Musings by the Surf: Good Vibes and Great Surf at the Kailua Shorebreak Classic.

Hurricane Lane could only postpone the inevitable. The Kailua Shorebreak Classic was back in full throttle on October 20th at Kalama Beach Park. Celebrating the lives of four legendary Kailua surfers and watermen, the free amateur surf competition represents much more than showcasing some crazy talented keiki. It is a day committed to community building, environmental stewardship, and (of course) friendly competition. My previous post provides a summary of the Shorebreak Classic and its core tenets.

A brown water advisory for the day meant that … well … the keiki were not dropping in on picturesque azure blue waves. A little Dirty Water, however, would not discourage these grommets from a day of sun and surf. Brown or blue, there were waves to conquer.  

To photogenically avoid the Yoo-Hoo dilemma, I dusted off my black-and-white photography toolkit. While this is a seldom-used style for me, I hope that the images can uniquely capture the faces, emotions, and relationships of this vibrant surf culture. 

Exuding a retro surf vibe, this photo essay is best paired with a few Dick Dale classics. So crank up the tunes and enjoy some Musings by the Surf at the 14th Annual Kailua Shorebreak Classic.

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Visual Musings: the Balinese Road Less Traveled

Any reference to Bali typically conjures images of picturesque sunsets, stunning waterfalls, and world-class waves that would stoke any surfer. But while the natural beauty of Bali initially captures our attention, its people and culture add the richness and vibrancy that make this island stand apart from any other destination on earth.

This Photo Essay documents my recent travels to Bali, focusing on the roads less traveled and exploring the culture of this incredible island and the people that make it so uniquely special. 

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The Java Bean Catalyst: A Cat’s Tale of Kopi Luwak

In my previous post, we set off on our caffeinated caravan by heading to Sumatra, where I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Long Coffee & Roastery and got an insider glimpse at the small farm enterprises that collectively make Indonesia a legendary coffee destination. 

In this post, we explore another coffee product that famously finds its home in the Indonesian archipelago: Kopi Luwak (or “luak”). No coffee has a more distinct methodology or cultish intrigue than Kopi Luwak. And with a price tag often surpassing hundreds of dollars per pound, it is often cited as the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world.

Why the fanatic fascination? Let’s find out … 

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The Java Bean Catalyst: A Caffeinated Caravan Through the Coffee Farms of Indonesia

Coffee is the kickstarter for many American mornings. But as any local Starbucks will confirm, sugar, soy, and syrups too often tragically trump origin or varietal in the coffee selection routine. The sweetener is mightier than the bean. [Insert Frowny Face]. 

Time to change that mocha mindset. Coffee is far more complex, fascinating, and tasty than our local cafés serving sugary swill may let on. It is a global enterprise with regional varietals, methods, and characteristics that offer deliciously unique experiences in every cup. The bean is mightier than the sweetener! [Insert Happy Face]. I see a coup brewing to take back our beloved joe. Viva la café revolución! 

The revolution can start right here in the Asia Pacific, which is home to some of the largest and most prestigious coffee-producing regions in the world. In a new and occasional series, coffee shall be our caffeinated caravan to cafés and farms across the Pacific Rim.  

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The Sumatran Sojourn: Life on the Street in Lubuklinggau

Most tourists to Indonesia flock to the azure blue waters and sandy beaches of Bali and Lombok, its most famous islands. There is much in this vibrant and diverse country, however, that extends beyond the wandering eyes of the outside world. It is amongst the Indonesian roads less traveled that I have found the most rich and rewarding experiences.

Welcome to Lubuklinggau …

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Visual Musings: Indonesia and the Portrait of a Thousand Faces

We encounter countless strangers in our daily commutes to work, the gym, to restaurants and pubs. On most occasions, we pass them by without notice. We are too busy, too shy, or simply don't care. 

But what if we didn't? What if instead we made an effort to see, to smile, or even engage in conversation? What would we see, and would it change us?

My Indonesian street odysseys were the perfect environments to explore these musings.

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