Off to Africa!!!

Well the bags all packed and I’m ready to go! No I’m not going to South Africa for the World Cup but rather leaving for two weeks in Tanzania today, to document a medical mission in Tanga, go on a safari in biggest game park in Africa, and visit Zanzibar. This is my first time to Africa and it’s finally starting to hit me that I am going as I am on my 8 hour layover in Detroit waiting to go to Amsterdam then onto Dar Es Salam. Here’s a picture of what I am taking as well as a packing list. I’m not sure how I was able to fit it all in three bags, but I needed to reserve one of my bags for the medical supplies we are bringing into the country.

Canon 400/2.8 lens, 70-200mm, 24-70mm, 16-35mm, 14mm, 45mm tilt-shift, 50mm macro, Canon 5d Mark II, Canon Mark III, Canon 580 speedlight, Aquatech D35 housing for 5d with 8″ dome port, pocket wizard back and flash housing, 1 GoPro HD Hero Camera, 1 Canon G11, 1 carbon fiber mono-pod, 1 carbon fiber tripod, 1 lighting umbrell, 2 pocket wizard TT, 2 pocket wizard tranceivers, Monfrotto super clamp with ball head, flash stand holder, mini tripod, think tank fanny pack, gaffers tape, lacie harddrive, power strip with converters, noise reduction earphones, macbook pro, iphone, day pack attachments to lowepro camera bag, one bindle of clothes, a pair flip flops, one pair Salomon goretex shoes, a pack of 20 cliff and power bars, chlorine tablets for water, water purification pump, gerber multi tool, elastic band for exercising with, two headlamps, deet and sunblock lotion, and on insect sleeping tent. (Not pictured 5 immunization shots taken a week ago).

Surprises at the Pebble Beach US Open

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland holds the winner’s trophy after his par victory at the 2010 US Open. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach didn’t have a Tom Watson-esque memorable moment on the par-3 17th hole, nor did it have a Sunday surge with a red Tiger leading to a Monday playoff.  But it proved to still be one of the most formidable tests of golf today, with the little-known winner Graeme McDowell surprising the world winning the United States Golf Championship by shooting par over 72 holes. Even Woods and Mickelson, the world’s #1 and #2 players respectively, could only muster a 3-over par performance tying them for fourth. They, as most of the field, found themselves going backwards and dropping strokes in the high rough, challengingly long par-4’s, and the ridiculous slopes on the 14th hole that ruined many a pro’s day with triples or quads. I had an enjoyable week working with a great Getty Images team, with relatively good weather and some ok pictures to boot. I even managed to get a little surf session in with Golf Digest DOP Christian Iooss thanks to the loaner boards from local photographer David Royal. But the highlight of a hard week of work came as a surprise on sunday morning on the final round of the US Open, which normally falls on father’s day, making it an even harder assignment to say “yes” to with my little boys waiting at home for daddy. As I was setting up my remote cameras on the 18th green as is customary before the final round, David J. Phillip of the Associated Press says,”Looks like we’re teeing off in the same group tomorrow!” It took me a second to register what he meant, but then I realized that we had been chosen in the media lottery to play Pebble Beach on Monday! The only reason I started to golf a year or so ago was for an opportunity like this, and to play Pebble the day after the Open was a once in a lifetime experience. I immediately felt my adrenaline rush with the excitement of teeing off the 7th hole, mixed with the fear and anxiety over the fact that I’ve hit the range about as much as I’ve cleaned my garage over the past month. The last time I played was in Palm Springs about a month ago with a bunch of buddies, and I nearly quit afterwards playing the worse round of golf in recent memory. But none of that mattered now, and I kept my fingers crossed that the US Open would finish in a regulation 72 holes, or my Monday tee time would be bumped and this opportunity would pass me by. So after Graeme McDowell’s final putt fell in the cup on the 18th, I couldn’t be happier for the little-known man from Northern Ireland and I immediately felt the urge to go hit balls and hope to fix my slice before the morning.

A detail of the scoreboard on the 18th hole on Father’s Day during the Final Round of the US Open in Pebble Beach 2010 (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

In the end, playing Pebble was as unbelievable experience even if I only parred a couple holes and crawled back to the clubhouse with a 115. Big thanks to the Getty Team for having me including Travis Lindquist, Scott Halleran, Maxx Wolfson, Harry How, Andrew Redington, Ross Kinnaird, Jeff Gross, Steve Dunn, Jamie Lawson, Shannon Lindquist and Evonne Laskey. And a special thanks to my playing partners David J. Phillip of the AP, Tom Boswell of the Washington Post and John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal for the much needed golf tips and showing amazing patience with my errant and lost balls. Here are some favorite pictures from the week as well as pictures from my round on Monday, I hope you enjoy and always your feedback it much appreciated!

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland celebrates his final putt during his par victory at the 2010 US Open. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Giving his dad the best father’s day present…(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

2nd Place finisher Gregory Havret of France finds himself in the bunker on the 8th. Scott Halleran made the classic  call on the radio,”The frog is on the beach!” (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Tiger hits out of the heavy rough on the 3rd hole during the final round. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell tees off in screaming light going towards the clubhouse on the 18th hole during the 3rd round. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

DJ hits out of the gallery and rough on the 13th hole during the third round of the US Open. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell hits off the 11th fairway during the third round of the 2010 Pebble Beach US Open. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

DJ tees off the 8th hole near a boat during the third round of the 2010 Pebble Beach US Open. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson hits off the 14th fairway as a crow flies overhead during the 2010 Pebble Beach US Open. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Y.E. Yang of South Korea plays a shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 17, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California. This is one of the hole I parred during my round there in homage to Steve Dunn’s famous photo of Payne Stewart in the 90’s. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Mike Weir of Canada hits off the edge of the cliff on the 8th fairway. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The Getty Team (top row) Ross Kinnaird, Jamie Lawson, Shannon Lindquist, Evonne Laskey, Steve Dunn, Andrew Redington. (bottom row) Jeff Gross, Donald Miralle, Travis Lindquist, Harry How, Scott Halleran.

That’s me swinging my 58 degree hoping to keep it on dry land. I landed in the left bunker. (Photo by David J. Phillip)

One of two strokes I lost in the 7th green bunker (Photo by David J. Phillip)

Hitting my approach shot on the 9th hole. Sunk my put for par after this shot. (Photo by David J. Phillip)

Tom Boswell of the Washington Post split many fairways during his round including this one on the 9th. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal tees off the 18th. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

David J. Phillips celebrates his great par on the historic 17th green. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

Tom and David both did the 17 in three. I made a double…(Photo by Donald Miralle)

I haven’t been on a beach that big since I was in Hawaii last year. The monsterous fairway bunker on the 18th. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

David, John Paul, Tom and I pose for one on the 18th green (Photo by Darren the caddie)
Standing next to the leader board on the 18th green. (Photo by Darren the caddie)

Summer is Officially Here…

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone Summer has officially begun, and in San Diego that means time to hit the beach! It was the best winter and spring for surfing Socal has seen in recent memory, and I definitely got my fill of waves. But I’m even more stoked that I got my eldest son Luke comfortable sitting the front of my stand-up paddleboard and my youngest Micah starting to become more comfortable in the water. Next is my English Bulldog Frank “The Tank”, after I get him a life-vest because he sinks in the water like a rock.

Surfing the left at Ponto in Carlsbad…

Another fun event a couple weeks back was the 10th Annual Surfrider Foundation Art Gala at the Powerhouse in Del Mar. It was a great evening with fun friends, good food, and  great art. I donated three of my framed photos to the silent auction which helped raise money for all of the fine causes the Surfrider foundation supports. We also won an auction and brought home a beautiful photo of Sunset Cliffs by local artist Mark Krutiak that now decorates our kitchen and gives the boys something to look at as they eat their pankcakes. You can learn more about the event and see the art donated on the Surfrider Art Gala blog here.

A general view of the inside of the Powerhouse displaying the art for the 10th Annual Surfrider Art Gala. (Photo by Will Parson)

A general view of the outside of the Powerhouse with food, drink and hula dancers for the 10th Annual Surfrider Art Gala. (Photo by Will Parson)

Even though the swells start to slow down in the summer, one thing to look forward to is the paddlboarding season starts to ramp up. Paddleboarding, especially Stand-Up (SUP), is not only one of the fastest growing sports in Southern California but worldwide as well. It’s a great way to get some good core exercise, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the ocean and see the occasional dolphins, sharks, and even whales.

Coming in to the finish line for a third place in the sprint 5K stand-up paddleboard Race at the Encinitas Sports Festival. (Photo by Patrice Malloy)

The start of the Encinitas 5K, with the eventual winner in the front in the blue (I’m in a black cap behind the guy in the gray tank top on the left) (Photo by Patrice Malloy)

There have been some fun events I’ve worked into my work and family schedule this summer so far. I entered the Encinitas Sports Festival last month, where friends and I did the 5K run followed by the 5K paddle, opting for the stand-up on the Naish glide to ease into it. Last week I paddled one of the classic races in San Diego,  “The Loop” race 12 miles around Coronado island. There was an amazing turnout of talented local paddlers as well as others from Los Angeles and even Hawaii. I ended up getting third in the 14′ classic paddleboard division, and it was fun to get back in a rhythm on the knee paddling after taking a year off the sport.  After about two weeks of training I tackled the 20-mile Bay to Bay, and the conditions were much better than the “perfect storm” when I won 14′ there in 2008. I was stoked to cut about 30 minutes off my previous time, spending most of the race on my knees and winning the 14′ division again. I hope to get some descent training in the next couple months and complete my first 32-mile Catalina Classic in August shoulder and schedule permitting. Paddleboarding is a great sport to get into, especially if you love the water and the ocean, and for more information you can go to any of these site below:




Jamie Mitchell



Course Maps:

The 12-mile Loop Course

The 20-mile Bay to Bay Course

The 32-mile Catalina Classic