Thursday, December 30, 2010

Searching for Waves in South America

Marc and Rachelle took me on a very long journey----we are driving all along the Pacific Coast where Chile meets Argentina looking for the best windsurfing spots. Come along......

Are We Getting Close?

I know there are some waves somewhere nearby. Just where? Surely not here--the Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth.
Get me to the beach. I can't wait to leap on my kite surfer and zoom, zoom, zoom.
We may have the waves all to ourselves because we are so far away from everything.

At the Tippy Top of the Falls

I am so lucky to be sharing this long, exciting holiday with Marc and Rachelle (they usually windsurf the waves at Backyards in my neighborhood). Just look where I am now---in Argentina with my back to one of the 275 falls that make up Iguazu Falls. Yikes! I better hold on tightly, heights make me a little nervous and I am up really high.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Building Confidence in the Water

Every winter, during the height of the surf season, the North Shore Lifeguard Association hosts a benefit to support the Junior Lifeguard Program. This program is open to all 13-17 year olds (from around the world) and teaches them swimming and life saving skills at four beach parks islandwide. For 18 years, the City and County of Honolulu, with the support of the North Shore Lifeguard Association, has run 7 summer sessions; each one is 25 hours long. It's free, but a donation is is appreciated.
This year's fundraiser was in Waimea Valley and I was there pitching in.

Doing My Part......Supporting the Lifeguards

Nancy and I were selling t-shirts to raise money for the Junior Lifeguard Program at the fundraiser. It was fun! I met a lot of very cool people; a lot of them visiting the North Shore to surf and enjoy the tropical weather. Those t-shirts made great Christmas presents to take back to the Mainland.

Getting Away from the Chill

Frank and his wife, Regina, are from Panama City, Florida, were it gets into the 40s this time of the year! Yikes, I'd freeze my little tail off! Frank is an Emergency Room doctor and for five years he has donated his time and expertise to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Competition. He's pals with the director of the contest, Randy Rarick. (If you remember, Randy took me to South Africa and Victoria Falls in September.)

Is there a Doctor in the House?

Clay Everline was another doctor I met at the North Shore Lifeguard Association fundraiser. He surfs, of course, and makes house calls on the North Shore; just like in the old days when doctors came to your home if you were ill. What a great service!

Making New Friends, as Usual

Chad is a filmmaker who took the best photograph of Mom the night of the benefit. He also told us how to apply for a Hawaii Film Commission Annual Pass----wow, now that sounds serious!
He's with Nat Van Halle, a lifeguard from London, who is also in the film industry.
So....did you notice two little blue legs and arms beside my head? Look closely! That's Nat's traveling companion, Flumps!! I love meeting other little animals like myself who globetrot! What an adventurous life we lead!

Lifeguards of the Future?

There are almost 50 lifeguards employed by the City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division who were once in the Junior Lifeguard Program. Gabby and her brother, Kainoa, took the course for 2 and 4 years respectively. I asked Gabby what she got out of the session and she replied, "I got more fit and I learned how to save people." Learn more about this program by going to: and typing in Junior Lifeguard Program.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Surf's up for the Contest

The last contest of the Van's Triple Crown of Surfing----I was there on the beach at Pipeline. This wave is probably the best barrel in the world! Click on this photo and see the surfer to my right. He's catching waves to the left of "Pipe" and isn't even in the competition.

Making Sure Everything is a Go

Faith is the Director of Administration for the Triple Crown. Now, that's a big job! There are 200 people who need to be fed every day the contest is running. She oversees it all. With 3,000,000 hits to the Triple Crown website, you can imagine she's always on her toes. She's also the Director of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) in Hawaii and runs other surfing contests all year long.

In Charge of "The Look"

Besides making surfboard fins for the last 41 years, Brian Bills is responsible for all the signage at the Triple Crown. He has been doing that for 14 years---the banners, tents, flags, trailers, etc. Look at the smile on his face; he loves his job!

For the World to See

Surfing has become a sport that's embraced by millions of people around the globe. Kevin, in his perch above the Pipeline, makes sure the contest is beamed worldwide. See footage for yourself at:

......And Down on the Beach

Jared's dog, Maya, didn't know what to make of me! Doesn't she look puzzled? I mean really puzzled!
See that foamy water to the left? Waves were washing the beach and making tourists scramble.

The Champ from Down Under

Mick Fanning and I were chatting at the Rip Curl house as the Pipeline Pro was taking place. He's such a friendly and humble Australian surfer. Check out his website to learn more:

It's a Wrap! Bye, Bye North Shore

Well, the Van's Triple Crown of Surfing has come to a close this season. Ted Grambeau, a famous photographer who shoots around the world for 8 months out of the year (and not just surfers), was walking along the shoreline snapping incredible rides of the last contest at Pipeline. Interested in knowing who won? It was a big surprise to everyone! I'll give you a hint, it wasn't 10 time world champ, Kelly Slater. Go to: to see who took home the trophy!
Also, go to to see his magnificent pictures of the contest and more.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On the Red Carpet with Mr. Paul

I was thrilled! I had a media pass for the annual Surfer Poll Awards Ceremony. All the readers of Surfer Magazine vote----best surfer, best barrel, best wipeout, best surf documentary, etc., etc. and trophies are awarded. (Something like the Academy Awards.) Usually the event takes place in Anaheim, California, but his year it was at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore. Paul Evans, editor of Surf Europe, took me (and Mom, of course).

Setting up to Shoot the Stars

This was the photo shoot backdrop for all the famous celebrities attending the biggest surfing awards event of the year. It's December, it's winter, it's Hawaii-----that's why I live here!! Look at that sunset!
Did you spot me in the photo?

I was a Celebrity Too!!

I got recognized, was on t.v. and had a couple of interviews, just like other surf stars. The place was crawling with reporters from across the globe. This newspaper photographer from the Star-Advertiser, F.L. "Larry" Morris, and I became fast friends. Wasn't he a cuddler?

Local Boys Out for a Big Night

The Surfer Poll Awards was really, really crowded----surfers from everywhere. The security was TIGHT and nobody was crashing this party. Jock Sutherland, closest to the camera is a famous wave rider who has lived on the North Shore forever---he even has a surf spot named after him---Jocko's. Rainos Hayes is the "Local Motion" Team Captain and Manager is at all the most important surf events.

Televised Everywhere

Fuel T.V., an action sports network, had reporter, Jackie, and cameraman, Raul, flown in from L.A. to film the Surfer Poll Awards.
There must have been 2,000 guests in attendance! This event is a BIG DEAL in the surfing world! The whole affair was live streamed around the globe minute by minute.

Big Cheeses in the Surf Industry

Director Charlie Smith just won awards for his film----Who is J.O.B.?
Joel Patterson, in the blue tie, is the Editor of Surfer Magazine.

Born and Raised on the North Shore

Coco Ho, in the middle, is one of the best surfers in the world. She was voted #3 by Surfer Magazine readers!
Her friends, Jessica and Bruna, were keeping her company on this momentous occasion.

Lookin' as Handsome and Happy as Ever

Kalani David is a champion skater and surfer. Mom asked him how he was doing in school as he had been her student. His reply, "I'm getting straight A's. I'm doing like you told me and reading 20 minutes every night". Good job, Kalani, keep it up!! We'll be watching for you to walk on stage and collect YOUR Surfer Poll trophy someday soon!

Live from the Turtle Bay Resort

Wow, so much excitement, so many accolades, so much hubbub--the Surfer Poll Awards were fun! I liked laughing and listening, and taking in all the sights and sounds of the surfing world's most prestigious affair. See more. Go to

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The 25th Annual--A Big Event

Sunset Beach Elementary, where Mom teaches third grade, holds a benefit for the school the first Friday of every December.
It's when all the "surf stars" are in town for the Triple Crown. It's soooooo fun. The surfers sit around the perimeter of the cafeteria and sign posters while thousands of dollars worth of surf gear is raffled off, and homemade chili and curry, and baked goods are sold. Make sure you come next year if you happen to be lucky enough to be on the North Shore of Oahu during surf season.

My Green Neighborhood

One of the best reasons to live on the North Shore is to participate in a community of individuals who understand the importance of sustainability. Deni and her daughters, Bliss and La'i (in the helmet) rode their bikes to Surf Night. Good thinkin', girls.

Bliss Loves Me!!

I was so happy to be in the arms of Bliss. She's my good friend and always makes me feel special. She was just in the photo with her Mom and sister on the bike. She rode her bike too~! Bravo, Bliss! for taking care of the planet! Bikes instead of cars.

Everybody Comes

Surf NIght draws a big crowd. There is a long line to get in to have posters signed by the top surfers in the world. (They are all on the North Shore to surf the final three contests, the Triple Crown, of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) global tour.)
It's just like the "Big Top" coming to town----the neighborhood is a circus and has a carnival atomosphere for almost three months. Clockwise, I'm with Kanaloa in the brown t-shirt, Sienna, Max, Gina, and Casey.

A New Puppy in Town

Leila brought her new, little furry friend to Surf Night. She kept "Cocoanut" wrapped up and bundled tightly to make him feel safe.
I can see that Leila is sooo happy------her grin is from ear to ear.

Surf Stars were Everywhere!

Kalani Robb is a former student at Sunset Beach Elementary. How lucky--he could go surfing everyday after school if the waves were good! He brought his girlfriend, Kortney, to the school benefit. Kalani's living in San Diego now and teaching children to surf to stay healthy!

The Original Poster

North Shore artist, Ilona Hemperly, created our first flyer/poster for Surf Night twenty-five years ago. Mom was in charge of getting donations from local merchants and they were very generous, and still are (so are mainland and international surf-related companies). Surf Night started out small and has turned into a big production. The school is lucky to have so many caring and supportive people contributing to its well-being.

She Started Surf Night

Twenty-five years ago, Bev Speece, was the PTCA President at Sunset Beach Elementary had a brilliant idea! Since all the pro surfers from around the world were on the North Shore, how about inviting them to the school to sign posters, how about soliciting donations from local businesses (Mom's job), what about parents making food and selling it to raise money for the school. It all worked and the school continutes to benefit greatly from the support of the surf community across the globe! Hooray!! That's Bev, of course, in the blue with her husband, Gary, and her grandson Gabe (holding me) and his good friend, Cody. Now, she's the Acting Vice Principal of the school.

Who is J.O.B.?

Jamie O'Brian is a surf star and one of the best wave riders in the world. He's just spent the last three years being videotaped while riding the top breaks around the globe. His movie just came out----it's the title above, the one naming the photography. Jamie was Mom's third grade student, too! I love that so many children who attended Sunset come back to support Surf Night!!

Always Recycle--We Do at Sunset

Manae and I were making sure everyone was recycling. What's good for the planet is good for you.
That's Rocky Cannon in the background, on the stage, calling out winners!! Remember Rocky, he was the announcer at the Menehune Surf Contest in October.

Will My Name be Called?

Sophie (on the left) and Logan and I sat in front of the stage waiting excitedly to hear our names. There are thousands and thousands of dollars worth of surf stuff raffled off for more than three hours at Surf NIght. It's such a fun event and supports Sunset Beach Elementary so well. Thanks to all the sponsors!

The Rodeo Princess

Monica is one of Mom's former students (she has lots because she's been teaching third grade at Sunset for 22 years) and is a champion rodeo star. She and her many cousins have been coming to Surf Night for years and it's the highlight of the surfing season for them. Ride 'em, Cowgirl!!

Surf Stars on the Rise

Dax and Finn McGill are sponsored by Volcom, a surf gear company, and are students at Sunset Beach Elementary. The money they raise by signing free posters, along with all the other big time surfers, draws a huge crowd to Surf NIght. The chances of winning a surfboard, bike, t-shirt, leash, rash guard, etc., etc. are great! Make sure you mark your calendar for next year--the first Friday in December. I'll see you there!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunset Ranch -- For All of Us

On the top of the mountain, behind Sunset Beach, is a 27 acre parcel of land that has spectacular views of the coastline all the way to Kaena Point. This property has just been designated a CONSERVATION EASEMENT which means the owners have title and the land will never be developed. Sunset Ranch will be used for events (it can accommodate 1,000), education, agriculture, and equestrian (horse) training and schooling. Wow!! This is great for our neighborhood! Learn more at:

Here's Where it Is

This map of Oahu shows the North Shore. I believe it's the finest place in America to live---right out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The sense of community is strong, the air is clean, the temperture's perfect year round, 75 degrees, and I'm in the country at the beach--what more could a dog want? The yellow area on the map is another parcel of land in the same area that was recently saved from development, just like Sunset Ranch. Bravo to the young men and women in my community for being hardworking stewards and preserving precious land for future generations--Douglas Cole, Blake McElheny, and Denise Antolini.

He Made it Happen----Hooray!

Greg Pietsch is the grandson of conservationist and original owner of Sunset Ranch, Charlie Pietsch. His mission, now, is to become a spokesperson and advocate promoting CONSERVATION EASEMENT throughout the Hawaiian Islands. It took many, many months of intensive, determined energy and collaboration to make his vision a reality. (Thanks, Blake, for planting the seed.)

For All Generations

Grandpa Larry MeElheny played music at the dedication of Sunset Ranch and later in the afternoon he watched his sweet little grandson, La'e, enjoy and explore the wide open grassy fields. What a joyous celebration under white tents with fabulous food served by Wahoo Fish Taco, and lots of very proud community members smiling and hugging. This event was just another of many reasons to love the North Shore.

Everyone was Invited to Sunset Ranch and Look Who Showed Up!

Yes, I am in the "Country"! So there are always, and I mean always, wild roosters and hens running around all over the neighborhood. Maybe we should think about changing the state bird from Nene Goose to Chicken. What do you think?
(You may have noticed this bird next to the map of Oahu in a previous photo. It was quite friendly.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The First Jewel of the Triple Crown

The Reef Hawaiian Pro is the first surfing contest of three comprising the Triple Crown of Surfing. This first competition is held in Haleiwa, my little beach town. Cannelle from Reunion Island, and Justine, with the colorful board, from Lacanau, France, will compete in the Women's Hawaiian Pro. They were practicing their wave riding skills after the last heat ended at 4:00 and they surfed until dark. These last three contests of the Triple Crown will end the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) 2010 World Surfing Tour.

Anyone for a Taco?

Matt was working for Steve who owns Cholo's Mexican Restaurant at the Haleiwa Market Place. Steve just outfitted this very spiffy lunch wagon (did you notice the t.v. screen?) and was providing food for all those involved in the contest. Cholo's is the official food sponsor of the Triple Crown.

Access for Anyone

Chris, of Access Surf Hawaii, made sure that all contest goers would be able to be in a good spot to watch the competition. (The plastic walkways made it easy for Mom to move across the sand in her stylish shoes, too.) This organization facilitates access to all ocean activities in spite of disabilities. Learn more at

Now, That's Mighty Impressive

This piece of camera equipment is called a "Windowseat". I can see why. It enables the operators to sweep high and low and film the surfers from many different angles. Mark, on the left, and Scott were just putting the equipment away after a long day of filming the first day of the Reef Hawaiian Pro competition. Can you find me? All three contests of the Triple Crown of Surfing can be found live streaming. Go to

"Coming to You Live from Ali'i Beach Park"

Well, what do you think? Could I be a weatherman like Guy Hagi? Guy was at the beach sending a broadcast back to all his viewers and fans. He gave them a blow-by-blow account of the wave riding conditions, and the upcoming forecast.
There has been a little rain on the North Shore lately-----and that's okay because it's what keeps this neighborhood green!

Visitors from Viking Land say, "Hej" (Hi)

There are so many tourists on the North Shore during surf season.
Veronica, on the left, and Jenny came in from Sweden for a few weeks to experience the warm temperatures and big winter waves of Hawaii. When I asked them if they like being here, both replied, "It's awesome. It's like Paradise. I want to live here!!"
Lucky, I DO live here!