Thursday, December 21, 2006

My New Surf Kayak

I'm picking it up today. It comes from England. Very pricey and very nice. I can't wait to play in my new toy.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Trash Pickup Mandatory?

Oh boy I can't believe my eyes. The city has made it official and they are requiring all home and business owners in the City of Ocean Shores to have trash collection and removal.

Can you say "lawsuit?" I've already heard the rumors....

The gist of the law is that if you have a fulltime or partime house here, you have to have LeMay Enterprises Inc. (which is a privately owned company in Pierce County who is behind the push to have a car museum in Tacoma) provide you with a trash can and you have to pay them for the service-whether you use it or not.

If you have a lot, you don't have to have trash service. But, if you have a camping lot and you are camping on it, you have to purchase a trash bag per each five days you camp on your lot. The bags are white and have the City's logo on them. You purchase them from the police department when acquiring your camping permit or at the Permit Center. When you are done camping, you put the trash bag in the trash receptacle located at the Permit Center (first building North of the Gas station on Point Brown Ave.).

So, there you go. Don't forget to call LeMay at 360.533.1251. Oh, and if you currently aren't using LeMay for trash service, don't worry. They will contact the City's Code Enforcement Officer each month and relay which residents or businesses in town who do not have trash collection. Not having trash collection (even if you take your trash to the dump on your own-like me) is a violation of the ordinance.

Now I wonder what the City's going to do about all the trash cans that are knocked over during the wind storms and all the trash is blowing everywhere?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Big Storm was overrated

Not everyone agrees with me, but the big storm that came in Thursday night wasn't that bad out here on the North beach. Yes, we did lose our power until Friday night, but overall, I thought the storm last January '06 was much worse.

The news kept saying there was going to be 35' waves. I never saw anything even close to that. Heck, the storms in November showed bigger waves down at the Jetty. In January, that storm was throwing huge logs over the jetty wall into the jetty front houses and the road was covered in sand and debris. Nothing this week....

A few houses around town did have some trees land on top of them (mainly near the golf course where the trees are tall) and there was a few homes near the jetty that did have some missing roof tiles (none of my listings or homes/condos that I've sold by the way). Good job to my builders. :) I did spend a couple of hours driving around fixing some of my signs that blew down, but again, it was nice not having the kid in school or having to work for the day and instead driving around, hanging with my fam and using up all of my zip ties fixing signs. I need to get something else to keep those signs together instead of zip ties...

All in all, things are back to normal around here except it's really cold at around 37 degrees. Oh, and the sun is coming out. Maybe I'll go surfing later. Nah, too cold and I've got a listing appointment at 2. Late,


Article about Kayak Surfing in the NY Times

I just came across this article today written in the NY Times. If you haven't guessed, I really enjoy kayak surfing here in Ocean Shores and go out and surf as much as I can (weather permitting of course). Here's the article....

Vince Shay of Los Osos, Calif., getting some air on a wave.

Kayak Surfing: Seat-of-Your- Pants Excitement

Bill Becher for The New York Times

LOMPOC, Calif. — A wooden sign at a remote beach in Central California is carved with the words “dangerous surf.” That is why, on the first weekend in December each year, surf kayakers descend on Jalama Beach. In their tiny boats, they are hoping to ride big waves kicked up by winter storms.

Say “surfing” and “California” and most people picture a tanned young man in board shorts standing on a surfboard. Kayak surfers don helmets and neoprene tops, and stuff themselves into what look like short river kayaks, but with a flat, surfboard-like bottom and fins.

Using a double-ended paddle for power, surf kayakers launch from the beach and watch the breaking waves, timing their entry so they can punch through a smaller wave.

Wedged in tightly for maximum control, the kayak surfers cannot jump off when they wipe out or easily duck-dive under a big wave like a board surfer. They have to ride out a mistake upside down, with their heads in the water like keels in the surging whitewater, until they can Eskimo roll back upright.

“You have to stay calm and accept the beating,” said Rusty Sage, a member of the United States West Coast kayak surfing team that won the world championship in Costa Rica in 2005. Sage is also a former national champion freestyle river kayaker. Because whitewater for kayakers is in limited supply in Southern California, many river kayakers cross-train in the surf.

When things go right in the surf, it is a rush like no other. A few quick paddle strokes match your speed to the hurrying wave, you plunge down the steep face and make a bottom turn that sends you shooting along the curl.

“The feeling when you catch a big wave can’t be duplicated in life,” Sage, 25, of Reno, Nev., said in a telephone interview. “You come off with a scream of pure excitement.”

While the screams were more muted this year at Jalama — the waves were not as monstrous as in previous years and fewer kayakers showed up, about 30 — the mornings produced eight-foot glassy waves that delighted the kayak surfers, who shared some waves with a pair of dolphins.

“Dolphins like to have fun,” said Erik Miller, 44, a United States West team member from Idaho. “Dolphins are my favorite people to surf with.”

Along with the dolphins, some of the best surf kayakers in the country often show up at Jalama.
Randy Phillips, 52, a local and a kayak designer who some consider to be the godfather of kayak surfing, has been organizing the event he calls the Jalama Expression Session for 11 years. He said it was modeled after get-togethers that board surfers had in the 1960s to show off their moves without the pressure of competition.

“There are no fees, no judges, it’s just a gathering,” Phillips said.

Jalama also attracts what he called “the brain trust” of kayak design. Because surf kayaking is such a niche sport, there are only a handful of surfboat manufacturers, and most come to Jalama to show off their latest designs.

Modern surf kayaks are hand-built using light and strong carbon-Kevlar composite materials. Phillips’s designs are handmade in England. The kayaks have pockets in their flat surfboard-like bottoms that allow kayakers to add and adjust the position of plastic fins. The fins help the boats track in the water and maintain speed on a wave.

While surf kayaks have borrowed terminology and design elements from surfboards, that does not mean board surfers always see sit-in-a-boat surfers as kin. Some call kayak surfers “butt-surfers” and yell “stand up” when they see them on a wave. At California’s more crowded surf breaks, animosity toward kayak surfers is not uncommon.

“The majority of board surfers don’t like to be around their own kind, so how could you expect them to accept another form of surfing?” Phillips said.

But the vibe at Jalama, a remote, curving, sun-soaked beach, is laid-back and friendly. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train rumbles by over a steel trestle and palm trees provide a bit of shade. Jalama is the only public beach on 38 miles of coastline.

“There is a place for everybody,” said Don Kline, a surfer from Valencia, Calif.

Phillips said his philosophy was, “Give a wave, make a friend.” With powerful paddle strokes, surf kayakers can catch waves that board surfers cannot and can surf in more adverse conditions. So Phillips advocates letting board surfers catch a wave first, and letting them have the easier-to-catch waves.

“It’s all about sharing the stoke and sharing the waves,” he said.

It is also about observing the unwritten but rigid etiquette of surfing, or as some call them, “the rules of engagement.” For example, the surfer closest to the peak of the wave owns the wave, and others need to get out of the way. Snaking — trying to get in front of a surfer near the peak of a wave — is a no-no.

On a Saturday night at the Jalama Expression Session, Phillips set out barbequed tri-tip sirloin and chicken, chili beans, salad and garlic bread. A cooler filled with margaritas stirred with a broken paddle is another tradition. After the sun set, the kayakers watched video of the day’s exploits and carnage projected on a portable screen, yelling and laughing.

At dawn the next morning, the kayakers paddle out through the pounding surf, and sit patiently beyond the breakers, waiting for that one perfect wave.

Correction: December 15, 2006
Because of an editing error, a sports article on Wednesday about kayak surfing off Jalama Beach in California in early December misstated the height of the waves. They were eight feet, not 80 feet.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Frustrations with AWOL agents!

The thing I hate most about being a realtor is dealing with agents and sellers who do not return phone calls regarding their property for sale. Why wouldn't an agent return calls when someone calls them regarding their listing? It makes sense to me! I'm in real estate because I enjoy it and it pays well. I've got buyers and we've made an offer on some acreage (we've faxed, emailed and called) and we cannot get a reply from the agent or the seller (I've left them messages at home and sent the offer in the mail)! I'm frustrated and hopefully, my clients (the buyers) won't think that I'm doing a bad job because of some bum who really shouldn't be a real estate agent! Ugh. May all bad agents go away please!


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Snow at the Beach?

Hey, I'll guess I'll start using this place finally.

Last week, Ocean Shores had snow which is a really rare occurrence here at the beach. The beach at one point was even covered in ice! The winter months provide the best storm watching. An excellent vantage point is the North Jetty, located at the southern tip of Ocean Shores, but be careful: winter storms can bring in 25 foot seas and high winds which can be very dangerous. Monster waves create a powerful roar which can be heard throughout Ocean Shores.

Ocean Shores News
It looks the City of Ocean Shores has finally come to their senses and are moving forward on spraying the lake and all the canals with a pesticide to kill all of the weeds this coming spring.

The city is also working on developing a skate park for the kids over at the North Bay Park. Fundraising efforts are underway and hopefully this summer, a new skate park will be up and running.

The City has also received federal funding to install a new roundabout at the main intersection of Point Brown and Chance A La Mer. It's about time!

If you haven't checked it out yet, has a New Virtual Tour set up on the website (top left corner on the homepage) so you can view the scenery of Ocean Shores and the North Beach area. CHECK IT OUT!

Don't forget to do some Holiday Shopping in Ocean Shores. From now through December 31st, turn in your participating Ocean Shores shop receipts and enter to win up to $500! It pays to shop in Ocean Shores.

So anyway, I'm Jeff Daniel and I'm a realtor at Coldwell Banker Ocean Beach Properties here in Ocean Shores. Most of the upcoming, down the road blogs will be about real estate and stuff, but for now, there's some news to get this thing going.