Due to some traveling this past month I have not been able to get onto the water. It has been a little frustrating as sailing is all I want to do anymore; but watching one of my oldest and closest friends get married to an extraordinary women was well worth missing a day on the boat.
Another positive that blossomed out of this month has been my dad sending me a book: Susan Casey’s The Wave. What a fantastic read! I sped through the book in a matter of days. After reading the first six pages I almost called in sick to work so I wouldn’t have to stop reading.
The book details Casey’s journey to learn about and better understand how freak and rouge waves occur. In doing so she tells unbelievable stories of 100ft waves punching holes into 300,000 ton tankers that are never heard from again. Scientists who admit to knowing next to nothing about how the ocean creates these waves that were once thought of as tall tails spun by sailors.
Aside from the carnage, the heart of the book revolves around Casey following around Laird Hamilton. For the uninitiated Laird is the Dali Lama of big wave surfing. He doesn’t compete for over-sized cardboard checks, he doesn’t seek the spotlight, he surfs big waves because it is in his nature to do so. In the lifetime pursuit of his passion he has become a Waterman of the highest order. What Casey learns from hanging out with Laird and the Strapped Crew is every bit as informative, and powerful as what she learns from Oceanographers and Physicists about the behavior of the worlds oceans. There are ample warnings throughout about how climate change is affecting the worlds oceans. This can be summed up in the phrase: More of everything. More flooding, more tsunamis, more water claiming more and more land…and of course more waves. Big, big waves.
This blog was not intended to be a place to hock peoples wares. However, a love of the ocean and a respect for its power and profound mystery is of paramount importance to me. This book falls neatly into that category and if nothing else it is very well written. If you get the chance grab this book.