Category Archives: Lou’s blog

Reef Warrior DNA?

Lou’s Blog:

   2018 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Hobie Cat 14 and if it were not for the Hobie Cat and it’s influences on many of us Reef long timers, our little corner of Lake Erie may not have become the great sailing spot we know today.

You may be asking yourself, why should I be interested in the Hobie Cat’s 50 year anniversary?

taken from “Hobie Master of water,wind, & waves”

In the mid-twentieth century, the beach cat became a widespread category of sailing catamarans, owing to their ease of launching and mass production. In California, a maker of surfboards, Hobie Alter, produced the 250-pound (110 kg) Hobie 14 in 1967, {1st sold in the fall of 1968} and two years later the larger and even more successful Hobie 16. As of 2016, the Hobie 16 was still being produced with more than 100,000 having been manufactured. (from Wikipedia)

Hobie Cats are not the fastest cats around, Tornado’s and Nacra’s may hold that distinction. Hobies are the most fun cat around though, easy to pull off or onto the beach, sailing single-handed or with a crew on the trapeze, the wind in your face, these boats created a life style, a sense of community rarely shared in the sailing world at the time. Have a Hobie Day! was the greeting, a secret password, and the motto to many sailors. It was a promise of a fun day. You felt you were part of something special, a brethren who spoke a language all their own, yet welcoming to anyone who showed any interest in sailing, crewing, or just had a question to ask. This time honored way of life thrives here at Da’ Reef. While there are not the great number of Hobie sailors there used to be, the waterman culture has grown and spawned its own version of community.

The sherkston originals

Back in the late  ’70’s through the early ’90’s many Hobies  came to the shore of Lake  Erie to sail. Most weekends we had between  10 – 15 regulars and this number could double on any given weekend, but that story is for another post.

With all the interest in DNA self testing,  finding out family history and searching one’s family tree, I wish to share my DNA with you all, and I believe you will soon see how we are all related!

I once wrote these words: We live the hang loose life style of Hawaii. We have a reggae groove, with some Caribbean soul.

https://reefwarriors.wordpress.com/the-legend-of-the-reef-warriors/about-the-reef-warriors/ 

But in retrospect our true DNA comes from the shores of southern California.  We are the offspring of Hobie Alter.    

Hobie Alter passed away in March of 2014, leaving behind a legacy  that few truly knew or appreciated. From surfboards to skateboards, catamarans to  kayaks, Hobie impacted all who consider themselves watermen or waterwomen in some way.

So pour a rum, sit back, learn a little history, and help me celebrate 50 years of Hobie Cats, and Have A Hobie Day!

In 1968 the Hobie cat 14 was set free upon the waters of North America and soon “The cat that flies” would be seen worldwide.

Hobie Alter “flies” his invention, the Hobie Cat sail boat. The boat was one of Alter’s many creations that helped to change the face of surfing, sailing and other action sports.

Hobie Alter was more than a builder of sailboats, he was an innovator in the world of surfing, as a board builder, shaper, and visionary. Yes, the late 1950’s had many surf legends but Hobie may have had the biggest impact on the watermen of then as well as the watermen of today.

Robert August, Corkey Carroll, Greg Noll, Gerry Lopez, Mickey Munoz, Phil Edwards, Joyce Hoffman are a few of the better known surfers of the time and all rode for team Hobie during their careers.

 

Hobie Alter had a simple motto, “If it’s fun, it’s never work. And if it isn’t fun, it’ll never work.”

 

If you have surfed on a fiberglass board, you have Hobie DNA!

Hobie glass board
Balsa wood boards

Hobie was among the 1st to switch from heavy balsa wood boards to  the use  of fiberglass wrap with foam blanks.

Hobie logo on balsa board

 

Hobie’s surf shop

 

 

If you ever had a board with a through the hull fin screw, you have Hobie in your DNA!

taken from “Hobie Master of water,wind, & waves”

 

taken from “Hobie Master of water,wind, & waves”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobie was the 1st surf board maker to implement the through the board fin screw.

 

Watched “Endless Summer”? Hobie DNA!
A Hobie  surfboard was used in the original movie, and Hobie along with Bruce Brown & the cast drove a motor home around the country to promote the film. Hobie helped arrange an east coast tour for the Endless Summer. Pictured left to right: Mike Hynson, Bruce Brown, Joey Cabell, Pat Brown, Corky Carroll, Hobie Alter, Susan Alter, Heidi Edwards, and Phil Edwards. (from http://www.surfingheritage.org/2014/02/the-endless-summer-photos.html )

Later Bruce Brown help Hobie with promo videos for the Hobie cat line of products


Alpha sailboard?  Hobie  DNA!The Hobie cat company owned Alpha sailboards in the mid 1980’s. Scroll down to page 64 in this link to The Hobie Hotline for some Alpha board knowledge.   Hotline 1987.

 

Alpha sailboards and a Hobie 17

 

 

 

 

 

Love Robbie Naish & all his contributions to watersports? Hobie DNA.

While his path into the National Sailing Hall of Fame may have been far from traditional, Robby has always considered himself a sailor with his childhood roots in racing Hobie Cats before transitioning his skills to windsurfing.
“I was a sailor at heart. I loved tactics, I loved feeling the shifts and reading the wind and catching the bumps, that feeling that you get from sailing that you don’t find anywhere else in life. As sailors, we’re very lucky to be out there in the wind and the waves,” said Robby during his acceptance speech during the ceremony.

 

Robbie grew up sailing Hobie cats with his family, (Dad Rick Naish was the 1st Hobie dealer in Hawaii).  As legend has it Robbie used an old hobie trapeze harness to secure him to the boom of his sailboard, which led the way to today’s modern windsurf/kite surf harnesses.

hobie skateboard

Have you ever ridden a  Skateboard?  You may have Hobie DNA!Hobie was a leader in the growth of the skateboard industry during the mid 1960’s.

How many beer drinking folks were inspired to learn to sail because of these 2 beer ads & how many sailors were inspired to drink more beer due these 2 sailing ads!?!?

Hobie history time line

 

I have been part of the Hobie way of Life for over 40 years and have owned or sailed  just about every boat in the Hobie family. The lessons I learned while sailing and the people I shared them with helped make me who I am today. I am happy to know I share my DNA with such a wonderful group of friends, both past,  present, and future. The Reef Warriors would not be who we are today with out each and every one of you.

Thank you readers, for helping me wish Happy Anniversary  to the Hobie 14. My hope is to create a series of posts to honor the heritage and legacy which brings us to where we are today.

Please check some other Hobie links I have listed below.

 

 

 other hobie links
Hobie, Master of Water , Wind and Waves
the hobie way of life
tribute to hobie alter
Hobie hotline magazine archive
Hobie History
Sharing the wind
https://www.hobie.com/about-us/
Hobie Alters obit
Cat sailor hall of fame
Hobie Kayaks
Advertisements

The history of the Sherkston wreck

Since October 1961 the Steel Products has been aground off Sherkston Beach. This abandoned ship has been known as the “wreck” as long as I have been a regular on the Lake Erie shore.

This “wreck” has become a symbol of Sherkston and the reef, a backdrop for countless photos and stories

( click on the photos for a close up)

hobie rescuecirca 1978
hobie rescue
circa 1978

 and a huge part of our lives on Lake Erie’s shore.

I have swam out to it, jumped off the deck ( when it had a deck)

circa 1980
circa 1980
DSCN1435
paddleboarding around the prop

sailed and paddled around it.

sept28 2012 006
fall 2012

Mother Nature has taken its toll on our great symbol of the reef.

steel products 004
where to find the wreck

With that being said I would like to share the history of the wreck.

the crane on the wreck
the crane on the wreck
steel products 006
steel products
steel products 007
steel products as venus

The Steel Products was named Venus  for 50 years before being sold to Marine Salvage of Port Colborne. The  346 foot vessel was equipped with a crane and often carried scrap steel.  After a long career she was taken under tow on  October 26, 1961 to be  scrapped at Dwor Metal Co. While anchored in heavy weather she slipped  anchor on Oct. 28th and went aground. The decision was made to strip her  in the spring so a crew of men were left on board for the winter. Come  spring a road was built to her and the engines and part of her hull were  removed. She was built in 1901 in Lorain, OH by American  Shipbuilding Co.

I would like to thank Mike & Georgann Wachter  for sharing this bit of history.

 wachter@eriewrecks.com      www.eriewrecks.com

news file
news file
wreck 1980's
circa late 1970’s

 .

The road that was built for the salvage operation was left in place and became a walk way to the wreck through waist deep water. You did have to swim the last 20 yards or so. Many times the friendly locals would answer calls for help because some one who was not a strong swimmer or some one who had a little too much libation got themselves out to the wreck, but could not get back in.

IMG_0099
spring thaw 2010
IMG_0651
the remains after scrapping

In the early 1980’s the price of steel skyrocketed and scrapers went after what was left of the wreck cutting away much of the hull and deck throughout the winter months. They may have removed the whole thing but the bulldozer they were using fell through the ice and caused some setbacks preventing they job from being finished.

A great place to explore with kayaks and paddle boards,snorkel around as well as fish, this old barge attracts visitors every day.

the sherkston wreck as  seen from the air.
the sherkston wreck as seen from the air.

The recent winters have really taken a toll on the old girl. Low water levels,

rear view wreck and prop during low water
rear view wreck and prop during low water

heavy wind storms,

the wreck during high winds
the wreck during high winds
DCIM100GOPRO
gopro shot underwater

and time have weaken the remaining structure and twisted the bow wreck bow2 wreck bowand rear sections to near unrecognizable forms DCIM100GOPRO underwreck underwreck2

It is only a matter of time before the whole thing falls victim to Mother Natures wrecking ball.

sun set over the wreck
sun set over the wreck
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
the prop

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_0889 IMG_0651

Below are some recent photo’s from the fall of 2013 and the winter of 2014.

(Thanks to John for the photo’s)

IMG_5512
fall 2013
IMG_5490
fall 2013
IMG_5480
sunset fall 2013
IMG_5493
fall 2013
March 2014
March 2014
march 2014
march 2014
Spring 2014
Spring thaw 2014

 

Finding Mavericks; On the West Coast part 3

Our last couple of days in Nor. Cal. took us down the coast, south of San Francisco

Alcatraz from Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz from Golden Gate Bridge

Frisco

As we wound our way down the coast we were truly amazed at the changing scenery. Beaches, forest lined highways climbing mountains to rocky prehistoric coastline.IMG_4052

 

A heavy marine fog settled in over the coast make for a cold day and somewhat bland photos.IMG_4010

One amazing stop we encountered was the Devils Slide, an overlook and paved trail up the coastal mountain with unreal views of the ocean

IMG_4056

IMG_4030 IMG_4036 IMG_4046

Moving along to our final destination, Half Moon Bay.

IMG_4078

pelican landing

 

We checked out a couple  surf shops, and

mavericks surf

spread the word about the reef warriors.

Then it was on to Mavericks. A short drive and walk to Pillar PointIMG_4137 to see this legendary big wave spot. Now we did not see this monster wave, although we caught a glimpse of what it can be. Our pics can’t capture what we saw so I will try to explain. Past the boneyard, you could see a swell that would start to rise up and almost form. It was a good way out, there was a pulse to it, a rhythm that you could sense. Maybe if we were on the top of the bluff, or had a better camera we could have captured it. But trust me it was out there.

Here are some pic’s of the boneyard. The rocks were at least 30ft tall and the waves crashing around them were huge.

15 ft wave at boneyard
half moon bay pillar point from half moon bay beach 3 miles away
boneyard at a distance taken from Half Moon Bay beach 3 miles away
boneyard waves
mavericks boneyard
waves at boneyard
Waves at Mavericks bone yard

 

 

the boneyard
Reef Warriors at Mavericks

After a wonderful dinner at The Half Moon Brewing Co. we took in the sunset. A fitting way to end a great trip.

sunset cali stlye

A quick summary, The whole trip was wonderful, the north California area is a photographers nirvana. Gail must have taken 1500 pic’s. (Thank goodness for digital photos). The food everywhere was outstanding as was the service. Napa valley is a wine lovers dream come true.

The whole water culture was a little different than we see on the east coast but the small surf areas and especially the Half Moon Bay area had a feel to them, much like Hatteras. We saw lots of sups on vehicles, as well as surf boards. If the day was not so cold when we were at Half Moon bay we would have rented some sups to paddle around the bay.

If you ever get the chance to visit this area you will not be disappointed.

Lou

Happy Easter to all.

Here is an Easter Seal for you.easter seal

Pot Stills and Paddleboards ; On the West Coast part 2

 

Exploring the Napa Valley area is tricky, so much to see and do, choosing which winery to start at, a difficult decision for most I am sure, but not for us. We found the only winery with the 200 yr old pot still that makes rum, and we found it at 2100 feet above sea level.

Pot stills
Pot stills

http://www.charbay.com/IMG_3570 IMG_3564 IMG_3562

unfortunately Cali laws would not allow us to taste or purchase this rum at the distillery (but I will find some rum and bring it back for a proper review) we got a great lesson on the stilling process and tasted the wines they had to offer.

Moving on we spent 2 full days taking photosIMG_3646 IMG_3666

IMG_3704 IMG_3755 IMG_3738 IMG_3682

 

and enjoying many great wine and food experiences.

Finally Wednesday  afternoon we headed down to San Raphael, for a windy Wednesday paddle board trip.

We headed out from 101 Surfsports

http://www.101surfsports.com

down a waterway into the Oakland Bay. We had a nice scenic paddle to the Marin Islands.

 

 

IMG_3776IMG_3773

where we were greeted by Capt. Drew

Capt. Drew
Capt. Drew

and

Nicko
Nicko

Nicko

the skipper and 1st mate of the Barbary Ghost http://www.barbaryghost.com/Boat-in_Paddling.htmlIMG_3794

for a boat ride back to the surf shop.

This was supposed to be a “downwinder” riding chop and bump surfing for a mile or so but as you can see IMG_3788the bay was flat and calm. Capt. Drew tried his best to get everyone a ride as he drove around for a 1/2 hr or so creating some bumps.IMG_3779

riding the wake
riding the wake

IMG_3793

We got a good taste of the sup culture here learning about racing and bump and glide boards from our guide Derek and the rest of the paddlers on the trip. We also shared our stories of the reef and the  water culture we have on the Great Lakes.

 

Gidget tried out a Starboard touring board and a SIC Bullet.  Both stable boards that performed nicely in the light conditions we encountered. The Starboard just powered it way through the small waves while the Bullet glided right through them. None of that nose slap we get on our boards when the waves just start to pick up. I chose a trusty old Starboard Atlas, the big bro to the Big Easy.

IMG_3824 IMG_3806

The nite ended with a sunset ride back to 101 sharing experiences and stories with our evening friends