The Travel Issue
A few days ago, having just returned from a tiny Indonesian island far off the beaten track, Adam Blakey sent me this e-mail:
Pharmecuticals Joelo, man made pills mate. Those f–king guys you sent me away with are walking f–king chemists and thank f–k they are too cause we damn near went to hell and back on that little journey – Hump is at the doctors right now getting a giant cratered secondary infection in his leg tended too (he almost died, not really but you should see this dripping hole dude, you could fit a baseball in it), I almost snapped my foot off and spent the three best days of waves sitting on the beach covered in flies, flies everywhere, more flies FAAAARRRRRKK!> So anyway now we’re all addicted to Beetle Nut and after 30 hours in torrential rain in howling onshore wind on a 20 foot tin cup with no shelter going three knots an hour I’ll pretty much stick any pill you can spare into any hole that isn’t already crammed full of em. In otherwords, a truly sick trip. Feral as can be and a ripping story to back it up. I’m flying back to Oz tomorrow so give me at least 48 to finish it up with the New Guinea piece and get em over to you. (…) Those guys Travis Brett and Timmy are awesome and even though I was one Aussie stranded with four seppos on a rock with no beer, no music, no women and no where to even do a shit without half the village coming out to watch – I survived. I love you mate, we gotta get these things going on more often. Blako XX
We sent Adam to tag along with American surf hobos Timmy and Ryan Turner, Travis Potter, and photographer Dustin Humphrey–a close-knit group of guys from Huntington Beach, California who now spend as much of their time as possible in Indo–on a voyage into the abyss. Adam’s companions have a reputation for being travelers who place little or no value on luxury, and who instead pride themselves on how few frills they can endure. The group is more interested in discovery, one of the key components to surf travel, and anyone who’s ever gone searching remote corners of the world for things no one’s ever seen can tell you that there’s never a Four Seasons close by. The road to discovery is never paved, always treacherous, and typically worth every case of amoebic dysentery picked up on the way.
This issue, like the lives of professional surfers and surf journalists, is about travel. But it’s not about safe, packaged vacations to surfing’s meccas as much as it’s about sketchy taxi rides, forged travel visas, and first-surfs. It’s a look at the past and present of surf adventure, and our hope is that with a little inspiration you will become part of its future.
Read this on a plane somewhere … anywhere.–Joel Patterson