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Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Who am I & what is this blog? I'm not exactly sure yet, but I always figure it out along the way.

Me on the cliffs of Nazare Portugal

What does BWE Coastal mean? For one its my name, Benjamin William Eggers, and coastal, well I always end up near a body of water one way or another. Truth be told at the time I couldn't think of anything better, and it sounded catchy so I ran with it. When I first started with photography, growing up in the seaside town of Duxbury Massachusetts, my passion for the ocean coastline drove my creativity. I was obsessed with photographing coastal landscapes, surfers, & fisherman. After abandoning all of that to go to school where some would consider to be landlocked Upstate New York (It's actually western but that's a different blog) I discovered a new coastline. A place some hail as America's third "seashore", the Great Lakes. I'll admit it, I was a bit stuck up after first. Scoffing at the idea of the lakes holding any sort of comparison to the South Shore of Massachusetts. I'd reckon most people would have had the same mentality leaving these beautiful beaches for freshwater. Yet in my initial disdain I had an epiphany. On a particularly windy October morning driving through what can best be described as god's country, flat cornfields pressed up against mucky turbid lake water, I passed by a surfboard strapped to the roof of a 07' Honda CRV. After rigorous disbelief in what I had seen I eventually made my way back to the parking lot where I witnessed the then miracle. Here I met James.

This was the first lake surf photo I ever took and started my connection to the lake surfing community.  Ultimatly leading to a few connections that brought me overseas to Portugal.
James waiting for safe entry into Lake Ontario Surf

You can see where the term "flat like a lake comes from", but rest assured James was on it. You see, through and through James is a surfer. He has long dreadlocked hair, tan leathery skin despite the sun never shining, and signals every goodbye with "Aloha!". Rain, shine and more often than not snow, if there is any sort of of movement in the lake James is out there. It was meeting him when I realized to live coastal had very little do with which body of water you neighbor, if neighboring a body of water at all. James grew up surfing in Florida, travels the world chasing waves when he can, knowing there are bigger and better waves out there. Still he raised his sons in Rochester, teaching them to surf the brown, void of salt, wind swell shores of Lake Ontario. James found a coast where many would think to be land locked, bringing the spirit of the ocean to "Upstate" New York. So I ask you, what defines an ocean?

An ocean, outside of the traditional sense, is defined as an expanse of space or quantity. Sure the waters that surround continents are oceans, but so is a vast stretching desert, sprawling jungle, traversing mountains, or even the endless vacuum of space. An ocean isn't something we boarder, its something that surrounds us. It is terrifying for all that is unknown yet beautiful for the endless possibilities it presents.

The Ocean off of Cape Cod

Every day we leave our screens, our homes, or our life plan deviates, we enter into that ocean some way or another. To me living coastal isn't about owning waterfront property, its about making the most of those moments in time that are unknown. Comparable a sandy coastline, we as humans are always changing, battered by an ocean of moments we call life. Such as James finding waves where most said there were none, to be coastal is to be open to all possibilities in this world. Ultimately that's what I want this blog to be about.

I'm not exactly sure yet what form that will take. Write up posts like this, photoblogs, videos, graphic designs (I said the possibilities are endless), but the theme will always remain the same. With a goal of seeking out the novel, finding interesting people, places and things outside my reach and yours. If any of this incoherent ramblings made sense to you, or if it didn't let me know. This is the first of many so always room for improvement. Until next time, see what's out there!

- B W E

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