Recorded on a tiny Caribbean island during a top-secret filming mission in early February with Kelly Slater, Benji Weatherley, Timmy Curran, Ozzie Wright, and a gaggle of camera people.
Up with the sun. We pack our two vehicles full of surfboards, ridiculously heavy 16mm film cameras, and early-morning cheer, and head north. Our leaders for the day, Kelly Slater and his good local friend Stuart, are sure we’ll find some uncrowded bombs an hour away.
First spot is a left point. Excited to find a left on an island of mostly rights, goofy-footer Timmy Curran paddles out and is immediately swept down the coast by the current. Others follow, but conditions make for less-than-ideal filming. After a half hour we’re back on the road.
On the drive to the next spot, cameramen take advantage of having Kelly as their captive. Slater is a good sport as they shoot footage of him looking contemplative.
On the other side of the island the wind is offshore, the water’s crystal-clear, and the waves are fun and peaky, but crowds force us to check several spots before deciding on one we won’t have to share.
Second surf is at a funky little right wedge that breaks in about six inches of water over a field of fire coral. We commandeer a house under construction as our base camp and surf for a little over an hour while film rolls. The surf isn’t great, but great surfers make it look surfable.
On the drive home we lose track of the lead car and end up guessing our way home. Benji takes control of the situation by demanding fried chicken, telling 174 jokes, then spotting the one sign that would lead us home, and finally passing out for the rest of the drive.
After finally making it home, having a third surf session, and cleaning up, we head to a party for a friend of Kelly’s in a nearby town. While waiting for Kelly to clean up, a giant yellow Labrador attacks Ozzie, attempting to impregnate his leg multiple times. Kelly saves the day, putting the dog in a sleeper hold.
At the party we make friends with a group of local surfers, but the mood turns sour when they threaten to kill me if we mention the name of the island in the magazine. I promise not to and am rewarded with drinks, smiles, irie vibrations, and all the U2 I can stomach.
The party breaks up eighteen hours after our day started. Ozzie passes out in the driveway, and Kelly drives us home. The whole way I annoyingly sing lyrics from “New Year’s Day.” And gold is the reason for the wars we wage. We wake up the next day in someone’s living room. Mission completed.