Surfing Vancouver Island  

Foondroppings 14  


Wed, 09 Sep 1998

LabbaDay Weekend -or what to do when there's no surf.

The previous evenings session was great fun, providing enough stoke to erase a nasty week at work, and reduce the melancholy I felt sending MrsPhoon away for two weeks in Geneva. It was probably the remnants of Hurricane Earl that sent the occasional chest high set to the Bunker Beach and the end of the summer crowd welcomed it by devouring every ripple that came in.

Compliments of Hurricane Bonnie, the Bunker Beach had been polished into a wide flat bottomed shoreline that was a blank slate for any swell to tattoo itself on. Waves angling in from the NorEast pulsed intermittently in the dying throws of another swell spent, providing fun for anyone willing to wait. Any vehicle would do, the surf lacked size but still had some punch.

That night I sat on the Bunker balcony, tired, sore, but well satisfied after a 2 hour session, two authentic Maryland Crabcakes, some late season Silver Queen corn and a few Honey Brown ales. The fiery full moon that rose out of the Atlantic at dusk was one of the most breathtaking I'd ever seen. I was just a bit sad I could not share this summer ending holiday with my wife and best friend. (one in the same)

The next morning, before dawn, I rushed my coffee and muffins in the hope of catching the very last dregs of the swell and the freshening offshores. As I paddled out without much hope, the sun was just rising clear and bright to the East. A half a dozen tubettes was all I could squeeze out of Huey, the outgoing tide and offshores would murder what was left of the swell.

While I was gathering up my gear and drying off I saw a photo crew setting up on the beach for some sort of shoot. It turned out to be a New York freelancer (My People!!) down for the weekend to shoot some stock shots for catalogs, magazines and advertisements. The subject would be pretty girls in bikinis..... what a novel idea!!

I'm a curious guy so I wandered over to see what was going on. The crew consisted of the photographer (Al), two female assistants, and two models one of which was a Jennifer Aniston look alike named Christa. I know that outdoor photo sessions are very difficult due to the lighting conditions. Most occur at dawn or dusk to take advantage of the diffused and warm lighting. Al had his crew and models ready to go soon after dawn which consisted of the two models alternately posing in various skimpy suits (no thongs)on the beach and dunes.

At one point Al needed an extra person to hold one of the big round light reflectors that reduce shadows. One of the assistants asked me if I would mind holding the reflector for the shot. After showing me the technique of bending the reflector to reduce the shadows and prevent hot spots on the models I picked it up fairly quickly. Small talk and questions of the crew and Al sort of got me accepted as a helper and as the shoot continued I was called upon to do various minor tasks. At one point I was helping one of the assistants load film and noticed that Al batch loaded his own film to allow 50-60 shots per roll.

The light offshores brought those little black flies out of the dunes with a vengeance. Most Right Coasters know these little bastards which bite hard and are very persistent. The models were pros and did not move during a shot, but were complaining bitterly about the flies. Both girls were drop dead gorgeous with perfect figures, tanning bed color, white teeth and fabulous hair. But they were getting eaten alive. I quickly endeared myself to the girls by shooing the flies away with a towel and holding my reflector over them to shade them from the increasingly hot, bright sun. Once I accidentally stepped into a shot to shoo a fly off Christa and Al got pissed off at me. I apologized but reasoned with him what was the use of shooting such pretty girls if they were covered with fly bite welts. Al thought about it and agreed, granting me permission to shoo flies at will. The girls looked at me with adoring eyes. From then on I was known as ShooPhoon.

All the beach shots were done within the first 2 hours. In between make-readies and setups I got to chat with the models and crew. I even volunteered to hold the circular drape over the models as they changed suits. No, I did not drop it by mistake, nor did I peek (much).

Finally Al wanted to get the girls using some beach props so we gathered up some chairs umbrellas, coolers and even the Lifeguard stand. He suggested one of the girls lay on my big black Toobs b-board but they refused saying it was covered with sticky, sandy wax, and a liberal coating of Bullfrog Sun Lotion. The combination was truly sickening (just the way I like it). Instead Al asked me to recruit a surfboard which I did from one of the longboarders who'd just come out of the water. He agreed, in exchange for the phone number of one of the models. I hope he likes the dial-a-joke number I gave him.

Al had some clinched poses in mind with the girls sitting, laying on or standing next to the board. When I suggested it would really be unusual to get one of them out in the water on the board, Al jumped at the idea. He told me I was in charge of the logistics since I was the only one who knew anything about a surfboard. The real problem was getting Christa out to the board dry headed. Had to protect the coiffure. The outgoing tide was making the already small waves smaller, but once in awhile there was a cleanup 3 footer. Being the tallest guy around, and knowing something about lulls, I was elected to carry Christa out on my shoulders. I directed one of the assistants to guide the big board out through the surf beyond the break. Meanwhile Christa had climbed up on my back and was holding onto my hat with both hands, make stupid jokes like "where's all the hair that used to be up here?" and "Damn, it's a good thing you're wearing a hat ShooPhoon, the glare off that thing could blind a person." (Har, har, Hardee-fuckin Har! I began to plan my revenge)

What can I say, it was a tough job. At less than 100 lbs I could barely feel Christa on my shoulders. I swear to god I'll never wash my neck again.......? just kidding. We got out with no problem except for one small wave that smacked me right in the face. The crew thought this was hilarious. I got Christa out and onto the board where she lay with a deathlike vise grip on the rails. I didn't know till later, she couldn't swim, but it was only chesthigh water. My job was to steady her and the board while Al took the shots and an assistant held the reflector. When Al and Christa were ready, I would duck below the board and hold it by the rails or fin until Christa tapped on the deck signaling me to come up. This worked pretty well the first few times, but after awhile, I was getting shall we say, winded.

During one shot I guess Al lost track of me underwater. I held my breath as long as I could but came bursting up next to the board right into the shot like some Gapmouthed, gasping, freckled and sunburned Great White Shark. The crew again thought this was very funny. After 30 minutes Al called it a wrap, the shoot was over. Christa was waiting for me to come around so she could get back on my shoulders, but instead I called, "Hang on Christa!!" and gently pushed her into a small wave. The board promptly pearled, Christa fell off and went under, then came up out of the water like MrsGodzilla.

"YOU STUPID FUCKHEAD!!" She screamed, "You just wrecked $250 worth of hair styling and makeup!!" Chagrined by her sincere tone (and language) I replied remorsefully, "Gee, I'm awfully sorry Christa. Al did say the shoot was over. I thought may be it was time for a little fun. If it means that much to you, have him take it out of my pay."

Realizing the absurdity of this statement Christa's angry (but gorgeous) face dissolved into hysterical laughter as she launched herself at me to seek her revenge. Unfortunately, one of her perfect, red, talon-like nails gashed my neck as I tried to get away, drawing blood. (Whattya think crew, this one gonna get by MrsPhoon? No way, I'm meat when she sees this. Hopefully there'll be a much more serious injury for her to obsess over. God willing.)

Later, as the crew packed up Al thanked me for my time and asked me for my address. When I asked him why he suggested if the shot of the Great White Phoon gasping for air and coming up next to a very surprised model came out he would send me a copy. He laughed and even said one of his more Avant-garde accounts might use it as a quirky ad. So watch for me some time next Spring in a Calvin Klein, DKNY, Nike, Guess, or god forbid, Tommy Stinkfinger.. I'm the one gasping for air.


Just Shoot Me (several times)

Thu, 10 Sep 1998

Last Weekend, Labor Day,.... 3:30 am. I'd just finished watching "Babes in the Big House" (hey, the Mrs. is gone for awhile, cut me some slack here) and clicked to a local Delmarva TV station. I thought I was having a nightmare.

A local used car lot was running an ad that showed four of their chubbiest and most ridiculous looking salesmen, decked out in big tent-like baggies and holding surfboards. They spent the next 30 seconds screaming for viewers to "come in and surf out with a great deal on a Bitchin used car!!!" (Cowafuckinbunga!!!! I thought) Each piece-o-shit wreckmobile they showed had some longboard lashed to the roof and some bug-eyed, pukashell encrusted, phony tanned, tub of lard hanging out the window screaming "HANG TEN" and "MY WAVE DUDE!!" At first I thought it was some Comedy Central parody of a used car ad, but was horrified to find out it was authentic.

What struck me even more terrifying and almost brought on the brain clot I've been expecting for years was, except for the histrionics, a couple of these guys actually did look like some of my contemporaries at the beach, who coincidentally rode longboarders and drove junkers. Note to the youngsters of the ng: Middleage can be a very painful and revealing period in your life. Be prepared for shocking changes in your body image and mental outlook on life.

At the commercials end I switched the TV off and sat in silence with only the sound of small waves outside the Bunker to soothe me. My mind raced for an answer to the questions "what can all this exploitation of surfing be coming to?" and "how could Candies tits sit up so firm and high in the Big House when it was obvious she was not wearing any noticeable foundation garments?" Just shoot me. (answer the questions first please)


Re: A little decorum please...

Sat, 12 Sep 1998

"John Ferguson" ( wrote:

I hate to sound like a cyber-policeman, but there's something I'd like to point out to the group.

........ (snipped a supremely well reasoned comment, but)

I agree with John, and myself have recruited and persuaded others to join in the conversation here. I enjoy the diversity as much as anyone but I am also very aware that as an unregulated newsgroup, we are subject to the comments of others that we may neither enjoy nor agree with. This is the nature of free speech and anarchy. I too have felt uncomfortable with some things that appeared here especially the deeply personal attacks and racial comments. The anonymity of this medium liberates people to say things they would never say to another face to face. Some find this exhilarating and tend to abuse the privilege. I think many of us have crossed the boundary and written things we later may have regretted. I know I have.

As a veteran I have seen several of these types come and eventually go. A few come to mind such as Cortical (though he continues to show up infrequently and is much less abrasive than his first efforts) VMXLD, and the infamous Peter Amschel. What they all seemed to have in common is a desire to shock and get the resulting attention. This is ego pure and simple. Once they have had their say and received the egomassage of reaction, they often have little else to contribute. The best defense against people you really don't agree with and have no hope of arguing with, is to simply ignore their posts.

I used to read everything. Now I read a select group of contributors no matter what they write and any other topic that looks interesting. If the thread is of no interest to me, or the comments have deteriorated into childish name calling (oh sure, I've done it - but my lame efforts are usually teasing) I will avoid looking at the postings.

Calling for decorum is a noble request. But part of the fun of this group is witnessing the discussion and conflict....which sometimes deteriorates into anger. The whole realm of communication is fraught with the possibility of rejection, or lack of understanding. This can be frustrating if one thinks that what they're saying is not being understood (Doc?) or being disregarded as unworthy. Try to recall a conversation in which you have tried desperately to convince someone of something, and they have not responded or discounted what you have said. Frustrating and angering isn't it. At times I see this in the ng.

We go through these spasms of turmoil at times, and then there are times the group goes into a coma, for lack of waves or interesting topics. The ebb and flow of the postings is curiously tidal. Next time there's a full moon check the acerbity level of the postings. We just went through a full moon and low and behold there were some rather testy comments.

Just my $.02 invested in 1996 and compounded with interest.

"Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom."
Herman Hesse

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."
Eric Hoffer


It's a Jungle Out There

Mon, 14 Sep 1998

Having not traveled extensively in this world to surf, I have not had that many opportunities to experience exotic wildlife. I think I saw a snake in a tree in Trinidad when I was there and moved pretty quickly away. (I'm no hero) No, most of my experiences with wildlife while surfing have been the routine, dolphin, seal, elephant seal, various fish type encounters (oh yeah, I came real close to skewering myself on a sea urchin at a reef break in St. Maarten once, but that was after I fell while walking on the reef) So I'm not one to ask about what the most unusual animal you've encountered while on a surfing trip, though I am curious about any you have seen.

My scariest episode was on a surfing trip to Montauk while in High School. My buds and I had made camp in a secret woods on military property and had dug shallow trenches to sleep in. In the middle of the night I woke to feel something that weighed about 3 pounds walking on me from my legs to my chest on my sleeping bag.

It was pitch dark and at first I imagined a monstrous Tarantula spider crawling up my legs. I discounted that because I didn't think one could weight that much and far as I knew, they were not indigenous to the area. Then I thought maybe is was some sort of giant rabid flesh eating Weasel crawling up to chew my face off. I was frozen with fear. I called to my friend Tomas for help:

"Tomas!!??" "What Foonboy?? Aint you asleep yet? You gotta be tired, we surfed almost all day."

"No Tomas, there's something on me."

"Yeah, I'll bet there is. Can't be nearly as big as the wild boar I saw before."


"No you moron, I'm yanking your chain, God you are SO gullible."

"No Tomas, there really is something walking on me. Get your flashlight and take a look."

"No Way Foon, if the MPs see a light they'll arrest us or at the very least kick us outta here. There's gonna be some righteous surf tomorrow."

"I'm tellin you Tomas there's a beast on my chest RIGHT NOW!!"

"Ok you twink, let's have a looksee."

As Tomas shined his light onto the massive beast I was face to face with the

. . . . box turtle . . . . I . . . . have . . . . ever . . . . seen .
I picked the big cooter (Southern term for turtles) up and gently put him down facing in another direction where he merrily went his way. I got up to take a well deserved pee in the woods. Tomas was still bent over double, laughing when I got back. He asked, "Hey Bwanna, are you sure you can get back to sleep after that close call?" I made a mental note to snake Mr.Funnyman the next day first thing.

So if any of you can beat that incredible story of coming face to face in the wild, I'd like to hear it.

Foon (slow as a cooter)

Jetskis=Polish Jets?

Fri, 18 Sep 1998

"There are some remedies worse than the disease."
Publilius Syrus

I torqued down the last large 2 inch nut with a giant torquing wrench and wiped the sweat from my face. Two weeks of intensive activity was now at an end. The engine of my ultimate revenge would soon be unleashed to reek death and destruction on my enemies.

The media would say I was a madman but those who surf the waves of our town would secretly nod and whisper, "It's no wonder he snapped, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner."

For years we'd been enduring the reckless endangerment of our surf break by these Banzai Jetskiers. It seemed each season they became even more brazen in their disregard for swimmers and surfers in their attempt to take over our beaches for their noxious fun. Numerous requests for lifeguards and police to enforce the already existing laws requiring them to stay 600 feet from anyone in the water, were useless.

I'm not proud of this idea, but it doesn't hurt to have connections with gov't organizations whose acronyms strike fear into the hearts of hard-core terrorists world wide, when the need comes to acquiring hugely destructive and powerful armaments.

The poured concrete platform on the cement balcony of the Bunker Condo wasn't all that hard. ReBars were needed to insure strength, but the logistics of secretly bringing hundreds of dismantled parts up to the apartment were a nightmare, not to mention tiring. Figuring out how to move the two 6 foot long barrels was solved by hiding them in a sleep sofa, and paying some movers to bring it up. They claimed they'd never carried a heavier couch.

Famous for jamming, the firing mechanisms need to be cooled artificially. One of my labrat friends jimmied up a cryogenic, liquid nitrogen, generator that solved the problem. My final task was carrying 2000 rounds of 7 inch shells and racking them in ammo containers for a smooth seamless feed into the firing chambers.

Outside the Bunker hurricane shutters I could hear the annoying scream of 5 Jetskiers mutilating my homebreak. From the recesses of what's left of my mind I remembered two years ago when one of these bastards ran over a friends Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the shallow surf, cutting the poor dog badly on the head. I could feel my own pulse in my ears as I looked at the balcony wall that held a big promotional poster of a SKEE DOO Jetski. I had drawn a circle and cross hairs on the grinning driver thinking it would approximate what I would see in the range finder.

I fired up the servos of the twin electric motors that would drive the firing mechanisms and stepped into the shoulder harness of the massive twin 50 caliber guns that were now locked and loaded for firing. I hit the button for the motor on the hurricane shutter which slowly began to rise, and curled my fingers around the triggers. "Let's Rock and Roll you Muthas.!!"

Out in my homebreak 5 Jetskiers merrily skipjumped their hated vehicles on our innocent waves, unaware of their imminent fate. I laughed hysterically as the pulled the triggers, even as the first incredible concussions dislocated both my arms from my shoulders, and shattered every window and door on the balcony. Hot tracers screamed out of the barrels at a muzzle velocity of 1200 yards a second. I started low, letting the natural recoil bring the barrels up tattooing twin paths of twelve foot geysers of first sand, then water on their way to the first jetskier.

The rest of the Jetskiers scattered like flys off of shit after the first one exploded harmlessly catapulting it's driver 20 feet in the air. Unfortunately, since both my arms were dislocated I no longer could control the movement of the guns. How was I going to explain this injury to my wife, I wondered for some odd reason?

* * * *

3600 yards offshore a 65 foot daycruiser fishing charter called, The Spirit of the Sea, wallowed in the small late afternoon swells as she motored slowly in search of fish. She took a dozen shells in the waterline before the foot wide holes moved their way up the cabin to the bridge. Luckily, no one was hurt on the boat, but she sank in 20 minutes all crew and passengers safe. A radio signal sent to the Coast Guard was at first considered a prank, but they sent out a cutter anyway to investigate.

When the police arrived and broke in the door of the luxury condo they were not prepared for the astounding destruction they would see. Hanging limply in the harness of the smoking twin 50s was a middle-aged man wearing a pair a baggy shorts and a baseball cap. He kept jabbering something about fucking jetskiers seemingly oblivious to the shattered glass, smoke and 2000 shell casings that lay ankle deep on the balcony. As they led the man away a fireman who'd showed up was heard to say,

"You mean this guys wife was only gone TWO WEEKS??"

Foon (Heading for the airport first, then the beach. You are all safe again.)

Surfing more popular than Beer

Thu, 24 Sep 1998

The subject is as misleading as the one that said, "Beatles more Popular than God," in the 1960s.

But it appeared anonymously in my mailbox at work atop an small article about a survey of campus activities. For the first time in all the years the poll has been taken, surfing the internet has beaten out drinking beer!

I don't know what I'm more frightened of. The fact that playing on the internet is now the favorite activity of college kids, or that the all American right of passage - getting buzzed with your buds after a session, has fallen to second place.

Call me old fashioned, but I'll take doing 12 oz curls over playing on a computer, most days.


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