Today I made a pilgrimage to Nazaré, the home in Portugal of big wave surfing, and where the biggest wave ever to be surfed was surfed.

Even though I don’t surf, I am surrounded by family and friends who do. I live on Maui where surfers from all over the world come to practice their sport, and just down the road from us is Jaws, the home in Hawaii of big wave surfing. It would not have felt right not to come to Nazaré. I was so close.

Although there were no big waves today, I could feel the power of the ocean below the lighthouse that marks the location where the waves break. The overcast day, strong winds (so strong that I was wary about getting too close to the small wall that served as a barrier between me and the rocks below, for fear of being blown over), and the vast expanse of open ocean stretching to the north, south, and west to the distant horizon, only added to that sense of foreboding power. Although I don’t follow the sport too closely, I have deep admiration for those who do pit themselves against these giants.

Me, David, standing in front of the red lighthouse at Nazaré in Portugal where the big wave surfing takes place