John Gray's Seacanoe July 2015 Newletter

John Gray's Seacanoe

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John Gray's Seacanoe

Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') | John Caveman Gray


Caveman’s parents were serious environmentalists – they met climbing Mount Whitney on a 1930’s Sierra Club outing. When Little Johnny came along it was linen napkins at the family dinner table – never paper. Little Johnny crawled into California seas at six months and a lady shouted to Johnny’s mother “Lady, your baby is drowning in the waves!” Johnny tumbled on a wave, did a belly flop on the sand – and came up laughing. His Mother laughed “If he’s that stupid just let him keep on going.”

So he did.

In first grade Johnny had a pet white pigeon. “Junior” flew to school every day and sat on Johnny’s shoulder in class - the World’s most educated pigeon. One day his teacher Mrs. Waterhouse walked Johnny home. He worried Mrs. Waterhouse wouldn’t let Junior come to school any more.

Mrs. Waterhouse knocked on the door and said “Mrs. Gray, I walked Johnnie home to tell you his is the most remarkable student in my 30 year career.”

Thank goodness – Junior kept going to school.

That night Johnny’s Mom took him outside in a 1950 full moon.

“Little Johnny you are remarkable. You are a “Human Being” - the most remarkable machine we know in the Universe. As a human you can do anything you want. One day – if you really want – you can even fly to the Moon –- if you never forget you are nothing but an overgrown Monkey!”

Keep balanced, control your ego – and your potential is endless.

In the early 50’s Johnny and his Dad made plywood kayaks in the family garage, and paddled them from their Newport Beach Lido Island family homestead. When he was 12 Johnny was bodysurfing “The Wedge” and was SCUBA certified the same year.

The family bought a camper with trailered boat and spent every Christmas and Easter in Mexico – SCUBA diving, water skiing, fishing and making friends with the Mexican mariners in the Gulf of California.

In 1960 the Gray’s spent the summer visiting every National Park west of the Misissipipi River - sleeping in the camper. Walking to a Yellowstone campfire, Johnnie told his brother Tom to walk the middle of the trail “A grizzly Bear could just scoop you into the bushes”. Sure enough, a few more meters and a giant Silverback male emerged from the undergrowth, turn up the path and walked right between the brothers. “Just keep walking – no fast movements and don’t get excited.” It worked – the Grizzly walked right between the brothers. Without looking back they walked another 50 meters then ran to the campfire. No harm done and the next day the grizzly was caught and released in the high range.

Back in California we took our boat to the Catalina Island isthmus every week-end – Johnnie water skiing 26 miles of smooth seas every Saturday morning and fighting the huge afternoon swells on the Sunday afternoon return – surrounded by blue shark fins reminding Johnny he couldn’t take a tumble.

John’s Mother created an environmental warrior – other stories tell the tale - after spending two childhood years in a traditional Japanese house in Sendai - starting in 1952.


In another life John Gray was a Professional Communicator (first published in the USA in 1957) and Corporate troubleshooter – literally a household work in Hawai’i. John was

“John Gray, You Better Sit Down - - - -Because you just won an EMMY Award!

SOTAR KAYAKS – The Sea Explorer

OCEAN KAYAKS – The Best Sit-On-Tops







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Hong by Starlight
Lunch & Dinner : Round Trip Transfers

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