I am a Cynical Old Woman

Yes, it’s true I am a cynical old woman.

Yesterday, I was reading a thread on Facebook, in a group Fernandina Surfers. It was addressing the issues of lifeguarding, in the time of pandemic. However, it touched a nerve in me, that was yet, another one of those issues of aging.

The word that set me off in their dialogue was “enforcement”. I dislike enforcement, therefore, according to the dictionary, I am cynical.

I made the simple comment, of having mixed feelings, concerning lifeguards. Some, white haired, old man named Bert, called me a cynical old woman. I know lifeguards have their place, but that’s part of the problem. I don’t want a sixteen year old, with braces, telling me where and how to swim. They will look at me and my grey hair and think I shouldn’t go out deeper than my waist.

Reading the comments, on the thread, my mind reflected on vivid memories, of being a child and swimming, in the ocean. I would bend my knees and duck under the waves. I would feel it pass over me. I learned about the rhythm of the sea. I was taught about run outs, and how to deal with them. I swam far out beyond the breakers. I swam every day all day long, only stopping for lunch, a rest, and then back out until the sun went down.

No lifeguard. – I would not have been allowed.

I swam in the salt springs of Florida. They were freezing. I would dive and check out the caves; my mother put a permanent fear mark, of caves, in the depths of my being. The same as the currents in rivers. The St. John’s River will swallow you whole, and only a fool would ski there. After civilization moved in, I was whistled at and removed from an area by security, because of alligators. I have swam, in that spring since 1960. I’m sure alligators were there before then, as they are now. It’s Florida!

Continue reading I am a Cynical Old Woman

Where are you from?

 

Sean Poynter
Sean Poynter

 

This is a pic, I took a while back, on the Island (Amelia Island, Florida), which use to be known as Fernandina Beach, until the Amelia Island Plantation was developed on the south end. Such is real estate; sales and marketing. It’s all important, WHO you are, and WHERE you’re from. Location, Location, Location.

Sean Poynter grew up there surfing, and has gone on to be one of world’s best SUP surfer. Last summer, he told me what had transpired in his life, altering his surfing path to the SUP. I thought, what a smart man. What a nice guy. And that’s what I think of him, today. He is an incredible, over the top, athlete. I admire Sean.

Today I made a remark on my photography page, concerning him calling his hometown, a California beach community. It was an editorial comment and one I thought was interesting. I was blasted by a few people. It seems they took it as I said—-I don’t even know what they thought, but it was obvious I had hit an exposed nerve. Such is social media.

I think I’ll leave all editorial comments alone. I don’t want an opinion. I just want to take my photos.

Surfing, where my home break is, in a foreign country, I often get asked by tourists, “where are you from”? It’s a common, everyday question, like little kids asking, “what’s your name”? Sometimes, it’s one of those identity, snide whips, like teenagers wanting to know, “who’s your Daddy?”

I rarely answer the Westside of Jacksonville, Florida. It’s fame hinges on a statistic: it’s known as a dumping ground, for dead bodies and the southern rock band, Lynard Skynard.

But hey, who gives a ____. I’m just a lowly kook, trying to get a life.

Cheers…

 

Dreams

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I have dreams.

Yesterday, I surfed small waves at a river mouth. A young tico kid plowed his way through every inch of the lineup. He paddle battled with granny: some he won and some he lost. I remember when I use to be aggressive for waves. I just don’t have that in me any more. However. I am glad that I once did, or I would have never gotten a wave.

Now I dream of Mexico. A place where there are endless waves and no crowds. It’s just a matter of time. At my age, I can’t put these things off, too long.

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IMG_2780vvMeet Debbie. I did, this morning.

I was on my way to the pier. I saw some surfers out. I went to go get my camera. One day, I’ll learn to keep it with me. Returning to the beach, armed, I saw this really cool looking rig heading down the road. A guy on a bike, was towing his long board. I thought, “what a great picture that could be.” So, I pulled over, ahead of him, and waited. He turned!

I thought, “that sucks.” What did he do that for?

I guess he’s private. Or maybe he  just likes to bike around the long way. Who knows?

So, I followed him to the water.

That’s how I met Debbie. She is a student surfer and professor of law. Dealing with the laws of gravity, she was catching, one wave after the other.

To take the pic above, I should have run around, with the sun at my back to get a better shot, but I felt like I only had a few seconds. She was busy with her lesson.

In the brief few minutes that we talked, she shared with me her enthusiasm for the sport and her philosophy of a simple life.

I agreed with everything she said.

What a nice way to start the day.

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IMG_2089Yesterday, I went to the long-awaited Sisters of the Sea-15th Annual-Surf Contest. I had the shortest lens, of any serious photographer. Maybe, that’s why no one saw me as serious. Maybe, that’s why every time I set up to get good shots, three or four spectators would position themselves in front of me.IMG_2274
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This morning I had a friend send a message, informing me that there were waves. When I walked out the front door, past my fading zinnias, my eyes focused on the white rock in my yard, my nose detected that smell.

It’s a bit like the bottom of a dirty garbage can. Alright! I knew the waves were going to be better than I thought. The wind was coming out of the west, blowing the paper mill pollution across the island, like incinerator dust blown out of a burning garbage bin.

Don’t tell anyone, the pollution here is our secret.

Come to think of it, so are the waves.

About Andrea Diaz

I did it!

As I’ve said before, this blog, other than being my personal, online journal, is a learning tool for me. I figured out how to embed a U tube video. yeah! Yes, Andrea is speaking in Spanish, but hey, I’m in Costa Rica. And she’s Costa Rican.

On a personal note concerning communication: I think it would enhance the life of any U.S. Citizen, to venture into learning the Spanish language. Look at a map. These countries, the western hemisphere, are our neighbors. If you don’t want to, I realize it’s a personal choice, but I can tell you, it has enriched my life greatly, what little Spanglish and Pidgeon that I speak. I am always working to improve.

This video is about an organization, that Andrea is involved in, teaching life skills through surfing. You can read an article about it in English, in my previous post, Andrea  Diaz. It’s by CRSurf and it’s linked by the word, here.

This is a video of the Roxy/Quicksilver Waves Camp- Surf School- here in Costa Rica. Andrea and fellow Costa Rica surf champions are instructors!

Girls do surf!

*And look, they’re teaching Pipeline Style!

EMILIE SERIS

Emilie Seris-smart, adventurous, world traveling, surfer chic and engineer.

Salt Gypsy

emilie seris

Longtime supporter and avid reader of Salt Gypsy, Emilie Seris is the kind of chica we`d love to meet up with in the lineup. About to gypsy-off on more surf adventures around France, New York, LA and Mexico (can we come??), here`s just a snippet of her story….

I am French, from the South of France, Toulouse, which is a bit inland from the surf. I was very keen and independent from a relatively young age, taking the train on my own at 16 years old so I could go to the beach. My parents have always left me very free. I came to Australia 12 years ago as part of my studies and to surf of course. I wanted to find somewhere where I could combine a good career and surfing. Being good at science, I ended up an engineer and Sydney allows me to do that and surf…

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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!

Lucky 3X’s

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IMG_5645Meet Sean Poynter

Last year, Sept 9th, courtesy of Hurricane Leslie, we had waves here on Amelia. I had surfed earlier in the day and was just cruising the beach. I had my camera in the car, so I headed to a spot I thought might be working. I could hear an announcer over a loud-speaker. There was a contest going on. It was an ESA event, along with what is called the King of the Peak, challenge.

What Seneca, a philosopher, once said, ” Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I stepped out of my car, and went to work. I have hundreds of pictures from that day. Continue reading Lucky 3X’s