Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dirty Water Ono

Another fun day in Hawaii's Waters with Kekoa Mau, Travis Masutani, and James Oshiro. After all that rain I knew the water was going to be dirty so we had to go way out but the visibility was still bad. We did a few drifts, got stung by man-o-war, got taxed by a few sharks, but did manage to land a few opelu kala. Then after a few more drifts a school of Ono come swimming by to check us out. I drop down and one comes in range and I take the shot as it starts swimming away. Luckily my shaft has a break a way head and it sticks good. I go for 5 minute ride as my floater races away. Kekoa and Travis are right beside me swimming as I hang on to my float. What a team! We finally land it and this one weighed in at 32 lbs.

Forecast: Looks like light variable winds will continue with another front moving in this weekend so keep your umbrellas handy. North Shore expected to come up also for you die-hard surfers.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jams World

Welcome to Jams World! (left to right: Pua, Sierra, and Mark lead the Jams World Team and make it all happen). This is the hottest local clothing manufacturer since 1964. If you love color, freedom, difference, and love, then you need to get a hold of this apparel for your wardrobe. We are proud to partner with Jams World and you will see our Hawaii Skin Diver host, Merlinda Garma as well as our Red Sea Film crew now wearing this line of clothes. Help us pass the word, support our sponsors and buy local! Buy Jams World! Check out their website and find a store near you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yahoo Wahoo!

It was a great week of diving here in Hawaii as the waves went small and winds dropped off. Word was that the Ono's showed up so off we went blue water diving with them Hawaii Skin Divers (Keith, James, Keaka, Owen, and Chris). We did 3 drifts and saw nothing so we decided to eat lunch. We drove up current and before we could swallow half a sandwich the ono's showed up. They were circling our boat, fins sticking out of the water as if they were holding a "shoot me" sign so we all jumped in and game on! It was so hilarious, I wish I had my video camera. Everyone got shots off and we filled up our cooler and headed in.

This one weighed in at 40lbs and provided my family and friends sashimi for the rest of the week. It's fun catching fish, great eating fish, but cleaning them is a whole different story...It took me 3 hours to fillet them.

The rest of the weekend looking grey but surf should be coming up on the northshore! So much work to do with the holidays approaching fast but not enough hours in the day. I think I need to start my Christmas shopping soon:) Ooh but the winds may be light for a few more days...stay tuned for more!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Timor Trip BBQ #1

Yesterday one of our Red Sea Groups that went on the Timor Boat trip got together for a afternoon BBQ! If I said it once, I'll say it again, "It's the friendships formed and new relationships built that has always been the most memorable part of our trips." It seem like yesterday we were all sitting or should I say swaying to the gentle rock of the Moana in the Indian Ocean.
Kekoa brought his secret kalbi and started the grill, till Kirby noticed the meat in the same place for 1/2 hour on low heat. McGyver James Oshiro came to the rescue just in time to bring up the fire so we could have grilled meat instead of smoke meat.
As usual Maki was first in line and also made some delicious home made cookies to top of the party! We had a awesome spread and everyone showed up!
Damon "Bintang" Schmidt can drink, just check the size of his mug. I think he put 5 beers in there. Terri also held her own.

Here's a after shot of the Kumus Kirby and I got this week put to use. Key ingredient: Kikkoman Shoyu! Thanks again Barry for a great BBQ and see you next month for BBQ #2!

Well we need fish for this week so gotta go dive again soon:) Kona winds in the forecast for the rest of the week with rising north swell peaking mid week. Showers in the forecast for later in the week so plan your agenda accordingly.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seafood Shopping!

Good Morning Everyone! Been busy working on my boat this week doing some repairs, painting, cleaning...never ending maintenance when you have a boat. Lighter trades started this work week so we boarded the Go-Naminori boat to go seafood shopping at our favorite local market, the Pacific Ocean. After a few hours, Kirby and I got enough food for 2 days, then after 4 hours we got enough 4 days and a weekend BBQ set for this weekend! We got to see a few hungary sharks, Kirby got a handful of "vana" sea urchin in his hand (itai), and all in a days work. Rest of the week, we will see windier conditions and the high pressure system moves in with more scattered showers. Surf is small but the contest must go on as they run out of competition days. Good time to edit, christmas shop, and get ready for the next Red Sea Ocean Adventure!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Heart

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I was thinking what was the top 3 things I was most thankful for this holiday season. Was it the epic waves? Or the big fish we caught? Various exotic places we traveled? What ended rising to the top was having my family, friends, and health. The guy who best exemplifies this is my dad, the artist, worker, & entertainer who is the jack of all trades, master of all....Crow!

He can fix anything, make anything, sell anything, and do anything you want. You may have seen his popular Gyotaku art work in galleries around town like Pictures Plus but he continues to provide our divers and fisherman the awesome memories of their catch as he brings their fish back to life through his art. We are thankful for God's hand in his life and excited to see what He has in store next year! I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday and remember to have a "Thankful Heart" as you face the holiday madness in the malls, on the streets, and in the water as you try a catch that perfect wave.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Red Sea Surf Report

Northshore Surf Report: Pipeline looks like the spot! 8 ft solid with bigger bombs! It's a big west swell so there may be some other spots you check as well. Hope everyone has got their winter quiver ready as the Northshore season has begun. Expect light winds for the second half of the week with excellent surfing conditions. Surf safe!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kai "Ocean" Boys

How do kids get to love the Ocean? First by taking them to the beach to enjoy the ocean. On our last dive, my nephews Maika (left) and Kai (middle) got to get their hands slimy holding onto some of the fish caught. I think one day these two guys will be striking the pose for some cover shot in Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine.

And meet Kai Itoman! Born Nov. 6, 2010 to the proud parents of Erick and Laurene. This little guy is a dream come true and destined to also become a diver, surfer, and ocean lover! I'm sure he will be growing up real fast and next thing you know it he will be tagging along Ericks float. Congratulations to you both!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Father Damon

He is a surfer, lawyer, and knows how to have a good time! Meet Damon Schmidt...If there was one person who put in his time in the water on our last trip to Indo was this guy! I think he surfed 8 hours a day and drank beer for 8 hours at night. I don't how did it but you can see by this photo how much sunscreen was left on his face and the big smile after a good session.

Damon caught so many good waves his arms were like spagetti by the end of each day. Here is was in the right place at the right time at a secret spot all by himself. We had a great time traveling with him and look forward to many more Red Sea Ocean Adventures with him in the future!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tragedy Hits Home!

The surfing world has had heavy hearts this week with yesterday's loss of Hawaii's Andy Irons who passed away from Dengue fever enroute home from Puerto Rico. Our prayers go out to his family and friends...Also the recent tsunami and earthquake in Indonesia has devastated many lives and villages in the Mentawai region. 5 years ago I was at the Macaronies surfing as they were building the resort.
The people were so funny and happy. These two villages were on our TV show, Hawaii Skin Diver and were practicing their english saying, "Stay tuned for more Hawaii Skin Diver"...They would be on the side sitting under a tree weaving straw hats for the construction workers. This was their home.
They built these beautiful bungalows overlooking the mangroves and all of them were washed away from the tsunami. The boats Midas and Freedom 3 were impacted and one caught on fire but luckily their guests made it out as they struggled for safety.

One of our guests, Robin Bond, Jr. was having so much fun talking with them and now we don't know even if they are there safe. Hundreds of people have died and bodies are still not yet found. Sikakap village was also hit hard and with lack of communication it's hard to send help. Surfaid International and many boat charters are gearing up to help in the recovery efforts. Would I travel to the Mentawais again? In a heartbeat! This is a special place, with happy people who now need help. Our next surf trip out there will be a mission of Aloha.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dressed to Kill

Hope everyone had a Happy and safe Halloween! For me I dressed up in my wetsuit pretending to be a diver and headed out to the westside. Did a few drifts with Keith Yamane and we got a few fish for the celebration. The two fish on the right is called Yellow spot papio and it's probably the best jack to sashimi.

This "Hawaiian" Yellowtail came up to eat our chum and got a shaft instead. I dangled it in the water for a while then a Ono came in to investigate. It came in near Keith but kept it's distance so no photo opts with him. Anyways gotta go clean fish now...and prepare for dinner! Have a good week and be safe in the surf coming tomorrow!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Fun!

Traveling to far away remote places makes you appreciate life and what you have. Sometimes the surf is pumping...sometimes it flat. Sometime the fish are around...sometimes they are not around. You find ways to have fun despite the conditions and the experience of traveling becomes much more rewarding. The surfing, diving, and fishing become icing on the cake and building relationships and making new friends are of value.

One of the funniest guys we had join us thus far is these two local boys from Hawaii. Big "J" and "Chiga" knew how to have fun no matter what the conditions. They were the life of the party and pulled out all the stories, jokes, etc. We decided to make a few Red Sea commercials out of their characters. Click here to see more...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Excess luggage

Our group of 12 were so excited for this boat trip they packed everything but the kitchen sink. We had 12 board bags, 14 luggages, and all packed with the essentials. Here we are gearing up at our hotel for our next flight to Nusa Tengarra. I was wondering what kinds of excess luggage we had packed, but when we went to a remote village I saw the goods come out...

One of our highlights was visiting a remote village and sharing all kinds of goodies with the kids. Here Mihoko busted out her candies and the kids were stoked. They probably never had m and m's before or a snicker bar. They were so excited they started eating the wrapper instead of the candies. Another traveler brought a bunch of reading glasses and all the older villagers were amazed they could see much better. This is why we travel! Not just to broaden our minds but to bless those less fortunate. You would never believe how much you have if you never go somewhere like this.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indonesian Paradise

This year we had a bunch of groups traveling to Indonesia and they all scored! Living on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean, sailing, surfing, diving, fishing, and making new friends was our agenda. We saw so many waves, fish, shells, I don't know where to begin....except to share a few snapshots and stories.
Every surfer dreams of a day like this with perfect waves and no crowds. Our group was tripping out when we pulled up to this secret spot with only us out. Solid swell came in on schedule and the rest was history!

We had a bunch of divers/surfers on board also so in between surf sessions we were able to get some fresh fish every day! Kirby Fukunaga, Mihoko Ito, and Kekoa Mau were showing us how it's done. With over 4,000 photos taken, hours of video, and memories to last a lifetime...I can't wait to go back to this Indonesian Paradise next year!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Indo day 2 pics

We made it on board the Moana and the boys are spoiled after day 2. Poncho (left) Eddie (right) and the boys relaxing after a 5 hour surf session.

Jeff and Casey ready for lunch

Do we have enough boards?

300 yard lefts at a secret spot. Need to go dive now.

Indo day 1+2

Red Sea Group made it to Indo after a full day and half of travel. China air was the airline used and all went smooth for the whole group. Day 1 of surfing provided head high surf with roping right handers in the morning, then double overhead sets at a long left in the afternoon. Guys are pounding the bintangs (100 beers per day). Day 2 surfing was head high with 300 yard lefts and 12 guys out in the lineup. I need to take some photos next and get some fish for pupu hour! I'm getting pressured from the boys to get the fish! I love my job!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Shark Cage

I got a chance to go diving with sharks today doing some underwater filming for E-network. We did some cage diving with Northshore Shark Adventures and headed out of Haleiwa Harbor. Neat to see how other big networks run their operation and how their cast and crew interact. Last time I did some underwater filming with this network and finally got to see their finished edited product. We put Wayde Hayashi in the spotlight with their hosts but I did get a back of my head shot in my effesub wetsuit sitting on the boat on air. ha ha!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Surfers

Still got some small surf rolling through today in town so go get all you weekend warriors! I got a few waves in yesterday with 2 guys out, although I was in the water till 7 pm. Forecast looks like more waves to be rolling in later next week with moderate trades so more happy surfers. Have a great day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

No Arms No Legs

Inspirational story of Nick Vujicic, author and motivational speaker. Just checked out his youtube video and thought it was cool! A friend of mine once told me "your attitude will determine your altitude" and I think that's true. Even Nick thinks so too! Your can see your cup as half empty or half full, the choice is up to you... Have a great weekend everyone!

No Arms No Legs Video Click Here

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Got goats

Today target was goats...not billy goats but goatfish (kumu, munu, kali) and we got lucky! Kirby Fukunaga called me up and was itching to dive after traveling all over Japan recently so he, Erick Itoman, and I decided to go out for a quick one to catch dinner for the week.
Mission accomplished! The highlight for me today was getting a "toad" kumu which came out of the deep looked at me, turned away, came back for the second look which was his mistake. With my partners to assist we got it in the boat and called it a day!

My nephew saw it when we came home and had to "ham" it up for the camera. He even scaled it, cleaned it, and I think he wants to eat it now. It weighed in almost 4 lbs. Thanks guys for another great day on the job!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Video of Molokai Dive Adventure with Itomans!

Molokai Video Experience the Friendly Isle with Erick and Ryan Itoman!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Molokai Adventure 2010

Last few days have been really nice here in Hawaii so we packed up for a boat trip to the one of the most beautiful places in this world, Molokai. Steep sheer mountains with waterfalls and nobody around. Like out of a movie we pulled up to this private beach and set anchor. Did you know this place is where they filmed "Jurassic Park"?
Captain Ryan "kamakazi" suited up half way put on his churchill fins and three prong and heading out for a quick dive. Ryan hasn't dove for years and after he put on his wetsuit it was like Clark Kent becoming the "Hawaiian Superman". He had some good bottom time and nailed some nice fish. It was just like high school daze for him and his brother Erick.
Erick is the most mellowest guy I know...He dives with me alot and if he's not working saving lives as a doctor he is diving with me. He stoned this amberjack with a 100 cm Riffe Euro and then called it a day.
Until Evening came and Ryan brought out his bottom fishing gear and started hooking Akule and Opelu. He saw this huge fish swimming around the boat and baited up a opelu and after a few lost strikes he put the bait on the trolling poll and he got a screamer. We did a tag and release on this bad boy after a few photos.

The rest of our 2nd boat crew was Wendell Ko, Puna Apio, and Sue Moreno who hung out with us and we had a great time together with lots of fish for our families. Thanks Ryan and Erick for a great time and can't wait to do it again..and again...and again!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weight Problems

Lot of people struggle with being overweight, I do to...You would think I got this packing this down by now, but every time I travel I struggle to meet the allowable luggage weight limit. Back in the good ol' days it was 2 pieces at 70 lbs per bag for a international flight but now it's only 50 lbs per bag. With surf boards, dive gear, and camera equipment, I'm only left with a few pounds to spare for my clothes and snacks. For domestic flights, many airlines are charging for everything from luggage, meals, movies, etc... who knows' next they will charge you for using the toilet? Well for my next trip, I have the answer! Just pay the excess fee and bring another bag. Happy Travels:)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Went over for a weekend dive with my friends Ray, Wendell, Puna, Johnny, Sue, and Conrad. The water was so nice over there and visibility was at least 100 ft. We had a great crew on board and local boy Derek Hara (not in photo) also joined us. His wife made us the most awesome bento lunches that all we could think about while diving was getting back on the boat and eating.
Our mission was to have 3 divers who never speared pelagic fish before get one each. Mission accomplished as 19 year old Johnny showed us how it was done on this bull mahi. He was stoked and made his dad, Wendell so proud as we got it all on high def video for him to relive.
We ate fresh mahi, ono, ahi, everyday and even saw marlin! Lori Shirakawa made us an awesome dinner that everyone gained weight on the trip.
Then we ate "kona gold" also known as lychee with ice cream on the side. This was so ono, I couldn't stop.

We visited Rick and Angela Bettua of Aimrite Spearfishing on our way out and got a tour of their factory. We had a great time from the Big Island and look forward to getting back there again soon! A big mahalo to Ray, Lori, Derek, and the dive crew for the invitation!