Student Spotlight: Emily Appleton and Sara Freshley

Student Spotlight: Surfing from Maine to Hawai‘i

 The ASH “Student Spotlight” series profiles two students from Fall Semester 2013 who bring east coast-style surfing skills from Maine all the way to Hawai‘i.

Emily Appleton and Sara Freshley are marine science majors from the University of Maine who enjoy the water, adventures of all kinds, and cruising on skateboards around campus. They fit comfortably into the scene at the University of Hawai‘i at . Emily began surfing off the coast of Maine when she was about 8 years old, learning from her dad, and Sara began to surf about 2 or 3 years ago. They are both picking up all the ins and outs of surfing on the Pacific coast with its different shore breaks and reefs. “We’re still figuring it out,” says Emily. But hey, it’s only been a few weeks since their arrival!

Emily and Sara at China Walls

Emily and Sara at China Walls

Favorite UH Class
Emily: Conservation Biology. It’s a small class with about 20 -30 students including a mix of grad and undergrads. We discuss both Hawai‘i and global issues dealing with conservation.
Sara: My class Beverage Crops is fun. We actually make juices and taste test. The professor is kick.

 

Favorite Form of Social Media
Emily: Instagram.
Sara: Facebook or Instagram.

 

One Word (or four) That Best Describes You
Both: Easy going, chillin‘, fun loving, adventurous

 

Greatest Adventure
Both: This semester in Hawai‘i!
Emily: Everyone at home thought we were crazy when we talked about our plans.
Sara: It sounds unoriginal, but everyday really is an adventure here. We find something new to do all the time.
We’ve done a sunset surf at Diamond Head, visited Sunset Beach on the North Shore, gone body surfing at Sandy’s, jumped at China Walls, and this weekend we’re flying to Maui to visit a friend of mine who is also a surfer.

 

A Famous Person You’ve Met
Last year at the University of Maine we were driving to campus to watch a showing of “Come Hell or High Water”, a documentary about body surfing. Walking along the road was Mark Cunningham, one of the most famous body surfers ever, who happens to be from Hawai‘i and one of the subjects of the movie. We stopped to pick him up and brought him to the showing. At that time we were still considering whether or not to come to Hawai‘i, but seeing him and talking to him must have been fate. We decided to go to Hawai‘i after that chance meeting!

First Job
Sara: Junior Camp Counselor at a local nature conservancy, doing trail work and other things.
Emily: When I was 12, the ice cream man at the beach (in Maine) would hire me to walk up and down the beach with a tiki torch and Sponge Bob pinata, ringing a bell. Lots of people followed me back to the ice cream.

 

Fun Fact
Emily: I like to rock climb and hope to do some here.
Sara: I spent a gap year between high school and college travelling to Mexico, California, Costa Rica, and Florida, participating in NOLS and Outward Bound wilderness trips. The experience helped me decide what to study at school.

 

What’s Next?
Both: We hope to do a summer program through the University of Maine where we study 2 weeks at the Darling Marine Center, a research facility on the ocean, and then 2 weeks in the Arctic, working with research scientists, snorkeling with beluga whales and studying polar bears.

 

Favorite Hawai‘i Place
Both: China Walls! We went on a beautiful; well, actually everyday is beautiful here.

 

Favorite Local Food
Sara: The fruit, like guava and papaya, things we don’t have in Maine.

 

Greatest Vice
Both: We have way too many activities!!

 

Proudest Accomplishment
Sara: I think we’re still looking for that.
Emily: We’re on our way there.

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