Somehow upon arrival back home in Maine the surf gods delivered a clean head high swell for a couple days of fun long-boarding around the seacoast. I was fortunate to get to surf with a handful of my uncles and cousins on the first session. Due to our family’s reputation in the area, one of the local surf photographers and journalists snapped a few shots before we got out into the water. Below you will find a brief tribute to my Nana and family from his weekly journal and the photo. Also check his website at: ralphspic.com. Thanks for the words Ralph.
On Saturday before I went and caught my waves I ran into the McInnis clan at one of the surf breaks. Their mother and Matriarch of the whole McInnis clan had passed away this week. Mary McInnis was in her 90′s. She had so many children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, that it would be impossible to name them all here. A good chunk of the McInnis clan are surfers.
I was there shooting photos when they all showed up.
Some came in from Hawaii and some…came in from Japan. They were all here to honor and remember this amazing woman. Another irony that does not escape me is the fact that one of the kids came from Japan. He missed the earthquake and Tsunami to attend the service. of his grandmother.
A handful of them went out for a surf. I got some pics of them and was so pleased to see the McInnis clan rally around the ocean. They had planned to meet here. The Ocean. The surf was on their minds. Here was a family mourning the loss of the Matriarch of their family and they had settled on this rallying point. On the ocean to both greave and celebrate the life of their beloved Mary.
So I witnessed in less than 24 hours. The absolute horror of what the ocean can do, to the absolute joy that it is equally capable of doing. And I left the McInnis family that morning feeling better about life. And more specifically, the ocean and surfing. And I was reminded once again, the healing process of what surfing can do for your soul. My own words echoed true in my mind. As they always have in times of sadness and celebration.
“Surfing Heals All Wounds.” Rest in peace Mary McInnis and all the souls who passed away in Japan this last week.
The following day I ran into a good friend, Nolan, who now works for Grain Surfboards, one of the most finely crafted boards you’ll find out there. We met up again the following week and seeing as he was with the Grain possy, they lent me The Biscuit, a collaboration between Grain Surfboards and Channel Islands. The board was 6’0 and chunky as. It felt like a long board when paddling (especially duck-diving – thanks Long Sands) but on the wave it rode fast and with maneuverability.
JohnnyB and Me @ Long Sands
Nolan took us back to the Grain headquarters, less than ten minutes from my house, and I finally was able to see the inner-workings of Grain Surfboards. These boards represent a life time investment, not only into the board but the love of surfing. Grain has done an unbelievable job putting Maine surfing on the map by sending these logs out all over the world. Not only can you purchase one of these boards, but you could also buy the Grain build your own kit, to lay some of your own time and energy into crafting your own board. They hold classes throughout the Fall, Spring and Summer, so get up to Maine and build yourself one of these beauties!
Custom built 9’6, glass-on fin/leash plug. One word – Classy
Nolan’s work mobile – aka Da Pug
Grain – the way surfing should be
Check out Grain Surfboards.com for more info.