August 2010 to Jan2011 in under a couple hundred words..
It has been an exciting four months. Sarah, Aiden and I were able to visit my dad for his 85th in Grass Valley, Sarah's mom and Don for Thanksgiving in Arizona and a heap of other trips and adventures while spending the last month moving to this new apartment in Pacific Palisades just five minutes from Sunset and PCH where occasionally we score a clearing wind with some decent surf. Topanga is just up the highway a few minutes and often gets a good south swell sweeping in to provide some decent waves to share with 300 of your best friends. There are those days where the wind comes on and the down the line riding is fantastic. There was one year we lifeguarded there, Zuma and up at Malibu Surfrider when the State took it over for a summer. It was fun seeing the potential for surf and wind on a daily basis before returning to Leo Carrillo and the Magu coastline. It is fun to be in this area now and to anticipate discovering new coastal trails with Sara on her mountain bike and Aiden in the trailer behind me as well as surfing the local spots. Booked a gig playing a guy in a nice old convertible mustang with a longboard in the passenger seat in a lifestyle gig. We filmed just down the street and surfed under a helicopter in front of some homes last Saturday. We saw one of the residents on his balcony watching the proceedings with a close eye and looked a bit wind blown. As it happens, Sunday while working another commercial the producer asked what i had done the day before. I said, "we filmed some surfing while dropping in on the rocks and lost my wedding ring and tore the nose off of my board but the helicopter shots came out ok". He said.."that was you in front of my house with the helicopter over your head?" Errrrr yeah,so that was you on the balcony hugh? Nice that he had such a great sense of humor and got a good laugh out of it. I was soooooo bummed to have lost my wedding ring Sarah had boughten for me in Kaui. We are planning on heading back over to pick up another at that same little shop next to where we got our wedding license.
Sarah has been working like crazy up in Santa Barbara doing a lot of catalogue shoots and is really booking up a storm. We are taking turns playing with Aiden. Aiden booked his first national Baby's are us add at six months old. We were walking through the agency with him, when an old agent friend said, "hey he is cute, does he have an agent?" Sarah and i looked at each other and said, no..... First casting and bngo. Now it is time to determine if we should get him the sag card or not. The money is going straight into his, extra money to take surf trips while in college fund. He played with the camera and director and had an absolute blast on the shoot. They are soooo good to babies on these shoots. He slept all the way home with a smile on his face. He did a baby catalogue shoot for a swiss manufacturer on the beach at five and a half months and spent the time flirting with the baby girl who was modeling clothes on the towel on the beach beside him. Sarah and i are going to have our hands full to say the least. He is eating solid food and grabbing at all the hands that feed him with a mischieviousness that is oddly familiar.
We took Aiden on a three and a half hour ride in his bike trailer down the boardwalk all the way to Marina Del Ray, the harbor and back. Sarah ran cover on her mountain bike behind Aiden and I. Aiden just loves riding in that trailer. He has done in-numberable rides up Mandevile fire road in tow behind us. Have heaps of pictures on the four G phone but need to figure how to transport the files to this box of transistors.
Vic has been checking in with some great paragliding thermalling to the moon stories from Valley De Bravo down in Mainland Mex. They were entering clouds and base and busting through the top, then just hitting the hard G spiral moves to loose altitude and do it again, while making great cross country distances over Thermal Mesa, the Granite peaks, and all the way back to the lake.
John Bayless and Monica had a great party at their magnificent home with the usual good humor and smiles for all. We followed it with a sunset hike up to the overlook over our Salad Bowl kitesurf launch with a few of Sarah's relatives and a pooch named Jane who also guided us through heaps of tight cactus trails in Arizona. That dog and soon to be graduating from ASU Collin have one heck of a lot of great adventures between them. We gave them a trainer kite for the holiday to put some possible Bay Area and Baja kitesurf action in their future.
John went off for a couple of weeks out in Maui to get some real big wave and very long downwinders on his kiteboard and we are looking forward to some great stories and hopefully a glimpse of his perfect diaries of daily events and locations.
Dave Kramer is doing what he normally does and being prodcutive working every angle of producing, everything. Klaus is shooting a bazillion commercials and creating a billion more while somehow acting like he is just cruising along. Mo is art directing all over the planet and he Fran and their beautiful daughter were spotted on a grassy Malibu hillside rolling and doing rides on daddies feet on a beautiful Ca day. He is mountain biking and getting some surfing and kiting in between film gigs.
Alidad is back running the hand surgery over at USC med and living up in a gorgeous area, not far from the Topanga beach where I saw his SUP board, surfboard and kiteboard loaded FJ parked today.
Anoush is surfing, swimming, kiting and SUPing at Topanga and escaping to Mainland Mex with Hedi whenever he can sneak out of the shouler surgeries and all his patient duties.
Chris Young is moving his County paramedic gig back out toward Malibu with Tim Corliss soon and has a great life surfing and rebuilding a classic home in Ventura, just a few blocks from the great old California Street wave.
AFter thirty some odd years of guardind at Huntington, San Diego but the last fifteen at Leo across the street from our old surf, windsurf and kitesurf wave haunt, and raising his kids there, he has decided to retire and move just up the coast to Camarillo where he can still get down to Leo or up to California street to surf in a matter or thirty minutes.
John Drucker is still one of the head honchos at Leo and with a new baby in his family has cut back a bit on his surf sessions in front of his home at Heavens,. That is a peeling left and right surf break we have been frequenting since junior high located just below StairCase and with the right tide and swell direction can provide great conditions. The State houses are right on the beach and hosted many impromptu surf parties and where we did our dory racing and training for the Taplin lifeguard races back when. We kept the surfskis, dories, paddle boards and surfboards there. I was fortunate enough to live above the area for a while and to hose sit for vacationing lifeguards and rangers over the years of my lifeguarding there. Druker has a place on a beautiful NZ island he and his family visit each year to escape their gorgeous bit of Malibu coastline. Even guys with physics degrees pick a life of lifeguarding in Ca. Then again he has also been the pastor who married half of our old Leo Carrillo lifeguard crew.
Johny Reagan is running the gig at Leo now and it's cool to see a cool headed bud who trained the junior guards along side me using his composure and enforcement experience from up at California Street to keep all the nutters who visit our miles of beaches in line. Been working to get all these guys under a kitesurf kite but they are busy with new kids themselves and are content to paddle out between work and diapers.
Spent some time tracking down old water buds for a surf lifestyle shoot last month and really feel blessed to have so many cool friends. I might not hear from them often and they may not hear from me, but when you touch base, if feels like no time passed at all. Lives get busy and communications infrequent. Stories of surf, life, babies and concern for each one anothers happiness and well being has not waned. It was great to talk to our old favorite lifeguard supervisor of Malibu Coast States Magu unit for so long and great friend Norm Chapman to hear stories of golf and laps swimming now that replace the non stop friends and family surf trips to his favorite Sandy Point surf spot in Baja. We would see him driving in the middle of no where in the middle of the Baja desert on Baja one in the opposite direction. We would stop and ask he and Debbie how the surf had been and in fifteen minutes catch up. Small world on that thin strip of asphalt up and down the Ca/Mexico coastline.
Gordon Gray, one of the first LA City Beach guards, way back when and lifetime friend called to drop a few jokes and see about Sarah, Aiden and myself. He has not changed his daily workout since being our lifeguard boss at Hansen Dam back when we were fifteen years old...but said we were sixteen. He went through La City, County and State and living in Nevada and San Clemente around the year now. Even Clark Merrit, the Solo sport San Carlos marketer and owner of the original County Line Line Shack had some fun things to say.Got to get to SQ and see my old bro and catch some of the best wave sailing waves in the world at my favorite spot. Wow, it really has been an event full four months, even if there was not heaps of time on the water under a kite involved. Life is always exciting, it just comes in different forms these days. Still not going to turn down any kite wave sailing opportunities though... Did not want you to think I have lost it..... Tom Mc G spent some time with our bud Dr Stan Schiller out in Kaui a month or so ago and had mentioned it being a good idea to have him give Sarah some re intro kitesurfing lessons when she was ready.... Hmmmmmm... i REALY like this idea. She is going to rip... and then Aiden will follow suit... Lots of fun vacations in our future, in and out of the water.
It is almost spring and today Greg called to say that he was at County Line and though the wind was coming down in buckets, there were pockets of wind and some whitecaps visible if you drove up the rock and mud covered Deer Creek road to look for it.
We had spent the morning cleaning and were anticipating a few of Sarah's friends to show up at our new home. After a few minutes of hanging out, S said, why don't you go for it and get out in the water? Aiden was having a blast playing with her friends son and the most recent call had the wind line filling in. Filled an old Tide container with warm water to dump down my tattered old wet suit to defrost after the hoped for session and hit the road.
It felt like spring and the wind built from the time of my arrival. The surf was not big but at least there were a few peaks and a bunch of friends on the beach. Helped a bud with a piece of heavily waxed depower line i had squirreled away for a frayed line day and then went out for a good hour and a half of immense pleasure. The water and wind in the face and a strapless and very worn old fish surfboard with the ten Meter Argo over head. Had hoped to use the re bridle point adjusted PL proto inflato 11 meter today but not enough time to experiment and get home. It is early for our usual spring conditions but there is that feeling of green and yellow in the mountains with the crisp smell of cool salt in the air. Threw up a few spring time feeling pictures from our photos here and will toss up some more when I get this not so smart phone to give up it's photo secrets to this mac.
We are very excited to get happyinurf all over the country for the summer season and to see so many of our old friends we have been too busy to spend time with in the last months. Life is really great and Aiden is growing like a spout. The guy just has the best attitude and there is always a smile ready to spread across that baby food covered face of his. IF good attitude were money, he would own a few facebooks.
Good winds and spring is around the corner.