“I love big waves,” Flippy Hoffman growled. “Just love ’em.”
This was twenty some years ago. We were on the deck of the local fishing/surf boat, the Hati Murnih, not so plush on the amenities, on a low budget trip to Eastern Indonesia without benefit of radar or navigation. Just the sort of adventure Flippy and his brother Walter loved.
I sat and listened, a grown man reduced to a grommet again. Flippy had that genuine salty sea-dog aura. Man, the stories he told of Hawaii in the old days, when each paddle out was an adventure into unknown territory.
But we were in Indonesia, in an area that back then was still unknown. “Hey, this looks like a good place to dive,” he said, peering down into whirling blue current.
So I was saddened to hear of Flippy’s passing. I only knew him in passing, but he was one of those bigger than life guys who made their mark. He was 81, and lived large
I don’t have a photo of Flippy from that trip, but I do have one of Walter, who was a bird of a feather. That’s a big ulua Walter speared. Flippy’s son Marty’s looking on. Marty was no slouch either with the speargun. Or in the waves.