Editor’s note: This is our annual tribute to one of the founders of the Tsunami Rangers. This year we reflect on how we do nothing of ourselves alone; without the earth, air, and water to support our physical bodies and the people we encounter in our lives who support our souls we could not be.
Every morning first thing I give thanks to the universe for all that I have and all that I am because I know that of myself I can do nothing. I think of Nature’s support and the support of the people in my life: teachers, friends, family. I think too of the people who touch my life whom I’ve never met, like the people who pick the fruit I eat and those who sew the clothes I wear. Without everyone in the world who has touched my life, I would not be who and where I am today. Likewise, without Eric the Tsunami Rangers would not exist. We pause this time each year to remember Eric, his generosity and enthusiasm, and his short, full life. Eric taught that you could kayak in places that looked bad (scary) but felt good. He distinguished between those kinds of places that made great photo ops and other places that looked good (yeah, let’s go there!) but felt bad (crap, I wiped out). Thus the Rangers were able to go where no kayaker, or at least very few, had gone before, into the caves and rocks in surf.
To a large extent, whitewater sea kayaking is what it is thanks to Eric Soares and Jim Kakuk, co-founders of the Tsunami Rangers. Rock gardening would not be the same without the Rangers’ pioneering activities. Whatever people thought of the Rangers when they were first doing their thing, and there were plenty of people who thought they were bald-ass crazy, rock gardening is mainstream today in the 21st Century.
Thanks once again to my mentor, Eric, and to all the other Rangers for keeping the faith. And thanks to the Ocean for being our inspiration, our playground and our other home.