Fly Zak Fly!


June 6, 2001,  in Panama City, Panama. (Not Florida) Zachary Gerard Mignot my nephew was born. Until delivery Wendy and Jean were living on an island in Panama called Little Toboga.  It was an island of flowers surrounded by sea. Two days after Zak was born, my mom and dad went to meet their new grandson.  So, when in Panama, what do you do? Of course you take a ride thru the Panama Canal…and so,  Zak has the honor  of being the youngest person to have ever been  through the canal!!


He is now 14 and started the 8th grade a few weeks ago! He is attending The Seaside School and challenges himself  to succeed daily.  He is a charismatic merrymaker among his peers. Zak plays soccer and basketball. He likes skateboarding and jumping over anything. But his passion is in the Ocean! Fishing, Sailing, Riding Waves, Hanging Ten, Surfing! He is a water baby.! IMG_9242     IMG_9121 IMG_0100     IMG_9091      

Living in Santa Rosa Beach since he was a baby, Zak can be found hanging around Seaside or at Grayton Beach. He’s the kid riding a bike while holding a surfboard.  How he does that I’ll never know. He has become quite an accomplished surfer having taken up the sport only 3 years ago, taking trophies with The Gnarly Charley Surf Crew and being sponsored by Hungry Boards and Native Sunglasses!   It kind of runs in the family. His cousins Diego and Nomme MIgnot are already on the Junior Surf Circuit.

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When I asked him what surfing feels like he said, “Its great, it feels like you’re flying!”


As I’m writing this, Zak is on his way to Nags Head, NC, for a surf competition, with his dad, Jean Noel. Fly Zak Fly!


Photography by Dawn Chapman Whitty