Going to Skookumchuk is a yearly trip for Body Boat Blade and it suspiciously always falls around the time of Leon's birthday in early September. This year we went to the wave with former students and friends - Nicholas Gray, Don Cheyette, Melinda Buttles and Ben Bowan. Leon and I arrived late on a Saturday at the Back Eddy Resort and Pub home of the infamous Skookumchuk burger, however we only ended up ordering a baby-Skookumchuk burger and an IPA. During dinner Leon and I discussed whether we should consider this trip to be work or play. Not fully deciding, Leon got up to go to the bathroom and on his way he spied a blackboard with these words scribbled on it:


"A master In the art of living draws no sharp distinction between work and play; labor and leisure; mind and body; education and recreation. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself he always appears to be doing both."


We were taken aback by the serendipitous nature of the words in light of our dinner conversation. Life really is about significant memorable moments, and we could not express our thoughts and feelings better than these words. We thank the anonymous writer who left them on the blackboard for others to read.

Full in the belly, fully inspired, and full of anticipation of the next few days of surf, we left the pub to set up our tent in the waterfront site, meet the gang and hang out some more, and hang out some more and spend some time with the hula- hoops before crawling into the tent for the night.

The age difference this year was vast - Leon setting the upper age at 54 and Don representing today's youth at 23 years old. Surfing at Skooks is literally a multi-age activity. We hope to be going surfing there well into our 80's if we are lucky! Happy Birthday Leon!

Speaking of Leon, we were not sure that he would be able to surf this year as 10 days prior to the trip he had orthoscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. No doubt motivated by the fond memories of past Skooks trips he healed enough to get in the boat and surf 4 days.

Riding the wave in sea kayaks or in white water boats is always a thrill beyond belief. Looking down through the wave and seeing with clarity the sea stars on the reef below and the kelp flowing in the current. Being aware of each precise movement of your legs, hips and torso to create an edged boat that allows you to cut back and forth across the face of the wave. Probably the most incredible is to experience the wave with people who are new to the wave, watching them surf, and seeing them smile!


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