Paris Patterns

We visited Paris in 2014.  Me for the first time, my wife for a revisit. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. The place is simply a feast for the senses. It seems only fitting to submit these images for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Patterns.  There were hundreds.  Mostly shot with my iPhone and edited with Snapseed. 

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A lineup of rental bikes.

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Train across from Gare d’Lyon.

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Staircase down the street from Gare d’Lyon

Settled on SUP

I lifted these lines right off his blog.  What a great adventure.

“After a 4 1/2-month bicycle expedition around northwestern Europe, Joshua Sivarajah and his pint-sized paddling partner, Nero, weren’t ready for the adventure to end. So, they swapped bike for board, and embarked on a 1,777-mile journey down the Danube River—the continent’s second-longest river, nicknamed “Europe’s Amazon.” Photo: Joshua Sivarajah/ULI”

I found the site by looking for SUP sites, and sure enough he rides a SUP in some pretty interesting conditions.

As it turns out Joshua did some humanitarian work while on his trip by serving sandwiches for the Syrian refugee crisis.  Check it out here.

Real Surfers

Yesterday I read a blog post from Real Surfers.  It was the first surfing blog I followed.  For one the guy, Erwin Dence, has a great sense of humor, but two, which maybe is actually one, he’s a fantastic artist.  The image above is from his web site.  There’s more where that came from.

But yesterday wasn’t about Art.  It was about waves, or better stated, the absence of waves.  He and his buddies got Skunked, though it sounds like maybe there were some bitty waves.  At the same time, my backyard, Pacifica, CA, had huge waves.  Too big for me.  I’m looking forward to our surf waning a bit, which it appears to be doing.  Maybe the next swell will hit the northwest where Real Surfers is based.

But check out the drawings in this post.  This is what drew me to Real Surfers

You’ll Find Me at the Beach (fiction)

You’ll find me at the beach, or thinking of the beach. Waxing my board. Looking at the surf. Deciding which break to ride. I’m a surfer, but I don’t say it out loud. Not like the guys who wear tan jeans, blue pocket tees and black low-top Converse All-Stars. They have tans with blond hair and cruise the boulevard with their boards hanging out the back of their mommy’s new station wagons. Most of them don’t surf. Those that do can’t stand up and turn. We call them hodads. Continue reading

Simple Steps

Today I called my son’s girlfriend, Tori, to see if she wanted to hit the surf.  She did and we did and it was small but glassy and I got more waves in this session than in any other since starting paddleboarding all of three months ago.

AND I took my first steps toward the nose.  I couldn’t stop smiling.

Tori said I was shreadding, but you know, she may have exaggerated a tad.

But here we are, and boy can she smile.

Tom and Donna 29th-0798

New Name II

Last night I told my wife, Donna, about the name change and she reminded me that I would lose a fairly wide spectrum of readers if I limit WHAT SUP to Surf.  While I love to surf, I’ve also loved paddling through the South Florida mangroves; around the harbor by Jeff Clark’s Paddle Surfthrough the Marina at 101 Surf Sports, along the kelp beds off New Brighton Beach, and down a river in search of Manatees.

From a relationship point of view, paddling promotes connection.  We strap the boards on the roof and hit the road.  We plan a day around getting in the water, exploring new locations, getting great gobs of time out in nature, and after exercising all those muscles we get a nice meal out.  It’s been pretty romantic at times.

Plus there’s such a huge variety of topics to discuss like board selection, sites to SUP, fitness, diet, technique and SUP shops.  I did a whole post on SOPOSUP, a cool little shop in Portland, Maine.  We never got in the water, but being with the owner, reviewing his blog, and checking out the local surf, which was flat, was just fabulous.

I remember the first blog post like it was yesterday.  It was from this past mother’s day when I sat on the sidelines with a bit of a cold.  It was Donna who wanted to paddleboard.  It was Donna to get in the water first.  It was Donna who inspired me to give it a try.

She’s even asked about paddling at night.  Here’s what it might look like from a pin I found.

Stand Up Paddleboarding for Life will still include SUP Surfing, where my little wave passion ignites in cool water.