No GPS

To date, I have not given in to relying on a GPS.

They have taken the fun out of travel and adventure. No one knows how to give directions anymore. The serendipitous moments, meeting people on the road, to gather information is history.

And it’s strange how this technological phenomenon occurred so quickly.

As a whole, humanity is one step closer to being LOST.

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Up Close and Impersonal

18237935_10212576551150337_7672371408306905436_oHighway 90

Traveling through Georgia, in a rusted Toyota, I had the chance to stair out of the window for hours. I saw a lot of what people call nothing; fields and trees, old barns and dangerous looking machinery. The Willacoochee River makes me think of cotton-mouth moccassins and the silence of canoes.

But when I saw this car, I saw a ferris wheel and dart games, the drive in movies, and a drag race. There was a chocolate covered ice-cream cone at the Tastee Freeze, drive-thru.

Daddy Let You Mind Roll On ~

*In the back x-tra cab, I had my Canon and a few lenses. But I walked down an embankment, smelling the stench, of a rotting carcass, with my iPhone 4 in hand.

*Instagram might take days.

*Why be in a hurry, to go nowhere.

No-Green-Gringo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is part of a painting, on my board bag. I bought it white, white, white. It was the cheapest one they had, at Aqua East Surf Shop. I think I paid 99 dollars. I had no idea, at the time, what a good investment that was.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had drawn a fish with a black marker. I had to do something. I labeled the side of the bag with name, address, etc., like the airlines wanted you to do.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt recently became handy, when having my Rozo brought to me in Nicaragua. After my first trip out of the country, I altered the bag. Now, I let it live in deconstruction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne thing I figured out, through experience is – don’t buy new equipment, to travel to a third world country. Unless you just want to show off your shiny new board, to people who are doing unbelievable airs, and landing them, on big waves, on yellow boards.

What ever…..

What would granny know….

She’s a gringo-but she’s not green.

 

Zero and Zippy

Zero had walked a long way. She relied on a cane to hold herself straight. Her bamboo staff, swung with her stride; step, step, step.

After years of traveling life, wandering here and there, her shoulders felt the weight of time.

Zippy was bright and with the skinny legs of a new born colt. He had just begun his walk. He had yet to be bruised or broken. He had spent years on his mother’s milk, playing by the shore, doing childish things as children do.

It was circumstance that brought the two together. They were headed in the same direction. Continue reading Zero and Zippy

Time Travel – 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        ~Meet Boogie ~

This is our Nica Waves surf guide. I have never had the privilege to hire a surf escort. And I consider it my good luck to have met this guy / gentleman. Not only for his local surf knowledge, but he’s just fun to be around.

If you told him, I’m normally a quiet and somewhat introverted person-he would never believe you. I have talked and talked and talked. It’s been a good experience to be around someone who’s lived some of the places that I have and has a similar background.

Boogie lives the surf lifestyle. I know that implies many things to different people, but to me, it means he loves the ocean, the waves, and the people involved in surfing.

He spends his days devoted to Nica Waves surfers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANice ride to the beach. It’s super deluxe. The air-conditioner works.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABradley was engaged in a cultural conversation, with the local/Bahamian car park caretaker. This was something I had to get used to, a long time ago, in Costa Rica. But I learned to accept it. And, I know that he is an extreme asset.  He helps to keep down any petty thievery on the beach.

As I listened to this man answer Bradley’s questions, I pictured him, in one of those orange work vests, that identify the guards in Costa Rican, packed parking lots. That would be tragic!

I am so impressed with how this area has changed. On one hand it’s changed a lot. There’s more people, but it seems to be just enough. The same goes for accommodations in the area. With the exception of one crazy house, the idea of mansions to the sky, hasn’t happened here. Not yet.

It’s primitive and beautiful.IMG_9852Bradley’s surfing.

And we’ll be home soon.

When I look back on my days, of traveling through Central America, with my coffee pot and boxes of raisin bran, I experience a deep feeling of gratitude, because those days are what led to this.

At my age, you start to see the end. (I don’t say that to be morbid.) But once you cross the 50 year line, your perspective shifts.

I look through the lens and I get a glimpse of the world through Bradley’s eyes.

He can’t see what I see.

He’s not suppose to.

The Chaperone

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I was wrong. When I posted this morning, I had no idea I would be kicked back in the airport, with time on my hands. These are the young adults that I am traveling with. We caught the train this morning, headed to Orlando and our flight. I liked it. It lacked the usual insanity involved, finding the exact entrance to the airport and returning the rental car.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACity of New Orleans was playing in my head.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe train depot resembled a border crossing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the airport we admired the Go Pro shop. Now we are all armed- with cameras. And they shoot people too! I’m scared!

I identified myself as the chaperone, when going through TSA. So, I guess that’s what I am ~ Chaperone/Surf Photographer ~ Auntibubba has nothing on Mamacheri.

Our World

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve wanted this salad w/crab cake, since the day I wrote the post,Man vs. Nature, about the dune restoration going on at Slider’s Restaurant, on Amelia Island.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACason was playing. It is her birthday. This woman is quite the performer, as well as surfer. She has a Southern, jazzy repertoire, that blends with the atmosphere. I can easily visualize her, singing her songs at the Grand Ole Opry, or having the lights shining down from above, capturing her stage persona, on the televised show Austin City Limits.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sea oats, planted by George, the owner, are coming up nicely. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt, that he did this in the best interest of the dunes. Yes, it was shocking to me to see the machinery in the dunes, after all that I have been taught about the ecology. But new oats have been planted, and in conveying his story to me, he seemed sincere. He has no intention of adding more tables or putting in a pool. Time will tell. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the mean time, I want to enjoy this place that has become such a popular source of entertainment. They certainly have good food and a positive vibe.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving the corner, that has become my world, our world. I’m going to Nicaragua to photograph my friends surfing.

We’ll land in Managua, and then drive to the beach.

As I sat in the middle of this decadence, I allowed myself to enjoy it. Even though, in the back of my mind, the poverty that I will soon encounter, loomed.

*I am locking her down now. The next time I write, I will be in a new neighborhood. I’ll be on someone else’s corner, in their world, our world. 

 

Surf Camp Summer

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I recently had the opportunity to work with Chris, Nick Isabella, Bradley Dunham, Skyler DeBerry and Jarrod Kaylor. Secondhand Surf Photography sold packages to the surf camp kids. Chris Igou was the leader and he did a great job. We all put so much energy into those kids. To see kids catching their first wave, skim boarding and body surfing; it was a very rewarding experience.

It wasn’t like this in 1966 ~ I can remember dragging my forty pound Rick Noserider to the beach and getting slam dunked repeatedly. Trying to catch a wave. Pearling. The board would spin and knock me upside my head. But I always had to act like, yeah, “I’m OK”-“I’m OK”. Not that anyone was even looking. There was hardly anyone on the beach back in those days. My skim board was as tall as I was. I would repeatedly kick and ride all the way to the pier, then turn around and come back. Day after day.

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This is Bradley.

1011687_412084655571749_700160727_nThis is Jarrod surfing on a boogie board. Wow, what a great day that was.

1005892_417213278392220_1890476675_nThis is Skyler kicking up a little spray on a small wave day.1001850_538277279552868_841160737_nAnd Waterman~Nick Isabella

Recently Chris posted this to his Facebook Page

July,19,2013
7 days until my first trip to Nicaragua and I couldn’t be more excited and anxious! I have been doing summer surf camp with pipeline surf shop for the past 7 weeks and have one week left. It has been so amazing teaching kids how to surf and to see how much joy they get out of it. That’s it. That is what it’s all about. The moment of joy that comes every so often. The feeling that gives you the highest level of pure and honest joy! People forget often about that feeling when they get older by letting little bad moments pile up which over shadow the good! My goal is to push myself as I get older to never let go of those moments and always live for the ones to come that lighten up your spirit. I am 21 right now and if I had one piece of advice to give it would be to not let those moments of joy pass so easily and do so by taking them in and enjoy every second of it! 

Now it’s 3 days away, and with the exception of Nick, we’re all headed to Nicaragua. I too, am so excited. I am going to be able to hone my photography skills and do some videography. I’ve trekked through the beaches of Central America for twenty years and all of my photos have been done with a Polaroid, held together by rubber bands, or my old Kodak that died after fifteen years of hard labor, or my Canon point and shoot that bit the dust after dropping it too many times. I am well on the backside of fifty and feel exactly like Chris described. Surfing captured my heart from the very beginning.

They are going to be throwing so much spray! I can’t wait!

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.”