Second Thoughts

“Jungle sounds are going nuts and waves are lapping on the sand. Orgasms is a beautiful sight, even at two feet; up there with the most dangerous waves in the world. But none of us is scared to go the distance. I’ve been wanting this wave ever since the first time I surfed it. Every session, we get to learn and record a little more. I’ve missed a lot of days of writing. I’m sitting on the peninsula now and it’s around April 8. E-man (our guide) finally negotiated us a ride back from the jungle. It was only 50 bucks and a live chicken. Brett has trapped a few containers of rain water, so now we don’t have to cook with the swamp water that upset my stomach this morning. Everyone has lots of mosquito bites, especially Travis. Good chance one of us has malaria. No worries though, I don’t think any of us gives a shit.” That evening, I get picked up in the rubber ducky from the Nomad, a charter boat in the bay, to assist in a face stitching operation: I shot the guy up but had to lead Todd through the steps. My hands were too shaky; Had a real cooked dinner and beers, then slept on the ground as usual. Didn’t want a mat or AC. I’m just weird like that.

Not since Craig Peterson and Kevin Naughton captured the footloose 70’s surf adventure in the pages of this publicationhas America boggled at such gonzo wanderings. Or will boggle. For whoever said U.S. pro surfers were a bunch of overpaid, body-waxing nancy boys can never have met Timmy Turner, Travis Potter and Brett Schwartz. For the past spring, these three Orange County amigos have lived lives part Castaway, part Endless Summer, part Lord of the Flies, part Apocalypse Now. They are quite possibly doing it as you read thisHell and gone from civilization in the islands off west Java, riding fishing boats, sleeping beneath a tattered tarpaulin for weeks on end, hunting for their dinner, going mad together while riding the barrels of their lives. All the while they video everything for a movie they claim to be makingfrom land, from the water, filming the barrel from the inside looking out, filming with a camera board looking back at the wildly gesticulating surfer, pulling all sorts of crazy shit in the most crazy shit waves.

That’s where I met em, comparatively a billionaire aboard the chartered Nomad, official scribe for an Aussie surf magazine mission, with photographer Jason Childs, plus surfers Koby Abberton, Dylan Longbottom, Steve Clements, Asher Pacey and Damon Harvey. But the amigos were out there long before that. Way out there…