On a surf trip to Baja back in 2001, I was having dinner at Hangman’s with a friend and Mike ended up joining us for dinner. After dinner, in the car ride back, my friend said, “did you know that that man you just met is a legendary surfer and the ultimate waterman?” Who knew? Apparently everybody. In the 18 years since, I am happy to say not only do I know this through story, but also from experience.
It always makes me smile when I think of an impromptu “business meeting” I had with Mike. One spring day, Mike approached me about getting his “Morning Glass” screenplay manuscript to people I knew through my work. In order to do this, I told him I would need a copy of the screenplay and that we had to discuss a few additional details. So, a few weeks after this conversation, I am sitting on a beautiful Baja beach watching the waves and waiting for the tide to recede a bit before I paddled out, when all of a sudden this truck pulls up right next to me. The door swings open and Mike hops out in board shorts with the manuscript under his arm. And there we sat under my umbrella, “doing business” on the beach. I just enjoy his style.
Over the years, I have witnessed Mike’s incredible knowledge of surfing and his generosity in sharing it. It always amazes me how he can watch me surf a wave, and give me advice on how to tweak something. Whenever I follow his tips, I invariably surf better. It’s not just his surf knowledge, but also the kind way that he imparts the information. As I have said before, thank you Mike.
Then there is the outrigger paddling club Mike and Annie got going with Tio. I liked to sit in the 5th seat because Mike was in the 6th. Not only was he the best steersman, but what I loved about sitting in front of him, is the amazing things that would come out of his mouth during the paddle. He would comment on proper paddling technique, the tides, the contour of the bottom of the ocean, the currents, the sand, the fish, the waves, he has immense knowledge about it all. How grateful and lucky am I to have sat in front of and learn from the ultimate waterman.