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!

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!!!

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