Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Surf School Instructor sees amazing sight in the surf...

Surf School students take a pause in their lessons to watch the launch
of the Space Shuttle 'Atlantis' last week from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Photos courtesy of Florida Today
I am a big fan of the Space Shuttle program and I am very sad to see the program come to end. On my many surfing expedition trips to Florida over the years, I have been lucky enough to witness first-hand, three live launches of the Space Shuttle over it's 30 year history - which covered some 134 mission launches.

I have to say, it's one of the best things I have ever seen with my human eyes!

My good friend from Florida, Surf Contest Announcer and founder of Indo Boards - Hunter Joslin took me too my first ever live launch of the Space Shuttle back in 1983.

Together we had just done the commentary for the '83 OP Pro in Atlantic City, New Jersey and had driven and surfed the entire US East Coast from New Jersey all the way down to reach Hunter's home in Florida.

The Mission logo from STS 08
from back August 1983
On the 30th of August 1983, Hunter and I were standing on the beach at Cocoa Beach at 2:00am in the morning to watch the first night launch of just the eighth shuttle mission ever [STS 08] and it was flown by the Space Shuttle Challenger [that was subsequently lost in a disastrous fashion during take-off on January 28th, 1986].

I am also reminded in looking at the photo at the top, I have some really good friends who are Surf School Instructors. One of them is Cronulla's own Mark Aprilovic.

A time exposure of a Space Shuttle launch, as reflected in
the waterways behind homes near Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Mark runs the very successful Cronulla Surf School in Cronulla. Another good Surf Instructor friend is Rick Gamble.

Rick, an expatriate Aussie, is the only fully qualified instructor on the island of Phuket in Thailand. [Yes, Phuket gets surf]. He also runs the only hard core surf shop in Phuket located in Surin Beach - the shop is called Saltwater Dreaming.

I wonder if my good Surf Instructor friends like Mark or Rick will ever see anything like a Space Shuttle being launched while giving a surf lesson in Cronulla or Phuket? Quite an amazing distraction as you paddle back out to the line up eh?

In the photo at the very top taken last week; Lauren Holland, holding the board on the right, is a surf instructor for School of Surf in Cocoa Beach, Florida points out the launch of the final Space Shuttle Atlantis to two of her surf students Sam Jannke, 10, left, and his brother Gianni Jannke, 12, from out in the surf off the end of Minutemen Causeway in Cocoa Beach.

What a classic backdrop sight to have during your first surfing lesson.
Steve Core

AUG 2011: Check my brand new blog; Swap Surf - a blog [as it grows] that will list, detail and report on Surf Swap meets and dry land surfboard events. Click Here


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