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ANTICIPATION

The familiar blue light has been a constant late night companion. Strings of texts going back and fourth - What are you eating? Are you going all the way through? Dang. 70 miles is a long way. Sandwiched between jokes of soiling the wet suit and getting lost in Davey Jones locker there was an undercurrent of seriousness.

70 miles in 48 hours. That is a chunk to think about. And of course the more you think about it, the more it makes complete sense and then you start the “what if” session. What if I could do it in 36 hours? Or maybe 24? Hmm. And the gears start turning. 

Will readily admit to struggling with sane logic most of the time.

The craft of choice for this adventure was a Bark 16ft prone paddle board. 20.5 inches wide and lightning fast in the right hands. Joe has built boards for the best in the world. And to see them make it look effortless - well, its intoxicating. Once you give it a go, there is no turning back.

While not super fast or world class. The phone call was easy to make. 

Me: 

Joe! Am thinking about doing this thing. What is the next step?

Joe: 

How much do you weigh? 

Me: 

Depends on if Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream is on sale or not.

Joe: How tall are you?

Me: 6’ 

Joe: Okay! Let’s make a board. Send me your graphics and paint ideas!

Me: Time to start saving some dollars quick!

For those of you who are freaking out about specs and tweaky conversations about materials and carbon weaves and why didn’t you ask more questions!!!

The answer is simple. Joe is a craftsman. He builds boards. I don’t.

Before we move on from here, there is one small note to keep in mind. When you decide to have a custom board made - make sure your significant other knows about it, is psyched about it and it doesn’t just magically appear one day. (You are welcome.)

PACKING AND REPACKING

Prone offers a unique challenge. There is limited deck space. So the kitchen sink, over prep mindset needs to be turned off. Only the essentials will make the final trip, and of course a few mini snickers.

Having never done anything like this before - the trial and error journey was a long one. The biggest challenge was weight and height of the bags. Once you load your board, the center of gravity and how it reacts when you change positions is quickly noticeable. It also changes how easily you can flip the board back over when you go in the water.

In the end there was 1 bag on the front of the board and 2 small bags on the back. All locked down tight with zero movement. Had plenty of food and water, a puffy and bivy but lacked heat and a little comfort for the dark hours. (Major mistake.)

BOARDS UP. LET'S GO!

It was super fun to talk with Dean through this whole process. He worked with Daniel and the crew at R2AK to bring to seventy 48 to life. And to be honest - I don’t know how they pulled it off. Everything from start to finish was fantastic. 

We loaded in roughly 3/4 of a mile down from the start. It gave us a chance to have clear dock space and a slower pace to make sure everything was just right. Once in the water and paddling toward the start - everything started to feel very real.

Wow. So many people! Faces that came to life from the screens of social and actually shook hands, smiled and joked. This was the first time we were all in one place with only one thing left to do. 

Paddle.

When the horn went off, I made sure to hang back just a bit. Sitting just at water level with lots of flying paddles and oars - didn’t want the race to be over because of one to the face. 

Slowly jumping into the mix - it was the start of an adventure of a life time.
Out into the harbor we went.

GANGSTER RACCOONS AND HAND DRYERS

By the time we entered Colvos passage, everyone had found their rhythm. Familiar faces were all around. Estelle, Dan, Chris, Lance and Shauna were all within lines of sight. And way off in the distance Dean and Karl were cranking away. When you are surrounded by friends who all share the love for paddling - I can’t speak for them - but there was a deep sense of happiness and joy with every stroke.

It was easy to get lost in the colors of sunset. Purples, oranges, blues that were on the edge of turning black. Looking over to the left I could see Shauna slow down for a second to put her jacket on. It is a vivid memory for two reasons. First - we talked a number of times about training and how it was going. To see her jamming away and looking so strong - it was awesome. 

The second reason this moment digs deeper, is it was the first hint of cold. In one of the bags, there was a trusty wind breaker.  The plan was to use it on Blake Island to keep the chill off - but it seemed smart to layer over the wetsuit now. It worked like a champ with the exception of the sleeves. They weren’t tight or meant for prone paddling. Mental note to fix that on Blake.

Snacking on a quick bite, Alex Vaughn came out of the dusk and we shared a welcome break and chat about strategy. As we pushed off into the fading light - this was the first piece of unknown - and I was very thankful for Alex and the company.

Marine Traffic this is M/V Kitsap checking in, over. 

Be advised of several small craft at the mouth of Colvos crossing to Blake.

Will do. Kitsap, out.

Leaving the safety of Colvos passage was like merging onto the freeway. We were instantly greeted with 2 to 3 ft swell and wind coming right at us. Was very happy to be low to the water and out of the washing machine - but with one advantage comes one disadvantage - was getting drenched. Every other wave would wash up and over. The channel went quick - but the effects took their toll.

Hitting the beach on Blake island - people where everywhere - it was wonderful. Safety in numbers. But there was one small problem. I had the shakes so bad that unloading and unpacking became somewhat of a chore. Managed to get everything to a near by picnic table and just stood there. Trying to will some warmth into my thought process.

Blake is a fully set up camping destination, complete with nice bathrooms, quarter showers and electric hand driers. The push button kind that delivered warm bursts of heaven. Thankful for this memory - I shook my way into the dark in search of warm.

A few steps before the door the sound of laughter and the whir of heat, 20 seconds at a time was filling the air.

Once inside, was surrounded by friendly faces and laughter. It was warm and amazing. Out of the wetsuit and into the puffy jacket and winter tights. My hope was to warm up, dry off and get a little rest. The next 45 min was spent drying out my wetsuit and other kit. 

Finally stepped back out into the night with only the occasional shake and renewed optimism. Walked back to my sprawl on the picnic table, climbed into the bivy sack and pretended it was comfortable. 

Pretty much, tossed and turned and shook. It was difficult to find any kind of comfort. And to top it off, I poked my head out after hearing a little rustling - and was eye to paw with a raccoon. He had my beef jerky bag. We exchanged looks and I swear he smiled and then bolted. Total gangster.

THE DARK

Zero progress was made in the sleep and get warm department. Figured if I was going to be cold it was better to be moving forward. So started to pack up. Skinny’d back into the wetsuit, layered over it with a rash guard and my windbreaker. A quick pause to cut the sleeves off to make for better paddling, and it was time to go.

When your board isn’t loaded with stuff - it is light and easy. But loaded? Getting it into the water takes consideration and planning. After a quick ask for help - it was back to paddling. Moving forward and pushing away cold thoughts for ones of finishing and seeing family in Port Townsend.

Somewhere along the shores of Bainbridge the sun was waking up. It was still hours before sunrise - but the beauty of nautical sunrise is emotional. Sitting in the waves and colors, thinking of my family, friends and all the encouragement from complete strangers. It was raw and humbling. At that moment I was so incredibly thankful to be healthy and able. I closed my eyes to relish in the movement of the water and the complete silence of the night. 

Even thinking about it now makes me want to run toward water and also turn away so as not to spoil the memory. 

CHOICE WORDS FOR CURRENTS

With the sun quickly lighting the sky - my hope was that warmth wasn’t too far behind. The original forecast was promising and during the planning phase of things, my 2ml spring suit was a logical choice. Now, hours in and frustratingly cold - that will have turned out to be a critical error in judgment. The sun brought very little warmth hidden behind overcast skies and breeze. 

Keep moving forward, was the echo in my head. Just keep pushing. Looking around I had no idea where I was. Always keep the shore to my left, but after awhile things started to look the same. There were occasional craft that would sneak into view. Friends of the sea, and fellow competitors. I’d follow them until they were too small to see any more.

The currents were mean. Really mean. And reading them at eye level can be a little tricky. Could feel my speed change with almost every stroke. 2 forward, 1 back. It became maddening. 

As a matter of principle - I try to keep my words fairly clean. Don’t always succeed and dang did I blow it. 

Drunk sailors would have blushed. @#$#%#$%@#$% you currents! You @#$#$#$%#$%#$ suck @#$!#%!$#%$%#$%#$%.#$%#$@%#$%#$%#$ 

I blame it on the cold. Sorry mom.

ANGELS

Shaking from the inside out forced another stop. The tide was low and the beach was easy to see. Getting to the sand I put my hand down into the water and grabbed the bottom. Working on getting energy to sit up, so as not to fall over and get even more wet.

Not quiet sure how I managed to get the board up the beach just a bit. Once satisfied that it was safe from any incoming waves or tide, I turned to the row of houses.

Quiet as could be. Not a soul around. At this point, it seemed completely logical to be a lizard. Rocks retain heat. Therefore - lay on rocks. It didn’t work.

Stumbling down the row of houses, a big deck stood out from the rest. Up the steps to see if anyone was home. 

Standing on the top step just at the edge of the deck, my hope was to look friendly and not wet, and insane. Some how that actually worked and the slider opened.

“You look like you need some help.” - His name is Brian. A kind smile and a soothing voice of a stranger who you know will end up being a new friend.

He quickly pulled up a chair just inside the door, and had me sit down. Managing my name between shakes and shivers - I told him about the race and how I found myself sitting there. He offered hot tea and waited patiently as my body calmed down a bit.

The tea was warm. Could feel it working. Slowing getting back to my normal self. Was very thankful that Brain was home.

Our conversation turned to a bit of life stuff as the second cup of tea took hold. I ask Brian how long he had lived there. He smiled and said - Oh, this isn’t my place. A good friend of mine let me stay for a bit. What a great friend I said.

Brian turned a bit and looked out the window. I just finished up treatments for Leukemia and am here resting and taking some time. I lost my wife 4 years ago to cancer. And it has been a bit of a rough patch. 

Wait. What?

(If you are wondering why this section is called Angels. A bit of brief history might help to make sense of it. In 2013 my wife had breast cancer and right on the heals of that lymphoma. A double dose. We were surrounded by wonderful family, friends and community. Monster and Sea was created to give back and help families dealing with cancer.) 

It took a while to process what he was saying. Having been in so many houses now with the words cancer as part of the conversation - it literally made the hair on my neck stand up. A random stretch of beach, in the middle of a paddle race, freezing and needing help and the only one home is Brian.

Angels. 

 

FRIENDS EVERYWHERE

After leaving Brians beach - I had a warm belly of tea, a hot water filled bottle down the back of my wetsuit, and renewed energy from a moment in time that will sit with me forever. 

Keep moving forward. Those familiar words, were back and paddling toward Kingston The media boat pulled up to say hello! 

Love this crew. They were awesome. Always full of smiles and very welcome encouragement. We talked about Presidents point (which in my frozen state I has thought was Point No Point.) They gently informed me that I wasn’t quite there yet.

After seeing the video feeds - the exchange about Presidents point was funny. I definitely didn’t like that president. (please don’t read anything political into it. Am solely referring to the point and the currents and the difficulty getting around it.)

Off went the boat, and forward. Just keep moving forward.

By now, all the competitors are well into sleep deprivation. It has a way of playing tricks on your mind. The prone is great, you have a chin pad on the front, so you can give your neck a break. I loaded mine up with two so it created a small space of comfort in the form of being able to lay my face on it. And at this moment it felt like my favorite pillow.

I nodded off. And fear was the alarm clock back to reality. Rolling into the water was a legitimate worry at this point. So, I pulled over again. Scrambled up the beach and crawled between two pieces of drift wood. Out like a light.

Not sure how long the cat nap was but it was just what the doctor ordered. Ate a peanut butter and avocado sandwich. Chugged down some warm water and got back after it.

I think I am going to make it! Rolled around in the thought soup. Never wanted to get to far ahead of myself - but could see the finishing dock in my head. Pulling that ticket would be so sweet.

Finally got to Point No Point. The beach was lined with kayaks, rowing shells and SUPs.Chris! Lance! Oh man am I glad to see you guys! 

We sat on the beach talking about the next section. The home stretch. In my head I was thinking - Gotta make this. Spending another night out in the changing weather would be rough. Gotta give this everything and get in. 

Outwardly though - was nervous but thankful to be setting out with Chris and Lance. The plan was to get there together. 

 

THE DEVIL IS ACTUALLY COLD

Just around corner of Point No Point the water was calm. Beautiful and clean. The kind of water that hasn’t shown its face since Colvos passage. It was fuel for the mental engine. 

The sky was big and looking over at Chris and Lance gliding along semi glassy water - it was stunning.

Just over to the left sat a big sort of naked looking bluff.  We were paddling toward it with the hopes of jumping into some current that would take us toward the channel into Port Townsend. 

Chris and Lance headed toward shore for a quick refuel and tape. Knowing that they would catch me, I kept pointed toward the bridge. But the weather had a mind of its own.

The wind kicked in, and old friend the @%#&*@^ current came back to visit. 

Keep moving forward.

Pig piled on top of all that - the temp started to drop. My face was close to the board and as I would breath, it was cold enough that shapes would form on the deck. They looked like cartoon ghosts. Funny ones, mean ones, faces looking back at me. Writing it sounds silly, but they were there. And it was cold. Really cold.

The bridge didn’t feel like it was getting any closer. I took a drink of water and was planning to eat a bit more food. Keep the fuel tank full. 

Puked. And started to shake worse than before.

The cold was starting to take over the decision making process.

In the distance I could see the media boat. Please, please, stay where you are. And I paddled toward it. Sort of a half hearted paddle, with everything I had left. Floating and holding on for dear life to the swim board - I remember a few things. The kind voices of crew asking me several times: Are you sure you want to call it. And my friend Chris pulling up saying I will stay with you and we can paddle in together.

Felt very loved in that moment. 

The time had come. Couldn’t out run the cold any longer.

I am sure. Call it in.

 

REFLECTION

There is something about the water and the people it attracts. Kind hearts, determination and the willingness to give freely and protect others.

Am so very fortunate to be part of this community and want to thank the crew at Seventy48 for brining this race to life, plucking me from the water and creating an adventure that will be etched into the walls of my memory forever.

 

#gobecauseyoucan

#seventy48

The Heart Always Wins.
 
As you get older your memory has a way of waking up and reminding you of things in the past. Many years ago as a new paddler I was at an event in the sign up line - nervous as all get out. Surrounded by years of experience and knowledge. Pretty sure I had a rookie sign tattooed to my forehead. 
As it came closer to my turn to sign the waver that says “you may die. And its not our fault if you do.” my ears caught the words “Cash only.” - Gah. Things were not looking promising. Mostly because - only had a card.
My turn and who should be sitting behind the table signing people in - Tran. I had never met her and as I started to tell my sob story about only having a card, and rookie and I’m a dork. She did the one thing I didn’t expect.
She smiled. Laughed and then turned around, reached into her bag and pulled out enough for my entry. “That should cover it. Go race! Have fun.”
Wait. What?
Today I rounded the corner and again saw the same smiling face I had met years ago. A bit more cautious and nervous than before - the line of racers were now doctors doing rounds and nurses checking in.
You see - the light that makes her smile bright - is having a bit of a rough go at the moment. Big words and procedures, tense moments and confusion. The word cancer. It has a way of trying to suck all the light out of you. 
But have you ever met Q?
Calm. Comforting. Determined. Focused. Oozing with so much aloha that when you enter the room you want to leave your slippers at the door and stay for awhile. Talk story and dream of paddling adventures. 
We shake hands - howzit?
You can see the spark in his eyes. Even the one with a patch. Q answers “when I can get this pain stuff figured out, it will be good.” - it was mater of fact. Not if. But when. 
It is almost like you could hear his heart saying to his brain - “why don’t you rest a spell and let me do the thinking for this next little bit.”
I glanced over at Tran and you could see as Q talked - that light that makes her smile is shining brighter than ever.
Q >C
WHIPLASH
You think to yourself - no problem. If someone hauled off and punched me right in the mouth - I could take it. My head might snap back a little and I might get a little dizzy but - go ahead, give it your best shot.
And then it happens. You know its coming but you don’t see it. Your chin is the first to feel it. The bare knuckle disquised in the words mild disease progression in 1 lymphnode. It digs into your skin and pushes your lip deep into your teeth. All the reflex muscles in your face react at once. Eyes close, nostrils flair to suck in as much air as possible and all goes quiet.
The dull pain in the back of your head snaps your eyes open and in that moment you have a decision.
Shake it off and fight like hell or run.
If you are Jim Brown you only know one way to answer. His first line treatment paired with his lust for life and perseverance has carried him to this point. Defying odds and taking names. 
Now he is stepping to the second line. As an athlete and firefighter there is no quit and the only option of running - is to stay in shape.
He signs off every update with
I am a warrior.
I am the exception.
I am a thriver.
I choose the miracle.
Hold fast Jim Brown. Hold fast.
All it takes is a spark.
The 24.

A very single minded grassroots goal: Do what you love to inspire your community to help families dealing with cancer. To prove the idea the 24 was born. A relay team of 6 paddlers, out on the water for 24 hours, surrounded by their community cheering them on.
Results so far - 
Year one: $7,000.00 which meant 7 families each received envelopes with $1,000.00 and an note saying: There is a community of people who love you and are fighting for you.
What started as a crazy idea has turned into an organic movement, with friends offering to spread the word and create their own event in the places they call home.
Year two: 7 teams in 7 cities across the U.S and Canada all paddling for their community. In total we raised $48,000.00 which equals a lot of envelopes and cards.
Which brings us to year three. 14 teams / cities and growing. Paddlers of all kinds. SUP, OC, Prone.
This simple idea is very special and as one person it is difficult to make a difference - but as a community - that is where it gets fun and where we truly make an impact. Starting Monster and Sea has been a wonderful journey. And the community has grown organically around our tag #gobecauseyoucan. Paddlers, runners, skiers, snowboarders, skaters, travelers - 23,000+ of you who understand how fragile life is. And how important it is to pursue life to the fullest and give back to those who can’t.
To give you an idea of the impact a simple idea has. This note was left under a windshield because the car had a Monster and Sea sticker.
A few months ago I had a chat with Jen. Her father had just died from cancer and she wanted to throw her energy into our cause.  Over dinner we talked about how this disease throws your life into chaos, how it changes you and provides the gift of clarity you often can find on any given day.  But we also talked about how to build on the 24, how we could encourage and enable people who live #gobecauseyoucan and want to give back. We don't have it all figured out yet but we are committed to experimenting. 
This is where you come in.
The first experiment will happen on 4/15 in San Francisco, as the first non SUP M&S event.
This time it will be a run...maybe on trails, maybe down a coast. 12 runners, over 12 hours. Details are still coming together and if you live there, email Jen to give her a hand (Jennreddy27@gmail.com).  She's in the process of pulling this together and would love to have you jump in.
The goal is to see what we can do and create a blueprint for others to take this concept and make it their own. Nothing fancy, or complicated. 
Rally your friends - do what you love for the benefit of families who are dealing with the wrecking ball of cancer.  
Lets see if this little spark of an idea can catch fire.
  • SPEED
  • Troy Nebeker
SPEED
For just a moment - close your eyes and think about the best hug you have ever received. Giant Baloo the bear style - warm, safe and leaving you feeling all is right with the world.
That’s what it is like to walk in the door at the Burke house. Surrounded by the treasures of life, it is a wonderful thing to see your friend openly love on his family. The boys shuffled down the hall, yawning and working out the kinks from a long but not long enough nights sleep. 
I had my back to them but couldn’t help but notice how Deans eyes brightened as they rounded the corner. Conversations started but were quickly shut down - arms open wide - hugs and good morning I love you’s were first priority. 
As we sat and talked story about our sunrise paddle - my mind sort of had many of our other conversations on replay. Our kids and how fast the time goes. When they are born you are well outside your comfort zone. Driving 2 mph home from the hospital cursing humanity around you for their lead footed ways. Blink and they go from that double hand around the neck hug - (you know the kind - those little hands patting the back of your neck.) To wanting you to walk just a few steps behind as they head off to school.  Then blink again and 18 shows up. It is sort of like a kick in the gut you can see coming. 
Where does it go? Time. It goes so fast. 
Dad. I love you.
I love you too my boy.
See you tonight after work.
I’ll wait up.
YOUNG AND BULLET PROOF
16, 18, 21. All hallmark years that are forever etched in your memory. My first car was a 1974 Super Beatle, metallic green. Can still smell the motor. It carried me to college where my actions were truly my own. Almost. Still had the distant safety net of home - but didn’t want it any more. Then came adult time. A right of passage of sorts. You are now looking at the world with wider eyes. Wondering what will be next.
Cancer has a way of tossing a wrench in things. More like a wrecking ball if you want to really get down to it. Difficult to face at any age - but as a young adult - to have your resolve abused and put to the ultimate test. It can break you.
But only if you let it.
Dori has a sparkle in her eyes. Bright and beyond her years. She has a quick smile and a thoughtfulness to her answers that only comes from someone who has been down some dark roads. To hear her say “the scariest part of my diagnosis was the doctors sort of expected me to die” - it shook me to the core. Such a matter of fact statement coming across the table. But true to that sparkle - Dori added “before they knew me.”
This was her 21. Wondering what will be next. 
Cancer and the doctors underestimated who they were getting to know. 
“Without the knowledge I have now I probably wouldn’t be writing this. I didn’t realize it at the time but my body was more afraid of chemo than the cancer. They continued anyways, they used a chemo that was meant to kill every cell in my body without killing me in the process. They killed a lot of good cells but the bad still remained.
Since that day they told me there was nothing left to be done. Since that day they told me I should just keep doing more chemo. I remember in that moment thinking - I am determined to prove them wrong. I wasn’t going to die. - not on my watch.
I was able to control my diet and with supplements I worked hard to reverse everything. When I tell this to random doctors and nurses they act shocked, it makes me laugh. It’s so simple it’s stupid. You cut out cancers food supply, (sugar)  - you cut out the cancer. And with my type of blood cancer - it worked.”
AN ATHLETES MIND.
Knowing how to suffer is a badge of honor in the sports arena. Pushing your body to the limit and then asking more. Basically, you get used to being an exhausted sometimes vomiting mess. All in the name of getting better, faster and stronger. 
Minus the badge of “athlete" - this isn’t much different than becoming a survivor. Sports helped Dori to understand her body and how hard it could be pushed. The love for the outdoors kept her going.
“Cancer free,’ I’ve heard that twice during the last two years and have gone through 5 different chemo treatments since then. Is there really such a thing as cancer free? It’s the main struggle everyone battling cancer thinks about at one point or another. Being able to live life, and hopefully enjoy life, to the fullest.
Every time I feel a bump or have my lymph nodes swell, my heart sinks. Even if it’s not cancerous you always have that thought in the back of your mind no matter how many people tell you to think positive or how may prayers go out. Just living every day to the fullest is at the same time the most corny and yet the truest thing I’ve learned.
Genuine love and experience with people I love is what matters most. I don’t like the dated stereotype where everyone who has cancer has to look sick or can’t move. That’s why I haven’t limited myself based on what people think I should do or how a “cancer patient” should act. Most of society has no idea what it’s like and that’s a blessing. Every day is different, some days I feel like my old self and other days I feel like I got hit by a bus - but the one thing I refuse to let cancer take away from me is my passion to live. I’m not going to let it take away any life goals or traveling or having fun with friends or being the person I want to be; the goals most take for granted.
Everyone has their opinion on how everyone else should live their lives but I’m focusing on making myself the best version of me I can be. I don’t want to be treated like anything other than what I am. A determined, sarcastic, strong willed, caring person that knows her purpose in this life - and that is to live it to its fullest.
And that’s all I gotta say about that.” ~ Dori
SILVER LININGS 
Knowing who you are now - would you change things? This is one of those hypothetical questions that can be sort of hokey. No one in their right mind is going to answer - I love cancer and wouldn’t change a thing. 
But with the ability to look at life through the lens of life changing circumstances - I will leave you with three things.
“Cancer has really changed me. It is much less about me and is now about finding purpose to help other young adults dealing with the same issues and challenges.”
“My heart has connected with so many incredible people, the thing I’m most thankful for is everyone’s amazing will to live life and not just survive. There’s nothing more motivational than to see someone who has had a harder time but still has more will to live than any other person I know. My heart will always be with every single one of them, and for that I am greatful.”
Be quick to smile, search for the sparkle in peoples eyes, give till you can’t anymore and then give more.
Go because you can.
Thank you Dori for an inspiring afternoon.
If you have the opportunity and would like to help Dori help others have a look:
https://support.firstdescents.org/fundraise?fcid=844037
A day trip is good for the noggin

Life is one of those things that adds up after awhile. Little bits of weight that if left unchecked can pile into a crushing amount.

An angry exchange with a stranger, can't find your keys for the 300th time, car won't start, sure wish I could find a job, more month than money, all I wanted was a Pepsi - eventually you crack. 

Then a wonderful thing happens - the text machine fires up and your friends say "lets hit the coast!" The waves may or may not be firing - but who cares, let's go any way - shed some weight.

Such was the case this weekend. Loaded up the truck and hit the road. A few hours later, pulled into the parking lot and spied the familiar smile of a good friend.  Have learned a lot from him over the years - how to read the water, paddle straight, try new things like prone and be reminded of the joy of young kids as he raises his little boy.

Now if you have spent some time in the PNW, especially in the long winter months - you pretty much expect rain. It just comes with the territory. Sometimes its a mist, but as luck would have it - pitch black and dumping were in the cards. We set up camp and lights out.

6:30 a.m came quicker than expected and a knock, knock on the window - followed by a half asleep search for the unlock button - followed by the car alarm (sorry about that other campers) and we were off for surf check.

Earlier in the week some sweet shots were posted of the same place - and in the back of your mind you are always secretly hoping that the surf decided to hang around for you. "You shoulda been here yesterday" quickly filled the eyeballs. Nuthin.

Back down the road only to be met by a big white truck driving down the middle - forcing a stop. Down goes the window - "Howdy partner - seems you were staying at the camp ground and left without paying." my reply - "Good morning! Nice to see you. We came in late last night - had a lovely talk with the night camp host (paid our money - its in the slot) and also told her we were going to adventure out for an early surf check. There was nothing so we are headed back." As good fortune would have it - standing in the office to clarify what we had just told the fine gentleman in the truck - the phone rang and it was the night host. Our story checked out. 

The waves were a bit messy and all over the place but being out in it - and surrounded by fellow crazies makes for good fun. It is a wonderful thing, a dose of salt water and smiles from the line up - and all that weight that was heavy just a day before - gone, gone.

 

 

  • Peace
  • Troy Nebeker
Peace

Everyone has that one place to duck and cover from chaos. For me it happens to be the water. Grabbing a board of choice or just finding a patch of sand to sit - there is something about how it calms all the senses. The sounds replacing fear, the smell replacing doubt, how when you step in—everything else just seems to go by the wayside. 

My hope for you today is that if things are crazy - grab your family, your friends and disappear to your place.

On the horizon

Dear friends of the sea,

It has been awhile since I have written here. The biggest reason for the gap is really trying to make sure to stick to our rally cry of "Go Because You Can."

Those simple words have a way of kicking you out the door and making sure the things you enjoy are high on the priority list. Family, friends, adventures. With out these things, life can get a bit overwhelming.

In the coming months some wonderful things are planned all with the goal of taking that idea to the next level. Inspiring you to go and to help families who are dealing with the wrecking ball of cancer.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Troy

 

You are not alone.

What does a conversation sound like when it becomes heavy? For me it was like water filling my ears. That slow burn where things become muffled and words drown out the deeper you go. You can hear your own heart beat become irregular - boom, boom, skip, silence --- Boom.

Honey I have cancer. Like screaming underwater - you can hear what your wife is saying but does anyone else? The world seems to roll on by like nothing is happening. It is very confusing, stressful and terrifying.

If you have heard those words know that you are not alone. Make a phone call. Send an email. Count on your friends, family and faith. Reach out.

You will be surprised who takes your hand and says - Let's get through this together.

 

We hear you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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