What Lies Beneath: Conquering Fear at Banzai Pipeline
PIPELINE. Just the name shoots fear through my heart. Insanely hollow tubes breaking over a shallow coral reef. The steep drop, crazy speed, and all the while the fear of the dark reef gliding below, always reminding you of what happens if you fail. Conquering that fear is the ultimate challenge. And for many years…
Launch of Songs of Thalassa
It’s finally here! After blogging for seven years about marine biology, surfing, and science I have pulled it all together in my new book, Songs of Thalassa. The book is based on extensive scientific research, including astronomy, marine biology, surfing, and ocean science, all set in the reaches of deep space. The plot follows the…
The Quest for a Monster 100 Foot Wave
Everyone’s trying to set a new big wave record by pushing the physical limits of wave riding. It’s extremely dangerous, and the world is watching to see who will set the next record, currently at 80 feet. It’s a sport where you can make a career out of a single giant wave. Many have tried.…
The Biggest Wave Ever Ridden: Greg Noll at Makaha, 1969
When I moved to Pacific Beach in April of 1970 they were still talking about it: the epic swell of winter 1969. To the locals, I had just missed the swell of the century. A swell whereby three separate North Pacific storms merged to create near-hurricane force winds blowing across a broad stretch of the…
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…
Living Mr. Holland’s Opus: My Life as a College Professor
When I reflect back on my life as a marine biologist, as a college professor, I’ve had a wonderful life. I have always loved the ocean and as a marine biologist I couldn’t have a better job. But something was missing. Something important. What is the bigger story of my life?
BBQ With Aloha: Hawaiian Kalbi Beef
One of the best things about Hawaii is the food and often that means plate lunch! Now plate lunch is both uniquely Hawaiian and a key part of the culture. Take the many asian traditions in Hawaii and add local touches and you have something that is quick, easy to grab and head to the beach, and incredibly…
Eight Experiences that Honor the Forces of the Ocean
While watching the new version of Point Break I was fascinated with the concept of the Ozaki Eight: eight ordeals that honors the forces of nature. So based on the concept discussed in the film I set out to develop my own eight experiences that would honor the energy and power of the ocean.
Dr. Abalone’s Field Guide to the Six Species of Surfers
After traveling the world these last four decades searching for interesting creatures and critters, I, Dr Abalone, have discovered a consistent pattern among the creatures that inhabit the waves and beaches of the known planet called surfers.
Science and Ethics in the Hawaii Marine Aquarium Trade
Conservation and conflict are irreparably linked as we address human’s widening impact on the planet. From a broader perspective we are moving forward as our new values and perspectives clash with the old. However, for those in the conservation trenches in may not seem like progress when being attacked at public meetings, creating enemies and, in some cases, receiving…