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Saturday, March 2, 2013


As I think about my past ocean adventures, the best I can remember is that as a youth I once body-surfed (which means I'm  not even standing) a five foot (face) wave, which I recall at that time was scary, for the reef was very close, and I'm not a particularly good swimmer.  Decades later, fishing at Kahiliwai Beach (Kauai) on a rocky ledge, a ten foot hammerhead shark cruised right by so I could just about touch it with my pole...but backed away instead.  Thus, when I read about someone surfing a 100-foot wave (above) and another swimming with great white sharks, I am impressed.  Plus, both are from Hawaii!

Ocean conservationist Ocean "Shark Whisperer" Ramsey, concerned about the bad reputation sharks have, on Valentine's Day this year, was filmed by Juan Oliphant in Mexican waters holding on to the top fin of a great white shark (above and below).  I side with her, for they kill around 5 of us every year, and we decimate 100 million of them, mostly for shark fin soup.  We are doing away with from 6.4 to 7.9 %/year, while their low reproduction rate can only rebound by 4.9 %/year, so many species are facing extinction.

Ocean is a model from Hawaii who can hold her breath for 5 minutes 45 seconds and began swimming with sharks from the age of 14.  She is 5' 9" and 34-23-34.

Well, here is one more video of Ocean swimming with a great white shark.  Remarkable!  Crazy!  What waste if she got eaten.

At the top is 45 year-old Garrett McNamara off Nazarre, Portugal surfing that 100-foot wave on 29January2013, which has not been officially confirmed, but no problem, for two years ago at this very same beach, McNamara then broke the world record by catching a mere 78 footer:

Guinness recognized this record.  The photos are spectacular, but unworthy.  Watch the clip to be overawed!!

McNamara was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on 10August1967 and moved to the North Shore of Oahu in 1978.  At the age of 11 he was already experiencing the giant swells of Sunset off Waimea.  At 17 he placed in the Hawaiian Triple Crown series, gained major sponsorship from Japanese companies and now speaks fluent Japanese.  He was one of the first to try tow surfing, winning a $70,000 purse at the Maui Jaws World Cup in 2002.  Watch McNamara in 2004 surfing the largest barrel ever filmed at Jaws.  He made a movie in 2007 catching waves from calving glaciers off Alaska (watch the trailer).

How the waves get so high here can be explained by the bathymetry:


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