Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium 2012: A Golden Opportunity

by Eric Soares on February 1, 2012

Good news! Another big chance for sea kayakers to learn advanced skills has arrived: the Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium 2012 (GGSKS) will occur February 17-19.

Students at last year's GGSKS in a sea kayaking rock-garden class by San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo copyright Dominick Lemarie)

Students at last year's GGSKS in a sea kayaking rock-garden class by San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo copyright Dominick Lemarie)

There has been a welcome trend over the last half a decade of increased numbers of symposia for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers. For example, two years ago I was fortunate to attend the Coast Busters Sea Kayaking Symposium in New Zealand. The next day, we practiced surfing and other skills at the International Sea Kayak Week. That experience opened my eyes to the possibility that sea kayakers want more from a symposium than looking at the latest sea kayaks and takimg introductory classes on basic skills.

Later I got wind of the UK Storm Gatherings in Great Britain, a series of conferences focused on paddling in storm conditions. And then I heard about Lumpy Waters, an advanced sea kayaking symposium held in the northern part of my state, Oregon. At Lumpy Waters they focus on surfing, rock gardening, and rescues.

Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium 2012

In February 2011 I attended the Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium in San Francisco Bay where I had an opportunity to speak with and work with many talented teachers and students. The GGSKS offers advanced instruction in master boat control, surfing, rock gardening, and other rough-water skills.

Lumpy Waters and other symposia will occur much later this year, but the GGSKS is happening in a couple of weeks.

The featured instructor this year is Scotland’s venerable sea kayaker, the unsinkable Gordon Brown. Mr. Brown will be teaching advanced boat control and guiding a tour on the bay. After the symposium, he will be leading a BCU Level 5 course.

The featured speaker at this year’s GGSKS will be kayaker and explorer Jon Turk. Mr. Turk’s talk will focus on the first circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island that he completed with fellow adventurer Erik Boomer last year. Jon and Eric  have been nominated by the National Geographic Society as top explorers of the year. Jon has written books about his adventures, including The Raven’s Gift, In the Wake of the Jomon, and Cold Oceans. I guarantee his talk will be enlightening and well worth the price of  admission. Jon Turk is one of our greatest sea kayaking explorers.

Students at GGSKS 2011 practice rescues. (Photo copyright Dominick Lemarie)

Students at GGSKS 2011 practice rescues. (Photo copyright Dominick Lemarie)

It’s good news that more advanced symposia are happening around the world. Take advantage of GGSKS now.

If you’ve attended an advanced sea kayaking symposium as a student or a teacher, please share your experiences with us. Please feel free to add your comments below this post.

I’ll be undergoing some medical stuff over the next couple of weeks, and I may miss two or three posts. But I’ll be back, so please stay tuned. 

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenn February 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Eric,

You truly will be missed, but we take comfort knowing you’re in the finest waters you’ll ever paddle. Our prayers go out to Nancy.

Peace be with you,

Glenn

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Jim Kakuk February 2, 2012 at 1:00 am

Eric,

There is so much to say that I don’t know where to start. It has been a long and strange trip starting with the first day I met you in a lava tube at Lassen Park forty crazy, adventures and fun years ago. Thanks for being such an inspiration and for all the great moments. It has been a good life and you will always be my best friend.
Rest in Peace,

Jim

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John Lull February 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Like Jim, I’m practically speechless at Eric’s sudden death. However, I was somewhat on the scene (Nancy was staying with June & I over the past couple days) so I’d like to report what I know about it, before any rumours get flying. This is very sad indeed. We will all miss Eric greatly.

Several days ago Eric took a fall while skiing with Nancy. He was not seriously injured, but he did go into the doctor to get checked out and they found an aneurysm on his aorta. The fall itself may have been incidental; the aneurysm was probably there already, but I’m not a doctor so can’t say for sure. They flew him down to Stanford after discovering the aneurysm.

He actually had been moved out of ICU to a regular hospital room on Wednesday, he was feeling fine, and they were even considering releasing him by Friday or Saturday. An operation (or two) may have been necessary, but they thought there was time. Evidently there wasn’t and maybe an operation wouldn’t have been successful.

In any case, the aneurysm must have blown and that was the end. Nancy had talked to him and he was feeling well and in good spirits just prior to that, so it was very sudden.

I do know Eric had a very full and adventerous life and I count myself lucky to have been his friend.

RIP, Eric.

John

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Wayne Horodowich February 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Hi John,

Please send me an e-mail. I need your e-mail address. study@useakayak.org

Thanks,

Wayne

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Moulton Avery February 5, 2012 at 5:52 am

Hi John-
Me, too, please, whenever you get a chance. Also Nancy’s.
Thanks. M

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John Lull February 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

Sure thing Moulton. Give my your email address & I’ll send you the info.

Cheers,
John

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Moulton Avery February 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm
Joanne Schwartz February 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Doug and I feel hollow at the loss of our friend and fellow kayaker. He shared so much with us since we began paddling with him over 25 years ago. Eric knew that he was on “a short leash,” as he called it, but also knew he had to continue living all the life he could.

In recent years, sharing with the kayaking community through this Tsunami Rangers page and his recent book, in addition to on-water sessions, he never failed to call the truth as he saw it. We admire that, as well as his very gentle, generous and deeply philosophical spirit.

Eric is now paddling tranquil seas on his way to “the other side of the sea” where we’ll all meet up with him a bit later.

Our peace to Nancy.
Joanne and Doug

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Lenora February 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I agree with all the wonderful things you all said above, but if I know Eric (didn’t really, just met him RGing last year at GGSKS) then he ain’t paddlin’ no tranquil seas on the other side… he’s playin in the foam piles and slidin over rocks. That’s were I’ll be.

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Moulton Avery February 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Eric-
My dear, sweet, wonderful friend; I’m so sad you’re gone. For once, you have me at a loss for words, but I’ll do the best I can. Having gotten in touch with you some twenty years later than I should have, we were busy playing catch-up, and as it turned out, were really in touch for only a year. It seems so very much longer; a tribute to the giant beam of sunlight that you brought into my life. When you wrote from Stanford, I admit I was worried, but you were upbeat as always, and you possessed such a vibrant force of life that I convinced myself you’d weather this storm, just as you’d weathered the many that came before it. One brief year, but I will always treasure it. We sure made up for lost time. Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder, and for the warmth you showed me; for your humor, encouragement, guidance, and advice, and most of all, for your friendship. You will always have a special place in my heart.

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Tony Moore February 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I never met Eric in person, just some phone calls, and talking on this blog. This is shocking to me…the kayaking community has lost a true giant. Thank you, John, for the details you gave. Nancy, may God be with you in this difficult time.
Tony M.

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gnarlydog February 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

In disbelief I had to accept the tragic news of you suddenly gone.
I have never met you personally but I really wish I had.
From our correspondence a friendship developed: you had so much insight and common sense.
You were never shy of offering me kind words of support and practical advice.
I will miss you.

Damiano

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Fat Paddler February 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I’m not usually lost for words but today a great sadness has settled in my heart at the news. You had been such a wonderful mentor to me this past year – colourful, generous and always honest – and I will treasure your words of wisdom and generous friendship. I’m sure Odin has reserved one of his best seats in Valhalla for you. RIP dear friend.

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Leon and Shawna February 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm

We think it was 14 years ago that we first saw Eric and fellow Tsunami Rangers speak at the WCSKS…..that year, and many of those to follow we were inspired and awed by Eric and the Tsunami Rangers. Eric’s outgoing personality and humor and love of the sea made him such a hero in our eyes. We again got to hear him speak last year at the GGSKS and he was just as awe inspiring as that first year long ago. We are truly saddened and shocked to hear about his untimely death. We will miss him, but we like many others will always be inspired by him. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and his fellow Rangers. Leon and Shawna

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Blake Lane February 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Eric had too much genuine enthusiasm to Rest In Peace.
For him it’s more likely to be… R I P it up! Now and forever Commander.

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Laura Nixon February 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

ERIC

A wild man, and funny as hell
a man with sensitivity and gentleness,
a spiritual man
he was all of that and so much more.

Nancy, John, the rest of the family, and friends
I am so saddened about the loss of Eric.

I think of his best and most exuberant moments and try to smile.

Laura

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Kenny Howell February 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I have been walking around in a sad daze today, stumbling into things and wishing I could see Eric once more…So many friends had so much fun on so many adventures with this fun, gentle giant of a human being. In case you never saw it, please enjoy this short video interview Eric and I did together in 2007; he talked about his heart condition, and then we went for a rock garden paddle: http://youtu.be/AhYE3XBAAkg

See you across the big water, old friend.
-KH

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Nancy Soares October 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hey Kenny, I’ve been taking the time to look back at the content of the TR website – so much stuff I didn’t pay much attention to because I was doing my yoga immersion and teacher training while Eric was busy blogging – and I encountered this video for the first time today. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PROVIDING THIS LINK!!! I loved the video and I loved seeing you rip it up in my little X-0. Little Stella never looked so good:)

And thank you so much for being such a great friend – you are amazing.
Love,
Nancy

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Paul Hayward February 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm

We in New Zealand only got a few short weeks to enjoy Eric in person, but there was no difficulty in grasping why he was so well-loved & revered by the kayaking world. I remember giggling one night, as Eric turned to Jim and said “This guy’s crazy!” as a good Australian story about paddling with crocs unfolded… Thank you Jim for returning to Coastbusters with Eric – and thank you Eric for your inspiration, your humour and your kindness.

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Paul Caffyn February 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I can’t believe the timing of Eric falling off his perch – I had emailed earlier today for permission to reprint one of his excellent book reviews. Not a show for a response now, unless there is cybermail coverage in the big surf zone in the sky. In New Zealand we use an expression of ‘A mighty Kauri has fallen’ when an outstanding identity has fallen off their perch. A Kauri being a massive, ancient pine. For Tsunami Ranger country, I reckons a mighty Redwood has fallen. What an outstanding character who has done so much for sea kayaking. From the NZ headquarters of overseas honorary Tsunami Rangers, I would to extend my sympathy and that of KASK paddlers to Eric’s family and his fellow rangers.

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Nancy Soares October 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hi Paul,

I’m just reading the comments on this post today. You have my permission to reprint anything of Eric’s you would like – he was always extremely generous and I know he would have been proud and honored to know you wanted to use his material. Sorry I got back to you so late.

BTW I recently read your book Dreamtime Voyage. It was wonderful. Thanks.

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Wayne & Hadley Horodowich February 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Moulton sent me an e-mail with the terrible news. I called Derek Hutchinson and we had a long cry on the phone together. We feel so fortunate that we took the time to have just spent a great visit with Eric & Nancy this past October. Derek and Maureen & Hadley and I send our heart felt wishes to Nancy for her loss. I like everyone else can tell you about the first time I met Eric. It was an experience you never forget. “He makes coffee nervous” is an understatement. He was positive energy personified. My favorite Eric Soares quote was, “I am not afraid of NOTHING! It is something that I am afraid of!!!” He gave so much to the sea kayaking community. We will miss him, but he will always be alive in our thoughts. I am watching my Tsunami Rangers DVD’s tonight. – Wayne

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Natasha Romoff February 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

My memories of Eric at Coastbusters NZ 2010:
what to do when his allotted talk-time is over, his audience engrossed and he still has more to tell with amazing footage stunning us on the screen? My task to keep the program moving, ensuring all contributors start and end according to the schedule …. No one minded that we let him and Jim go longer ….. glad that we did!
So sad that we won’t hear Eric in full cry again.

Eric – honoured to have spent time with you and great we could show you favourite corners of our kayaking paradise.
Kia Kaha.

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David Winkworth February 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm

So, Eric’s left us! A very sad day for sea kayaking.
I can remember reading about the Tsumamis in the very early Sea Kayaker mags of the 80s and thinking: these guys are crazy! Of course they weren’t…their surf coast antics were cool and calculated…as Eric and Jim demonstrated to us in NZ a couple of years ago at Coastbusters and International Kayaking Week. What a bit of fun that was! Jim was straight and Eric was the clown! Great presentations, obviously honed over many years.
And there we were in the hot springs pool with Eric proudly displaying his “zipper,” proclaiming he was living on borrowed time and knocking off repeated 25 metre underwater swims with no push-offs!
“Um, do you think you should be doing this? I enquired.
He just smiled. He was happy.
An honour to have know you mate.

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Iwao FUJII February 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Eric,

Satoru and I promised to take you to our playground, Okinawa in Japan.
But now I realize it wouldn’t happen.

I am so sorry and we all miss you.

FUJI

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Doug Lloyd February 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Eric was probably so much on borrowed time given his medical history that really, his enthusiasm and bigger than life, True Man adventurism on this planet kept him secure from the Grim Reaper longer than any one of us could have fared…so I’m saddened at Eric’s sudden passing but oddly jubilant to the point of drying my tears of sorrow that his was a life lived extremely well, exemplifying Moulton’s notion of vibrancy that knew no arbitrary bounds. I, let alone those who knew and loved him with closer ties, will remember him until our own dying breaths. See you on the other side Eric, I’ll even wait to land if you are hogging all the big the waves; you have influenced my life in positive ways even more than my poor prose has tried to suggest in the past…

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Chris Young February 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I am so saddened to hear this news. I will never forget all the blissful joy, belly aching laughter, and the affluence of crazy goofy smiles that Eric brought to the 2011 GGSKS. His Saturday night slide show stands as one of the most brilliant, alive, hilarious, and awe inspiring presentations that I have ever witnessed. I dare say that is was less of a slide show and presentation as it was witness of a bodhisattva telling kayaking stories. Eric radiated pure passion and love for his love of kayaking and the all friendships and people that he touched and inspired on and off the water. He will be missed.

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Kevin Dunsford February 2, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Nancy, my deepest sympathy. Jim, I am sorry for the loss of your best friend. Eric was one of those people endowed with the ability to change other peoples lives. A free thinker with heart, a very rare person indeed. Although our journey in New Zealand was brief, Eric and Jim left me a lasting memory. I will miss his interlectual overflow on this blog.

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Rainer Lang February 3, 2012 at 1:04 am

Unbelievable. I am deeply saddened by Eric’s passing.

My sympathies go out to his family, and the friends that knew him best.

I was fortunate to be one of his returning kayak students. I would gladly put my life in his hands. Eric was a kind friend, a generous teacher, a master story teller.

He was, is and will always be a true Hero to me.

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JohnA February 3, 2012 at 5:22 am

So sorry to hear that Eric has passed on. My thoughts and wishes are with his family and friends. Thanks Eric for your encouragement and support.

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Simon Willis February 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

So sorry to hear of Eric’s passing. I thoroughly enjoyed our e-mail conversations and especially the half-hour podcast interview Eric recorded last year over Skype. His enthusiasm was, and his legacy to our sport is, huge.
Simon

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John Kirk-Anderson February 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

“Larger than life” is the term that best describes Eric for me.

That cheeky grin, two too-white false teeth bared, erupting into a twinkle eyed laugh, dragging in everyone around him. The infectious humour that covered a deadly sharp mind, a funny man who didn’t suffer fools.

I treasure our early morning chat about Ju Jitsu, a shared passion, on a New Zealand beach, Eric relaxed from Tai Chi forms while I stretched after a run. We were both there for kayaking, but the conversation easily drifted. Aware that many were after Eric’s time, I was careful to give him space but he later sought me out to continue our discussion, which was humbling.

To the many who knew him well, there is a huge hole in your lives, for the rest of us there are memories, awe, inspiration, sadness, and also the joy of a life well lived.

Eric was never going to fade quietly away, not that man.

To his friends and family; Kia Kaha – Be Strong.

JKA

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Peggy Peattie February 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Eric truly had a generous heart. He loved to inspire.
My heart goes out to his close friends, the Tsunami Rangers and his family. He reminded us to take nothing for granted, and to smile through every moment. Myself and a a few friends from San Diego crossed paths with Eric in a cave off the Mendocino coast while paddling with a mutual friend, Jeff Laxier. His eyes sparkled: he was looking for adventure; and later in the campground entertained us with adventure stories.
Everyone was a friend, it seemed. He set an example for all of us both on and off the water.

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Nancy Soares February 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Thank you all for your comments. I’m so grateful for all the love and support that is pouring out from everyone whose lives Eric touched. I wish I had the stamina right now to tell you all what happened but I would like everyone to know that it was his time. He died with grace, dignity, and bravery. Like timing a wave he chose his moment. He was a warrior and a hero and the love of my life. It may sound odd but the word I think of when I think of his passing is “perfect”. His life was complete. Love to everyone, Nancy

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John Nagle February 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

We called ourselves Bozos, Banzai Bozos as a parody of the rangers. What started as a play on words became play time in a sea with Rangers, and what fun we had.
Can you imagine Eric’s heaven? Leader of a Sea Tribe, leading his people through an endless archipelago of islands, sea caves, adventures and love on every shore. Someday we all met up again to ride the biggest wave and chase those demons. Until then Eric, find the best coves and point breaks and at times leisure, we’ll again sing around drift wood fires, tell tall tales and share a bottle of something old but good.
I salute you.

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Andy Taylor February 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Eric, thanks for all the great times over these many years…paddling, talking, planning, laughing…especially laughing. You are, and will remain, an inspiration.

Vaya con Dios, old friend.

Andy

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Susan Whalen February 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

We were so deeply saddened to hear of Eric’s passing. He was one-of-a-kind and always had a smile and a laugh. So many good times and stories but one of the things I will remember and treasure most was the exquisite kindness and respect he showed to our kids. When they were around he accepted them, listened to their stories and asked them questions with the same attention he would give any adult. I’ll never forget the day Eric taught my son to play hacky sack and didn’t hesitate to include him in a game with the rest of the Rangers…the thrill my son got from being “one of the guys” was more than just fun – it was being invited to participate in part of the tribe. Eric was the kind of teacher that inspired others just by being who he was – I don’t know if it’s possible to count the lives he shaped. Thank you, Eric, for your incomparable light.

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Dan Kiely February 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

His presence was a brief but rich moment in my own life. May we all find inspiration through our time with Eric, to be better paddlers, better teachers, and more gracious and loving humans, as he showed us in his own life.

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Jim Kreofsky( banzai bozo #2) February 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

Eric gave us so much, from comradery to friendly competition, it was a joy to share a rock garden and a campfire with someone with such a huge capacity to love life and get as much out of it as is humanly possible. I will never forget the smile and robust presence.

Jim K

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David Whalen February 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

This is not the way I wanted to comment on one of the many good articles from Eric.

11th commandment – Don’t forget Eric’s zeal for life and the way of the wave warrior.

Nancy and all that knew Eric, there are no words that can lessen the loss of Eric, my friend and mentor.

Hold tight through this storm and keep going, that’s what Eric would do.

Goodbye Eric I will miss (but still always remember) that great laugh of yours when I did something goofy.

See you on the other side my friend,

CDR Whalen

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Shelley Stuart February 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

What a priviledge it was to meet Eric down in New Zealand and hear his entertaining stories and be inspired by his amazing skills and fearless adventures. A true hero in the kayaking world.
My deepest sympathy to Nancy, Jim and all the Tsunami Rangers.

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Marc Soares February 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

After reading the previous posts, I so totally agree with all of them. I can tell you this, I’m still seeking advice from Eric, and getting it, probably because I know him soooo well. My big brother was my mentor also, and will always be. To Jim and the entire Tsunami Ranger tribe, Eric’s all-time biggest rush was all those power years of being a wave warrior and brainstorming with his mates. And speaking of mates, Nancy, you are, and always shall be, “the one” for Eric. I’m so amazingly honored to be the first main mischief maker with Eric, and oh the times we had. Here are a few special Eric songs that brought tears in his eyes and gave him goose bumps– “Save The Children” by Marvin Gaye, “Sun King” by the Beatles, “1983″ (Merman) by Jimi Hendrix, “Out The Blue” by John Lennon, “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Sparkling In The Sand” by Tower Of Power, and “Across The Universe” by the Beatles.

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Martin from Chile February 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I never met Eric personally, but I was and still am inspired by his spirit and enjoyed great conversations through his blog about kayaking and martial arts.

My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

I will meet you in the next life.

Martin

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Alan Hillesheim February 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

I was very sad to hear this news last night. Eric is an amazing life force. He is the goose bumps you feel rise on your skin when witnessing the spectacular. He is the wide eyes gathering in light and the tingle you feel in your spine. I can hear him, see him, and because he touched me, I can touch back.

Nice to discover that after all of these years you are still in my heart.

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Valerie Smith February 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I taught in the Department of Marketing at Cal State University East Bay in Hayward for 12 years with Eric and served on our campus’s Academic Senate for 3 years with him. Even though we had not spoken in a while, I was fortunate that we had a long chat by phone over the holidays. I was happy to hear about the many hikes he and Nancy were enjoying near their home in Oregon, with one adventurous outing planned for that very afternoon. He was full of life and laughter. I will truly miss his friendship and mentoriship and genuine spirit. Eric, you are one of a kind. I’ve posted a tribute below that just came over the university’s listserv.

To Nancy, Marc, John, and close friends and family — My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Valerie

ERIC SOARES, PROFESSOR EMERITUS IN THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS, PASSED AWAY FEBRUARY 1, 2012

Eric Soares, who was a faculty member in the College of Business and Economics from 1983 until his retirement in September 2008, passed away at Stanford Medical Center February 1, 2012. Eric died from cardiac arrest related to previous heart problems. Eric was a live wire both inside and outside the classroom. He is remembered fondly by many students, and was a past recipient of the George and Miriam Philips Outstanding Professor of the Year award. His students knew him as an inspiring professor who made an impact in their lives. He served the university in a variety of additional roles including as department chair and long-standing member of the Academic Senate. Known for his positive, can-do attitude, sense of humor and love of adventure, Eric had been featured on National Geographic Explorer, ESPN, MTV, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel related to his kayaking adventures with the Tsunami Rangers ocean adventure kayaking team he co-founded. A memorial service to celebrate Eric’s life is being planned for the first week-end in May in Half Moon Bay. In addition, the Eric Soares Memorial Scholarship is being established in the College of Business and Economics, at California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542. Donations to honor Eric’s memory may be sent to the College with checks made payable to the CSUEB Education Foundation; please note on the check – Eric Soares Scholarship Fund.

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Valerie Smith February 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm

For anyone interested, the university has just posted updated information about the Eric Soares Memorial Scholarship and a great picture of Eric at: http://www20.csueastbay.edu/news/2012/02/SoaresSchol-021012.html

It states, “Donations to honor his memory may be made online at https://webapps.csueastbay.edu/secure/onlinegift/ (indicate “Eric Soares Memorial Scholarship” in the “Special instructions for your gift” space).”

They also can be sent by mail to the Office of University Advancement, Cal State East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., SA 4800, Hayward, CA 94542. Checks should be payable to the CSUEB Educational Foundation. Please note “Eric Soares Memorial Scholarship” on the check.

My sweetheart, Felix, and I are beginning kayakers. We just spoke about it and plan to go kayaking to honor Eric.

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Marta Hillesheim Schmal February 11, 2012 at 1:19 am

I will forever remember Eric’s energy and smile … and while it has been many years since we shared a laugh, it seems like yesterday. Tonight I raise a glass of bubbly to him and all of you.

My heart goes out to his family and all those close to him.

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Debbie Kearney February 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Eric’s influence reached far and wide including to the southeast US Atlantic coast. I met Eric and Jim in the late 80′s at a Savannah GA symposium, so the connection spans distance and time. Eric really was what everyone says – imaginative, dynamic, philosophical, so full of life like the sea, especially the edge of the sea he so loved. Eric, I will always see you in waves. Condolences from Tybee Island to Nancy and Jim and all who loved him.

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Susan Lott February 12, 2012 at 1:38 am

so sad to hear that Eric has gone but very honoured to have met him and paddled with him at Coastbusters in New Zealand, chatted with him while we all went on a wee hike during the IKW and listened to him and Jim telling of their adventures and exploits. We couldn’t get enough of their stories and slides and I show anybody who will sit still the DVD and rave about the Tsunami Rangers to anyone who will listen. A wonderful guy and a great inspiration. My heartfelt sympathy to his family and Jim.
Susan

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Ruth E. Henderson February 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Saddened to hear of Eric’s death. I’ll always remember his infectious laugh and big smile, his exuberance, and showmanship in tandem with Jim at New Zealand’s 2010 Coastbusters and International Kayak Week. Best wishes to his family and fellow Rangers.

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Erica Law February 14, 2012 at 2:08 am

I had the huge privilege of sharing a week with Eric when I billeted him and Jim down in Auckland NZ before and after International Kayak Week in 2010. I will never forget him, or that week, he so full of life laughter and adventure, yet so kind, caring and sharing, and really deep. He seemed to live life enough for three people, and he made people feel special. Nancy, you must be a pretty special person yourself, and I’m so glad to hear you say the moment of his ‘passing’ was ‘perfect’. There will be much to celebrate about his life at his May memorial service. My thoughts are with you and all Eric’s close family and friends as you adjust to everyday life without him.
love
Erica Law

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Dave Wilson February 16, 2012 at 6:55 am

Being an East Coast sea kayaker and, relatively speaking, new to this sport, I never had the occasion to meet you. But I have followed your blog for some time and over the year have learned to respect your experience and wisdom. The sea kayaking community will miss you immensely,

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mark garrett February 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm

The Tsunami Rangers inspired me to get into sea kayaking become an instructor and travel the world searching out new sea caves tunnels and rock gardens to explore all because of a National Geographic show I saw on TV over twenty years ago. Kayaking took over my life and Eric and the Rangers had a lot to do with it. I will be out the gate on Sunday running the Devils falls in honor of a fallen hero.

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