[Coral-List] RIP Ricky Grigg 1937 - 2014

William Precht william.precht at gmail.com
Fri May 23 08:39:35 EDT 2014

As Gregor points out - Rick was more than just a great coral reef
scientist. Just a few days ago I was watching ESPN and they were
interviewing Rick Grigg about the danger of surfing Oahu's north shore.

 Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau - ESPN Films: 30 for

Rick will be missed.  RIP

On Fri, May 23, 2014 at 2:58 AM, Gregor Hodgson <gregorh at reefcheck.org>wrote:

> We lost Ricky yesterday. Ricky lived life on the edge from beginning to end
> and enjoyed every minute. His brilliance as a scientist was sometimes
> overshadowed by his history as one of the first to surf Waimea, his film
> career, his work as a black coral diver, and his occasional use of the
> 1950's surfer term "cowabunga." But his scientific contributions including
> Science cover publications, and tenure as Coral Reefs Editor were major
> additions to coral reef science. Most listers are probably familiar with
> his pubs, and how he did the science to try to create the first sustainable
> black coral fishery. As a former student and friend, I'd like to mention a
> couple other points.
> He was a wonderful teacher and mentor because he was very frank -- and was
> willing to take the time to explain in detail how he viewed an issue. Rick
> had a knack for quickly juggling lots of facts and bringing them together
> in a coherent package. He regularly infuriated environmentalists because of
> his views on how hardy corals are -- using photos of corals growing on the
> end of sewage pipes to make his point.
> Rick was an incredible athlete --  he grew up next to Santa Monica pier,
> was a life guard, and won the 1955 Catalina to Manhatten Beach paddle race
> --- 34 miles -- no wetsuits back then. He used to practice by paddling from
> Santa Monica Pier to Topanga point (where my office is) every morning --
> about 8 km each way. When I asked him recently how he did this without wet
> suits he replied, "Cold was not a problem with all that sweating. Try it
> sometime." People who are not surfers may not appreciate how incredible it
> was that he surfed big (as in 20 foot) waves on the north shore of Oahu
> into his 60s -- and often was out on the biggest, craziest days, when many
> young guys in their 20s are scared to go out.
> In this day of narrow niches, Ricky crossed over from oceanography to
> geology to coral ecology and physiology. He loved to share his knowledge to
> the end as shown by his last book -- *In the beginning*, *Archipelago, the
> origin and discovery of the Hawaiian Islands -- 2012. *Ricky was a true
> "waterman," a great friend, and he will be missed.
> --
> Gregor Hodgson, PhD
> Executive Director, Reef Check
> PO Box 1057, Pacific Palisades CA USA
> Tel: +310-230-2371
> Skype: gregorh001
> Email: gregorh at reefcheck.org
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