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OP/ED: Watching Big Wave Surfing At Mavericks, And What I Learned.

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posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 06:56 PM
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Off the coast of Northern California south of San Francisco lies the sleepy coastal community of Half Moon Bay. Just up the road off the shore lies a unique geological feature. First discovered in 1975 and called the Mavericks Break, or Mavericks by locals it is capable of producing some of the biggest waves in the world given the right conditions. The indicators were there on Tuesday and a world wide flash went out to surfers everywhere. In less than 24 hours this small town became the epicenter of the big wave surfing world. When the waves are right, surfers and spectators alike will flock from the four corners of the world to participate (27 this year) and spectate.

 


My first exposure to the surfing at Mavericks came thanks to my father in the late eighties. Its really funny when I think about it, my dad never had even a passing interest in surfing, but he knew an interesting event when he saw one. I still remember that day, as I watched board after board, wave after wave, and I was struck by the persistence and the courage of the surfers as they battled waves as high as 50 feet. I was 18 at the time and looking back I still marvel at the small size of the crowd. It could not have been more that 100 or so people including the surfers there that day. Did I learn a lesson that day? None that would be in my conscience until later in my life.

I returned to Mavericks when able and has the misfortune of being present in 1994. Mark Foo, who at the time was considered among the elite of big wave riders suffered the ultimate wipe out and died. Again in 1999 and 2000 when the waves seemed to tower over even the spectating area. The realities of fatherhood and sick parents forced my absence at last year.

Tuesday when the alert went out, I decided it would be a blast to take my toddler to see the waves. Braving the crush of traffic we made our way to the point to view the activities. Matthew was enthralled by what he saw. Rare for our 100 mph child he was content to simply stand for hours and watch wave after wave. His toddler cries of "its waaater" or "its big waaater" surfers became "bub bubs" each time he would look back at me to make sure I heard. When each run was complete he clapped with the crowd and gave a small "yeah".

I was struck by the fact that the effect on my son was almost the same effect I had the first time I had witnessed it. The sheer enormity of the waves, the awesum power of nature, the sheer audacity of the surfers trying to conquer the 45 foot waves effected both of us. The lessons of persistence and conquering one fears were what I took from my experience yesterday and I hope my son will in the future.

Related News Links:
www.nbc30.com




posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 08:09 PM
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ive been to monteray and seen the 10 footers, never though have i managed to trek out to the mavericks. im still curious however, what excactly causes the gigantic waves? hopefully in the future i will be able to make it down and get an eye full of what sounds like a magnificant sight.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 08:11 PM
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Large ocean storms with a huge fetch of strong winds pointed at the coast are the source for these large waves. I have never been to that area nor any other infamous big wave spots yet, hopefully I can make it their in the near future and be in awed by the power of nature.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 08:11 PM
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Large ocean storms with a huge fetch of strong winds pointed at the coast are the source for these large waves. I have never been to that area nor any other infamous big wave spots yet, hopefully I can make it their in the near future and be in awed by the power of nature.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by sturod84
ive been to monteray and seen the 10 footers, never though have i managed to trek out to the mavericks. im still curious however, what excactly causes the gigantic waves? hopefully in the future i will be able to make it down and get an eye full of what sounds like a magnificant sight.


Most of the time Marvericks is nothing special. The big waves are rare and you get 24 hours notcie to appear. It helps that I live only 45 minutes away from HMB so I can get there with ease.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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That was a beautiful post FredT. I enjoyed reading it very much.


Do we want to talk about the possibility of inherited memory, or will it suffice to appreciate the touching nature of the story as is?



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
That was a beautiful post FredT. I enjoyed reading it very much.


Do we want to talk about the possibility of inherited memory, or will it suffice to appreciate the touching nature of the story as is?


Thanks WyrdeOne,

I say take it for what it is



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 10:57 PM
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Nice story Fred.


I personally like watching Big Wave Windsurfing as some of the tricks those guys pull off are ... like defying physics or something, but both are truely awe inspiring and can be emotional experiences for some people. I got a bit emotional the first time I saw Niagra falls (the Canadian side) in Summer.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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That's what I thought. Thanks again for posting it.


Anyone who has ever lived by the beach, or worked on the sea, or played in the shadow of the waves will know exactly the particular shape and texture of the emotions you're talking about.

There is a real, profound, deep and lasting humility that springs from being confronted with such beautiful, primal forces. Like an elephant wearing makeup; my mistress the sea.


I used to be a fisherman, and now I'm landlocked.
Can you hear the longing? I really do miss going down to the beach at night when nobody was around. I played in the surf under so many full moons I probably started to take the majesty of the scene for granted.

I swam in the ocean three times during major hurricanes, many times during violent lightning storms. There really is a great amount of insight to be gained from letting go for just a moment, and letting the world catch you...

Your post really reminded me of those days, and that's why I'm so appreciative. To think I could have almost forgotten...

Thanks again.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:15 PM
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i am from the monterey bay originally myself, i always wanted to head up and watch the big wave competition but never have.

maverics does fairly consistantly break between 10 and 15 feet, i believe that is easily doubled at certain times though



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by Mozo

maverics does fairly consistantly break between 10 and 15 feet, i believe that is easily doubled at certain times though


Actually I think that the biggest waves here reach over 60 feet some years.



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 02:55 AM
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One of the surfers. No I did not snap the picture



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 03:03 AM
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If you want to see a brief video of a local news cast of the event:

Hang Ten Dude



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