September 2008 was a great month in my life! I married the girl of my dreams, somehow convinced her to go on a surf trip for my honeymoon, and met Jose Souza and Isis Pinet.
Our lives crossed paths for the first time on a boat, on our way to Tavarua Island, Fiji. Tavarua is home to one of the best waves in the world, “Cloudbreak”, and a five-star resort on a private island in the middle of the pacific ocean…Not your typical surf trip, so it wasn’t too difficult to convince my wife that this was a good idea.tavaruagroup
Tavarua is an invite only resort with a waiting list of about two years. Guests stay on the island with only the people in their group for 7 days. We were with fifteen other couples and a few other stragglers, which allowed every one to become close.
Jose was one of the standouts of the trip! Absolutely tearing cloudbreak apart! I spent a lot of time in the water with Jose, chasing waves up the reef. Jose was a goofy foot, and cloudbreak being a left, was a goofy footers dream. Jose was in his element.tavleft
I recently read that Jose gave up a career as a pro surfer, to be a dentist. His surfing was definitely of that caliber. I look back, and remember every session we had, and how many times guys in the water would look up the reef and see Jose dropping in on a bomb. We would pull up in the channel and jump off the boat, and Jose would paddle straight for the top of the reef, resisting any urges to turn and go on the inside. Most of us would give in and surf the middle reef where we would watch Jose kill every wave he touched. By the end of the trip we called the top of the reef Jose’s reef.jose-and-isis-1
On land, Jose and Isis were a beautiful couple, so nice to talk to, so nice to be around, mild mannered, soft spoken, great in every way. Jose is Brazilian and a dentist in London, England and his girlfriend was French. I would talk with Jose and ask him what it was like being a surfer, landlocked in London. He would tell me he never felt that way. He was a short flight to some of the best waves in the world between Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, and Northern Africa. We talked about NY, the city, the waves, and about Jose and Isis coming to visit.jose_souza_surfing1
June 1, 2009. The headlines read “Air France flight 447 (AF447), an Airbus A330 widebody jet, was reported missing in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours. The plane was enroute from Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) to Paris (LFPG) with 228 passengers aboard”.
Today, Sunday June 7, 2009 my visit from Jose and Isis came unexpectedly. My wife received an email we never imagined. Close friends in Kauai who were on the island with us, and shared the joy in getting to know Jose and Isis, informed us that they were on flight 447.
My heart sank and tears ran down my wife Colleens cheek as we both tried to comprehend this tragedy, now a week old, which seemed so far away, how it made its way to our doorstep. God works in strange ways, and people are put in your life, even for a brief time, who’s presence will last a lifetime.
Our memories are fond, and we thank god you were put in our lives, WE LOVE YOU, and WE WILL MISS YOU BOTH!
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Possa a elevação de estrada para cima o conhecer. Sempre Possa o vento esteja a sua parte de trás. Possa o brilho de sol morno em sua face, e chuvas caem macias em seus campos. E até que nós nos encontramos novamente, Maio Deus cabo você na palma da mão dele.
Que la route lieu jusqu’à vous rencontrer. Le vent peut toujours être à votre retour. Que le soleil chaud sur votre visage, et pluies tombent soft sur vos champs. Et tant que nous rencontrer à nouveau, que Dieu vous tenir au creux de sa part.
Our condolences go out to all the families of Air France flight 447.
You can see the tribute to Isis & Jose on my site: http://www.nycwatershots.com/?p=331
Jimmy & Colleen Brady