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Bound By Sea

One of the coolest things I could have ever imagined was traveling the world with my daughter, surfing and helping people along the way.  That’s what Gabriella and I did in 2012.  What’s remarkable is that Gabby is 9 years old.

Our first trip was Kochi, India and the Indian Ocean.  I was really nervous about this one as India is no joke when it comes to travel.  I had already been twice, putting on a surf camp for orphan girls and knew how tough travel is to this part of the world.  Gabby was a champ and traveled well.  She collected and delivered tons of donations from her school, surfed and encouraged the orphans we worked with, and didn’t once fall apart, even during difficult times.  She came home tired, overwhelmed and infested with lice, but still talks about going back.

Second, we went to California to surf the Pacific Ocean in my home town of Half Moon Bay.  During this trip we got a chance to work with children with autism, and again Gabby’s ability to connect with children who have special needs and low self esteem was truly amazing.  She worked hard at encouraging and empowering the little kids that were surfing for their first time.  She also got to see some of her old friends she hadn’t seen in a few years.

The Atlantic Ocean part of the project took place all summer.  Gabby is incredible at helping children overcome fear and apprehension and try something new.  She has a way of helping scared children rise up and face their fears and succeed at something difficult and thus help build their self confidence.

After having surfed three oceans, we had one left, the Arctic.  We talked, did some research, and decided to go for it.  We found a surf school in the northern reaches of Norway, above the Arctic Circle, further north even than Iceland.  We worked closely with a surf school in Unstad Norway called Unstad Camping and put on 3 days of charity surf camps in the Arctic Ocean.  We also surfed and hiked in some of the most remote, exotic, and coldest places on earth.

So we’re home now and often reflect on what an amazing year of travel, surf, and charity it was.  I am so proud of my daughter Gabby and how she handled herself this year, on the road and here at home.

Currently Nate Daniel and Matt Batchelor are making a documentary of the 4 Oceans Project, called Bound By Sea.  I get to see a rough cut to the trailer of Bound By Sea on Friday…I can’t wait!

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