Tag: Surfing

The Giant 200-Foot Wave at Trinidad, California

One hundred years ago, on Dec. 31, 1914, the lighthouse at Trinidad Head was assaulted by a wave of monstrous proportions. Although the details are unclear, we know that the storm that produced the waves was unusual and that the wave was greater than 100 feet and perhaps much more. The only eyewitness was the keeper of the lighthouse at Trinidad Head at that time, Captain Fred Harrington, and here is his account of the notorious wave.

What Lies Beneath: the Waves, Reef and Marine Life of Maverick’s

The wave at Maverick’s is unique in many ways: its location, the geology and geomorphology of the reef, and the massive swells that surfers ride. In many ways Maverick’s allure is the story of its reef, which is legendary for creating both a perfect large wave and a reef seemingly designed to punish those attempting to ride it . As if the reef and wave weren’t enough you can add the fact that great white sharks frequent the area and occasionally clear the lineup with their presence. In the early days, before it became popular, surfers knew it would eventually kill people with its strong currents, long period swells, 10-15 wave sets and multi-layered inner reef full of valleys, holes and crevasses leading into a boneyard of exposed, jagged rocks. And it has.

Best Years of Our Life: Pacific Beach 1971

It was the best years of our life When we were children remember what it’s like To bring back memories of the good things we once knew To be right, there’s so much we gotta do. — Iron Butterfly, Best Years of Our Life, Metamorphosis ▲ click to hear the music ▲ Listening to Iron Butterfly transports me…

Deep Impact: Five Reasons Why Surfers Should Care About Global Warming

As a marine biologist I am often asked what is the greatest threat to the oceans. It’s a easy answer: global warming. As a surfer I am surprised how few surfers seem to know, or care, about our assault on the oceans. I am often met with “why should I care” or worse “the surf will get better, so what?”  I feel compelled to speak up as a surfer and a scientist, and the discuss the most recent scientific evidence of what global warming, and more broadly, global climate change, means to surfers and the ocean.

Coming Home

Born on the Navy circuit, moving every 2 years. Home was an elusive concept at best. As life would have it we occasionally doubled back and that place was San Diego. Living there in the’ 60s and ’70s  was a magical experience. Simple, clean, fun, and just right for starting my love affair with the ocean.…

Early Surfing at Fort Point

One of my most memorable surfing experiences, and possibly one of the most dangerous, occurred at Fort Point in 1973: an unusual surf spot located underneath the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. These days, Fort Point is well known as an overly crowded and heavily localized surf spot — not a friendly place to paddle…

A Hatteras Odyssey

One of my favorite classic surf films is from my senior year of High School when I lived in the east coast. During spring break 1975 Dave Bence, Frank Dorenkamp, Pat Fulks, and I went on a surf trip in my ’66 VW camper van and Frank’s Chevy Vega to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina from…