Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First vid with new camera

So here is a clip from my session today. SW 4 to 7 foot. I don't think that it quite hit the mark, but the set wave came in at least chest high. Stayed in the water for a non stop solid three hours. Constant paddling, the current was not as bad as it usually is, waves were had. Ran into some of the surfers from duluth and minni, they were scoring some waves at 121.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Toy

Well I have been playing with my new GoPro HD Hero camera, and so far it is pretty awsome. I left it to take a photo every 30 secs and here is a sample of the final time lapse.

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We had some waves from last Thursday. Christmas eve waves. It was unorganized and crazy when we first entered the water. As the morning progressed it started to organize and the waves were definately building. Galeforce winds straight in the face mixed with ice crystals and snow made for some red eyes, but a few good rides were had.

Winston Rodeo Style.

Chris and Winston Making Predictions

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nice try!

Yesterday's forcast called for some epic surf. Unfortunately I was unable to make it there, so I figured that I would check it out this morning. Well I made my way down first thing this morining hoping that I could catch some clean up swell, but it was not there. Too much northwest too soon pushed it all out. Nice car ride down and telltale signs of epic waves everywhere. Check out the awsomeness over at The Fresh Aspect There are some sweet shots of lake perfection.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Northshore

My trip up the northshore on Monday showed some promise with heavy winds and the lake frothy from white caps.

The sun was shining and the water was blue, beautiful.

Tuesday morning after all was done, I ventured down to the beach to find clean lines. It did not look too big to me so I went down to the waters edge. Well it looks quite deceiving from atop the cliff because the clean lines that were coming in were waist to chest high. So I suited up and paddled out. The waves were near perfect for a lake, peeling lefts and rights I could choose any line I wanted. I caught a few astonishing rides.

Nothing like dark blue courduroy to make a fashion statement.

I even tried to tuck into the odd barrel.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Right Stuff

With the winds coming out of the north these last couple of days, it sure makes for some good surf. Wednesday was a fantastic day, clean lines coming in, peeling left and right, made for some really good rides. I continued to surf beyond the point of exhaustion left the break stoked and noodle armed. Went back out again Friday afternoon to much of the same conditions, clean peeling and the odd head high set that came through. Had some fantastic rides, left the break stoked more than Wednesday. Snow or not, ya gotta love a good northeast wind.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Step Back in Time

A little piece of history as I travelled toward Hayward this week. The old steam engine travels between Two Harbours and Duluth for an old look into history. The sight and sound of an old coal fired steam engine is amazing. The toot of the whistle and feel of the power is something rarely seen nowadays. I love the smell of a coal fired steam engine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


What a crazy good day! Super stoked from the rides today. The waves were reading 12' on the bouy. People just kept showing up all day long. Some the bomb sets comin in were extreme. Later on in the day when winds changed NE things cleaned up with some peeling lefts and rights. The waves stayed large.



Jer the sequel!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Alaia 2

It has been a major dry spell in what are usually the best days for surf. Lots of daylight, warm sun and fresh cool water. But in the waning hours of daylight it has been three weeks and no surf. Soooooo, when the wind won't make waves, we make boards. This is Alaia number 2. Liam liked what he saw and we glued up some planks. Last night the glue was dry and about two and a half hours later... voila.
Note the foam board in the background bottom left, just waitin for some glassin. It's been a busy season for the ole surfshack, I still have another 6'5" to shape for myself and I am newly inspired to make another Alaia. This next one will take some time, but when its done... ouuwiee... it will be more of a work of art that you can surf on. hopefully.

Shapin the Alaia, Liam style.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


In the long dry windless weeks gone by I decided to make my first Alaia board. After about two and a half hours in the garage it was done. I glued up four boards in about 8 minutes using pipe clamps and polyurthane waterproof glue. Traced out the pattern the next day and cut it out using a simple scroll saw. I then planed the shape into the board with a power planer. After planing the board I then sanded with 80 grit, 150, and then 220 grit. After the sanding was done I put a coat of water based UV indoor/outdoor diamond coat varathane. After all was said and done it took about two and a half hours.

The board itself is 6'8" long 7/8" thick and 17" wide. It is made out of western red cedar. It is heavier than I thought it would end up, but it is manageable. Now all we need are some waves to try this little baby out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Highs and Lows

Well Saturday turned out to be a pretty good day of surf. Caught up to Winston, Liam and Mark and rode some nice waves. The sets were coming in unpredictalby at times but there were enough to fill the stoke all around. I coasted on the stoke all day today feelin real good about myself until I decided to bounce on the trampoline with my snowboard. It was going well until I tried a 360 grab and when I landed I felt something pop in my repaired knee. Now I am lying in bed with Ice on it and hoping that I did nothing major to upset this years surf season. In the words of napolean dynamite "...Idiot!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Season Opener

The surf season is upon us. End of August winds have allowed me to surf at the cottage 4 times this week. Last night, however, was the season opener because I travelled to 121 and rode waves until dark. That makes 5 surf sessions in the last week.
I arrived at 121 to current free, windless clean sets rolling in. I ended up surfing solo for 2 1/2 hours in a peaceful rainy adventure. The waves were waist high with the odd, near chest high sets. I rode my 8'4" all night until the end. When I switched to my 10'0" I had one ride that was about 100 yards long. All in all it was a fantastic evening.

Friday, August 14, 2009


A long ride on the ATV today with kids. A long visit in the bush. I love this time of year when the mushrooms are just starting out. The berries are ripe for the pickin and the sun shines lower through the trees. Stopped to take a few pictures on the way. Later in the day ended up out at the cottage on Lakeshore for a paddle. Met up with Winston and Sarah. We all went, and my son was swimmin like a fish. Soon after a few hours in the water, a nice roaring fire was needed to burn off the damp as the sun set upon another beatiful August day.

The King of the under forest

A Little bit of ocean reef around every turn.

Fannin the flames to burn off the damp.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Went out exploring to get a good view of the Perseids meteor shower last night. Althought I did not see much action, I photographed even less. I think I counted maybe eight meteors before the moon appeared in the noth eastern sky. I did however get a shot of the rising quarter moon in all its crimson glory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Remembering Colder Days

With the hot weather today I feel it is important to look back on some of those colder days. Like the picture below. Dawn patrol Jan 25, 2008, air temp -22c water temp 2c. The mist off the lake giving the illusion of warmth. Heres to those cold wavy days ahead.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I brought my son out to go surfing for the first time on his new board. The winds were in the 30 knot range and the waves were coming from the southwest. A quick trip to the camp and a squeeze into the wetsuits had us ready to start a new beginning. To me, the waves were small nearly unridable. But a little change of persepective and I soon realized that they were very intimidating to a person that is just over four feet high. we paddled (I pushed him out while he was lying on his board) out into the larger surf. He caught a few, spilled on a few and it was a good introduction to his new passion (I hope). As I watched him lie on his board and ride the waves I noticed that the waves were chest to head high on him. I do have to give him credit, it was pouring rain, the sky was grey and the lake looked very menacing.

I soon started to think, what is a Grom? A young person starting out in surfing? If we think about this a little further we can agree that we are all groms. As we enter the surfing world we look out at those that are better and faster. Those that ride the larger and faster waves. We think to ourselves that one day that will be me. As we grow and our skills get honed, we look forward to larger faster waves. Always looking up to someone, in a magazine or a friend that rips. As we advance and ride those waves we start looking at surf trips. Try different surf spots different continents. All the while advancing and pushing our skills to the limit. Accepting a challenge no matter what. It shows us that in the bigger picture we are all learning, we are all in our own way groms, regardless of age and regadless of skills.

Watching my son enforced the paralells of surfing and life. When he took a wave over the back of his head, I reminded him to never turn his back on the waves. There will always be a bigger wave and when you least expect it the outside set will come crashing through. Always face what is coming at you and maybe one day you will catch that outside set and have the ride of your life. Just remember to keep looking forward and there will always be a new challenge.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gearing up

As August approaches, it is time to start preparing for the waves. August is a good month for afternoon waves at the old cottage. It is time to get the boy out and practice paddling so he can get used to the small waves at the cottage before heading out on a surf trip with the old man. He is pumped to catch his first wave and has taken to his surfboard very well.

The maiden voyage

Some mysterious rock formations in Grand Marais.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend Camping

Spent the rain soaked weedend in Grand Marais. Had a fantastic time exploring the bush, hiking to the lighthouses and teaching the kids how to climb the rocks. We decided to go to Lutsen and try the Alpine slide. We used to do the slide years ago and it was not very controllable then. I was a little reluctant to have the kids go down on their own. The sleds are new now and totally controlable. I took Aidan down with me a Ryley went on her own. It was a fantastic time. Check out the ride below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Well with no surf in site, we are enjoying the summer. The kids are on a big survival kick. With so many shows on television right now, Survive This, Survivorman, Man Vs. Wild, the kids have a great interest in some survival techniques. So this summer has been all about exploring the bush and how to survive.

Out at camp we have been exploring islands nearby. On one such island, we started to construct an A Frame shelter. (well in this photo it is half of an A Frame) The kids helped to aquire logs and other material to construct said structure.

Also, on the adgenda is wild edibles and as many ways to start a fire as one can dream up. It is important to be able to start a fire without the usual use of matches or a lighter. We have been experimenting with flint sticks, magnifying glass, steel wool and batteries, fire bow to name a few. Here my daughter is starting a fire using only a spark from a flint stick and some steel wool. The beauty of a flint stick is that is will work when wet. I always keep one in my pocket.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One more in the lineup

Well after long last the board is done. Just finished the graphics today and picked up a new fin and leash. Scored the wetsuit and some booties. The boy is pumped and ready to catch some waves. The board is a scaled down version of one of my boards. Just doesnt seem right being only 15 inches wide. total length is 6' 4". Should do him him well. Now all we need is to get some waves.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day

We decided at the last minute to go out to the lakeshore camp and fire off some fireworks. Well when we arrived at the road, there were cars everywhere. In all my years down at the cottage, I have never seen that many people at one time. Looking up and down the beach showed crowds of people and spots of campfires as far as the beach is long. One camp had a live band playing on the deck. People were walking up and down the beach, I would have sworn it was Daytona. Every other camp had mounds of fireworks. We could see the fireworks from town, but it definately was not needed. With the arsenol of fire displays all night long it was absoulutely amazing. I think we will be doing the same thing next year.

Down the beach.
Up the beach.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I have been trying to get a closeup of a raven for a while now. This guy decided it was long enough and stood his ground to pose.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Lets face it, its been a cold dreary spring. Amogst all of the complaints that I am hearing about the weather from everybody, it is a welcomed day in June by the local surfers. June surf around the lakes is usually unheard of. The water is still cold and the air is supposed to be warm. That combination does not put much energy in the water no matter how hard the wind blows, but yesterday was not the case. Near gale force winds over the lake and coming out of the north east was a gift to those that could make the hour trip to one of my favorite spots on the lake. Upon arrival the anticipation was high and the odd set was coming in near head high. Surfed for 4 hours straight until my body rejected any more output from my muscles. As time rolled on, the waves got smaller and smaller. But in the end it was THE best surf session in quite some time!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Well it just so happened that I was requested to stay in Terrace Bay for an extra night. Well I ended up surfing. Hooked up with Winston and headed off to the spot. The waves were not quite 14feet that was predicted, but they were head high at least. Had some good rides in the extreme fog and headed home tired and satisfied.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ghost Town

In my travels to Terrace Bay it looks like I will have missed the surf by one day. Maybe I can catch build up tommorrow on the way home. A beautiful day no surf time to explore. Here are some pics from the ghost town that I have been meaning to visit for a while now.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


When our house burned down five years ago, we lost everything. I had a collection of numerous surf magazine and such from back in the eighties. A subscription to Surfer and an east coast surfing magazine (i cannot remember the name of) that taught me to pee on a jelly fish or man-o-war sting. These are magazines that I will never get back, a part of my growing up and love of surfing and the ocean.
Well I was recently in the attic of my parents house looking for my old lego for my kids, when I stumbled across numerous boxes of my things. It turns out that I did not loose all of my historic books. I found in one of my boxes my premiere issue of snow boarder magazine. The first one ever printed, I thought that I lost it. There was a Surfer magazine issue from October 1987. Some interesting articles within, one specifically interested me. A spread on California surfing. Since my recent trip to California I could now put a memory to some of the spots in the article and definately an image of that beautiful coastline.
All was, at one point, lost. But it is the little moments, the small tokens that we can hold on to that remind us of memories that otherwise slip away. A token that says 'yes' I did do that, I remember that time, it was not just a dream.

As a side note, I guess I had dropped in an old Canadian Tire flyer by accident. Check out the sleds and snow gear from back in 1989. Interesting stuff.