SURFING new hire Taylor Paul spent about five minutes at his desk before the call came: Indonesia. The Search. Tom Curren. Start packing. Taylor sent this dispatch from the boat.I trip out every time I walk upstairs from my air conditioned bunk and into the living room of the Quest, formerly the Indies Trader II. The September Sessions boat. It’s September and somehow, I’m on it. And it’s sunrise and breakfast is ready and the coffee is fresh. I heard the engine cut in the middle of the night and the rocking of the boat settled to a sway. A look out the window of the galley confirms that Captain Albert has done it again: An empty, double barreling left breaks into the bay. The boat is positioned so we can look straight at the surfers driving in the inside tube. I like to wave to them.
Things get weirder when I look at the couch and Tom Curren is sitting there playing his ukulele, singing high, “Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, on a blanket with my baby, is where I’ll be.” Ted Grambeau enters and starts singing chorus in bass, “Under the board walk.”
Frankie Oberholzer is outside trying to catch dinner. We’ve eaten well every day.
Frank and Pat Curren invite me to join them in a game of Uno. It’s more of a “You’re playing Uno” than a “Do you want to play Uno?” I play Uno.
We’ve scored, or so I thought. Apparently overhead barrels are perfect for the “B Team” (me, Rip Curl team manager Nick Greeninger, filmer Bali Strickland, Justin the Chef and Captain Albert) but don’t suffice for the “A Team” (Tom, Frankie O, Pat, and Frank). We need better photos. Bigger tubes. Drier reefs.
We’re staying an extra week for the next swell. Tickets changed. Bosses and girlfriends and wives alerted. Promises rearranged. More promises made.
This is my intro to working at SURFING Magazine. Two weeks in the office, three weeks in Indo. This is my new life.
--Taylor PaulPhotos from Taylor: