Watercolour on paper

Size: 46cm x 38 cm

II nearly drowned at Sunset Beach on Hawaii’s North Shore.

It was back when I was working setting up a surfboard company and me and another guy had flown out to talk to some legends in the Hawaii surf world about what we could do together.

I am not a great surfer and even though I enjoy being in the water and have done both a bit of sailing and tons of snorkeling it can not be said that I am a great water man. But it was one of those magical evenings with a cool offshore breeze and a calm ocean breaking in about 6 foot sets (Hawaiian waves are measured from the back which makes them almost twice as high as the rest of the world I learned later…)

So I thought, what the hell. Here I am in paradise and we are running a surf company…I can not just chicken out and not surf…So I grabbed my board and thought to myself “I’m just going out for a look, I will sit on the shoulder of the wave and then paddle back in to safety” At least that was the plan….

But as we know plans change….I got sucked in a bit too far and suddenly the wave was breaking in front of me. So what do you do? Well you turn your board around and paddle like crazy hoping that 100 tonnes of water doesn’t simply break you in half. It didn’t but I was spun like in a washing machine and at some point actually gave up. I had no more air in my lungs and just had to breathe. Now here is a revelation for you, One can actually take breaths under water. I have tried…twice.

Just as I thought it was all over I broke the surface and emptied my lungs of water. I was completely naked, my shorts gone, but I found the board and using it to float I could finally make it safely back on to the beach.

For a loooong while I just sat there looking at the ocean. Happy to be alive and humbled by the experience I learned that day to respect the ocean.

When you look from the bottom up, or is it towards the bottom.? This is sort of what it looks like.