Spreading Aloha

Q  014We first found out about “spreading aloha” on a plaque commemorating surfing by a beach called “Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park”, one of many famous surfing spots in San Diego. The plaque reads:

Q  016Q  017SURFER’S MEMORIAL – TOURMALINE CANYON SURFING PARK

This monument honors the past and present surfers at Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park who have embraced its beach, surf and camaraderie. Since the opening of the park in May 1963, Tourmaline’s local surfers have shared their time, skills, and wisdom with all who have been interested in receiving them. Great surfers and fine men and women have grown up within the Tourmaline culture, and carry the positive traits learned here into their lives and those of the people around them.

“Surf Well, Spread Aloha, Share Waves Without Judgment.”aloha  034

We were a bit surprised by the usage of “spreading” aloha, as we always thought of aloha as a greeting. So we decided to find out more about its real meanings.

Aloha 2Q  018Wikipedia has the following definition:

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion and mercy. Since the middle of the 19th century, it also has come to be used as an English greeting to say goodbye and hello.aloha  035

Aloha (1)And huna.org/html/deeper.html describes the deeper meaning of aloha:

Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain – it is my pain. When there is joy – it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect.

This is Hawaiian – this is Aloha!Aloha 1

Q  015The magic of the sea captivates many of us. And although I’m not a surfer, I believe that passionate surfers cherish the sea. And that the surfer community is strong, much like the strong communities of RVers and bloggers that we have discovered.Aloha

Aloha  005Hector surfed a little when he was in high school and also in Puerto Rico in the 90’s, so he has a real appreciation for the sport. This is what he describes as the challenges and the joy of surfing:

“How to read the incoming sets, the beautiful calm of sitting on your board outside the break riding gently up and down the swells, paddling to “catch” the wave, the magic moment when the wave rises up behind you and the fleeting time when you get to actually ride it. And finally, the awesome power of the wall of water when the all too common fall happens.”

Aloha  002Aloha  004As for me, any opportunity to be by the water makes me happy. I love the smell and sound of the ocean. Coming from the Caribbean, however, I don’t get to experience actually being in the water here in the Pacific – way too cold for me, even with a wetsuit.   But two out of three isn’t bad.Q  023IMG_6179

Aloha  007The surf culture is really present in San Diego, there are a lot of devoted surfers here. We’ve seen lots of cars with surfboards on their roof, but also bicycles, mopeds and other contraptions with surfboards attached.Q  009Aloha  006

Q  008Sharing AlohaQ  025And so on a couple of days when the surf was up we headed out to watch and photograph surfers.

We drove from one surfing beach to another to watch different surfers from different angles and surfing different breaks.Q  026Q  030

Q  015Some were graceful, others not so much. But all seemed to be enjoying the good surf.

We thought of our friend Carlos, another photographer, who is currently working in South Africa and has rediscovered surfing while there.  Aloha Charlie!Q  024Q  019Q  020Q  021Q  022Q  013

Q  011One very clear afternoon, we stayed to watch the sunset. And had an unexpected surprise; we saw the green flash for the first time ever!  Well, actually Hector saw (and photographed) the green flash, I had looked away just at that moment and missed it. But we have the photo.  So cool!

The Green Flash!

The Green Flash!

aloha  032We really enjoyed watching the surfers and admire these men and women for persevering to master the skill of surfing.

So in closing my dear friends and readers, I wish you all Aloha.

~ BrendaQ  010

19 thoughts on “Spreading Aloha

  1. OMG! The green flash!

    I can’t believe we were in San Diego at the same time. It was so so good to see you. I love what you’re doing, and you do it so well

    See you again before long.

    Much love, Theresa

  2. Well…this was a very special post. Hector, the photography is amazing. Your header is spectacular. Loved every photo, especially the green flash:) Brenda, your narrative was a joy to read. Your word just flowed. What a great story:)

    • We spent so many times staring out at the sunset over the water waiting for the green flash and this was the first time Hector saw it. You were lucky to have seen it at so young an age 🙂

  3. Aloha Brenda and Hector! I love that Tourmaline promotes peace among surfers, some surf breaks along the San Diego coastline are not so welcoming to others.

    If you have an opportunity, take the stairs at the end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd. down to the rocky beach on a low tide day. It’s a lovely place to wander for a while.

    Nice green flash capture!

    • Aloha Lisa, you are so right that some surfers could work on their “sharing waves without judgement” skills 🙂

      Hi to the Tiki Man!

      H

  4. This may be up there as one of my all-time favorite posts of yours Brenda! First off, after having Hector describe the “green flash”, I still was not able to picture what it might look like in a photo…fabulous! We love to watch the surfers as well. The beach just off the Self-Realization Center in Encinitas is a great place to watch some good surfers. I had no idea that there was such deep meaning in the word ‘aloha’…beautifully written Brenda. And Hector, as always, your photos are wonderful. Aloha to you both! 🙂

    • Thanks! We went to the Self-Realization Center, it will be in the next post. I loved learning about the word aloha, and enjoyed writing about it. And Hector says thank you too!

  5. Your writing and photographs are splendid! And this post was especially endearing, so wanted to let you know I’ve been very much enjoying traveling with you vicariously the past year.

    In the 1970’s, my partner and I surfed the beautiful, but often tar-gobbed from an awful oil spill, waters near Santa Barbara. Aloha in words and deeds was abundant, and this gorgeous post made feel so nostalgic. When we moved to the Pacific North Coast in 1980, a surfer was a rare site; but, the Oregon Coast and surfing has gained so much popularity that dozens can now be seen floating in the water at Oswald waiting for the tiniest wave even in the rain.

    Much thanks for sharing your journey through your written and photographic lenses.
    Aloha♥

    • Thank you so much! Those Oregonians don’t let a little rain spoil their fun, do they? We very much enjoy sharing. Aloha.

  6. Lovely story and photos, but that is not a green flash in the photo. Green flash is when the absolute last point of sun drops below the horizon. The exact moment the sun disappears, the flash occurs, and most often on a super, super clear day — which this was not. And way too much sun still visible above the horizon in the photo. Just don’t want anyone to be confused about what the green flash really is. But it looks like you enjoyed a wonderful day and a fabulous sunset, so good to share these beautiful days with your friends.

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