and the breaks I mentioned are gone.......
       I don't miss Killer Dana as I thought I would at the time.  I'm older now and have taken a liking to sailing.  I really think they did a good job with the Doheney Marina.  I've actually sailed there from Hawaii but I think it has another name.  Dana Point Marina! But it's really knot!  It's Doheney
       Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz is a better wave than the Point but the water is really cold!  What I especially like about " The Lane" is that being a goofy foot, I can go left there.  It can be a little hairy but nothing near Hanalua, Maui. Or Kaliiwhi, Kauai.  When Steamers gets really large it's fun to see if you can turn the corner into "Killer Cowells"  Heh!  Cowells is a great wave to teach your keikes how to surf.  It's cold but it is user friendly.
       Never did surf Lunada Bay up by Palos Verdes.  Heard good reports.  Why should I go up there when I could sneak in to Cottons and Trestles B.A. a train and out paddle marines whose only purpose of the day was to bust this little blond haired gremmie, take my board away and fine me for tresspassing.  It NEVER happened.  Life has it's small pleasures and an occasional disappointment
      I can still see the cliffs of Dana Point in my minds eye as if it was yesterday. I wouldn't mind talking to some of the people who rode that wave in the day.  Corky Carroll and Phil Edwards are still around somewhere.  Remember Joyce Hoffman?  Greg Noll worked with Hobie up the hill!  I'm wondering if Hobie ever made it right with Phil for the cat design?  I've sailed different sized Hobie Cats and they rip! 
     Oh yea to finish this surf story.  I move to Oahu in "67' and destroyed my 9'9" Hobie nose-rider at Haleiwa.  My next board lasted a day.  It was a 8'Bing Nuihiwa light-weight that Pipeline said", Robbie, you aren't going to make this take-off"!  Pipeline was right!  Three pieces!  $80 down the tube.  After that I went to Dick's.  He is still shaping and he is the greatest shaper I have ever had the pleasure to ride for/with.  I have never ridden a Brewer mistake.  But each board challenged me as I feel I challenged it.  I loved being able to use different fins in a slot.  Mike Diffendurfer is the only other shaper that is close to Richard.  Gerry learned how to shape from Brewer and is loved by Dick so he is #3.  I like surfing with Gerry but it has been quite a few years.  I like surfing with Margo to and thats been awhile.
       You know, at this stage of my life, just to be able, physically, to paddle out to Impossibles, and sit in the line-up as if I was going to take off would bring me a measure of peace and culminate the years I have spent pursueing and finding an uncrowded perfect wave shared with a few of my die hard surfing friends.  You know who you are.  Cowabunga!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Accidental feather in their cap-footnote

A cannon, from the 18th-century sailing ship voyage to the Pacific Ocean, by British Captain James Cook. When one of Cook's ships ran aground in Australia's Great Barrier Reef in June 1770, its cannon lay unrecovered for nearly two centuries.

That is, until the Academy of Natural Sciences, in the 1960s, was collecting fish in the Reef, and discovered several of Cook's cannon. The Australian government donated one of the cannon to the Academy, where it resides on the second floor.

Was it an accident?  Or a successful exploritive fishing expedition?  Ask the fish!

Captain Cook aground-Australia..... 6/10/1770

Cook charted the coast of Australia, until the ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.

In 1969 an American expedition from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science was successful in locating the six guns jettisoned on the night of 10 June 1770. Captain Vince Vlassof with his 'Tropic Seas' was of vital local assistance in recovering the six cannons which were transported to Defence Standards Laboratories in Melbourne for reconditioning

Endeavour Reef

Just before 11pm on the evening of 10 June 1770 the ship struck a reef, today called Endeavour Reef, within the Great Barrier Reef. The part they struck stands up steeply from the seabed, so casting the lead had shown 20 fathoms (36 metres) of water right up to the point of striking.

With the sails immediately taken down, the coasting anchor was set out and an attempt made to pull the ship back off the reef, unsuccessfully. Because it was already around high tide the only option was to lighten the ship to float her off, so iron and stone ballast, spoiled stores, and the ships guns were thrown overboard, and the ship's water (drinking water) pumped out. The guns were not simply discarded; Sydney Parkinson records[2] buoys were attached with the intention of retrieving them later, but that proved impractical. (The guns and ballast were found in 1969, see recoveries below.) Parkinson also notes that every man on board took turns on the pumps, including Cook, Banks, and the officers.

With about 40 or 50 tons lightened, by Cook's reckoning, on the high tide the next morning a further attempt was made to pull the ship free, but again unsuccessfully. In the afternoon the longboat carried out the two large bower anchors, and block and tackles were put on a total 5 anchors now set, ready to try again on the evening high tide. The ship started to take on water through the damage from the reef, and though the leak would certainly increase once off the reef Cook decided to risk that. At about 10:20pm the ship floated with the tide and was successfully drawn off. The anchors were retrieved, except for the small bower which could not be freed. (It too was found in 1969; see below).

The leak increased with the ship off the reef, and the three working pumps were manned. A mistake happened in sounding the depth of water in the hold when a new man took over and measured from the outside plank where his predecessor had used the ceiling (the top of the cross-beams of the hull). The difference was about 18 inches so the new man's call made it seem the leak had gained on the pumps that much in just a short time, sending a wave of fear through the ship. As soon as the mistake was realized the relief acted like a charm and with redoubled efforts the pumps kept ahead of the leak.

The prospects if the ship sank were grim. The typical understatement in the journals of the seamen make it easy to underestimate the danger, only in Banks is there a taste of it. For a start the ship was miles from shore and the boats could not carry everyone (being made for work, not as lifeboats) so many would surely drown. And those who survived would be left unarmed and without food in an unknown land. Banks noted the calm efficiency of the crew in the face of danger, contrary to stories he'd heard of seamen turning to plunder and refusing command in such circumstances.

Midshipman Jonathon Munkhouse proposed fothering the ship, having been on a merchant ship which used the technique successfully. He was entrusted with supervising the task, sewing bits of oakum and wool into an old sail which was drawn under the ship, the theory being suction would draw those material to the leak and plug it. This worked better than any hoped and soon the pumps could be stopped and very little water came in.

They proceeded north looking for a harbour to make repairs and on the afternoon of 13 June came to Endeavour River, as Cook later named it. Strong winds prevented the ship getting across the bar until the afternoon of 17 June. There they careened her and made repairs to the hull. A piece of coral the size of a man's fist had sliced clean through the planks of the hull, and broken off, wedged there. It was fortunate it stuck, because (on Parkinson's reckoning at least) an open hole that size would in all probability have sunk the ship.

With repairs made and after a delay waiting for the wind they were able to set off again on the afternoon of 3 August. The careening hadn't got the ship completely out of the water, so only a limited examination of the very bottom had been possible, but it seemed sound enough. When they later reached Batavia (9 November) it turned out some planks were damaged to within 1/8 inch (3 millimetres) of being cut through. It was a "surprise to every one who saw her bottom how we had kept her above water" as Cook said (though doing more at Endeavour River may not have been practical anyway).

Personal note:  I sailed into Grafton Passage from Samurai, PNG to Cairns, Aus.  Even with modern day equipment it was difficult to find the entrance (one of the few) through the Great Barrier Reef.  Later on, different boats I sailed to Port Douglas and Cooktown.  I visited the Captain Cook Musuem in Cooktown (impressed) and was very surprised that the artifacts I was interested in were so recently freed from the reef herself!  One would think that the father of true navigation would have left (as he tried with buoys) (didn't work) a longitude/latitude reference that would be applicable today.  The reef is alive.  I believe it hid what it took from Captain Cook until it was time.  Many people have searched for the ballast James was compelled to remove from " Endeavor ", to survive!  When it was located and brought to the surface, Cooktown itself and a few remaining buildings from a great period, needed help in order to maintain it's status as a city. Possibly the town  (named after the greatest sailor and the river named after a his vessel) without the timing of the find of  Endeavor's treasure searched for by many but only found in 1969 would be a ghost town today!  It's not!  At one time Cooktown had a population of 30.000 people.  After the gold rush/ and over a period of time it was reduced to 1500 people.  With the boost of tourism in North Queensland I believe the population of Cooktown is 2000 souls today.  What was retrieved from the Endeavor Reef in 1969 revitalised Cooktown itself, re-establishing it's importance, historically, as part of the life and travels of the greatest sailor the world has ever known.  Captain James Cook.        

Friday, September 17, 2010

Choices at infinities Kauai-Pakala

         Great wave to ride but how does one get there?  When I was young I surfed Trestles.  It was a hard place to get to.but a great place to ride.  Ask the marines.  They studied and tried to catch us at Camp Pendelton.  Could only catch a few grimmies.
        I don't really mean that but I do mean this.  On the island of Kauai ia a wave that's kind of like Doheney or " Killer Cowells" Ha! in Santa Cruz.  It is a great place to learn how to move a surfboard and at the same time express yourself..
        How many wave riding locations are blocked by private property. A surfer is a trespasser.  What if you are a star? Or rich? 
       Pakala, Kauai.  was part of the Robinson (sugar cane) plantation.  To ride Pakala. one had two choices for an entry point.  A two mile legal walk-with your board from the Waimea River or a very quick run from the road through his land to the beach.  You can see the break from the road.  It isn't even a quarter mile!  So here is the story.
        Kieth Robinson and his paniolos actually roped some of my friends as they ran through that short pasture.  This means they didn't get to surf that day because they had to go to the Lihue police dept. and pay $25 dollars and in certain cases they didn't get their surfboards returned.
        Can you imagine being lassoed by a cowboy on horseback or in his jeep on your way to 6' Pakala's?
I could add that it might be really depressing if you were under the influence of psychedelics!  Never happened to me.  But I was there...
         Lumahai Valley, KalalauValley, and the island of Niihau are still owned by a Robinson.  Not many people have been to these places but I have.  I think they, like all founding haole missionary, business oriented possessers of the land, have given most of what they stold back to the people.  No more agriculture!
Tourism. #1.........
         So it comes down to this...  To surf Pakala;;  Do you walk from the Waimea River OR Do you take the chance?   Your call......

Thursday, September 9, 2010

letter-incarcerated son

Well Son,
     What can I say?  " You are there and I am here"!  No matter where you go, there you are.
It kind of keeps you in the moment doesn't it?
     I look at life like a boat moving through the water.  I am the boat.  The bow of the boat divides
the water in front of it as it moves towards a destination.  I know where the boat is going because I am driving.  I know it will arrive but I can't tell you exactly where or when!  In front of the boat are to many intangibles; weather, swells, people, physical obstacles, random events interfere with my plotted course.
My heading sometimes is changed or affected by the bombardment of random, unplanned events. 
However, the boat continues with course changes which means the destination changes also....
     The boat leaves a wake.  Kind of like a record of it's passage.  This wake has a ripple or butterfly effect.
When it arrives on shore it is like a breaking wave that little ants paddle out to on their surf boards and
either rip or wipe out, according to their abillity.
      The wake of the boat is actually more important than the boat's destination.  The wake of a good sized
stink boat is large enough to damage other vessels at anchor or slipped because of it's desire for speed.
If a stink boat follows-the Rules of the Road-, Maritime Law, No one gets hurt and no boats are damaged.
For instance:  Sailboats under sail have right of way over any motor driven  vessel.  But and this is a big but!
One must always remember that even though one has right of way- the real Law of the Ocean is--
MIGHT IS RIGHT.............Never forget this son.
      When my sailboat is 1,000 miles from anywhere and I am sailing through major shipping lines and
a Matsun container ship is screaming along at 25 to 34 knots intersecting with my course heading, who gives
way?  Navigation 101-duh!  Thus might is right.  With emphasis!
     As it turns out, even though I am the boat that has chosen a destination and I have the appearance
of knowing where I am going, I don't!
     The wake of my vessel effects people, places and things of which I do not have an awareness of.
My hope (really) is that the ants enjoyed the ride but I can't and will not be responsible for ants in my wake!
If they didn't like the big surf at least they know it now.  Ride smaller waves!
      What sailing comes down to my son is-you are the boat!  It's not where the boat is going and it's not
where the boat has been!  It's where the boat is!

                                 " The Journey Is The Destination" son...................

Friday, August 27, 2010

Letter June 14, 1863. Sutter Creek to San Francisco, California

Dear Mother, Father and sweet sister Robyn,

Though I have sorely missed the honor of being in your gracious company, I have much to share with you in the way of experience. First, I am in need of thanking Father for surviving the trials placed before him. Know I am your most respectful son, father! Though I am but a small seed, I proclaim here and now that I have come to a great understanding of what men will do when they are faced with matters beyond their experience to forbare.

Fearsy, your loyal friend and mine, speaks little. When he speaks, I listen as did you while stolen from us, as a family for but a short while! And yet, Father, I thought never to see you again. Mother! He returned from the edge of the world for us! Wealthy? Yes. What is wealth, father? Without love? It does not exist!

Fearsy is a teacher. But father that is why you gave him to be my watcher. Mother, father did not leave me alone at his claim. I know that when we riverboated to Sacramento you knew that your husband, my father was going to wean me as a man allows his son to become what he will become. Mother, you also knew he would place me in harm's way but with a comforter or protecter! In Fearsy's silences I have learned more than all the books I have studied, read and shared and yet! I still read. Wisdom seems to be a balance between emperical knowledge and love.

Sister, this is a harsh daily existence. San Francisco is dancing, good food, balls and gala events, small talk and you. I am sure no letter can return the way this traveled to you but if possible I would take a life to not miss a moment of you and I discussing anything small or large in the way we have done from the very beginning! How we analized any society; brats or bluebloods! Scoundrols, the lot! All the same! To be dealt with in the areas of our minds, where people and ideas reside. I miss you but I am near to coming.

My man on horseback is ready to carry this writting to you all. I know the claim has added to our foundation. Father, no man knows or can know the reality of what holds our family together. I would but hope that I and Fearsy beat this letter home so that I might with family give a fare rendition of all that has transpired in this two years that I have been absent from the center of my well being!

Father, I must confess. After being land locked these two years past, if it be in the stars, may I sail on a business junkett, maybe to Hong Kong? My hands have been in the frozen, cold waters of the Mother Lode and need the warmth of the Pacific Ocean and a different kind of isolation that only Mother Ocean can provide to heal the wounds that man's greed when revealed turns a warm heart to ice.

Fearsy says, " You know"!

Respectfully, your son and servant,

R. Luke Rhodes

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Man Finds Himself

       The only reason it took me two weeks to travel from my diggings to the riverboat that would deliver me into the presence of my dear wife is a story onto itself!  Yes!  I entrusted Hearsy to watch over my son, Robben, while extracating all that is rightfully ours on a claim, duly filed and legal in the State of California.
Rich it is beyond my simple expectations.  When the side of a mountain collapsed, changing the waterway and releasing hiden bounty, geologically buried until an act of Nature released a natural buried organic treasure pushed up by the forming of the Earth itself!  Gold, measured by pounds became ours.  So Fearsy, my compatriot and friend and yet-more.  Brother, like no man has experienced.  My life for him is but a small address.  Now, he guards my son from a wilderness of greed, avarice, and selfishness, where all people doubt that when help is asked for and delivered it is done without  a price!  Friendship, fellowship and comradrie?  All doubt!  I am living testimony that friendship found is real and everlasting.
       Downstream on the American River would, under a normal sun, have brought me but one week and a day to the Sacramento River and town itself if I hadn't been waylaid by miscreants whose soul purpose here on this wonderful planet is to gainsay themselves at the expense of another that they rationalize that all people of wealth, stold the lifestyle they live off the backs of thieves just like themselves!  I have no mercy for this kind of thinking!  They boarded,without invitation or any friendship, our simple vessel with only one thing of mind!  To rob, steal and maybe kill for their lack of creative skill to come into their own in the way of financial gain!  They made an honest attempt to kill me and the passengers on this very small river vehicle that was bringing us down to the river that would bring me home to my wife in San Franscisco, Robin. The Sacramento River.
         I was sorry I killed two of them.  They wanted more than I could give.  The surviving two were conscious by the time I gave them to the sheriff of Sacramento.  Everyone aboard thanked me in abundance for being a kind of protector.  I didn't see it that way.  I saw effeminate men whose wealth was made off the backs of people like me.  If I had not been aboard, they would have been free of their money and their life.  I felt sorry for the distressed highwaymen.  Not for the rich double speaker!  Thieves, not only of hearts but when the law doesn't work for them they express vigilantism! Why do manipulators appear to victorious always?  
        I paid the bail and did goodspeak for the surviving two.  They trusted my word and found their way to Fearsy and my son.  Those surviving two are with me to this day.  One never leaves my wife's side.  The other never leaves my son's.  I have Fearsy and he has me.  We all have the truth in us.  Gold is in our hearts for those who can bear it!
        My re-union/re-acquaintance with my wife at our new house on Nob Hill is another story!  And so is what my daughter brought to my attention on the day of my return from the Forgotten Claim of the Motherlode that did nothing but quadruptle the wealth of a simple man who gladly walked his way!  ARRRAGGHHHHH!  Matey!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Razor Reef

     Who even know where it is or what it could mean?  A very small lagoon?  Nay, a tidepool.  Across the street from my house, for a time.  That ancient era is bygone and yet the memory still refreashes and instills
a radiant peace, tangible, touchable with it's substance.
     Is it the days and hours spent witnessing God's pryrotechnical explosive tropical sunrise and sunsets by myself and with only a few real friends?  Even cameras not able to properly capture the overlapping and ever changing kaleidoscopic pastels generated by sun rays dancing with cotton candy clouds, shimmering emerald green waters and a forever sky dipped in plumeria?  Changing moment to moment, like waves, traveling so far to fall and break on a foriegn shore, unique.  Manifesting itself and then returning into what it has always been and always will be.
     How many times and with how very few did we ride that silly little nothing wave laughing as our fins hit the reef, knowing it wasn't even a ridable wave but riding it anyway and in the doing both were defined.  We made it surf and performed and Razor Reef joyously conformed.  The tidepool and the surfer smiled together as if at a private joke!
     Was it because the teeth the reef revealed as Waimea Bay's back door during winter's swells was so majestic with upside down waterfalls. explosions with sound, water reaching heavenward then falling;  raw, natural power not allowing all the ocean to return to her body, suspending her in the air to breath, taste and smell?  To know her intimately.  To become one with her.  To submerge!
     From snorkeling the Razor, her cooling me off on those lazy, hot, intoxicating summer daze, I can see her bottom as if it were yesterday.  How many moods have I seen her display?  How many ways have I made love with her?  Does she remember me?  Yes, I believe she does.  Who could forget?

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Gold, an old claim!

      A river off another river drove me to a claim that I had recorded as mine.  It had not been visited for a length of time!  I was distracted by a  hard desire to find a dream that would free my family from the bondage of a world that forms people into a desire of wealth.  I found wealth and lost it but for a minute.
      I understand, now, a greater thing.  In the course of my life, to lose and win a fortune is in the eye of
the beholder?  What is wealth?  It is for you to decide.  I lost and won back my wife and children.
      As I returned to the Columnes River, past Latrobe, which wasn't even a city but a far cry from
even a country house, positioned by a railroad track, where a train never passes to ship the unshipable!
My gold is not far from Latrobe in California.  A place of scrub oaks and very little water.
     I hired a new hand to replace Mr. Donner.  They're five of us and two horses and three donkeys.
I am having a hard time recognizing my claim.
     Admittedly, I am so wealthy, I would never have to work a day of my life, again!
I have never thought that that is what  life is about! How about yourself?
     I can not believe that after all these years my claim has not been violated!  I asked Fearsy, " Can you believe it?" His answer was," Yes "!  Simple question, simple answer!  When we all noticed that the canyon
wall had collapsed, we realized that the gold that I had discovered, way back, just might have a chance ot surviving the hunters that killed chinese, mexican, indians, that knew about gold. They, the greedy white guys, established rules, called government!  Long story short.
       This time in San Francisco is a lot different than when I was shanghighed out of the city!
Not only have I left my daughter and wife in the city, I have allowed them, with the grace of wealth, and an unlimited currency exchange, to establish culture, ideas, spirit and friendships that only can be established when
there is nothing to fear.  If there is something to fear, let it be San Francisco, pre 1906!   How does one
spell, vigilantes?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kawa Kawa ( Awa in Hawaiian )

     There is a peculiar root that grows on the Pacific Islands.   In Hawaii it is called Awa root.  I
first heard of it there and tried it with a couple of friends of mine on Kauai.  We knew it had a history or better said; a place in Hawaiian history.  We, being true explorers of pharmacology in the sixties, knew there was a load there and as explorers were compelled to explore the mysteries surrounding this spiritual, cliff dwelling root called Awa.  (pronounced ava)..

`Awa is one of the plants brought in their sailing canoes by the earliest Polynesian voyagers arriving in Hawai`i. `Awa (Piper methysticum), a member of the pepper family, grows in the wild now and is also cultivated increasily throughout the Pacific Islands, where it is called Kava or Kava Kava. This plant grows well at low elevations where there is constant moisture and partial sun. More than a dozen varieties of `awa were known in old Hawai`i.

       I started this thought  to kick around an idea about ka'awa, kawa, kawa kawa!  I was going to share with you the difference between Fijian kawa and Vanuatu'an kawa and their ceremonies.  Well, I can officially say to you," That is over"!  Like the root itself, it keeps growing!
      I need you to visualize a picture.  Sailing today with modern technology is still a risk.  The picture I
would enjoy you to sea is carved tree hulls with pounded coconut pulp sails and rope made from dying plants.
Navigators who FEEL stars, swells, currents, smells, birds and stories passed from father to son, remembered in Homeric proportion!  Their very existance depended upon it.! I cry! 

A sign showing a "Kava license area" at Yirrkala, in the Northern Territory of AustraliaMain article: Kava culture

Kava is used for medicinal, religious, political, cultural and social purposes throughout the Pacific. These cultures have a great respect for the plant and place a high importance on it. In Fiji, for example, a formal yaqona (kava) ceremony will often accompany important social, political, religious, etc. functions, usually involving a ritual presentation of the bundled roots as a sevusevu (gift), and drinking of the yaqona itself.[24]

A traditional Fijian yaqona bundle of rootsCorrespondingly, the paraphernalia surrounding the traditional kava ceremony are expertly crafted. Traditionally designed Kava bowls are bowls made from a single piece of wood, with multiple legs. More modern examples are also highly decorated, often carved and inlayed with mother of pearl and shell.

They like Fijian tobacco also as did I.  Cake was cool. Snake wasn't!

Kava is used primarily at social gatherings to increase amiability and to relax after work. It has great religious significance, being used to obtain inspiration. Among some fundamentalist Christian sects[who?] in the Western Pacific, the drink has been seen as a vice, and young members of these religions often reject its traditional use. However, among many mainline Christian denominations, i.e. the Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Anglican churches, kava drinking is encouraged where it replaces alcohol.

        So!  Welcome to Fiji.  Clap clap.  Peaceful isn't it?  A half coconut shell filled with a liquid substance that tastes like dirty dishwater and has basically the same results.  I didn't realize that Indians from India were taking over the politics of a melanesian country under New Zealand auspices!  A coup.  Oh man.  I hadn't been laid in damn near a year!  I'm on the highest level of the stadium in downtown Suva. Making love to the first American I had had in awhile!  Another story! ( mention Legsly for both[tres] of these recomembers) I had come ashore a few days before, nowhere nesr Suva, illegally, I might add.  I hope there is a statue to limitations, cause I'm telling the truth!  I bought several cartons of cigarettes and two cases of Fijian Bitters, quarts before we quarenteened in Suva and cleared customs.  Oh shit!  We ran aground anyway, inside the leads! (another story) Rainfall/sandbar/aground!  ARRgGH!!
       This story is about Kawa.  New Hebrides (Vanuatu ) Port Vila is where I would like this story to bend.
Later I'll share with you " the banks" or the island of Pentecost"  where, to get there you sail over an underwater volcano, where everyman is sure that even a balanced boat will be unfloated because it is heavy and the saltwater that carried the vessel there has sailed into HEAVY water!  These people on the Island of Pentecost jump---off of towers, like bungi jumpers of today.  It's a " right of passage".  Sometimes it goes wrong and lasts a lifetime.  But then, the kawa of the Vanuatuans is what I was meant to express.
       Allow me to tell you what I have longed to share with anyone who has ears to hear.  The boat I had sailed on through weather foul and fine arrives in Port Vila, Vanuatu.  Beers at the yacht club were one thing but my skipper and I wanted to experience Vanuatuan kava.  We are invited to a place, covered, and a parking lot.  50 locals and 6 tourists are there.  No clap clap with the beautiful bowl.  This is the real deal.  Sooo.  Being as I have been searching for awa since I was a youngster in Hawaii, this cost kala.  We all paid money because it is hard work to harvest, grind, wash, tent, and set up a loading zone for this kind of experience.  Here is what happened to me:  My mind and body became numb.  I begged a ride from a local, speaking with a tongue so swollen that combined with hand messages barely got me back to the yacht club, which is where I had tied the dinghy up.  I was extremely lucky, in that, since I had no control over my body functions, I slipped and fell, rolled down the dock, and over into the dinghy!  As I was looking at the stars in Port Vila, belly up! (can you imagine if I had landed face down?)  I laughed a laugh that no one could hear because I was paralized from a drug that I had no idea was as powerful as what I found to be true!  I believe to this day, had I have missed the dinghy when I rolled off that dock and hit the warm water of the South Sea., I would not be sharing this yarn with you. No one was around to hear me not cry out for help. I simply couldn't cry out.  My vocal chords, for the first time in my life, would not vibrate!

[edit] Strains and origins

A painting showing women preparing Kava.One of the most potent strains is called "Isa" in Papua New Guinea, and also called "Tuday" in Hawaii. In Vanuatu it is considered a type of "Tudei" kava, pronounced as "two-day" because it is said to have effects lasting two days due to its chemical profile being high in the kavalactone dihydromethysticin. The plant itself is a strong, very hardy, fast-growing variety with multiple light to dark green stems covered with raised dark spots.

In Vanuatu there are strict laws over the exportation of Kava. Only strains they deem as "noble" varieties that are not too weak or too potent are allowed to be exported. Only the most desirable strains for every day drinking are selected to be noble varieties in order to maintain quality control. In addition their laws mandate that exported kava must be at least five years old and farmed organically. Their most popular noble strains are "Borogu" from Pentecost Island. "Melomelo" from Ambae island, (called 'sese' in North Pentecost) and "Palarasul" kava from Espiritu Santo Island. In Vanuatu, Tudei (two-days) kava is reserved for special ceremonial occasions and exporting it is not allowed. "Palisi" is a popular Tudei variety.

In Hawaii there are many other strains of kava. Some of the most popular strains are the "Mahakea," "Mo'i," and "Nene" varieties. The Ali'i (kings) of old Hawaii coveted the special kava they called "Mo'i" that had a strong cerebral effect due to a predominant amount of the kavalactone kavain. This sacred variety was so important to them that no one but royalty could ever experience it, "lest they suffer an untimely death."

Other strains are found in Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa.

And don't forget " The Land of the Long White Cloud"!   Aloha........RB

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Everything that glitters

   He was a fortunate wog.  From birth no chance had he to get the fair shake that at times a man in circumstance finds himself able to rise beyond his station by a peculiar twist of fate.  Lucky he was
for it was I standing watch and not my man Fearsy, when he made his break for freedom.  One would think I was speaking of a negro slave, a kept human being!  Not a man I hired to help me return to the possible claim that I had left in California all these years.  Fearsy would have killed him just for leaving.  I allowed him to go.  Him not knowing I was watching and had been since we left Sacramento.
   He would be wealthy today instead of dead had he had even the slightest inclination as to what was happening around him.  How he survived as long as he did is a mystery to me.  I am the reason he is dead and yet no fault lies upon my doorstep!  His name is unimportant to me but his sad tale needs the hearing so that the many may hearken to what is possible, that dreams no matter how unrealistic or seemingly farfetched might still be attainable. Could he not see me and how I was not of the ilk of the pretenders to wealth?  But truly wealthy in family and friendships?  Even character?  Nay!  He could not.  For he had been abused to a point where no man he trusted and could not.
    He never told me the whole story.  I did not pry, though curious as to the depth of pain which was an open wound he carried with him always.  Even with grog and an open fire, all stars visible and bellies full of fresh venison and vegtables, somehow he managed to draw all our attention into the dark abyss, a vacuum that he managed to end conversation, laughter and all joy with.  He was a master of depression!  Had I not met Fearsy, this man I could be!
    His story was a common one of this time.  A wagon train leaves from St. Louis.  Families moving west to find a better life.  Indian country and such.  He always stopped his story about the time when he and his family were ready to cross the Seirra-Nevadas.  Hell, his eyes grew darker and I got a little scarred and I've been around  "The Horn" six times and seen grown men beg for their lives! So what has affected Bill Donner's judgement so intensely that he takes a horse, pack mule. and two months wages instead of working for wage and a 5%  after I reclaim what is mine anyway!
    Right now. Today.  If anyone can tell me why Bill Donner left my camp.  I would really like to know.  He was shot to death at Sutter Creek by a bartender.  I don't hold much trust in stories but I have heard a few.  Fearsy doesn't talk a lot but he told me it was a good thing we got shut of Bill Donner.  Shoot, where are we going to find someone we can trust in the gold country.  What will happen if my claim is still as rich as it was before I got shanghaiied?  Well at least Kwai Chang is with me.  I'm not sure what a Sho'lin priest is or kung fu but I would still like to have another person to replace Bill.  My son Luke is weathered but is only 18.  What if we all took a wagon train the other way?  Fearsy, Kwai Chang, Luke and Robbin? To St. Louis? Why not?  

Friday, May 28, 2010

Once Upon A Time In Nigeria

Reverend Doctor Johnie, The previous Gov't wanted the oil my Uncle James was drilling all for themselves. They had tried to kill him on two other occasions. They finally succeeded when by accident he allowed his monthly television cable bill to lapse into past due status. His one weakness, his love for American gridiron (without which he could not continue his work) became his undoing! When in the middle of the New England Patriots vrs the Indiana Colts game, ( a very good game I might add) the T.V. shut off for lack of payment, Uncle Jimmie was driven by his phobic desire to leave the confines of the fortress he had been forced to create for protection from President Hoax de Publicks' co-conspirators! Uncle Jimmie wasn't stupid. He brought with him two mercenaries, disenfranchised Mo sad agents, kicked out because their superiors believed the Messiah hadn't come yet but Nic and Joseph knew that He had! That's another story! He also took two spear chuckers and the village witch doctor. He took the witch doctor, as you already know, because the culture in your country dictates that no one can come within 50 feet of the shaman without invitation. When he screeched into the building's parking lot( two stalls ) of the Ministry of Cable Television Sir Mibimbo-Status Minister of the Ministry greeted him with open arm. ( He had made the mistake of telling President Hoax He'd give his right arm to be a Minister!) Remember how much fun I had when in country asking small groups of natives to " give me a hand "? Man, they would vanish! The"Shaman Principle", didn't work on those who had attained Sir status! Mibimbo wasn't used to his new role yet and was sweating. His Ralph Lauren suit was completely a deeper shade of blue. Trying to make it back to the compound before the end of half-time Jimmie went inside to fill out the necessary paperwork neglecting to leave a guard posted by the truck. My own c.s.i team found the severed brake lines that caused the vehicle after climbing through Nocan Pass to gather so much speed on the down hill run that when they hit that elephant in the elephant crossing the elephant was cut in two. It slowed them down enough that the witch doctor and the two tribal warriors leaped to safety, sliding on elephant entrails to a complete stop 150 meters from the collision. Uncle Jimmie and his two mercs weren't as fortunate! They went off a cliff with a 1000 foot drop landing on the savanna. The only things remaining of them on site were the 14 page document from the Ministry of Cable Television and two gold crucifixes. My c.s.i guys figured with all that elephant blood and their own, covering them, they didn't last a half hour in the feeding frenzy that must have transpired after their landing! My regret is that Uncle Jimmie didn't get to see the second half of what turned out to be one hell of a game. Do what you will with my uncle's money. I spoke with the witch doctor. He told me of the final spell he was able to perform before he lost all of his powers because of the relationship Shaman's have with elephant's blood! He didn't like the way my uncle was treated. He made sure whoever comes by that money you are trying to give me will ................... Oh my God!! Ha-Ha! But then you'll find out pretty soon anyway what curse the good Shaman put on that money, won't you!!! I pity you, really. Good-bye and I do mean GOOD-BYE

Thursday, May 27, 2010

continuing saga

         No one will contest the claim that I placed on the American River before the so-called lady in SanF dosed me with her league and that tnd his minions!  Oh!  Alcohol and the humans that I had not been with for a long while!  I trusted and was disappointed and alienated from the fellowship of man.  What is opium but a drug to obey?  First you are down and then, what?  Under it's influence?  So who obeys?  Does a captain drive the ship to a safe harbour?  How can I attest to this behavior?   I would apoligize were it real and acceptable!  Now I wander to a place.  Up a river with my son and my friend, Fearsy!  There are three of us which would die for a lie.  There are two which guide us into what I, Robbin, am very aware of. 
          Two mules match the two men, which are outside of Fearsy and Luke.  They know not where they are going as I am the only one who has been to the ledge before! The only one who knows! It is not that far from the city proper but does take  a turn.  Remember it is just a river that is filled with gold to this day!  And a river continually shapes itself!
           I knew one of our servant/helpers would disappear!  I knew which one.  Sad.  His wealth would have magnified, proportionally by his devotion to servise.... Even  Fearsy wondered where the treasure lied?  I thought but only briefly what if my friend had sensed what an authority I might have been when he first looked upon me?  But no!  He is and was true as is my son.  All wonder at the greatest thing.  They and all hunger and want of a gracious bounty!  Temptation is a desire that fires the imagination.  So,does my son and Fearsy seek my gold?  The answer is they are rich by the company of who they keep!  My son is rich because he listened to his father.  I am rich because I listened to Hearsy.  Hearsy  is rich for a very simple reason...  What would you think, listener, that that might be?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My claim-American River

       On my way after so hard ( if looked upon that way) a journey, that was beyond a spelling or even in the
telling, dismissed as fiction because if even contrived sounded intensely of a fabrication that only one who had desires to  show himself, egotistically special or blessed to a measure that defies human understanding!
        This story is nothing more than an honest report of events that transpired in a course of time that may appear to be special because of when and where they occured!  I contest that a miracle must have been articulated as I was and am underserving of any special affliliation to a God or a Jesus that I have read of and do not doubt that They can be real as I am! 
        I left my wife and daughter on the properties I had purchased in San Fancisco.  Knob Hill.  I am wealthy but not for the reasons you think. My name is Robbin Rhodes. My son, who is not a Jr. for I abhor that concept, is with me after Ohio- and my best friend and mighty man, Fearsy!  We are on our way to claim what is rightfully ours!  or mine, if your mind follows certain pathways that only reveal darker corridors of which selfishness may be what one really seeks!  I can't know this.  Fearsy saved me from an anguish that  only because of him, did I not have to even pretend to be a part of!  My wife, children and future were all by the wayside, without Israel!  ( My brother Fearsy)
       Luke, my son, found a great joy in  the riverboat bringing us to Sacramento.  The paddle-wheel turning, driven by an engine spewing smoke and steam because someone put together a complex set of ideas, combining a wood burning stove, creating heat which made water turn from water into a gas!  Steam!
So instead of grain being crushed by a wind driven force or water running down stream running a mill. for the first time water is turned into a gas and drives a shaft!  So we can sail ( with a motor) upstream to Sacramento from San Francisco.  My claim is way up on the American river.
       It would be unfair if I explained to you,the reader,that I had no awareness that my claim was still viable and basically un-claimed.  I had procurred enough money and fellowship to researsh my possession and ownership of said claim.  This does not mean that pirates are not waiting in the darkness as they do today, what this means is that wisdom comes at a great price.  Pay it!  And then take your bounty because it is yours and no one elses!
         Hearsy goes ashore first in Downtown Sacramento.  My son, Luke takes the alleys and river walk to find what pestilence walks amongst us tday?  We regather at our predestination, with our horses, supplies and two others!  We now are five, on horseback going for a ligetimite claim of gold!  A lot of gold.  So who will contest my claim? 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sister Lovers, Water Brothers

SO TODAY, I thought
                      Might be gargantuan!  It wasn't.
                      It is small.......Why/
Let me think!  Problems.  Whose?  Mine?
                      Know yours.
Should we start at the beginning?
Or just lie down and die?  Mistakes?
                      Continually or
            lie down and die.......
I think Knot.  Remember this morning
and your intent. You Keep notes
lest you forget!  Your purpose,
a poem, a lively regret, not you but
the other and another cigerette!  And
Then another leads to another deck. a
bottom dealer with no self-respect!  So
lose becomes the order of the day and
all of a sudden the ship sails away!  Leaving
you on a lee shore with much to ask for but
nothing to show, for all that you gave, to the
knave that seemed pure, you wave good-bye
and feel secure. For the first time in awhile,
your face breaks out in a big smile!  Who
was the dealer and who dealt the deck, that
everyone plays, wins and loses and wrecks,
families.friends, purposes and things.  Only you!
Because in love we all forget!  Who is resposible?
And who can know?  How do you spell forgetfull?
I think it's spelled, " LOVE"  But then, I'm just an old sailor.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just ewe and eye

       Know one is listening but me
das boat is listing;
my englis, I carve on a beam..
      Many loud voices I hear
from above..
      Chained I am.....
      Fredom is not at
my command1
      Sinkinking, " Oh Lord"!
At whose authority?
      How did I arive at
this calamity?
       I am trying to breath!
      Salt water water as
oxigen, just like a frog
from the begiginning!
      Well, I am not aaaaa
Navy Seal!
      Yet I can surf with the best and it is realllllllll!
How can you fish with the best and not steal
and yet you need oil and so much more, to
light yourself and not explore!  Your nature!
the essence of your( and mine) beginning ad in finitum...............

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Songs of the sea and lays of the land

BOLD ROBIN ROVER                    anonymous

Bold Robin Rover

Said to his crew:

“Up with the black flag

And down with the blue!

Up with the Black Boy!

All men to show,

Over the water

And off let us go!”

A man-of-war he hailed us:

“Come under my lee!”

“See you damned,” said the pirate,

“For I'd rather sink at sea ,


In the blue water

Far out and free,

Cruising down on the shore

By the coast of Barbary.”

We met the Flying Dutchman,

By midnight he came,

His hull was all of hell fire,

His sails were all o' flame;

Fire on the main-top,

Fire on the bow,

Fire on the gun-deck,

Fire down below!

Four-and-twenty dead men,

Those were the crew,

The devil on the bowsprit

Fiddled as she flew.


We gave her a broadside

Right in the dip,

Just like a candle,

Out went the ship.

We met a gallant vessel

A-sailing on the sea ,

For mercy, for mercy,

For mercy, she did plea;

But the mercy we gave her

We sunk her in the sea ;

Cruising down on the shore

By the coast of Barbary,

Four-and-twenty Spaniards,

Mighty men of rank,

With their golden ladies

Had to walk the plank,


Over the gunwale

Into the sea ,

Cruising down on the shore,

By the coast of Barbary.

Oh devil take the captain!

And devil take the ship!

And devil take the cargo!

And devil take the trip!

And devil take the bo'su'n!

And devil take his call!

And devil take the doctor!

And devil take 'em all!

Over the quarter,

Over the sail,

Into the water,

Dead as a nail


Slung like a biscuit,

Hot as a coal,

Where the sharks may take the body,

And the devil take the soul!

Then spoke Grim Sam of Jersey, “As we've heard

A mermaid or a witch is the same bird,

But of a different feather, so a pirate,

And slaver, is all one for guards to fire at,

For pirates kill and plunder all they catch,

And slavers at the same are just their match;

There ain't no special difference (it was said

That Sam himself well knew the Guinea trade,

And half-way to the devil had sent his soul

By running into Cuba “sacks of coal”)—

And then he sang to us right merrily

More grog !

A slaver's song, which was not writ by me.

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