Smoke Stacks, Tea, and the Pan American Highway

IMG_1245I live in a cute house, on a pretty island.

I just keep going from day-to-day, doing the right thing, taking bad pictures, throwing away hundreds and losing thousands.

I lost my photo library the other day.

I told myself, don’t panic. It’s just another tech hoop to jump through.

It’s spring and this is the time, every year, that I start dreaming, even more than usual. I see myself in exotic places. I hear myself saying things like, I know I can go around the world, on very little money, and have a great time!

My imagination becomes fueled, by the scenery projected through television and movies. There’s so many places to see and so little time.

My mind replays days of crossing the Sierras and passing through miles of uninhabited beaches along the Pan American Highway. I’ll never forget the daunting look of the Chiapas, the cobblestone streets of Antigua.

Yesterday, I read in Surf Travel magazine, that few people have the guts, (they used other anatomical parts) to do a road trip. And I agree with them. But I’m not one of those people. I’ve always loved to go. It makes me feel alive. I’ve never been in touch with what makes someone do the same thing, over and over, every day. It has little appeal to me.

The picture above is of our local marina. It’s not a great pic, but you get the point. In the back, on the left you will see the ever-burning smoke stacks of a paper mill. It roars like a dragon. If you were to turn north, from that vantage point, your view would be marred by yet, another mill, spitting and firing.

So, I call all elves and dwarves.

As I sit by the fire of my humble abode, I know, it’s only a matter of time.

I will trade the comfort of my afternoon tea,  for the precarious experiences of the trail .

“How we live seems more crucial than why.”

Hitchhike to California

IMG_7617meThis photo was taken by John Lyman, at my favorite surf break, in Costa Rica. Of all the years I’ve surfed, and all the waves I’ve ridden, I have very few pictures. I have been on waves way bigger than this one. They are burnt in my brain forever. The battle to take the wave, falling over the ledge, and the drama of hanging on, is part of my senses.

A captured moment, such as this, can pull the memory trigger on not just one wave, but dozens.

I’m fortunate I have this image at all. I had to pay to get it.

I am not a ripper. My claim to fame, use to be, that I would charge waves that women were not on. But that’s history; something way in the past. For one, I’m not aggressive for bigger waves and two, the line-up can be filled with women.

I still sit out and wait on the set waves. I always like it when I get the wave of the day. But more and more, as my boards get longer and longer, I try to style it, on small waves. They make me laugh.

Each and every wave has a life of its own.

Every surfer is photo worthy.

As a photographer, I spend my time, working to capture the best of a surfer’s abilities. It takes time, patience, and sometimes giving up shots of the better and best surfers. I ply my trade on the beaches of Amelia Island.


That and five dollars will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.


If you’re hitchhiking to California, and you put your thumb out, then no one gives you a ride ~  If you stop walking you will never get there.

I don’t want to stop my photography, no matter what!


White Water Woman

I’m sitting in my comfortable living room. My husband is watching, The Hobbit, on our HD flat screen. I often find myself transfixed, by the updated, colorful, experience of the new televisions. Not to mention that this particular movie is about Bilbo Baggins, the traveling Hobbit, along with his friend Gandalf, the Wizard, dwarves, elves, forests, animals; all in constant adventure mode.

And to think, TV‘s did not exist when my mother was born. Not to the common household. She recalled listening to Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats.

Time stands still for no one.

At my age, time has taken on a new meaning. I was forewarned that it would ~

Earlier, I went on a drive-by, scouting for surfers. I found the waves small, blown out and empty. However, yesterday was more fruitful.

I ran into a white water, woman surfer.IMG_3693 She was unloading her board, at one of the local breaks. Like I’ve said before, until someone surfs, you can never be sure of their ability. I drove to the pier and turned around. She was out catching waves when I got back.IMG_3694She’d catch the wave, get to her feet, and ride it as far as she could.IMG_3690Then, she would go back out and do it again.

I was impressed. That’s how you do it! That’s surfing. That’s salt water therapy. That’s stoke. That’s a real surfer.

Everyone starts somewhere, and there are people all over the world, catching waves, in the white water, right now!

Unfortunately, right now, there is also, a terrorist who has undone the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As I drove in my car this morning, I was listening to NPR. They were discussing the happenings of last night. The people had been held hostage, while robots were used to scour the streets for bombs.

Three, once beautiful, young people are dead and 170 wounded in Boston.

This is what I came home to yesterday. The media has been relentless.

I talked to the white water, woman surfer briefly after taking her pics. She told me she was surfing her way up the coast to Massachusets.  She seemed so independent and carefree; the basic nature of most surfers.

I wonder how this happening will affect her trip.

Everything seems so sunny and breezy here.


What a Weird World


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo hundred-fifty is not my weight, it’s not my house number and it’s not my area code. It’s the number of posts that I have published, since I started this venture, or should I say, adventure?

I can remember my first. I wrote that it felt as if I was throwing a bottle into the ocean, wondering what shore it would end up on. Who would read it? Or would anyone?

Since it’s inception, Secondhand Surfer Blog has splintered into the blog and a facebook page by the same name, posting daily photos of local surfers in Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA. Or surfers, on the breaks near my home in Costa Rica.

So much has transpired. I feel that Secondhand Surfer is going into, yet, another direction. But I’m not sure where.

I find myself at a crossroad, once again.

Unlike the one where Robert Johnson sold his soul, to the devil. Just an everyday, crossroad  decision.

~Indians once thought, and many still do, that a camera had the power to steal your soul~

~I think a camera can capture your soul and hand it back to you-especially in surfing~

I treasure my camera. I look forward to being on the beach.

I wonder where this photography gig is going to take me.