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I fumbled a bit as I tried to quickly get my camera reloaded with anew roll of film. It was a great day for surfing in these parts of NewEngland. The sun was out, air temperatures were finally warm enough toresemble early summer and the high tide was full with eager surfers. Iwas just as eager to photograph these local surfers. I finally got thecamera loaded and turned around when a wave came crashing onto therock that I was standing on. It almost knocked me off balance! It alsobrought back memories of my grandma telling me to never turn my backto the ocean.

I fumbled a bit as I tried to quickly get my camera reloaded with a new roll of film. It was a great day for surfing in these parts of New England. The sun was out, air temperatures were finally warm enough to resemble early summer and the high tide was full with eager surfers. I was just as eager to photograph these local surfers. I finally got the camera loaded and turned around when a wave came crashing onto the rock that I was standing on. It almost knocked me off balance! It also brought back memories of my grandma telling me to never turn my back to the ocean.

One of the fondest memories I have of Hawaii is of the family picnics and bar-b-que at Sunset beach. It was potluck and all my aunt and uncles would bring ono tasting grinds! My uncles and my dad would set up the grill and load it with pieces of teriyaki chicken, beef and hot dogs. My aunts and mom would set out bowls of chips, rice and a variety of salads. Sometimes we'd set beach rocks on top of the paper napkins and plates to keep them from being blown away by the ocean breezes. And there was always a large cooler or two full of ice and my favorite flavors of Diamond Head soft drinks! I wasn't allowed in the water unless I had a grown up with me but I didn't mind much because there were lots of pine cones to collect, sand crabs to chase and sea shells to hunt for. My cousins and I would chase one another in and out of the trees until one of the grown ups yelled that it was time to "kau kau!"

As usual, after the picnics my grandma would go down to wash some of her pots in the ocean. I'd accompany her while playing in the surf. Quite often I would stand there and watch my grandma as she washed her pots, but a few times I ended up in the water, unexpectedly of course! I remember bending down to watch my grandma wash her pots. Next thing I knew I was on my back and underwater! I can see my grandma pulling me upwards and out of the water. As I'm standing there trying to catch my breath and wipe the saltwater out of my eyes, my grandma starts scolding me. I only catch her last sentence... "Nnnmm, how many times I go tell you nevah turn your back to da ocean!" It wouldn't be the first time my grandma would tell me this, and it would be something I'd never forget about her.

The Atlantic Ocean is much colder than the Pacific Ocean and the ocean breeze feels crisp on my face. As I scan the waves for shot, I remember what my grandma told me that like it was only yesterday. I focus on one of the surfers who smiles as he catches a wave. I smile too and remember my grandma's words, "Never turn your back to the ocean!" then snap a shot!


About Author

I was born in Wahiawa and raised in Pearl City on the island of Oahu. I now reside in Massachusetts just several minutes north of Boston. I'm happily married with two nani daughters, one in high school and the other in college. After being laid off from work as a process engineer due to company downsizing, I made the decision to make my hobby of soap making a business. I missed the "island ways" so it was with this inspiration that I started East Coast Tropics which specializes in handcrafted soaps made of Hawaiian luxury oils. I also enjoy both digital and non-digital photography.

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