Not actual incident pictured. | Photo: Jaws 2 (or maybe 3)

Chilling: Noted Californian swimmer circled by Great White at “quintessential” San Diego beach, “I turned and saw the head of a White shark. I could see the eye which looked very black and the dorsal surface which looked very dark gray to black and wet!”

"When I got home I told my wife and she told me not to come into the house as I was all sandy and would be bleeding all over the place."

Hot off the wire is the wild story of a swimmer coming face-to-snout with a Great White shark at Coronado Beach in San Diego, forcing authorities to close the joint for two days.

In an eloquent statement about the incident, Phil Garn, a man who has swum the English channel, soloed Catalina Island and who still holds the relay record for swimming around Catalina, writes,

On December 30, 2020, at approximately a little after 1600 hours, I headed out through the surf just a little west (what locals refer to as North) of G Avenue in front of the Maintenance Shed in Coronado, California. I was wearing cap goggles, ear plugs, speedo swimsuit and black super extra large duck feet swim fins.

There was a group of several surfers out front (south).

I swam freestyle through the surf and once outside I turned on my side and began kicking west up the beach (what locals refer to as North.) I went about twenty yards paralleling the shore when I felt a strong tug on my fin. I turned and saw the head of a white shark. I could see the eye which looked very black and the dorsal surface which looked very dark gray to black and wet as well as a bit of the ventral side which was white.

I made a 90 degree turn and swam freestyle kicking as hard as I could toward shore. I knew the shark would likely be circling back. I felt the adrenaline dump and of course things felt like they slowed down a bit but headed to shallow water.

In about 12 inches of surf, I rolled and took off my fins and got up. I was just a little east (South) of the portable lifeguard tower and west (North) of the berm channel.  I then went over to the lifeguard pick-up truck  which was further east (South) and reported the incident to Lifeguard Garrison Covel.  

Lifeguard Covel took my name and contact information as well as photos of the fin. He commented that he saw me go out then come back in to shore very fast. The bite mark is fairly obvious. He radioed the information in and called Captain Carey. He then warned the surfers who came in.

As I was walking back to my towel and backpack, I spoke briefly to the young surfers (appeared to me to be about high school aged) and asked them if they had seen the shark. They said they had seen the shark’s fin, but that was all.

I walked home, and when I got home I spoke with Captain Carey at approximately 1636 hours. He asked me if I was ok, I said I was. Then Captain Carey asked me to describe what happened (see above). He said he would be calling Chief Lyden directly. My wife later received a call from Lifeguard Damon Bassett when I was in the shower, and I spoke with him at approximately 1723 hours and related what had transpired. Lifeguard asked me to send him a statement for his report.

When I got home I told my wife and she told me not to come into the house as I was all sandy and would be bleeding all over the place.

If you live around San Diego, you’ll know of the sudden increase in juvie White sightings.

Exciting for some, not so thrilling, perhaps, for others.


e-bike (pictured) left.
e-bike (pictured) left.

Rumor: In yet another sign of apocalypse, local electric bike maker attempting to persuade San Clemente City Council to install charging stations at Lower Trestles!


For certain you have seen the Disney Pixar masterpiece Wall-E wherein a plucky robot who was left behind on earth after it was abandoned by humans for being too trash-filled, falls in love with a different robot and followers her up to the space station where humans now live in a futuristic paradise.

All needs are instantly met, convenience and ease the priority. Humans spend their days gliding here and there on powered La-z-boys having solved the problem of exerting energy. Very much like humans on today’s e-bikes.

But oh is the e-bike a pestilence in your town? It is in mine with Wall-E-adjacent chunks speeding here and there, ripping down paths, barely moving their legs. Carrying the same rotten attitude as road bikers without even beginning to earn it.

Very gauche.

And rumor has it that in San Clemente a local Orange County e-bike maker is petitioning the city council to install charging stations down at the bottom of the path leading to Lowers.

Imagine the horror. Rich children, Mayhems affixed, flying at 20mph on mommy’s latest gift. Spoiled adults, feeling like environmentalists, Mayhems affixed, running over those fated to amble. The Lowers path becoming a choked freeway of gross incompetence and entitlement.

Extremely gauche and I can’t really imagine anything worse.

Can you?

Girls surf. | Photo: Into the Sea

The Five Most Dangerous Places on Earth for Women to Surf (But They Do It Anyway): “I want them to ride a wave to true freedom!”

"When I'm in the sea I feel content and happy. I put myself in God's hands."

Golda Meir was referred to by then-Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion as “the best man in the government”. The French prince Charles of Valois was so moved by Joan’s britches that he gave her armor and troops to fight the English in France.


Meet women who exist under the most ferocious of patriarchal jackboots and who refuse to obey, even on the threat of death, the command not to surf.

Bangladesh: Bengal started out as a Hindu and Buddhist region and were probable mid-length enthusiasts. Women with boards, however, and as fabulous Bruno would say, is a “nish nish.” Not an easy place to be a gal. Marriage at twelve. Rampant domestic violence and the threat of rape everywhere from buses to blood banks.

Bleak, yeah.

But then there are women like Sobe Meheraz. She belongs to a surf club at Bangladesh’s only beach resort town, Cox’s Bazar. She is one of twelve surfer girls in a country of 160 million people.

Best quotes from an interview with PBS: “My friends surf. Once we surf, and I can ride a big wave, then I feel really good. That’s why I love surfing. When people see me, they say, wow, you rode such a big wave. Everyone watches me at the beach. Everyone says, good job, good job.”

Then there are her male counterparts who are studying in the madrassa, “The issue of girls surfing, to me, isn’t a good thing. Girls are meant to be covered, so that boys can’t see them. Girls have been told to stay out of boys’ sight. Girls are respectful beings, and they have been asked to stay hidden. So, if girls are surfing and go into the ocean, then a lot of people can see then. And that’s a sin. It’s not good.”

Iran: Ramin is a small Iranian village with a beach. Italian photojournalist Giulia Frigieri visited the town after seeing a trailer for Marion Poizeau’s 2014 documentary ¨Into the Sea¨ about Waves of Freedom, a not-for-profit organization that helps empower girls and women through surfing in the poorest parts of Iran.

Shahla Yasini is one surfer from the village. “Surfing is more than just a sport. I hope the scene will develop and that this generation will pass it on to the next. As women have always been struggling for their freedom, I want them to ride a wave to feel true freedom.”

Liberia: Liberia was founded in 1822 as an African paradise for freed slaves from the Americas. Americo-Liberians, as they called themselves, were psyched on their American heritage. They basically built the US south on African soil. They even had names like William Tolbert and Samuel Doe. And, just like they were viciously taught, the Americo-Liberians subjugated the indigenous population.

Revolts and Coups ensued, ravaging the country, and its women.

English writer Graham Greene wrote, ¨Liberian politics were like a crap game played with loaded dice.¨

According to International Federation for Human Rights, ¨Violence against women, including female genital mutilation, wife burning, dowry-related violence, rape, incest, wife battering, female foeticide and female infanticide, trafficking, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, summary ex-execution and prostitution, is a women violations and not only a moral issue but human rights violation according to the Geneva Conventions.¨

Surfing in Liberia is not new, been around for years. But women in the lineup is very fresh. In the past it was considered taboo for women to enter the lineup. That changed when three women from California visited in 2013. They taught local girls to surf.

Robertsport is home to a reeling, consistent left. During their fifth annual surfing contest, the Superintendent of Robertsport, Imam Mohammed Paasewe, was quoted as saying: “What you are doing is breaking local taboo. Never before have the women of Liberia dared to venture to the sea; that has been a place for the men. To see the Liberian women surfing is groundbreaking. What is transpiring is highly impressive and is paving a path towards equality. We hope to see more Liberian women take part in this great sport of Surfing.”

Palestine: Do we have to? Best way to review the Palestinian area is with Dr. Seuss’ The Zax. The point is profound. One north-going Zax was walking in an empty field. One south-going Zax was doing the same. They bump into each other. Both refuse to move.

So they stand there and wait….. and wait…. aaaaannnndd wait.

Twelve-year-old Gaza surfer Sabah Abu Ghanim couldn’t care less about any of the impediments, like religion or pollution or the country’s never-ending war with Israel. “I feel the sea belongs to me,” Sabah told The Guardian. “When I’m in the sea I feel content and happy. I put myself in God’s hands. I said my last prayers. And I surfed a very high wave.”

In a town as old as the first Christmas, sewage ain’t the only problem for a female surfer.

“When I am older, my society refuses to allow me to surf. It’s shameful. I will keep surfing until then, and then I will have to stop. I will be sad.”

When Sabah’s sixteen-year-old sister came to the beach to watch her surf,  “I found her sad. I said, ‘You keep wishing to go back to the old days because then you could surf and swim.’ She said, ‘I wish those days would return.'”

New Jersey: Landmines litter the Jersey line-up, closeouts, shifting sands, small waves, rarely good form. But the real danger lies on land in the form of Americo-Italian gym studs. These second and third-generation offspring of the OG immigrants from The Boot possess enough hair gel to submerge Copenhagen, have personally kept the tanning bed industry alive and rock enough 10 carat gold to fit the grills of every rapper from Cali to Calcutta.

Best quote from ones of these soldiers when he told a girl she was ¨beautiful baby¨ and she responded with ¨Ewww, your disgusting!!¨


From the VAL and proud Dept: Author seeking the “joy and transformative power of lifelong learning” takes up juggling, singing, drawing, chess and surfing!

"...a year of learning purely for the sake of learning."

I opened my eyes, this morning, and beheld the freshly washed world. A powerful winter storm blew into Southern California, two days ago, bringing much rain, gusty winds, etc. Very chilly. Now it is over and the sun is shining through that clean air, bathing the palm trees and jacarandas in gold.

Picking up my phone, I scrolled the surf news to see if there was anything contagious or outrageous but instead saw a story on surf-adjacent website The Inertia by a “young wandering yogi who is striving to find moments of clarity both on the mat and on the waves” putting 2020 into perspective. It was not a bummer year, he wrote, but rather a season filled with glorious chances to surf and observe surf. To work from home and surf, watch people surf on Instagram and experience the “history-making” Pipe Masters. 2021 will be even better according to him, because… “It’s okay to wipe out from time to time, to find yourself caught inside, as long as you don’t stop paddling. We can all find the best wave if we’re patient, determined, and continue to flow with the uncertainty of these times.”

Very anti-depressive.

Continuing my scroll, I stumbled on an interview with Tom Vanderbilt who just released a book titled “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning.” A VAL manifesto. Animated by the young wandering yogi, I eagerly clicked for more

Inspired by his young daughter’s insatiable need to know how to do almost everything, and stymied by his own rut of mid-career competence, Tom Vanderbilt begins a year of learning purely for the sake of learning. He tackles five main skills (and picks up a few more along the way), choosing them for their difficulty to master and their distinct lack of career marketability–chess, singing, surfing, drawing, and juggling.

Wait, distinct lack of career marketability?

What sort of bull roar is that?

My yogi inspired bliss was instantly shattered and I half-heartedly tried to discover what Tom learned about surfing but only discovered that he almost got stung by a scorpion, or something, at a Costa Rican surf camp.

Serves him right.

Distinct lack of career marketability my eye.

Parko's old joint at 41 Crystal Waters Drive, Tweed Heads.

World champion surfer and former beer baron Joel Parkinson sells beloved waterfront compound for record price; buys into VAL-developer’s Snapper Rocks tower: “For a surfer, you couldn’t get a better view on the Coast!”

"No brainer," says Parko.

The 2012 world champ and former part-owner of Balter Beer, Joel Parkinson, has sold his riverfront Tweed Heads compound for a record-breaking $2.52 million and bought into VAL developer Paul Gedoun’s exclusive Flow residences overlooking the Supa Bank at Rainbow Bay.

Parkinson’s house at 41 Crystal Waters Drive, Tweed Heads, five beds, three shitters, was bought in 2006 by the then twenty five year old for $1.1 million.

Its myriad features, which  include a boat pontoon, seapen, private beach and solar battery storage put homebuyers, already driven insane by Australia’s latest property bubble, into a terrific spin and was sold after only one inspection.

Peeling a little off that sale, as well as the proceeds of the $200 million sale of Balter Beer, Parko has bought into the yet-to-be-completed twelve-storey build at 1 Petrie St, Rainbow Bay, twenty-two apartments or “oceanic residences” with an average price of three-and-a-half mill.

Gonna look right into the SupaBank.
Day beds at Flow.

As I wrote six months ago, it’s got all the usual markers of wealth, heated pool, daybeds, steam room, gymnasium, personal surfboard locker rooms, fire pit, even a “surfboard preparation room” where, perhaps, locals might be employed to fix their masters’ surfboards and where lucky children with whisky breath will be free to roam and little dogs sourced from Mexico will be trained to walk on their hind legs. 

Parko, who has three children, says as much as digs living on a river, ain’t no place like the ocean.

“We’ve been out of town, off the beach, for a while now and now with the kids growing up, we wanted to be closer,” he told the Courier Mail. “For a surfer, you couldn’t get a better view on the Coast than what we’ll have from Flow. It was a bit of a no-brainer and we got in (to buy) as fast as we could. The quality of finishes and the lifestyle are going to be incredible. We’re very lucky.”

Four-time world surfing champ Mark Richards, who was an owner in the low-rise block of six ghetto apartments that sold to the developer for twelve-mill and which was subsequently demolished for Flow, has also bought into the tower.

The six low-rise ghetto apartments at Rainbow Bay sold, in one line, for twelve-mill.

“MR is probably Australia’s greatest surfing legend, with some great stories to tell, and I can’t wait to have a Friday afternoon beer with him,” Parko told the Courier Mail.