Carissa and Bethany Charge Teahupo’o
I heard a voice outside calling my name, and popped up to see Raimana and Tim and Eric in the familiar orange poti marara. “How’s it going? Are you safe? Everything okay?” Raimana asked.
I filled them in briefly on the boatyard complications and promised to see them in the lineup in the coming days…
The next morning the swell had come up…a LOT. I watched from the channel to for a while. The sea seemed extra full—lots of water moving and churning with a storm bump from the night before. The overcast sky made the chopped faces of the monsters look even meaner than usual. Then out came Raimana on a jet ski, Carissa Moore and Bethany Hamilton alongside. It was a bit too much for either of them to paddle, so they took turns getting towed in on the ski. Carissa was doing ‘step-offs’, where she actually jumped right off the racing ski into the face of the wave then standing up on the board. Bethany had to use the rope because of the fact that she only has one arm!? Most people know the harrowing saga of her shark attack on Kauai. To see the girls out there pushing themselves in those heavy waves filled me with joy. I was witnessing the new frontier of women’s surfing. I was proud of how far we’d come, and excited about where it’s going…
The next day was a bit smaller and more in control. I waited for the morning pack of 40 or so to dwindle before giving it a go. Bethany was out again–charging the sets, paddling in without fear. Having been absent from the ‘beast’ for a while, I was feeling pretty nervous. There was still a big, freak set every now and then that caught everyone inside. There I was with two arms and totally scared. Bethany was amazing! I had no idea how good she really was. I caught a few and felt more comfortable, but Bethany’s courage overwhelmed me.
It had been a long time since something had inspired me like she did that day. Not for a second did she seem to let having one arm slow her down–emanating pure determination and commitment. It reminded me that when someone wants something badly enough…when there are no mental blocks within yourself to getting where you want to go…when you believe so strongly in yourself that there is absolutely no question…almost anything is possible… Yeah Carissa! Yeah Bethany! Yeah to all the women who get out there and push themselves in whatever facet or venue that may be!! It always starts with one small step…
KevinJuly 8, 2010
Pardon that allergy of mine… the right eye needs a quick wipe.
Wonderful post about extraordinary folk. I hope you realize you’re included in that pantheon, Liz.
auntieJuly 9, 2010
Great post!! I love you so wonderfulnessxxoo
steveJuly 12, 2010
Amazing! She must be specially endowed with strength and balance. What an inspiration.
Mason MedeirosJuly 13, 2010
Let me just first tell you how much of an inspiration your story and ongoing journey is for me. Reading your writings about living a true life of adventure, outside of the conventional self-inflicted drag, shows me that there is hope.
I have just turned 22 years old and find myself living in San Diego after an impromptu move from South Lake Tahoe. In the mountains I lived the coveted “dirtbag climber” lifestyle, living out of my Ford Ranger when the weather permitted, going here and fro between rock climbing destinations. I now find myself back by the ocean (which I missed so dearly), but yearning for new challenge and adventure.
Sailing has become an obvious interest, but a tough one to kick start with bare pockets. I have found some opportunities on racing vessels as a grinder, but in such a fast paced environment it is hard to get very detailed or eager instruction. I was hoping to get your thoughts on what you would recommend as promising avenues of sailing knowledge and experience for an eager beginner such as myself.
Thanks you and keep the inspiration coming,
lizzyAugust 6, 2010
Thanks so much for your note! I would suggest to anyone with an interest in getting into sailing/cruising…go down to the docks! Talk to people! Meet the people that work on the boats, maybe even apprentice/work/volunteer with one of them. There are so many things to learn on boats–mechanics, electrical, sailmaking, rigging…a professional in any one of these fields is going to be able to teach you a lot. And in the meantime, you might meet other people, connections, cruisers looking for crew, etc. There are boats that need crew all over the world, too. The web has an incredible amount of resources: http://www.latitude38.com/crewlist/Crew.html, http://www.sailnet.com, http://www.workonaboat.com/, http://www.crewfile.com/, http://www.findacrew.net, http://www.davestravelcorner.com/links/crewing.htm. just to start! If you’ll still be in San Diego this fall, you should try to get on one of the boats doing the Baja Ha-Ha. This is a GREAT way to get some sailing experience and meet other people who are into it too. Latitude 38 Magazine puts this on and they can help get you on a boat. Go to the website: http://www.latitude38.com !!
Put yourself in the mix!
Best, Liz :)
RicardoJuly 26, 2010
INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, INSPIRING….! AWESOME!
THIS CHARGE ME FOR ANOTHER 10 YEARS OF SURFING, THIS GIRLS ARE FANTASTIC!
ESPECIALLY BETHANY OF COURSE.
HOW INSPIRING AND ADMIRING.
MY BLESSINGS TO HER
SaidOctober 14, 2010
Respect to Bethany!
Liz, great posts as usual.