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Name: Caroline Minkowski

Home: Hillcrest

Surfing: Tourmaline

“It was about three years ago,” says Caroline. “There were Santa Ana winds, and while we were out there, there was this huge swarm of butterflies. I think that the butterflies were blown out from inland. And at the same time there were, say, about 15 dolphins swimming next to our boards. They were all around. With the orange butterflies and the dolphins on a very beautiful day, it was a very nice combination.”

Caroline and her husband Jacek are European transplants who found each other in Southern California. Jacek hails from snowy Poland, and Caroline came from rural Germany to UC San Marcos for her master’s in English, which she acquired in 2006.

Caroline started surfing when she arrived from Germany four and a half years ago. She and her husband surf almost every day.

“There’s a really strong and really sort of traditional community [at Tourmaline],” Caroline says. “There’s also a lot of people who surf here who have been surfing here for 40-plus years.”

Every winter, she and Jacek drive to Santa Barbara or Ventura for camping/surfing excursions. They’ve ridden waves on vacation in Oahu, Maui, and Costa Rica. A “Just Married” bumper sticker still adorns their van, which is outfitted with lines for hanging towels and sleeves for their boards. In a hefty German accent, Caroline says, “Yes, we’ve grown very accustomed to the Southern California lifestyle.”

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