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Gone to sea

Surfer at Dahican beach, Mati, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara

“Don’t take anything for granted, because one minute it can be there and the next minute it can’t, and it happens so quick. When the negative stuff comes around, just let it go. It all leads to the positive as long as you keep a positive attitude. Enjoy everything you get. That’s one of the most important things in life, is really appreciating it because we only get to do this once and it’s not for a long time.” ~Jay Moriarity, surfer

I read a good story today, and downloaded a good film too.

“Live like Jay” is a motto one hears around the surfing community in Santa Cruz. It means to live in the moment. Seize the day. Take the time to appreciate the people around you. Jay Moriarity was said to have a genuine love for life, was always in good spirits, always smiling and eager to take challenges and risks.

Raised in Santa Cruz, Moriarity’s passion was all about surfing. He became popular because of his well known wipe-out at Mavericks (a natural phenomenon of legendary waves in the Northern California surfing location) in 1994, and which graced the cover of Surfer magazine (May 1995 issue).


Captured by photographer Bob Barbour on December 19, 1994, the photo shows 16-year old rookie Jay with arms outstretched (they called it the “Iron Cross” wipeout), tossed on a 50-foot wave and coming down hard. As waves crashed down, Jay disappeared for more than twenty seconds, and reappeared unharmed. His surfboard was broken in two. He was said to have retrieved his backup board and then paddled back out, spending five additional hours in the chilly waters, and caught around eight more waves. After the photo and story was published, he became an instant hero to surfers around the world for his sheer courage.

Jay Moriarity died on June 15, 2001, day before his 23rd birthday, while free-diving in the Maldive Islands. As part of his strict training regimen as a big wave surfer, he was working on his underwater breathing technique and passed out. He was 22 and married.

In 2012, Hollywood made an inspirational story as a tribute to Moriarity’s life with the surf movie, “Chasing Mavericks”.  His family and friends supported the cast and crew during the filming.

Jay Moriarity lived life in the moment, and died the way he lived.

jymrt.jpg Photo by Bob Barbour

Jay Moriarity
Born: June 16, 1978
Birthplace: Georgia, USA
Death: June 15, 2001, Maldive Islands, Indian Ocean (drowned while free-diving)
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Reach out and make me smile! :-)

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