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Close Encounters of
Dan "Crag" King
"The Margarita Man"

North County Bodyboarder
San Diego, CA

Click on pic to see Dan about to be shacked at his favorite EC break, IRIS, 9/28/02
"Get in the pit and try to love someone!"
- Kid Rock

"Which posters to alt.surfing have you met, surfed, or tripped with, where and when?"
I attended the first SanOPalooza, this was the first time I met anybody from alt.surfing.  Attendees were:  sdbchguy, Sunash, B_K, Steve Lange, Tim Maddux, Craig Kemnitz, NeoN, John Hermesman, Mike (just mike), and Tom Keener.

I paddled out at Old Man's on my body board, but I can't really say that I surfed with anybody there because (a) it was impossible to catch waves, and (b) everybody got lost in the crowd almost immediately.   I would later surf with some of the people that I met that day.  6 pts.

I did go on to surf fairly often with Mike, and have been out a few times with John H (4 pts).

A couple of months later, the infamous Foondoggy was in town, this coincided with another Craig K trip to SanO.  It was SanOPalooza mark II.  In addition to seeing some repeat customers from the first event, I met Tom Tweed and Foon for the first time.  Once again, although I paddled out, I couldn't honestly say I surfed *with* anyone at this event.  (2 pts).

I surf Joanne VanMeter's North County local break pretty often in the summer, so it was inevitable that we'd run into each other in the water there sometime.  It happened early in the summer of 2000.  BA was out that day also.  Since then, I have run into JV and BA at a La Jolla break several times, surfed a deserted Baja point break with them, and dawn patrolled Black's with BA.  (4 pts).

Sometime early in 2001, Craig K made another Orange County pilgrimage.  I bodyboarded in San  Diego that morning, and then drove up to San Onofre.  I paddled out on a borrowed longboard, with NeoN and Craig.  I did catch a few waves and managed to pop up, but quickly lost my balance.  Since I was leashless, I did a lot of swimming.  It was more kooking than surfing, but I'll still take the points (4 pts).

I met up with John H and Andy Woodard for a dawn patrol to celebrate World Surf day 2001.  After we surfed, Andy had to leave but John and I ventured down to Old Man's, where we met some of the usual suspects, including globe trotting Isreali surfer Ben Rak.  (2 pts)

Ben was staying in the next town over from me, and was willing to surf as much as possible.  So we ended up hitting a lot of the breaks in San Diego County.  One week after World Surf Day, we hooked up with TDSurf and Tower7. (4pts)  A few weeks after that, Ben and I spent a long weekend scoring epic surf at a popular point break in Baja (3 pts), where by strange coincidence, we ran into George Barnes (OBSurfr) and Carson.  Although none of us knew it at the time and only figured it out afterward, I still think it is worth at least 2pts.
PontoPalooza, June 2001.  Joanne put together an alt.surfing gathering at her homebreak, and graciously hosted a party at her house immediately afterward.  Many of the locals attended, along with a couple of travellers. 

The surf was crap:  waist-high gutless windslop and not worth paddling out.  JV offered to let me borrow a longboard. I told her that I thought something around 8' would be better.  I was expecting that she might have a funshape hidden somewhere among the quiver of boards that was stashed in the rafters.   She dug deep and pulled out a channel-bottom, swallow-tail thruster.  What the hell, I gave it a try.  It was too narrow for me. And for some reason, my instinct was to go left, even though I am regular foot.  That strikes me as wierd, must have been the aura of a previous owner.  I kooked every popup (also the aura of a previous owner? ;) , but I was able to catch a few waves and ride it like a kneeboard, with a little bit of control.  You should've seen Rod Rodger's face when I came careening 
straight toward him! 

I also tried Rod's paipo board.  The thing duckdives like a dream.  I wasn't wearing fins and the waves weren't at all powerful, but I was able to catch a couple, enough to tell that the board has some serious speed potential.  Still, I came away from the experience liking my own board the best! 

Oh, that's right, this is supposed to be an AS points update.....  I had already met and/or surfed with most of the attendees, so the only AS points I picked up at the PontoPalooza were for spending water time with Rod Rodgers (2 pts). 

Major props to JV for arranging and hosting the PontoPalooza!

In late July, 2001 shortly before Ben left town, we hooked up for a morning session.  There was a little S swell rolling in.  After checking a couple of spots, and passing we pulled into the parking lot at John4Surf's home break (Cardiff Reef).  Ben immediately spotted John's classic surfmobile, a Woodie.  We parked and spent a few minutes chatting with John.  The surf looked pretty good, so we suited up and paddled out.   Ben and John surfed the Reef. I paddled out and around the pack of longboarders sitting there, and continued N to Suckouts, which was definitely working - I got in and 
out on my first two waves, and I later made it out of a barrel takeoff.  John left long before we got out of the water.  I had a pretty good session, and although I didn't surf the same peak with John, I will still 
claim 2 points for this one.

Neal Miyake was in San Diego again in late August (2001).  The day after I got back from my Baja trip with Terry, I met Neal, BA, and JV at the Snores for a surf session in small, very crowded and somewhat marginal conditions (particularly compared to where I had surfed the previous day).  Neal 
posted a session report on his website (http://www.hisurfadvisory.com/sesh/new3/sesh343.htm).

Fall 2001 Trip to Baja with Terry Hendricks and the Baja Buggy.  Go here for the story.

November 2001.  Dave Blake and I hooked up three times for surf during his recent visit to San Diego for a neurological convention -- narrowly missed a fourth. We surfed Blacks, Windansea, and Swamis.  I surfed with Big Flame Blake and Tom Keener at small, sloppy, and thoroughly unimpressive Black's.  While Blake was in town we also caught sessions at small but fun Windansea (with Hermesman, Pink Bod, and JV), and decently sized but disappointingly mushy Swarmi's (with JV, TH put in a parking lot cameo).   Big Flame was pretty cool in person, not what you'd expect from his online persona.

I went deep into Baja with Terry and Mike from 12/28 to 1/02.  George Barnes is a regular at the spot where we ended up, and was there spending a couple of weeks with his wife and daughter.  We camped in the same area for a few days, and caught a few waves together.  Here's the links to George's pictures from that trip (Page 1 and Page 2).  Here is my story with pics.  Here's George's trip report thread on alt.surfing.

March 30, 2002 - Steve 'the Mind" Marshall's Visit to San Diego.  World Surf Day brought beautiful clear skies and 75+ degree temperatures with a light W breeze carrying the strong spring scents of citrus blossoms and jasmine to my house in the hills, far from the coast.  However, the San Diego county coastline had typical conditions for this time of year: leaden skies, chilly temps, and onshore winds that ruined the 1-2' background slop.  I crossed the transition point from gorgeous to, well, less than gorgeous about 5 miles from the coast as I drove to the appointed World Surf Day festivities in Carlsbad.

Despite the conditions, John H, Steve M, JV, and BA valiantly paddled out to a very uncrowded lineup at Bobbi G-Land.  Keener, sdbchguy and I stood around in the parking lot checking out the WIP on hydrofoil v7, and pictures from the Four Corners Tour. After an hour or so, our intrepid stoke warriors finally got their fill of waves, and we all retreated to the warmth of Casa Van Meter, where we enjoyed a few hours of surf videos, cold refreshing beverages, and general hilarity (see pic).  Keener may have photographic evidence of the *death-defying* surf conditions, and JV has posted some interesting video on her website. 

I nominated be this weekend for WSD because I felt that if we were going to be constrained by the traditional spring dates (and almost inevitable crappy surf), we might as well make the most of it and 
entertain a travelling alt.surfer.

During Gioni's visit to San Diego (July 2002), I surfed with Gioni and also Tom Tweed.

During my trip to Baltimore (Aug 11, 2002), I got an opportunity to surf with Foon (+1) and Kirk (+2) in addition to Rod.  See the reports here.

Labor Day at the DelMarVa.

GuidoPalooza 2002 (Sept 2002).  A great time was had by all.  See the GP stories at the GP2K2 Stories and Pics page.

Baja Surfing  2000. Jim "Genius" Phillips just recently started posting.  I surfed with him a couple of years ago, in Baja.

February 2003.  Joanne VanMeter, Rod Rodgers and I blasted the NW coastal Puerto Rico breaks. More stories to follow but you can check JCV's storyline in her videos and pics and Rod's reports are posted here.

AS Points Log:  I have...
... met the following ASers ...surfed with these ASers ...traveled with these ASers
Steve Lange
Tim Maddux
Andy Woodard
Bill "pink bod" Andrews
Craig Kemnitz
Dave Blake
Gioni Pasquinelli
Jim "Genius" Phillips 
John Hermesman
Neal "Sponge" Miyake
Steve 'the Mind" Marshall
Tom Keener
Tom Tweed
Ben Rak
George Barnes (OBSurfr)
Joanne VanMeter
KC Filer
Kirk Mantay
Mike (just mike) Lietzow
Neal Carver
Rod Rodgers
Terry Hendricks (sdbchguy)
6 x 1 point = 17 x 2 points = 10 x 3 points =
6 points 34 points 30 points

Point totals:  70

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Last updated on 06/21/08
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