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    Days of Light – Alaska with the Malloy Bros.

    By Christian Beamish

    Burkard_1

    You know it’s going to stay light until midnight in Alaska. Everyone knows this. But after three days here it still feels unreal and comes with a psychedelic quality of glowing sunsets that last four hours and never completely fade to night.

    Then there is the sheer vastness of the territory – the ice fields and snow chutes right down to the forests, the eagles, the bears, the humpbacks lolling in the lineups. The water is chalky at the glacier-fed rivermouths. And warm as the summer air feels sitting on the fantail of the trawler drinking a cold one in that endless afternoon glow, the water is still frigid.

    [Above: A headland with rock outcroppings in the corner of a long, black sand beach produced wedging left peaks, which Keith Malloy decimated on his trusty 6'0" FCD quad. His surfing was loose and coordinated despite maximum neoprene coverage in 45-degree water. Photo: Chris Burkard]

    Continue reading "Days of Light – Alaska with the Malloy Bros." »

    Underway - An Excerpt from "The Voyage of the Cormorant" by Christian Beamish

    by Christian Beamish

    Voyage_of_the_Cormorant_coverPatagonia Books is proud to announce our latest release: Christian Beamish’s first book The Voyage of the Cormorant, which tells of his journey down the Pacific coast of Baja in an 18-foot open boat he built himself. The book includes maps and is illustrated by Ken Perkins. Below is an excerpt:

    From Chapter 3 – Underway

    A full moon rose over the arroyos, the desert held a pinkish glow, and stars shone down like a compliment in a million points of light all across the water. I sailed along, swaddled against the cold in a parka and outer shell, drifting in my thoughts deep into the night. Eventually, the wind fell away, and the ocean settled into a broad, glassy sheet. I smelled the clean desert scrub on the suddenly warmer air. The lines and sails and my outer jacket seemed to crackle in the dryness.

    I knew that this was all the warning I would get.

    Lashing the tiller in place with a bungee, I scrambled forward and dropped the main sail. Not one minute later, I saw and heard the wind line across the water behind, roaring down and tearing at the surface like a swarm of locust: the dreaded Norte. People call it the devil wind because of the fires it breathes to life and, I suppose, for the madness too. It is a terrible, mindless thing.

    Continue reading "Underway - An Excerpt from "The Voyage of the Cormorant" by Christian Beamish" »

    Stormfront Boomerang – Part 2

    IMG_1026 Christian Beamish is back with his hand-built sailboat, Cormorant, and the conclusion to his story from Baja. Please read part 1 first if you missed it yesterday.

    This was bad, but in the realm of wilderness breakdowns, not so bad really. I was not injured, I would not go hypothermic – worst case scenario I would drift across the bay and wash in along the beach somewhere that night or the next morning. But how the hell did I know? Anything could have happened. So I guess it was a bad enough. At any rate, I soon caught sight of a panga charging towards me over the rough water, and yet again in my short career of Baja seafaring and beachcombing, I was about to experience the kindness and generosity of Mexican fishermen.

    Continue reading "Stormfront Boomerang – Part 2" »

    Stormfront Boomerang – Part 1

    IMG_0908 When you build your own sailboat in Southern California and attempt to sail it the length of the Baja peninsula you don't come back with just one story, you come back with many. Today, we're stoked to have Christian Beamish join us again with another high-seas tale to complement his Dirtbag Diaries episode "Three Eighths to Eternity." Here's Christian:

    A ten-mile sail across a shallow estuary, with cormorants and pelicans in their thousands on sand island rookeries, brought us to a desolate Baja village living out the hangover of a used-up fishery. One hundred miles of mangrove channels lay to the north, but our destination was the reef point where desert bluffs meet the sea on the other side of the barrier island. Everything came off beautifully – the dog stayed on board when we ran the surfline, my friend K called out the approaching set waves as I rowed the swift water of the estuary mouth, and then, once in deep water, we glided under sail (silent and magical) out to the headland.

    Continue reading "Stormfront Boomerang – Part 1" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Three Eighths to Eternity

    Cormorant_logo The Dirtbag Diaries descend from the mountains today and shove off into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean with former Surfer's Journal associate editor Christian Beamish. As always, show host Fitz Cahall is here to set the stage:

    “The planks of my boat are three eighths of an inch thick. Three eighths – this is the distance between myself and the depths,” writes surfer and adventurer Christian Beamish. Two years ago, Beamish crafted an 18-foot-long sailboat in his San Clemente garage. His obsession with sailboat-assisted surfing began with small week-long voyages and evolved into a preposterous idea – sail the entire length of Baja looking for waves. It would be a solo mission. The proposed trip left his friends questioning his mental state and his mother in tears. It would require big, open-water crossings in rough seas, and in the end it would leave Beamish changed. How far would you go to find the physical and mental limits of human endurance? How raw does your soul have to get before you find peace?

    Audio_graphic_20px Listen to "Three Eighths to Eternity"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links and more information on the music in today's podcast. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz on Facebook and Twitter.

    One Percent for the Planet
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