Lunar Eclipse Dec 21, 2010

The full eclipse of the moon last night was amazing. As an added bonus there were at least 3 amazing shooting stars! One with a huge smoke trail. Hopefully someone out there got an image of the moon with the shooting stars. The bright shooting stars even occurred right around 2:41am when many websites and news orgs had recommended people on the East Coast take a look at the eclipse. If the eclipse and shooting stars were not enough Venus made a very dramatic rise over the ocean early in the morning. Check out a few images below.

Venus rises over the Atlantic Ocean.

This is a fish eye view of the full eclipse. The sky grew very dark except for light pollution from nearby Wilmington.

Here is a view of both sides of the moon while the eclipse was taking place. Makes you wonder what it would look like from the surface of the Moon, or what the Moon would have looked like if it were fully eclipsed by the Earth and you were viewing it from the International Space Station.

Here is a shot of the Moon totally eclipsed by the Earth.


Gallery wrap print in its new home.

Check out this print in its new home. So excited to have sold my first print out of South End Surf shop!

A gallery wrap 24X36 inches of my photo "Crystal Swell" amongst a few other pieces of art.

Tony Silvagni Surf School Slideshow

It was a great year at the Tony Silvagni Surf School here are photo highlights from the year!


PR 2010

PR 2010

Nov 16th

Ah departure day. We woke up well rested and with days of home cooked meals in our bellies at Kate's folk's house in CLT. It was still dark and cold out, but it always is with early morning departures in the winter time. Something about a tropical destination when it's cold out just feels right. A quick run to the airport had us there with plenty of time. Everything took an immediate turn for the worse when Delta was kind enough to inform me that their baggage policy was actually insane. 200$ each way for the surfboard. Keep in mind my ticket cost less each way. Yeah, that's how dumb they are. I had to unpack everything from the board bag, rip out a stuff sack from my backpack, rearrange everything on the airport floor and repack it, then check my backpack. Kate's dad was able to come back and take the pole spears, surfboard, boogie, and bag for us. That out of the way we boarded our flight without a problem 2 hours later. At this point we were already hungry but surely we would have time to get food in Atlanta. Nope. It was straight from one plane and literally onto the other. They were nice to offer us food on the next flight for 5$ however they ran out by the time they arrived at our seats. Four hours. two cookies, and a half can of pringles later we arrived in Puerto Rico and immediately paid the absurd 10$ for a sandwich. Truthfully all of that was kind of fun for me though it may sound like hardship. Something about traveling has always excited me no matter what the obstacles were.

We got all our gear and secured our rental car. (Kia Rio). It was small but perfect for our needs and even ran well once the brakes stopped locking up after the first few miles each day. The two of us zipped straight out of San Juan to head for the east coast. Upon arrival at our desired campground near the city of Luquillo it was thirty minutes past closing. We trudged in the beach area and found two park rangers. One was about 250 and the other smaller, but with enough poundage in makeup and hair grease to match the other's unattractiveness. Both were enjoying a cigarette break next to their four wheelers and it didn't seem like anything was going on. This lead me to the assumption that it would be no difficulty for them to cut us a break and let us stay there as we intended. Closed. It was like a solid steel door. Any effort beyond sitting and smoking and talking was going to be too much for them. They did however recommend a place for us to stay! Las Palmas Inn just down the road. Defeated we ate at some overpriced Peruvian restaurant and headed to the Inn. When we finally found the sign for the place off the main highway it had a nice little slogan: “La Ruta Del Amor” Wow, I thought, this place is going to be great, that's a kinda strange slogan though and only 25$ for eight hours. That seemed like a strange amount of time to both of us as we traveled down the dark back roads to the Inn. Upon arrival the place was well groomed but dark. Strangely each room seemed to have a garage below it like a condo and all of them looked as if someone had thrown rocks through the doors. Some lady outside immediately started yelling “Touristas! Touristas!” when we pulled up. It was more apparent than ever as the lady came in sight that we were definitely at some shady brothel/secret hookup hotel. Wow park ranger lady, thanks. We reasoned that it would be in our best interest to head out of the area, quickly.

We continued down the road to Fajardo and drove through its windy streets following a blue and white sign with a bed on it and an arrow pointing one way or the other much as a zombie would follow a survivor. Arriving at a place called the Fajardo Inn we were mesmerized by the clean stucco building and well lit area. The place was legit and probably out of our price range. Kate walked in and asked what their lowest rate was. Out of some miracle of kindness, and probably because they had so many empty rooms at that time of year Kate was able to negotiate it down to 70$ for the night. A price I was more than willing to accept. We had a comfortable, safe, place to sleep with hot water, TV, A/C, and even a coffee maker. As a steamy pile of poo is to a perfect diamond the Las Palmas Inn is to the Fajardo Inn.

Nov 17th

We awoke to the sound of tropical birds outside. It was about 75 degrees out. We decided to investigate the ferry docks to see if we could acquire passage to Isla Culebra just off the coast. The ferry area was dead, probably in between ferries at the time, and a nice little place called Cafe Deliciouso was open for business with a nice sea breeze coming through the open windows. We walked in and got two jamon, huevos y queso sandwiches and fresh cafe. The bread they used was fresh baked that day and at 3.25$ it was finally the kind of price we were looking for. Extremely satisfied we utilized acquired information to find the “short lady” who directed us to sign our names in a guest book then knocked on a locked door to the ferry office where an official helped us book a round trip ticket for the next day. We were extremely happy because we had read that getting a ferry ticket for a car round trip would need to be done about two weeks in advance. With that set up we focused on finding provisions for the next four days camping on Isla Culebra and finding another camp ground for the night in the Fajardo area. A trip to the local Amigo food store had us fully loaded with hot dogs, camping chairs, honey and peanut butter sandwiches, water, cereal and immortal box milk, soups, green beans, and lots of other goodies like choc soy milk. Next we moved on to a campsite/beach to figure out where we would sleep that night. Another source who will only be known as “La Pimpa” a local cab driver at the ferry dock told us that at this particular campground/beach we could set up our tent late in the day and break down early and avoid paying the ridiculous 10$ per tent two night minimum fee. It seemed a little unfair since we were only staying one night. The beach seemed fine and we found free parking (lots of parking in PR costs 5$ per day) thanks to the gate guard at the pay parking. After a quick scout and a rain shower we grabbed a small bite to eat at a local restaurant on the edge of the road there. There were actually lifeguards on this beach for some reason with nice lifeguard stands. All the sand was covered in debris and seaweed from the recent hurricane Thomas which had also fogged up the waters. We decided to wait till closing to set up camp and took to an adventure until then. At the end of the beach was a rocky shoreline that was mostly impassable but a trail lead off into the jungle there so we just stared walking. Twenty minutes and one butterfly attack later we were at a beach around the corner, back on the trail and another ten minutes through atomic big claw swamp and we were at yet another beach. In total we saw two people. Finally after a hike down another beach we came back to some sort of civilization and turned back. Half way back and down the beach a ways I just happened to look up and glimpse a human form leap back into the palm trees and brush. Strangely it seemed as if the person had been all of one uniform color which of course I reasoned meant naked. We walked up and just before our arrival at the spot I had seen the person jump into two young men walk out chatting loudly wearing banana hammocks. They quickly submerged themselves into the water up to their waists and pretended like nothing was at all the matter. Which it wasn't really. Just odd. And also, yeah, some excited bananas. Gross. So we continued on back home with one stop to tear open a coconut and drink it. We rinsed off in the outside showers just after the beach closed down and the lifeguards left. After a short patrol from the park ranger we grabbed our gear and began setting up camp. I thought I had found the perfect place away from bugs but a mound of dirt under a tree turned out to be fire ants when I stepped in it. I killed as many as I could but still got about ten bites on my foot. Kate and I scrambled to move the tent and tarp while I complained a lot as the bites worsened. We cooked some hotdogs over coals and I laid down on my thermarest as it deflated below me onto the hard ground just after dark feet on fire. After a bit of calm night and bug sounds we hear and see the park ranger creep by on his golf cart staring at our tent. He did not disturb us however. After a bit longer it was time for the bars to get out and naturally you want to take a walk on the beach and yell and cheer in the water at night. Afterwords it's nice to enjoy each others company, loudly, in the lifeguard tower. nearest to Kate and I's tent. Though when some other couple walks by you quiet down for a few minutes. Around midnight we finally got some quiet and sleep.
Nov 18th

About 5am the old folks of the area take their morning walks and chat vigorously about whatever. This is good though because we had to pack up and get to the ferry. We decided that we needed another dose of Cafe Deliciouso and grabbed another breakfast before the 9am departure. As the ferry arrived chaos ensued. Cars flew around and jockeyed for position. As trucks pulled off they each bottomed out and scraped off the metal ramp. Visions of returning the rental car with a missing bumper danced through my head. When I worked my way in I backed the car parallel to the ramp and then slowly swung it on without a hiccup feeling very good about myself. The 2 hour ride to Culebra was a bit rolly but otherwise uneventful. As we pulled into port the island blocked the wind and we could see straight to the bottom of blue Caribbean waters. The rental car made it off the ferry easily and we made our way to Playa Flamenco. Henry, the campground manager, shouted “Welcome to Culebra!!” and threw both hands in the air as we walked into the office. He gave us advice on the best camp sites, told us how to walk a trail to the best snorkeling and tons of other information about the area. We were quickly aware that this campground was the best in all of Puerto Rico. Showers, clean bathrooms that flushed, areas to make fires and cook, campsites five steps from the beach, and fairly secure and away from other people. We set up camp, and found the WWII style tanks in a ruined state on the sand right near our tent. The rest of the day was spent hiking the beach as far as we could go. We got to cooking a little to late and had to battle a few mosquitoes for dinner but the sea breeze gave us a bug free place to sit and eat on a fallen palm tree. With only a few more fire ant bites, mosquitoes, and begging feral cats to make things interesting we got to bed early as always seems to happen when camping.

Nov 19th.

We woke up with first light and a fire and hot water for coffee. Some cereal and coffee on an empty tropical beach were the perfect start to the day. After cleaning the dishes in the taps of the giant water barrels provided we grabbed our snorkeling gear and headed to the path Henry told us about. It was at the end of the dirt parking lot and under a gap in a chain linked fence. Immediately the mosquitoes attacked and sent us jogging up the rocky dirt trail. The jungle was on each side smacking us as we went along. Some trees offered ½ inch thorns under their fern like leaves. We finally broke into a windy area and walked up to the peak of the trail at the top of a small hill. As we descended a deer bolted down the trail bounding ahead of us leading the way. We came to the end of the trail to a beach called Carlos Rosario and hid our sandals in some brush as we geared up to snorkel. There was nobody around as far as we could see. The only sign of man was the path we came in on and some mooring buoys just off the beach. We slid into the clear blue water and worked our way out. Unfortunately Kate's mask started fogging up right away. We swam for a while until she got too frustrated to continue. I was seeing all these amazing fish and coral heads, yellow tail snapper, blue parrot fish, puffers, tiny aquarium fish, colorful corals, and she was seeing nothing. We got back to the beach and I worked her problem out then we got back in heading the other direction that we had not been to yet. This time it was coral head right up to a sand flats. On the other side of the sand was a grassland. We dove down no more than 15 feet to the bottom, most of the time 8 or 10 feet and looked under the ledges finding all sorts of fish. One held a huge 10-20lb snapper of some sort just chilling with a smaller 6lb snapper for a friend. After that a spotted eagle ray coasted by and on the return to the beach we headed over the grasslands and spotted our first sea turtle. We approached but he flapped away a little wary of our excitement. By then it had been about two hours and we were ready for some lunch so we headed back down the trail to camp. After a quick honey and peanut butter sandwich we walked down the beach to find occasional head high surf hitting the beach. It was a giant closeout but we put on our swim fins and rode a few waves for a while. By then it was time for dinner so we went back to camp and prepared a meal over the fire again and enjoyed it on our favorite palm tree.


Good morning mosquitoes. The little guys love to latch onto our tent on the leeward side and await our morning ritual of fire making and breakfast. Our new no kitty camp discipline of folding up our folding chairs each time we leave camp and a strict no feed policy has earned us a reputation amongst the Ferals that our camp is no free ride. They have since moved on to more fertile begging grounds. That only leaves memorizing the location of each fire ant nest between common destinations such as toilets, showers, beach, table, cooking area, etc. Again we headed back to snorkel the waters of Carlos Rosario. Sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, and many more juicy looking alternatives greeted us again for another two hour session. After lunch we jumped in the rental car to explore some places on the map. Our first trip was down the road and to a place called Zoni Beach. The guide book we brought along suggested waves could be found there. Not in this case. It was windy and empty but a fun hike over the rocks around the beach area made it worth while. After that we headed to a place called solitude point. Once parked we had to hike down a dirt road the rental car could not handle. At the beach it was more cobble stones and sand. Not a person in sight, we worked our way into the water. It was a totally different scene than previous snorkeling. The bright colors of the reef were gone, the corals, and the friendly fish. Here was a series of rock ledges and brown or gray corals that made for a more ominous feeling with about 15 feet of viability. Off in the distance lurked creatures of unknown size and temperament but only in our minds. A few coral growing schemes loomed out of the water as we searched around for life. It seems someone is trying to regrow the reef there. Back closer to shore I began looking under the edges of the large flat rocks on the bottom and began seeing some small tropical shrimps and the feelers of a lobster too. After a longer swim out I noticed even more ledges and finally found where all the fish had been hiding. The evidence of sinker weights and hooks and mono on the bottom signaled this area as a fishing ground. With no spear to speak of I worked my way around enjoying imagining catching all the yummy things I saw. That lobster was on my mind but a stubborn sea urchin was not about to move for me to reach in and give him a try. Back at camp Kate went for a run and I decided to try the snorkeling are at Playa Flemenco. It was choppy there every day and the snorkeling was close to shore so I thought it would be fine and easy but not very clear. I was surprised to get some decent visibility but a cloudiness made it creepy and the sun was getting low. I hugged the reef wall as I progressed not twenty yards from shore and it began dropping down to where I could barely see the bottom. Finally it vanished and a strange sensation of being trapped from land by the shallow reef came over me. I continued down driving an increasingly larger number of fish ahead of me as I encountered them. From time to time I dove down to find the bottom again to maintain some feeling of perspective. After a short bit a finger of sand bent off into the reef making a sort of enclosed canyon. I followed above it to where it dead ended and swam down to find a large hole. Back at the beginning I took a nice breath and swam up the canyon and out the other side. The swim through was easy but a nice surprise after the creepy solo swim so far. After a couple more times through I continued down the reef parallel to the beach. It got deeper and darker causing me to increase my pace. I could glance up occasionally and see the channel in the reef just ahead. I pretty much powered out of there feeling naked without a trusty spear in hand and nobody around watching my back. Finally back on the sand my heart was racing and I walked up the beach thinking about doing it again.

Nov 21st

The day before I went all day without a fire ant bite. Today was the same story and there has not been a kitty sighting near our camp. This good luck just reminded me of the 5$ bill Kate and I found on the beach. We used it to get pina coladas at one of the beach vendors who are set up at the parking lot. Another trip to Carlos Rosario with the Go Pro camera attached to a piece of bamboo yielded some great shots of the reef and a Caribbean blue spotted flounder. We even tried another spot around the corner but it was just not the same. Not as much life and deeper waters without the grasslands. After a nice chat with Henry at the main office area he randomly let us stay in the camp for free for our last night. I guess he just liked us. After lunch I took Kate out at the Playa Flamenco snorkeling area. We managed the swim through and both got cut up on the reef. She was a bit too nervous after that and we swam back the short way to the beach. It was pretty hard to do, but we packed up as much of our gear as we could. That night it rained on and off. Our tent was set up on a small 6X6 tarp, no rain fly, and under an 8X12 tarp. It was just a bit too high up for the wind and rain on one side so I had to get out at night and stake it down.

Nov 22nd

5am. We woke up and got busy packing everything inside the tent as best we could. Next it was time to open up the tent and break camp. We tried to plan it out well and it went pretty smoothly except the tarps both ended up bunched and full of sand and debris. A good wind was blowing and cool temperatures kept the mosquitoes away. Or we just never saw them. It was a single awkward trip with all our gear that was left but we waddled down the sandy path through the camp in the dark with minimal hassle. Then it started to rain. And then it began to pour. I stopped for a brief second on a covered bench as Kate trudged onward to the rental. A few seconds later and I caught up to her with the rain just a drizzle. We piled and stuffed ourselves in the car and headed to the ferry. It was still dark when we arrived and the usual melee was at hand. It's fun when cars park on both sides of a one and a half lane street and a tanker truck is trying to get off the ferry. As light broke I managed to get on the ferry without too much trouble. We stood off to the side as other passengers loaded their vehicles. One lady in a FJ cruiser, not a common sight on Culebra, flicked her cigarette almost hitting a ferry worker, grabbed the wheel with both hands, gritted her teeth, shouted something inaudible, and reversed straight at the ferry. Upon impact and with generous speed her vehicle bounced up the ramp. In some sort of miracle she did not bottom out but practically brought all four tires off the ground at once. The dog inside probably experienced zero G for a few seconds. Riding back to the main island was uneventful and Cafe Deliciouso was waiting for us on the other side. We quickly decided on staying back in the Fajardo Inn if we could get the same rate as last time. Naturally they agreed. After unloading our gear we decided to check out the nearby El Yunque National Forest. Upon arriving in the parking lot we were greeted by a flat tire. I was equally impressed by the three lug nuts our four lug nut wheel had on it as I changed it out for the doughnut. The people at the Inn recommended a gas station nearby to get it worked on. We arrived and the two guys there patched it up in about twenty minutes and gave us a lug nut all for 6 bucks. Next we headed to El Yunque and immediately got lost. The roads are very poorly labeled and after a tourist trap area we went down the wrong road about ten miles before turning around and finally going the right way. Up the mountain the road became nicer identifying it as a tourist hotspot. We arrived at La Coca falls to find a number of people standing at the roadside attraction. The falls were sort of unimpressive seeing as how a road got us there. Further up and we decided to hike a short trail to another water fall called La Mina falls. Apparently people swim there all the time at the base of the falls. The trek down was wet and sometimes slippery. Kate started running a bit so obviously I had to as well. We had to stop a lot for tons of people to pass by. It was kind of a trap there. After about ten minutes of walk jog stop jog walk we arrived to find some rather loud people with companions on shore taking photos. It was a bit lame. Maybe if no one was there it could be fun but with a crowd of pasty people climbing all about and onlookers taking photos it seemed like it wasn't worth getting wet over. We ran back up the trail dodging the wet spots and slowing down for steps or too steep areas. By the end my legs were burning and my lungs were screaming for more air. It was pretty fun jogging through a rain forest even with all the people we had to dodge and wait for. Back at the hotel we decided to check out the pool area. It was some thing called Coco's Place. Down one hill we came over another small hill and looked down. It was a giant pool with water slide, lap pool, wet bar, tropical birds, play ground, tennis courts, mini soccer field, and put put golf. There was nobody around except one guy swimming alone. Not even wait staff worked there at the time of year. We explored a bit then rode the slide for a while enjoying it all to ourselves.

Nov 23rd

Another comfy night in the Fajardo Inn and we were ready to go. Today we prepared PB& Honey ahead of time and headed to El Yunque with jackets, food, and light packs of gear and water for the day. After a bit of searching we found the trail we were looking for Bano de Oro. I guess it means golden bath but I think it was more like golden toilet. We walked up an empty trail to connect to the main trail. Along the way we had to cross a bridge which was overrun with water from the previous day's rain. It was only about five minutes before we hooked up with the main trail after that. It was a mix of concrete path and gravel with covered benches in the jungle every .2k or so. After a wile the concrete ended and we were left with mud, rocks, and dirt. It was fairly easy going with not much incline. After a longer while of moving through the jungle we came to an intersection in the trails and the covered bench stops ended. So far we had seen no animals except snails on trees and not a single person. Higher up and the jungle changed to some different type and clouds moved in on the trail. The misty route was awesome and sometimes gave way to clear skies and views out over the mountains. After a brief stop we were finally passed by three people. A few minutes later we passed them again and made the summit. The top was not exactly what I was expecting. Think large antennas and concrete buildings for maintaining radio, TV, cell towers, etc. At the very peak was a small fort like structure that looked old but was covered in graffiti from local boy scout troops and delinquents alike. We worked our way down a bit along a forest road to a sign that pointed out a small trail to a rock outcropping nearby. After a long search for the trail in the wrong direction we finally decided the sign had to be near the path. Also near the sign was a large concrete microwave station. We looked around behind it to find some cinder block stairs going down and overgrown. Down the step was the path and the jungle became some kind of weird dwarf bent trees. At the end of the short yard trail was a steep climb up a few rocks that required actual climbing. At the top was an empty rocky and mossy area with a vertical cliff face on three sides. As we sat high up surrounded by mist and clouds cool wind whipped by trying to steal my hat. As we sat and enjoyed our sandwiches the clouds broke and the sun began to warm us. The hole in the sky drifted off quickly and began to reveal the true height of the rocks and a view all the way down to the blue Caribbean waters. A perfect end to an easy day hike we carefully climbed back down the rocks and gave it a jog walk back down the trail to the car through the jungle. At the car I finally saw a cool animal. A purple and blue humming bird was working its way down the flowers of a nearby bush but was way too fast to photograph. We left the park with perfect timing about an hour before closing. Down in town we stopped in a tourist trap to look at some local art which was fairly nice but too expensive. Back in the hotel we splurged on a huge plate of chicken nachos which were pretty amazing and there was even a nice local hot sauce to go with the unique flavor of the chicken.

Nov 24th

A lazy morning arrived and we checked out heading down the street to a local bakery for breakfast. We immediately wished we had been eating there every morning. Back in the car we began a long drive to the opposite corner of Puerto Rico. The windy roads often left little room for two cars and no center line meant people were always pushing the boundaries. We traveled over cliffs, through flats, next to beaches and took a break for lunch in the city of Ponce. The place in the guide book for food didn't exist any more and we ate at some overpriced tourist trap before heading out of town. It was about 3pm when we rolled into La Parguera a town known for excellent diving, mangroves, and a bio luminescent bay. The first place we tried to stay was in shambles undergoing some kind of renovations. The next place wanted 100$ for the night. Finally we got to a sort of run down guest house that was trying to get an absurd amount at 80$. This was no Fajardo Inn. Kate finally argued them down a bit but it was still way too overpriced to stay there more than a night. The accommodations were not that great and nobody was in the place so you would have thought they would have taken whatever they could get. We checked out the map and noticed that there were no beaches in town so we decided to drive about ten miles to a beach nearby. It was a weird drive through the country and then a small town. Goats were in the road and it made turns without any signs to say we were going the right way. After a bit we were at a calm beach with the sun going down. We just kind of milled about and went back to the guest house. We walked around town trying to decide what to do thinking the bio bay would be lame since we get bio luminescent algae at home. After a bit of looking around and finding the cheapest food we could, some gross fried bread stuff, we walked by a tour operator. She started selling us right away on the bio bay and it was only 6$ a person for a boat ride and she said we could swim in it. I figured it was something to do instead of having the place be a total waste of time and money. We went to the guest house and changed clothes, then made out way over to the dock at the appointed time. The moon had not come up yet and the dim dock lights lit up the shallows where small fish played. A few other people were waiting too and Kate and I were both wondering where they came from since the town seemed so empty. After a bit longer about thirty people came out of the woodwork to join our little tour. Almost all of them were Puerto Ricans and they seemed to be a large family. The tour operators finally showed up and one young girl immediately began crying. She was so scared of the boat and her family started laughing at her. It was pretty funny and the boat itself was fine but the family kept joking about how the boat was too full and would probably flip. It was listing to one side with a few of them being rounder than tall. We puttered through the darkness with running lights on heading past moored boats and mangroves. After a while we entered a small area between mangroves. It was weird but we could see houses close by and a few street lights. As I looked at the bow wake it seemed to glow a bit but I could not tell if it was light from the street lights or algae. Finally we arrived and dropped anchor. A man from the boat company zipped up his spring suite and hopped in. His splash was amazing! Not just a few green twinkles but a giant green glob of water surged out. He swam all around the boat and each stroke of his arms and legs lit up the water like a glow stick had been poured out of his hands. Kate and I were getting restless thinking only about how we were promised we could jump in ourselves. I think they were checking for jellyfish and after a bit the captain gave us the go ahead and we hopped in the water along with a few other people. For awhile Kate was just swimming around and showing off for the kids splashing up the water as much as she could. When I swam by underwater a guy on the boat said it looked like a glowing sea turtle was underwater. So worth the 6$ I was having a great time and then Kate got annihilated. A jellyfish got her in the face, down her arm, and then across her knee. Not good. And with the almost total darkness there was no way to have seen it or to even see where it went. I managed to get out unscathed and I guess everyone else did too but that was not the best way to end the swim or the day.

Nov 25th

We packed up around 6am still waking up everyday on a campers schedule. Hopped in the car and headed a few miles down the road to Cabo Rojo. Arriving at the south east corner of Puerto Rico we encountered a bumpy dirt road. The little Kia was no very happy with the pot holes and swerving and Kate started to feel a bit nauseated. It wasn't long till I noticed a similar feeling of my own but we finally reached the end of the road ready to get out and explore the area. On top of the cliffs there was a lighthouse. It was a really nice place and once again not a soul in sight. We walked around and explored seeing a large iguana climb away over a cliff edge. There was supposed to be a nice beach there too if we explored enough. It wasn't really difficult to find. Down on the beach with snorkeling gear in hand the water was way too cloudy due to wave action. We decided to just hike around instead. Even though the beach was supposed to be secluded there was a family there with all the necessities for a long day at the beach. We hiked on by and then up the other rocky end of the beach into some low scrub brush. Down around the rocks was a cool arch that had been carved by waves and we walked around and inside it for a while. It wasn't the most exciting thing ever but it was a nice place to be. I was pretty ready to get to Rincon though and finally see some surf. Back at the car both of us were dreading the drive down the dirt road. We both agreed it would be worth it to try and go a little faster, the whole skip over the potholes by going fast idea. I figured the Kia could handle it now that it had a full compliment of lug nuts and all. I gave her a little gas and off we went rumbling along but with none of the up and down lurching from before. It was actually pretty fun. The dirt road weaved through low brush and sometimes had water on each side. We had to slow for a car around one turn but were free to use whatever part of the road we wanted after that. It took about five minutes to traverse what had taken fifteen before and both of us felt fine. The car didn't even have a squeak of complaint when we reached the black top. Arriving in Rincon we checked into the Rincon Inn. It was the cheapest place in town for 54$ per night. Not a great deal but better than anywhere else. We settled in our room and decided to have a look around. Using our guide book we drove through the small town and down to a spot called domes. It was named after the green dome of a nuclear plant that never actually worked. It was a reef break with a little jetty built to protect the Nuke plant. The waves were peaking and warbling in about chest high. It was not exactly what I was looking for. We decided to try and find another place in town to stay if we could negotiate a better rate. We drove all around the hills trying to find another place in the guide book. When we finally got there nobody was home. We walked all round the place and it was empty. Without the DVD of young guns II in the living room on pause you would never have known anyone was living there. We left a note saying we would be back at 2pm. We drove around a bit more and got some lunch at a hill top bakery and then headed back to the hostel. There were a couple American guys there and they told us the place was shut down. We talked a bit and they even told me the waves would pick up in a few days. As for a room the place was just a surf school for tourists now but there was a place down the hill we could check. It was some place called Casa Verde and upon arrival the door was closed and a sign said they would be back at 4pm. Great. We decided to do some swimming in the ocean for a while and come back. Back at domes we strapped on our fins and swam out amongst the two or three people surfing. The wave was actually pretty fun to body surf but I mostly remember swimming out because ducking under the first waves you were only a few inches from the spongy reef below and the clear water would go dark as the foam surged overhead for a moment. We decided to snorkel a little there and walked down the beach to hop in nearer to the peak. I just made it out and turned to see Kate exiting the water. It was a bit creepy there but I just swam around trying to see something to eat. There was a cool little canyon about four feet deep cut into the reef but not much to speak of as far as life goes. I got out to find Kate with a red piece of sea glass and other treasures in hand. Our stockpile of sea glass was already pretty big from Culebra but it was obvious that there would be some good finds around Rincon too. We headed into a local dive shop to see if they had a pole spear. Some random lady who was running the place and was acting a bit weird was there and I started to look at a photo album realizing they were photos of her. We talked for about thirty minutes about her time on the island as a kid. Her dad used to free dive and spear fish around the area years ago and there were photos of giant 300lb groupers and massive lobsters he had caught. Apparently she was the only one of her siblings who was interested in spearfishing so after a while she got to go along. She informed us that large grouper could be take right near shore back in the day but not anymore. The fish were all gone hiding in the deeper water for the most part. After a while in the shop she told me a place to get a pole spear in town. We headed out and back to Casa Verde to see about a room. They were way overpriced and some random girls were there stocking up on beer and wine for a night of heavy drinking. Not exactly what we were looking for anyways. We headed back to the Rincon Inn passing the now closed store that had a pole spear. The next day being Thanksgiving I knew we were out of luck as far as shopping was concerned.


Thanksgiving morning. It was really no different a day than any other but I was definitely thinking about turkey and stuffing at home more than once. We had to downgrade to a dorm room from a private room at the hostel. It turned out to be awesome because they gave us an empty room and we now had access to a kitchen for cooking meals. We decided to head to a local rental place called Capitol Water Sports extreme rental. It was place run by a Puerto Rican guy named Alex. His mom was working the register when we came in. She was a very talkative lady. There was not a thing in the store she didn't have something to say about. She was super nice though and her son was coming back from a dive trip so we decided to wait. We even found some amazing artwork there. A guy named Grady had some work there that was made from wood, PVC, or bamboo. It was all carvings or statues but the reproduction was amazing. All of it was really really good. One piece was a Mahi made of PVC. The pipe was cut and shaped in to a Dolphin as it spiraled upwards. The head big and square of a bull. The best part about it was the color. It was a perfect green and blue with splatters of spots all over. Another was a half piece of PVC pipe that was carved out as an octopus. Again the colors and patters gave its skin a perfect color and texture. For eyes it had two blue beads that let light in and seemed to glow. Kate ended up getting a wooden seahorse that was carved and stained to perfection. I was more interested in the surfboards. He had a wide range and about half the short boards looked like they were in decent condition. It would only be 25$ for a day to rent them. I also asked about a spear gun and they had those too. Up on the ceiling were three tow boards. Alex, according to his mom, was a famous surfer and really well known. There were a few photos of him riding the tow boards in the shop on some nice size waves. He finally arrive a pretty tall guy with some super long dreads. I told him I would be back when the waves got better but I got a spear for the day because I had wanted to hunt some fish pretty much since I had arrived in PR. He even told me a few places to go right in front of his shop. The gun was a bit sketch and the shaft would lock in but spin around inside the handle. There were two really thick bands on it though so I was pretty sure it would do the job even though it was only about 28 inches. Kate and I swam out from shore and about ten feet out saw a sea turtle. I only loaded one of the bands on the gun figuring it was plenty powerful to catch a small fish for the two of us. Kate was wondering why I didn't load both bands so I tried to get the second even thicker band on the shaft. For some reason it was just the wrong move and I immediately pulled a muscle in my neck without loading the band. It was pretty bad but not severe and I decided not to push it. I also didn't was to give up and I knew that being in the water with a mask on would support my neck easily enough even if I could not really look left or right. We played around in the shallows for a while and headed out to the first reef. It was pretty clear and we could see the bottom. The reef was fairly brown but it had a few small rock shelves. The first thing I saw was a nice blue parrot fish swim at us. Kate dove down right away not exactly thinking about hunting I guess and the fish swam away. She was pretty much one step ahead of me and I couldn't get anywhere near a fish the whole time. Finally I mentioned it to her that she was probably scaring the fish and she got a bit angry about it and went back to shore leaving me by myself. The reef was very small and a second reef another two to three hundred yards and across a sandy channel was supposed to have more fish but I was kinda spooked out there alone. I decided to stay back from the main cluster of the small reef and then approach it to see if the fish would return without me there for a bit. It was only about five minutes and I slipped up to the spot keeping the gun right up against my body. I saw a little blue parrot right away and angled on the surface towards him staying relaxed but frustrated about having made Kate leave. As he headed towards me I used a little frog kick to close the distance and imitate a sea turtle a little. I was getting close and he decided to turn just about six feet in front of me but down near the bottom about eighteen feet away. I slipped down towards him matching his forward speed. Finally level with him I kept pace kicking slowly and extended my weapon from under my body. The fish did a classic turn left turn right and back and forth trying to keep an eye on me as I was directly behind it. Finally it made a false move and swung completely sideways losing forward momentum and closing the distance. It was probably not the best shot for the gun but it carried all my current frustration right between two of the large scales on the parrot. I shot him center mass towards the back and the shaft didn't even come out the other side. Luckily the barb was stuck in his skin and I had him securely down the shaft in a moment. With no stringer and no knife to dispatch the guy I tried to thread him on the spear line. The gun had a weird slide along the shaft though and I could not get it through the hole. I should have just bit him to death but I decided to swim him back to land and find Kate to try and get it on ice. Back at the beach I had no idea where she was and I was just sitting there with a little dead fish in the heat of the day not really sure what to do. I decided to hand clean it on the water away from the kids playing at the beach. It wasn't very hard to scale it and gut it with my bare hands but I ended up puncturing the intestines a little. Kate walked up just as I was finishing and we headed back to the hostel and threw him in a plastic bag in the fridge to eat later that night. Kate convinced me that we might need two fish, one for tomorrow night, and we decided to head back to a little marina. The rocks protecting it were the edge of a marine protected area. I figured there were probably fish there because of that. Alex at the rental shop had told me that tarpon also lived there because fishermen cleaned their catches in the area. That seemed to be a bit scary for Kate so I was on my own again. The great thing was how my neck only hurt half as much in the water. I swam out around the rocks. It was only about four feet deep though so I followed a small finger of rocks out towards some moored boats. I saw another sea turtle right away and just kinda hung out with him for a bit. The depth was probably fifteen to twenty feet and there was a bit of coral around and only tiny rock ledges. There were not a lot of yummy fish around though. I got to the end of the rocky reef and dove down just to get a closer look. As I came up I glanced left and a huge silvery fish came out of the fog, swam to about ten feet away, and turned sideways. It was a tarpon about 20 to 30 lbs just hanging out seeing what I was doing. As I looked over the rocks the fish came by a number of times sometimes five at once. It was pretty cool to see them and though most were small there were a few in the sixty pound range. After a bit I changed tactics and decided to creep a little closer to the edge of the marine protected area. I had to cover a little distance over sand but finally reached another bit of reef. I started seeing some little mutton snappers around and even took a shot at one but it only glanced his side. I creeped up on some small groupers about 1-2 lbs and some looked ok to shoot since there were no size limits. I just couldn't bring myself to shoot such small guys and I was not totally sure they were not illegal Nassau grouper or baby Goliaths since I couldn't remember the defining body structures of the two. I was totally skunked but happy to have the parrot in the fridge I called it a day. We ate the parrot that night. I baked it whole but it had a bit of a briny taste that made me wish I had filleted it instead.

Nov 27th

Mt neck was hurting pretty bad still and a few pills didn't really help. I returned to the rental shop and let them know that I would have to wait and maybe rent a board tomorrow. The thing that sucked was the waves were really good. Overhead and glassy lines were coming through at Steps, Tres Palms, Domes, and everything in between. It was a bit crowded and lots of drop ins but not like a bad day at Masonboro. I just took a few pictures of the waves and we found some sea glass. Then went for a snorkel to find the water was all clouded up. My swim fin decided it was time to snap as well. I was pretty bummed out but decided we should try and find a cool new place down the beach to explore. We ended up driving out of town and down a random road that finally reached the beach. It was only about a mile from the hostel but we decided to walk a bit. We found untold amounts of good sea glass and empty stretches of narrow beach. After a while we went back to the hostel and decided to snorkel again at the marina. I tried to duct tape my fin but the strap just slipped out of the tape. I really wanted to get video of tarpons but the water was too cloudy and my fin was barely staying on my foot. I was starting to feel my neck get a bit better though and was hoping I could surf the next day. We stopped at a coffee shop on the way back to the hostel called Surfs Up Coffee Shop and bought a few bags for our parents there. The guy working the place was really nice. He said he moved to PR at 15 and bought the place off some other people a few years ago. He even gave us free iced coffee kind of like a coconut frappachino he said he made up himself. Cracked out we ended the day eating a nice meal and lounging in the hostel living room.

Nov 28th

Woke up feeling semi OK about my neck and able to look left and right a bit. I popped a few ibuprofen and grabbed an awesome 5'11” at the rental shop from Alex. I headed out at Tres Palms and surfed some head to shoulder high rights at for about two hours. The takeoff was right next to a rock that would suck out of the water and the wave raced along nicely for about fifty yards on a good one. I caught a few nice waves watching the reef rush by through crystal clear water. I even kicked it once after falling and being pushed towards the inside but not hard enough to get cut. Sea turtles kept popping up in the line-up too and the pain meds were working well enough that I never thought about my neck once. I got a nice sized wave for my last ride and even though some long boarded dropped in on me towards the end of the ride I didn't really care. I rode the foam in and made a sketchy exit as waves swelled up on the edge of the rocky bottom with cobble stones rolling in and out of the sand. Kate was a bit bummed and overheating on the beach. We went back to the hostel and ate some lunch and got some much needed water. We went back to the coffee shop to get some good drinks. There were two guys there on computers and nobody around to serve us. I decided we should wait around because the coffee was probably worth it. I thought maybe the guy was just in the bathroom and that caused one of the guys on the computer to snicker to himself and glance at his friend. A couple walked into the place and stood there waiting as well. After about five minutes the bathroom door did open and out stepped the owner and some kind of gnarly looking woman. I just kind of figured it was his girl friend of something I it was kind of funny to me that he was obviously in the bathroom having a little fun with her. He looked a little sweaty and embarrassed and the couple immediately whisked him away into his office to talk in private. He did manage to shake my hand for some odd reason and all I was thinking was why is he not getting me some coffee, that's not very nice. The girl just stepped outside and sat down. Kate was kind of staring off out there and I didn't hear the exchange but the girl said something like I was just walking by and he asked me to come inside for a second and I don't know why. The owner walked out of the office for a moment and handed her something then went back to talk to his friends. We decided not to wait for him to emerge from the office and after a short conversation in the car I was, like Kate, of the opinion that the woman outside looked more like a meth head prostitute than anything else. He had probably handed her the money we paid him with yesterday for her services. We left Surfs Up Coffee and Prostitutes happy to never return. I had another one hour session at Tres Palms and we returned the board to head out of town. The swell was fading and we wanted to move on to some other adventures and a less expensive place to stay. We decided to make our way to a place called Nino's Camping on the edge of a lake. It took a few hours to get there and we pulled up to some birthday party. After a bit of talking we found out that we were in the right place. Nino's son helped up down the hill and past a hotel where camp sites were located at the edge of the lake. After setting up camp we got to chat with Nino who was an old Puerto Rican man that looked like a cowboy. He showed us around and let us use the grilling area as our cook site. With no hot water and a leaky toilet the place was not the best. However the fact that there were really no bugs there turned out the been true. It was strange but no mosquitoes, no gnats, and only a few ants. The place mostly had small lizards. It was an awesome place and I was wishing we had stopped at a Wal Mart and grabbed an inflatable boat to ride the lake for a bit. The birthday party ended not too long after sunset and we had mostly peace and quiet after dark save a few advertisement trucks with giant speakers blaring music and ads through the distant hills. All was quiet and dark in the tent until a loud crunch of leaves nearby. It ounded like a falling stick to me but then another closer crunch. Finally after Kate asked if I had heard it a loud sound of something on the tarp just outside the entrance to the tent brought an eery silence. Then WHAM! Something smacked the mesh of the tent door causing Kate to yelp. She grabbed the flashlight and tried to see out but it only lit up the inside of the mesh door. She slowly moved the light forward to get the majority of the beam heading out the mesh. As she brought the light to the mesh we saw a massive bullfrog staring at us looking as confused as we were. The thing just hopped away back into the night leaving us laughing in the dark.

Nov 29th

We woke up to an amazing sunrise over the lake. Packed up our things and had some coffee and cereal. With the last of our things in the car we said goodbye to the lake and Nino and headed towards the Arecibo observatory following his directions. We got lost once or twice but finally arrived at the main gate. The place was closed on a Monday. For some reason we had arrived at a special time of year where it closes Mondays and Tuesdays only. After talking to the guard it was obvious that we could neither get in nor even see the observatory from some other high point. We moved on thinking about just walking in anyways and tried another local attraction. It was supposed to be an amazing cave system and you could go on a guided rappelling tour. Also closed Monday and Tuesday. Finally we decided to go to a final place down the road another hour or so called the Taino Indian Cave. We arrived at the dirt parking lot our guide book told us to expect and paid the two dollars for parking. They insisted on letting their son guide us through the caves and a small miniature pit bull named Psyca escorted us along with another pup. The cave was a large open hole carved out of a limestone rock cliff on the edge of the ocean. As we walked along the rocks holes would appear and show that you were walking over a hollow chamber thirty feet down. The place was really cool and down a ladder were some ancient and some new pieces of graffiti. There was even a pool of surging water that connected to the ocean via tunnel. Above in the cave tops were giant bee hives and various passages went out to the surface. Our guide took us climbing up one of them and we popped out of a crack near where we had descended the ladder. You could just imagine the Indians popping out of the woodwork but apparently the Spanish slaughtered them in the cave. After the caves our guide took us down the coast where arches were carved out of large limestone cliffs that gave way to secluded looking beaches. The area had been used a number of times for Hollywood movies and filming for another was going to begin soon. It was easy to see why. The whole area was amazing and unique. Waves sent a constant spray of water over the area with onshore winds and the limestone rocks were extremely pitted and pointy. Our guide told us that local kids often play there and when the waves are big hide under ledges and let the water sweep over them. Sometimes when it's calm they jump the cliffs into the water in a few spots. One cliff top was marked with a memorial for a boy who was killed when a wave swept him from the top of a cliff never to be found. We hiked from beach to rock to beach until I finally asked him what the furthest distance was he had ever gone. He pointed down the beach to a nearby palm tree. We headed back down to the parking lot taking a shortcut through the trees and then some yards. He showed us another cool place near the cave where tidal pools were nice to swim in. The bunch of guys all related to each other were back at the parking lot and we talked with them for a bit before heading out. We wanted to make it to San Juan to find a place to stay and catch our flight home the next day. Looking in the guide book we decided on a hostel in Old San Juan. That was a mistake. When we finally go to Old San Juan our tiny rental car barely fit through the streets and there was literally nowhere to park. It was chaos and after a few minutes I just wanted to get out of there. We worked our way out of that rat trap and right into another. The car needed gas right away so I pulled over at the first gas station I could find. I parked the car not thinking about it walking inside to get five bucks of gas. I had noticed the crack heads outside but didn't think much about it since so many people were around. I was going back to the car when I head Kate yell my name. I rounded the pump to see a crack head standing next to the open window of the drivers side of the car and Kate inside freaking. The guy was twitching and acting nuts with a big fro, no shirt, tons of scars, and dollars and trash in his hands. I just walked up and the guy backed off a bit twitching all around being weird. I was pretty pissed off at that point because he had obviously scared Kate really badly. I put the pump in the car and started getting my gas and the guy comes back up to me spouting some nonsense about women wanting to see their men fight. Then he tried to say something about needing a favor to which I said only one word. NO. The guy tried to mumbles some half ass god bless you since he was out of tactics and moved on to the next person. Kate was still shaking inside and holding my video camera. She said the guy had leaned in the car and was looking all around and she grabbed it not wanting him to steal it. She couldn't get the window up because I had the keys and had just been yelling No, no, no, at the guy when he walked up. He had been saying all sorts of crap to her about how she was needing her man and he would be her man. It was pretty good for him that I didn't see him leaning in the window like that. We just drove out of there and didn't look back. I had never really wanted to be in San Juan and the days events just made me want to not be there even more. We drove a while down the highway and arrived in some place called Isla Verde. It was supposed to be the touristy beach of San Juan. There were big hotels and a casino there but right across the street was a condom shop. It was a strange mix and kind of stupid. We went all over trying to find a place to stay and tying to avoid being ripped off. It was way overpriced with hotels trying to get over a hundred dollars for the night. We were just thinking about how much we missed the Fajardo Inn. We finally accepted a night at some Isla Verde Inn or hotel and the place was kind of a dump but the lady at the counter promised continental breakfast. We walked a bit to find some dinner at night but it didn't seem very safe so we got back in the car and drove to a nearby bakery. Inside was like a magical oasis. There were pastries for miles and lots of people enjoying themselves. The food was a bit pricey but we had a nice sandwich and cake then called it a night.


We woke up and headed downstairs for the continental breakfast. I don't know what their idea of breakfast is but there was a pot of coffee and pieces of pound cake. Nothing else. We approached the man at the front desk telling him about the juice, and other assortment of foods and baked goods we were told to expect. He was baffled and then apologized and brought out a pitcher of juice. We just kind of stared and went down the street to the bakery to get some actual food. Breakfast in belly we packed up everything from crap hotel and hopped in the rental car. We drove down the coast away from the city. The buildings all ended and we passed by a number of cool beaches and through a pine forest. After a bit of driving around we stopped and played at the beach for a bit collecting shells and wading in rock formed tidal pools. It was eventually time to go and we gave away our camping chairs to a young couple on the beach. We brought back the rental car and grabbed a bite to eat before heading onto our plane. It was a fairly easy flight and a few delays in Atlanta gave us plenty of time to relax in the airport there while frantic people ran around trying to get home and cursing airline staff. We finally touched down in Charlotte during a huge downpour but made it home safe and sound very happy to be in a nice bed and away from San Juan. The trip was a great adventure and we saw so much in such a short time. I definitely hope I get to go back some day and camp in Culebra as well as surf in Rincon a bit more but the bitter taste of San Juan and a lot of overpriced traps has me thinking about other destinations.


Beach 2 Battleship Tri

I didn't really take a lot of photos of the event, not at all like last years' event which I posted a album of on my website gallery (kehayaphoot.com/gallery). I was concentrating on the surf, but I had enough time to snap a few shots. It's always an amazing time and just watching a triathlon makes you want to do it. There is so much energy in the air!

Participants line the south end of Wrightsville Beach to start the swim leg of the race.

Participants enter the water for the swim.

Pain is pretty much happening all the time when you push yourself.

After hours of intense effort, finshing will make you smile!


Courage in Sports

So i've been talking with some people and it looks like some photos I took at the Surfers Healing charity event in Wrightsville Beach might be used on CBS this Sunday! check out the details below!


RIP Andy Irons

Andy died from Dengu Fever. http://sports.espn.go.com/action/surfing/news/story?id=5757369

This is a photo of Andy enjoying the premier of the surf movie Still Filthy at Red Dogs in Wrightsville Beach taken 8/12/2009.


New Print in S End Surfshop

I placed another 24X36 print for sale in South End Surf Shop. Check it out next time you are in their board room.

A wave during the tropical season of 2010 at Masonboro.


Ghost Crab

Finally got a good opportunity to photograph ghost crabs. Only had one lens handy but here is one photo I liked.

This ghost crab is fleeing the scene but ready to pinch. He was hiding amongst the shells trying to blend in.


Prints at South End Surf Shop!

Check out some surfing prints of mine at South End Surf Shop across from the Oceanic Restaurant at Wrightsville Beach!!! This is the first place my prints have ever been on public display and for sale!

South End Surf Shop

Inside the shop.

One of my photos is above the drinks and under the surfboard.

Two small prints are next to the shoes.

Another is above the door when you leave.

The last one is above the entrance to the board room!


Bark in the Park!

Bark in the Park 2010 took place on a hot and sunny October 9th. Check out the photos! http://kehayaphoto.com/gallery/


Jason Andre Alaia Shredding!

Check out the amazing write-up Jason's wife did for ESM!



Mexico photos

I posted a new album on my website gallery with photos from a surf trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. kehayaphoto.com/gallery

Also check out the video from the trip:


Learning the Easy Way

So there are a few things you can learn the easy way. One is surfing. Just come out to Tony Silvagni's Surf School at the end of Hammlet Ave in Carolina Beach. The other is to have your housing flood while shooting surf school. Yeh, i thought it would never happen to me but it did. I got lax and didn't tighten a wingnut. I learned the easy way though since only about a half ounce of sea water got in and didn't touch my camera. Washed out and dried the housing and was back shooting in the water for the afternoon lessons! No harm no foul...

The look on my face when I saw the water in my housing.

Some guys from Spain sharing a wave

Madeleine getting some coaching on the wave.

6 years old and his first ride ever. Yeh he's smiling.

It's nice to have some help getting out.


Bird of prey

I spotted this guy today at Crystal Pier after a surf session. He was sitting right on top of the Oceanic restaurant. Seems like those plastic owls don't work so well. Even the little bird harassing him didn't have any luck. You can see these birds throughout the summer feeding on fish in local waters.

A small bird swoops trying to encourage the Osprey to take flight.

The Osprey mocks the plastic owl.



I'm starting to feel like I've spent more time in the last week away from shore spearfishing than I have on land. I don't have the right equipment to get some deeper water shots and I have trouble equalizing. I took a little time to take some photos though during one trip. Here are the ones that turned out. There are also some videos on my youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/jkehaya


Light beams

Sheep Kill

Into the depths



Things to think about when buying board shorts:

rash protection
making sure your backdoor isn't showing when you backdoor a section.

Say no to crack. Click to enlarge :)


What do you see?

Took this photo a few weeks ago; back when we actually had some waves. I immediately saw something totally opposite of my buddy Brian. Take a look and think about what you see then scroll down to see two interpretations. Click em to get a closer look.

It's just the ocean showing you the love.

Yeh, you thought you were gunna make that barrel till you got axed.


Moon Rise

The night before last I saw the moon rise. It was crazy looking, orange, and huge right over the ocean. I headed out last night to try and photograph it. I came away with a few shots, but it was challenging because the camera's internal light meter always over exposes the moon. This was one of the fisrt shots i got while the moon was low. I really like the warped effect the horizon gives, and the moon looks huge. Unfortunately the time to expose the pier would have taken to long to get a clear shot of the moon at the same time. Some later shots i created a composite image in photoshop to fix this problem. Anyways here's the shot. It was about 15 seconds to expose the pier but 2.5 seconds for the moon at this point and it was moving fast.


Mexico Video

i finally finished editing my footage from Mexico. Everything was shot in the Go-Pro Hero HD.

here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj9eTtDrFGs



Sunsets are great and all but sometimes they get a little boring. Clouds block the sun, or there are no clouds at all. Although this is useful for other types of photography, when these two conditions occur the sunset is not going to be very dramatic. What you really need is a local cloud layer, and the sun setting where there are no clouds. For these special occasions you often have to be in the right place at the right time. I'm trying to increase my odds by following part of one simple saying. "Red sky at night, sailor's delight." What this means is that the sun is setting into an area of high pressure. Although it is not certain, this means the weather should be sunny the next day. So it makes sense that in order to get a good sunset you need to be currently under the tail end of an area of low pressure. This will yield cloudy skies above and, clear skies just over the horizon. The result will (hopefully) be the sun set producing beautiful red or orange light that hits the underside of the cloud layer lighting it up. In the optimal conditions the whole sky from horizon to horizon will glow bright with color. Now you just need that to line up with your location. The same thing can happen in the morning for sun rises. It's often hit or miss, but I'm hoping to increase the number and quality of my sunsets while maintaining an efficient work schedule by not wasting my time waiting for a sunset that will not appear. Either way, hit or miss, you will see a lot of moody skies. Here are two examples, one hit, one miss.

A Hit. Sunrise at Wrightsville Beach.

Not the color i was looking for but a nice photo.


Evolution of a Waterman

SO, i recently went out with my buddy Brian and did a did a few shots. The waves were on point and so was he. Check out the results on his blog: http://evolutionofawaterman.blogspot.com/


The inaugural Quintiles Marathon at Wrightsville Beach

Woke up super early to take photos of the Marathon last weekend. Wave action has been lacking these last few days in Wrightsville so I figured the race would be a good experience. I came away with a few good shots. Running is not easy to photograph. The obvious shots are often pretty boring to me, but luckily the race started at sunrise so oportunities for different light and some flash work were there.

The start was at sunrise with just enough light so runners could see the ground.

The one guy waving made this photo. People are really having a lot of fun running these long distances.

My buddy Jake on course for 13.1 miles heading down Eastwood.

Motion blur is the only way to convey the speed people are going.

A line of people to the horizon pack Military Cutoff.

The first female half marathon finisher, Debbie Surface, seems to have a smile on her face as she enters the final mile. She finished with a 1:24:17.

Local girl Melanie Lenk came in second for the half at 1:28:16.

Here is the first female finisher for the full marathon, Christa Iammarino, flying through the final stretch in Mayfaire Shopping Center. She finished with a time of 2:53:41.

Kevin Lisska breaks the tape as the first full marathon finisher with a total time of2:40:19.


OBX Day Trip

So, I went up to the Outer Banks Saturday night. Saw tons of deer on the drive up and woke up the next day to the light house pumping. Here are a few photos to wet the appetite.

This wave broke just as the sun rose.

Waves were spitting 5 per minute. This one had a bit of character.

Another wave breaking at sunrise.

About mid-morning, Brett Barley, recent Pipe Masters standout, right in the spot.

Brett again. This time it's just before sunset. Nothing like surfing all day when you know the waves aren't going anywhere.