Tag: waves

  • Story: Wave Runners

    Everyone has a story of something they did once upon a time, which, in retrospect, was probably not a good idea. This is one such tale.

    Flashback to the 1990’s. At that time, I was splitting an apartment in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a friend named Ralph, who also enjoyed outdoor challenges. As such, every now and then, when the weather turned foul, we’d telephone a wave report recording, which detailed conditions present on Lake Michigan.

    One stormy summer day, this report cited waves near Holland, Michigan, as high as 8-12 feet, including a stern recommendation to avoid coastal areas. Well, that was exactly what we were hoping to hear, and so quickly jumped into the car on a road trip to the south pier, demarcating the channel between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Thirty minutes later, we parked and continued our trek on foot through strong winds and rain, toward the pier.

    This was a big storm, as whitecap waves crashed up and down the beach, surging far inland along the coastline. As we approached, it became apparent that roughly 20% of the pier was engulfed in waves at any given moment. This observation should’ve served as an omen not to proceed…

    However, after an extensive discussion it was decided that, though obviously dangerous, our individual attributes of bravery, keen sense of observation and quick reactions, respectively, were sufficient to undertake the challenge: which was, to see who could traverse farthest along the pier?

    Note: digital cameras didn’t exist on the market at that time, but I’ve included a few photographs taken many years later, which show the coastal landscape and piers:

    Relative to the second image – which is actually an aspect of the other pier, to the north – the storm we faced was significantly stronger and with much larger waves. In point of fact, unlike the common and predictably wind-driven pattern of waves rolling in uniform rows, what we encountered was less organized and wild, with waves crashing from both the front and side directions.

    Painted blue, bollards were positioned along the length of each pier. Were the situation to present itself where either one of us was unable to elude an oncoming wave, my friend suggested that the best course of action was to drop down onto the pier and secure oneself by clutching on to a bollard for safety.

    And so began the challenge.

    This endeavor was as difficult as it was foolish, as waves broke across the pier at essentially random intervals, all the time of which my eyes were glued on the water. Movement entailed both quick footsteps and brief sprints, scrambling on the concrete both forward and backwards in order to safely create space between potentially hazardous waves. It was a major adrenaline rush, to say the least.

    I’d estimate that I was approximately 50-60% of the way out on the pier when it happened. I glanced back to check on my friend, only to see Ralph hunkered down and clinging for dear life to a bollard…as he was swept away by a huge wave, washing him over the other side of the pier toward the channel, down into the rocks.

    I immediately moved back toward where he was, all the while watching over my shoulder to remain cognizant of approaching waves. From a distance of 15-feet away, I spotted Ralph among the rocks with only his head visible above water, and without a stronghold for safety. Glancing back once more, I then saw him suddenly disappear into a trough of shifting waters, sinking an estimated 5-feet among the rocks and vanishing, out of sight. There was nothing I could do to help him.

    Then, only seconds later, the water crested, lifting Ralph up and out of that den of death, tossing him like driftwood on to the rocks, where he latched-on and was able to dash up the incline to the top of the pier.

    We hightailed it back to shore as quickly as possible, never again to challenge such a storm as was experienced on that day.

  • South Carolina Sunrise

    South Carolina Sunrise

    Sunrise ushers a retreat of waves from high tide, broadening the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This vintage photograph has been added to these shops:

    …check it out.

  • Vintage Beach Scene

    Vintage Beach Scene

    This old photograph features a beach and lighthouse on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula – Marquette, Michigan – which was formerly referred to as “Michigan Beach”. It’s a beautiful area, though somewhat cold (note the absence of people actually in the water). You can see prints and more in my galleries at Pixels and ArtPal.

    Thanks for visiting!

  • Little Presque Isle

    Little Presque Isle

    This vintage photograph was taken from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near Marquette, and features a Lake Superior coastline with Little Presque Isle in the distance. Prints and more available. Thanks for visiting!

  • Vintage Lake Michigan

    Vintage Lake Michigan

    Enjoy this old photograph featuring waves and clouds rolling along a sandy beach of western Michigan, at Lake Michigan in Holland. This picture would make a wonderful accent piece in your home or office, and can be purchased through my galleries at Pixels and ArtPal. So, check it out, and thanks for stopping by!

  • Vintage Sand Dunes

    Vintage Sand Dunes

    Long ago and far away, winds from Lake Michigan shaped sand dunes in this vintage photograph, taken on the beach in Holland, Michigan. You can visit my galleries at Pixels and ArtPal to select a print, if you’d like. There are many varieties to select, including: framed, metal, wood, art, poster, acrylic, canvas and tapestry. Thanks for visiting!

  • Lake Michigan Beach

    Lake Michigan Beach

    This vintage photograph was taken many years ago on a windy autumn day in Holland, Michigan, on the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. Drift back in time with a print from yesteryear on a wall in your home or elsewhere, from these shops: Pixels, Redbubble. Other items are also available. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Vintage Film Negative

    Vintage Film Negative

    This grunge-style vintage graphic design incorporates a film negative of a stormy Lake Superior, as seen from Presque Isle in Marquette, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Prints and more are available in the following galleries:

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Gold and Green Waves

    Gold and Green Waves

    Modern art of abstract curves in an earth tones color palette with texture and reflective qualities. You can find a variety of fine items available – prints, home decor, technology, apparel and more – with this design when you visit any of the following galleries:

    Thanks!

  • Bottom of the Sea

    Underwater


    Enjoy this digital underwater sea scene, with the glow of sunlight refracting to illuminate rocks strewn about a sandy bottom. I used Bryce software to create this design, which you can purchase on a multitude of fine items in any of the following shops: Redbubble, Society 6, Pixels and ArtPal. Makes a great gift idea, too. Thanks very much!

  • Lake Michigan Pier

    Lake Michigan Pier

    As a practitioner of repurposing, I’d estimate that this image has endured a minimum of four modification iterations. This digital rendition features a vintage photograph of a pier – really, a break wall – on Lake Michigan. To be specific, at the Holland State Park (Holland, Michigan). You can visit the following shops to find great products – prints, gifts and apparel:

  • Hilton Head Island

    Hilton Head Island

    It’s been several years since last I visited Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean provide a peaceful beginning each day. This vintage photograph has been added to my shop at Pixels – wall art, home decor, puzzles, lifestyle, stationary, phone cases, beach, coffee mugs, face masks and apparel.

    Stop by for a visit when you’re in the neighborhood!