Bluewater Gold Rush / The Odyssey of a California Sea Urchin Diver

Most of my time these days is spent in the small, relatively uncrowded town of Sebastopol, so it’s always a little nerve-racking when I find myself in the horn-honking, exhaust-smelling, big city of San Francisco. But I told myself I was going to attend the surf-book-signing/slideshow event that had been advertised on (bay area surf-promoter), Monica Lee’s online newsletter, Swell Events. After a few near-misses, I finally found the Minna Street Gallery. Fifteen minutes later, after wedging my car into a parking spot a half-mile away, I was there. I told myself “I hope it’s worth the hassle - I could be at home, munching tortilla chips and watching Seinfeld reruns.”

 Upon entering the gallery, I felt like I had walked into a… a … a Happening! The large room was filled (and I mean filled), with people. People of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. There were the beautiful people. There were erudites (I love that word - it means smart). There were surf-groupies, wannabes, media-types, business people, and even some pirates. And surfers - there were surfers of all types and ages. Big-wave studs, young slashers, and old, battle-hardened, geezers (my category).

 For me, the evening was a blur of surf-icons (ala Jeff Devine, Grant Washburn, Jeff Clark, Matt Warshaw, and others), nostalgic slideshows, Macking Mavericks Movies, book-signings, and partying. Zillions of books were sold. The Surfrider Foundation crew was busy signing up new members, and Monica was up on stage, tossing donated sweatshirts out to an appreciative crowd. Actually, she’s got a pretty good arm…

 Glad I made the drive. It was an awesome event, well planned, and massively successful. Well done, Monica.