Colin Herlihy’s board skills and Dan Herlihy’s surfing videos have taken the father-son duo far

By John Ryan  |  Photograph by Eddie Compo
From the August 2014 issue

ChasingWavesbyEddieCompoAs the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season rears its ugly head, Delaware surfer Colin Herlihy sees a silver lining in the coming storm clouds. Like hungry animals, he and other die-hard surfers from Miami to Maine will scour weather maps and buoy charts, licking their chops in anticipation of the next big swell. When the waves arrive, jobs and responsibilities are put on hold. Nothing else much matters.

“Only a handful of times each year do East Coast surfers get the chance to ride Hawaiian-size waves in their own backyard,” notes Colin. “We’ll drive hundreds of miles in hopes of hitting it just right.”

Indeed, at a moment’s notice, he and his father, Dan Herlihy, can be found loading their SUV with surfing gear, cameras and enough provisions to weather any approaching storm — once they get there.

And as the younger Herlihy looks forward to riding the next epic swell, the elder family member — no stranger to the waves himself — focuses on capturing each session on high-definition video. For this father and son duo, it’s just another day at the beach.

What does it mean to you?

By Patsy Dill Rankin  |  Photograph by Kevin Fleming
From the July 2014 issue

crabs1What are your memories of the foods that remind you of the beach? What are the things you eat when you go to the beach? We all have different ideas of what would be described as “beach food.” I can remember my first thoughts that food was different when we went to the beach. I was just a toddler when my parents rented a house in Leonardtown, Md., on the Chesapeake Bay. Looking at old pictures, I would now describe it more like a shack with a pier. This is where my brothers Chris and John and my sisters Nancy, Kathy and Debbie and I all learned the fine art of catching and eating the blue crab. We were all patient enough to sit very still and lure them into our nets with chicken necks on a string and brave enough to pick up the crabs and put them in the basket. When the basket was full, Mom would steam them up with lots of spicy Old Bay and we would all help each other pick them clean. She would also put a basket of potato chips and a bowl of sliced dill pickles on the table. The scent of crabs and Old Bay is one of the most incredible smells you will ever experience. We ate crabs until our lips were stinging and puckered from the spices. We would have platters of locally grown sliced tomatoes flavored with just salt and pepper and as many ears of corn as we could eat. We thought this was the best dinner ever! It was beach food, a little bit of heaven, our family tradition.

For nearly half a century, Roger Hitchens has immersed himself in underwater chores

Interview by Marie Cook Waehler  |  Photograph by Scott Nathan
From the July 2014 issue

PropDiver-byScottNathanSince the 1960s, Roger Hitchens has been a “prop diver” and underwater specialist, immersing himself in local waters for the Millville Volunteer Fire Company’s dive team and the private firm he founded in 1975. The longtime Ocean View resident — whose family moved there from Millsboro when he was just 6 months old — also had a 31-year career at DuPont, climbing the ladder from floor sweeper to supervisor of mechanical and chemical engineers, before retiring in 1991. Even when working full time, Hitchens still spent plenty of time in the water: He estimates averaging 200 to 300 dives a year in his heyday, most of them doing repair work for local boat owners. (The term “prop diver” refers to maintenance done on propellers, though tasks are far-ranging, from mending holes in hulls and repairing shafts to finding dentures and diamond rings that were accidentally dropped overboard.) As Hitchens approaches his 75th birthday, he sat down with Delaware Beach Life to talk about this difficult and sometimes dangerous pursuit.