I stopped by "The Volcano Store"

bought plenty of anthuriums and got more

kahili ginger by the stocks I cut

even a hapu’u fern was still not enough

many ti leaves from old Volcano Road

adding to the bouquet to honor your soul

still I gathered ohelo berries plenty

and two apples from the Finley’s tree

The ohia tress were calling out, “Take my

lehua blossoms and never live in doubt”. 

It was a particular windy day

Hurricane Flossie was said to blow us away

still into Hale ma’u ma’u I walked so deep

my arms so full of flowers a bundles heap

I walked so long full of prayers and tears

reflecting on all of the beauty years

our homes, our land, our sacred melody

our sons and how we played inside the sea

I layed the flowers at the crater’s edge

and sang and chanted and prayer again

‘till all the tears filled up my heart 

I realized an end was a brand new start

then I saw two hawks soaring in the crater

and I knew you and I had never been greater.

Did they listen to your words did they respect

that in the end you healed your regrets

You were the poet that was so complete 

Your life was always at the Master’s Feet.

I drove around Big Island for days

listening to the songs you gave….me

Feeling you with me on this journey complete

amd finally I knew so sweet

It’ s your heart that you placed inside my own

and this I know is your home

We love and we share and we live

and trust of heart we do give

We were students of the truth from the start

and this is where we stay as we part

A Hui Ho my Beloved Aloha Oi’ Bliss

As we continue with this sacredness.

Mahalo My Beloved

I Love You, Sandy 

dolphin photos © Sandra Provencio, 2010 - All Rights Reserved

As far as the tribute goes, from my understanding, Jerry's life, as a surfer was about one thing. The ability to know God. He was a lover of God. He was a lover of life. He was a lover of adventure. He was a lover of the sea. As passionate as he was, all of his soul purpose was to know God and to be one with his heart and breath. Even though he was a Capricorn (an earth sign) and a very grounded human being. His main heart ray was not of this world. He found the God's eye within his being and from that point of existence he did everything he could to remain true to his treasure. No exception. He was a devotee of the light realm. His surfing was an expression of his joy and gratitude.

His life was colored with all the blessings: marriage, children, family and true friends. He was an arts man crafted and skilled with sacred wood...he could build most anything. He had a strong relationship with the earth that he unfolded with our 40 acres in the hapu'u forest in Volcano, Hawaii. A mutual love and trust of animals. He had a oneness with the sea, like no other I have ever known. Health and strength accompanied him most of his days. He loved his parents dearly and they loved him and his mother truly adored him. 

He also had his trials and challenges and lessons. He knew all the spectrum of emotions, well. He was noble and patient, sure learned from his sailing and surfing.

I remember him telling me, whenever I would go off intensely, about something. "Choose your battles wisely". He was as even as they come.

Surfing was the avenue that he choose to find God. The Perfect Wave was more than the quest. It was a consciousness that he lived within. He was the Brotherhood. He was a man of Devotion.

I shared with Jerry, the deepest place of life. So, when I ponder and think of how he would want to be remembered, it is with conviction that I a light being. The light that sparkles and dances on the waves within the sun's rays is a hint of where Jerry journeyed within his soul heart.

He had mutual respect for all surfer's. The only surfer's he ever really went on about was Duke Kahanamoku and Laird Hamilton. It was not what one did with a wave, he felt. It was the wave itself. Just being present to the respect of the wave and the power of the ocean was his understanding.

All in all, Jerry was a simple man with the heart of a child. I feel he would want anyone to know that surfing is a gift and a journey that leads to the prayer call. Surfing will answer the questions and lead you to the humble of a free spirit.

Jerry Whitesides was a man of God.


MERMEN - by Sandy Provencio

It was a bright, beautiful, crimson sky colored morning. A perfect time to mistake dawn for twilight. One glance at the clouds was enough to make me wonder who was more fortunate, the birds and the imaginary gods, who hold domain in the billowy masses, or the people who have remained simple enough to know that Earth is a heavenly place. It was another magical morning on the north shore of Kauai. As usual, down the road, over the massive jungle cliff, I could see swells rolling in, beckoning the day. As each wave peaked, I could feel the happiness and freedom coming from the surfers who were out moving in the early morning waters. A colorful human being indeed is the surfer. They are spiritual, sexual, earth lovers, self-involved in their love of surfing (which can be good and bad), adventurers, dreamers, and , all in all, fluid type of people. Because I love to swim, watch the clouds, ocean gaze and fire stare, the sea is one of my favorite places. Through many days at the shore and nights of bonfires and magical bio-luminescence, I have been fortunate to have made a lifetime of friends.


dolphin photos © Sandra Provencio, 2010 - All Rights Reserved


The first surfer who made a strong impression on me was Mark. He was a few years older than me. Some days after school, we would meet at the beach. I would watch him and about seven of our other friends surf. Mark was the best. He would carve into the water with such grace. His style was different. I could tell that this was his religion, his love. His eyes were beautiful, deep, clear, and blue. When he would come out of the water, it looked as if the ocean lived in his eyes. He graduated from high school before me and moved to Maui. I went to visit him one summer. His surfing had changed a lot from living in the islands. He had become a much stronger surfer. Because the channels between the Hawaiian Islands are some of the strongest currents in the world, surfers are really challenged there. Mark came through with conviction in his heart. You could see it when he took off on a wave. Something was filling him. A humility that was noticeable. I remember one of his front teeth got knocked out one day while surfing. It must have been around a month before he got it fixed. This left an impression in my mind. Because he was very good looking and the tooth was an eye-stopper. At that time most surfer’s egos could swell as big as the waves they rode concerning their appearance. Mark was reaching for things beyond the external. He was becoming a deep human being. He never left Maui and now lives in Hana with his wife and family. He quit surfing for a long time and bought himself a fishing boat. Last time I spoke with him, he planned on reacquainting himself with the sport again. I am glad to know the simple man with the generous heart.

Shaun was a professional surfer. He took his talent and disciplined his life. He is the type of surfer that I can spot in the water even on an extremely crowded day. When this guy moves in the water, it appears as if he has Neptune at his command. He displays ease and beauty on his board. He can also move like a laser with exact precision. Like a god or a prince, the essence of Hawaiian royalty lives in his presence (at least the memory of it). Four years ago, I went to see him in competition at Huntington Beach, definitely a breathtaking sight worth watching. It is inspiring to see how talent and discipline can shape a life. Shaun and his family also had a clothing line in the surf world. We met and spoke only a few times and he was always a gentleman. Even though he has now moved back to South Africa, the memory of him moving in the sea with such intensity leaves a warm feeling in my heart.

The only surfer I ever lived with was Jerry. His experience with the sea was entirely different than any surfer I knew. He had been surfing since he was a child, and this was obvious. The difference was that for nearly eight years he lived on sailboats. He travelled around the world surfing to his heart’s content. He was one of the first batch of mainland surfers to go to Hawaii. He knew about riding big waves. He also lived with a Kahuna named Daddy Bray. The Hawaiians really loved him. Jerry always had a calmness about him and a deep devotion to the sea, which still remains. If there is such thing as a soul surfer, which we know there is, then Jerry is one. No matter what his life has taken him through, he has always remained true to his love of surfing. True to the love of his heart. He always gets in the water and rides. He taught me more about the ocean than anyone I know. Later he became my husband and the father of our two sons. The kind hearted lover of life now lives on the oceanfront in Kona, right at Lymans, on the Big Island. I am blessed and grateful to have been his wife, and the mother of his sons, whom carry his spirit strongly. He remains the center heart of our family.

Surfers taught me about extreme. All throughout my life, I have continued to pull from the archives of lessons they have filled me with. It’s right along with what old Neptune has to teach about commitment and risk...and honesty. It is interwoven into all phases of life. I believe it is all relative; every action we take merges into who we become. It is and always will be about love. Love of the ocean. Our love of one another.

There is a timeless familiar contentment that I feel by the sea. Whether the waves are smooth and glassy and the sun is out, or if there is a 10-foot swell with a storm front, I always feel better at the beach.

Interestingly enough, the surfers I have known have been fun and could laugh easily. 

Most important, they have remained deep in the heart of their souls. Sometimes they look like seals playing in the waves, with the blackness of their wetsuits shining. I know better. It’s really the mermen gracing the shoreline with a song in their hearts...and a very serious eye on the horizon.

Mahalo My Beloved, Tribute and Mermen ©Sandra Provencio 2010 - All Rights Reserved