Our Environmental Past Can’t Become Our Future…

Forty-seven years ago millions of people in 192 countries across the globe created Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The first celebration took place in 2,000 colleges and universities, 10,000 primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the US involving over 20 million Americans.  That day changed the world. Lately it seems like we are forgetting what…

Indomitable: The Spirit of Chris Hitchcock

Despite the neverending complaints that life isn’t fair, in reality it isn’t. Some of us are born into circumstances beyond our control and spend our life trying to catch up to where most start. Unfortunately, many don’t even get close. The truth is we never really know what anyone else is dealing with or where they are coming from.…

California Lost: Time Was…

As I have written, moving as a surfer was a bummer, especially when I left California for the east coast in 1974. In this case, we moved near the end of my junior year to northern Virginia where I finished high school.  What I didn’t appreciate was how my mind would respond to the change in scenery. Although…

Unbounded Courage: the First Surfers to Ride Waimea Bay

When I was a young surfer I read about the first surfers to ride Waimea Bay in 1957. Surfers at that time were too afraid to surf Waimea, and for good reason.From the beach Waimea appeared too big, too fast, too steep and just generally too treacherous to ride. Add to that a raging rip current, sharky waters, and the presence of a church on the point and a Hawaiian heiau in the valley and it all added up to a scary, forbidden place.

SmartFin: Environmental Wave of the Future

As the world’s environmental problems expand the challenge is to keep up with the increasingly larger scale of the issues. Decades ago we worried about individual beaches, now we are focused on whole coastlines, and indeed entire oceans are at risk.  To keep pace marine biologists and oceanographers have deployed huge arrays of sensors across the…

Crush Depth: Adventures with Scientific Submersibles

“What’s your depth?” echoed down from the surface radio, unanswered for the third time in a row and sounding increasingly desperate. It was 2002 and I was riding inside the scientific submersible Delta, heading towards the seafloor off Anacapa island in an area known simply as the “footprint,” a deep-water fish, coral and sponge hot spot…