The Last Of The Centaurs?

Oil spills are plaguing Sterling Spencer’s ocean while guns are being shoved into his face in Central American lands. Is the world trying to end the centaur race?

Ryan Brower: Are there any numbers on how many centaurs actually exist?
Sterling Spencer: I've only seen one. I can't guesstimate, but I've seen and I'm one, so that's two.

How do centaurs and oil spills mix?
It's very dangerous for centaurs because the horse part dies when you touch oil but the human part can live. So centaurs have to drag around a horse body everywhere, and it's a pretty heavy horse body.

“If 200,000 gallons are pumping out every day that's a lot of oil in the ocean.”

Have you seen any of the effects on the beaches yet?

No, it hasn't come near yet. They had volunteers on the beach ready because it was getting pretty close but then this cold front came through and blew it all back. So we got super lucky. We've been really lucky with the winds right now. It's been east, so it keeps it towards Louisiana and it's been north too. In the summer we get west winds, so that'll bring it right over. If they don't do anything about it's going to make it here.

What do you think it'll it do for hurricane season in the Gulf?
If it gets as bad as they say we probably wouldn't be able to surf here for at least six months to a year. If 200,000 gallons are pumping out every day that's a lot of oil in the ocean.

Are they taking the oil that's on the surface out?
They have boats with skimmers that they throw in the water and it's like a big piece they suck up the oil and they drag it back on the boat. They've asked boats if they'll volunteer and they pay something like a grand a day to do it.

I know a couple of people who are ready to volunteer when they're needed. A lot of my friends work on the beach, and we're going into the biggest time of the year to make money on the beach, so they're jobs are in jeopardy. My friends that work on boats and charter deep-sea fishing, those jobs are ruined at least for this year because all the fish are just contaminated. It's really bad.

I don't think we understand how bad it's going to be. I live on the beach and I was getting emails that we might have to evacuate if the fumes get too bad. I was in Costa Rica going, "Oh my god." But it hasn't come to that just yet. [For more on the oil spill, head to Surfrider’s Offshore Drilling hub]


I heard you recently had a gun in your face in Costa Rica. Will you share the story with us?
I went to Costa Rica with two of my friends for just a fun surf trip. My good friends have a huge house down there and were letting us stay for free. The landlord was late so we were sitting outside of the house right on the beach with all our stuff we came with. I guess we were just sitting ducks.

I went surfing and my friends were around the car and the police showed up and searched the car saying they were looking for drugs. So they leave and my friends see me coming in from the surf and the landlord finally showed up so they went into the house. So I'm drying off by the car and I was bending down and in my peripheral I see three guys creeping up and I thought it was my friends but I realized they were Costa Rican. And then I realized they had a gun and he's coming at me like he was going to grab the back of my neck. I didn't look but I just started walking super fast while still bending down so it wouldn't be as obvious and I looked back and he seemed like he wanted to chase me but I was about to book it, so he didn't go for me.

“They went around the corner and I couldn't see them and all the sudden he came back around the corner with the gun in my face. “

I ran like twenty feet and hid behind a tree and started screaming for my friends to come out of the house. The three guys just started grabbing everything they could because our van was wide open. They finally took off because I was screaming so loud and I started chasing them like I was going to do something, pretty stupid actually. They went around the corner and I couldn't see them and all the sudden he came back around the corner with the gun in my face. I stopped in my tracks, turned around, and started running again and jumped over this huge fence to get back to the house. I started banging on the windows of the house and let them know that we just got robbed of everything we had. The only board I had was the board I had surfed and the shorts and t-shirt I was wearing. So the first few days we were pretty scared they were going to come back. But we wore the same clothes the whole time and my one board didn't break, so it was actually pretty fun. It definitely changed my perspective on a lot of stuff.

Is the world trying to end the centaur race?
Obviously something is out for us, we're a dying breed.

Why do you think that is?
Because centaurs are extremely mystic and it would be dangerous for the world if they came out of the woods.

Check out more of Sterling and his centaur adventures on his blog,