North Face, The Eiger
“The man inside could not keep the man outside alive”
“We may not make it but we will do it in style”
It is with a saddened heart that I am writing about one of my dearest friends, Gregg Kasl, U.S. marine, commercial diver, sailor, small business owner, writer, friend and husband. His powerful spirit escaped his now fragile body this week, leaving behind a loving and ever-devoted life partner, ZaZa.
I met Gregg in 1985 on the first day of training at Santa Barbara City College’s Marine Diving Technology Program from which both he and I managed to graduate in 1987. Gregg was a rebel. At the time, he was living with his girlfriend in Goleta and had just arrived to our little Riviera town (SB) via the US Marine Corp by way of Nebraska. He had no car and no money, but he had god damn spirit and a lot of it. He and I became friends and relied upon one another during our intense underwater training classes as well as on the granite cliffs of Yosemite and Joshua tree. After graduation, Gregg married the love of his life and moved onto a boat which he had purchased with her. I went off to more college and did not hear or see Gregg for some six or seven years later.
Fast forward to recent years where we found ourselves both careened on the great Ventura reef. Gregg was one of my best and oldest friends. He and Zaza worked for us when we first got started at the Ventura yard. I have never met a stronger willed salt of the earth sailor in my life. Gregg was the kind of guy you would want on the other end of the belay line whilst tackling the Hillary Step of Everest fame, or on the midnight watch mid Pacific with everything up in pitch darkness. Can do!
I could not help myself from muttering throughout the day yesterday,”I vouch for him, let him in!” God damn it I will miss him and so will my son and close sailing friends who spent countless hours discussing politics, punk rock, and all things ocean with one hell of a solid and strong spirit. Love you Gregg.