Oowee! We got us some Texas Tea right down there in Osstralia!

While you were sleeping: ExxonMobil has started drilling Australia’s “deepest-ever oil and gas well”; Makes Equinor’s proposal look “Like kiddy pool!”

Deep water drilling six hundred clicks closer to Bells than failed Equinor proposal…

Remember the mass protests by surfers over a proposal by Norwegian energy company Equinor to bite into the Great Australian Bight in the hunt for black gold?

Longtom wrote poetically of the Byron paddle-out,

Representatives of every little sub-tribe out in the hot sunshine and howling onshore wind. Gurfers, murfers with their stock-broker and hedge fund husbands, rockstars, movie stars, slightly anorexic goddesses with logs, hipsters with finless foamies, sinewy old sea dogs, spanish-speaking Euro babes, sultry tattooed Peruvian, Argentinian and Brazilian studs, ageing local shredders on nineties thrusters and their progeny, kiddies, cops, magistrates, bankers, dentists, doctors, ex-pros, “soul” pros, scumbags and every other flavour of surfer. Surf witches were there, no doubt, but likely the blue bands were left behind.

You know how it played out.

If Australians weren’t going to be nice, Equinor was out. No social license to drill etc.

But while that was going down, Texas-based ExxonMobil, was given approval to drill to a depth of 2300 metres (2500 yards) in Bass Straight, deeper even than the proposed Equinor Stromlo-1 well.

ExxonMobil is a name familiar to those who were around in 1989 when its tanker the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in Alaska and bled 37,000 metric tonnes of crude. Worst oil spill in history. Otters, the cutest animal in any ecosystem, very badly hit. Poor optics although no social media back then meant many opportunities lost.

In a piece published today in Spectator Australia, Fred Pawle writes,

The protesters’ victory is small beer in the grander scheme of things in Australia. While the protesters were preoccupied with Equinor throughout last year, ExxonMobil managed to submit an application for an even deeper offshore well, have it approved and has already started drilling. That well is about 600km closer than Equinor’s proposed well would have been to Damien Cole’s home surf break at Bells.

Smart surfers will be secretly relieved that ExxonMobil dodged the protest gauntlet and has quietly got to work. It means surfboard makers will still have the raw materials for surfboards and airlines will still be able to fly keen surfers for their annual trip to Indonesia, where the waves are even better than at Bells.

Fred also rips into the frankly infallible Nick Carroll who, he says, “falsely claimed that ‘a worst-case spill would put oil on every surfable coast of Australia south of 30 degrees S.’ ”

Read here. 

Still open for biz but if you want out and a refund, that's cool, too.

Satan is Real: Coronavirus Pandemic hits BeachGrit’s Survivor League; forces temporary postponement!

Here’s what happens next…

A recap of the last twenty-four hours. 

The NBA’s on ice, F1’s got cramps, school’s out, toilet paper is being stockpiled in outer suburban silos, jets are being wheeled into hangers, and every old person is chewing their bottom lip, tears on the brink, as they wait for death’s scythe to come down on their necks. 

And, now, thanks to the WSL’s decision to postpone the first event of the season, BeachGrit’s new Survivor League, which you can read about here and which promised to put the fun back into round one, is also in a holding pattern. 

So what’s that mean for your twenty American shekels? 

You got three choices.

  1. Do nothing. We’re still open for biz but the close-off date for the season will be the first day of the Bells waiting period, that is if that event isn’t put to the sword.
  2. Want a refund? Email and it’s yours. ([email protected])
  3. If you decide to stay and the tour is cancelled, which ain’t beyond the realm of possibility, everyone gets refunded.


World champ Italo ain't gonna get a chance to defend his GC title. | Photo: WSL

Breaking: Coronavirus pandemic forces WSL to cancel Corona Open at Snapper Rocks; Bells surely DOA; 2020 tour on rocks!

All events in March cancelled, more to follow…

Had to happen didn’t it? NBA evaporated, Formula 1 shuttered, talk show hosts playing to empty studios and cranked up laugh tracks. Old people shoved into death ghettoes by thrill-kill millennials. Planes grounded. School children sent home to mediate on the apocalypse in front of television sets.

So it don’t come as any sorta surprise that the comically named Corona Open, Gold Coast, meant to start March 26, has been put on ice, with all surfers being sent a text this morning letting ’em know that all remaining events in March, including Snapper and the Piha event, have been cancelled.

From the WSL,

“Coronavirus is having massive consequences for sporting events and gatherings of all kinds around the world, and we are no different,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “We did not take this decision lightly as we are aware that it has a significant impact on the surfing community. However, the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff are paramount. From the standpoint of social responsibility, we also take very seriously the role our events might play in accelerating the spread of the virus. We’ve been in close contact with our athletes and we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do right now.”

“The fluid nature of this situation is forcing us to evaluate things day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour,” Logan said. “As this continues to evolve, we’ll continue to adapt, endeavoring to make the next right decision each day.”

Based on the information we have at this time, we are not currently canceling any additional events beyond this time frame. That said, the situation continues to evolve, and we are closely monitoring and evaluating the status of our upcoming events, including our next CT event at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia.

More from tour correspondent, Longtom, soon.

Watch: Ferocious sharks on “Coronavirus Vacation” from destroying humanity celebrate with “unhinged gang bang!”

"Everybody had a righteous time and no heads were broken."

But what happens to the consistent, hardworking “man-eating” shark population when humanity starts eating itself? Starts “self quarantining” and travel restricting, buying more toilet paper than will ever be needed in one lifetime, more beans that can ever be consumed and generally eating itself?

Initially depression, I’d imagine. A re-accounting of relative value as it relates to the “apex predator” status long enjoyed.

And then?

Well, it appears an unhinged, all out Hells Angeles-esque gang bang straight from the pages of Hunter S. Thompson’s strange and terrible saga.

Though should we read ourselves? Thompson and Tom Wolfe, Ken Kesey, Merry Pranksters and completely frowned upon behavior?

Of the two-day long party, Wolfe admits that “Everybody, Angels and Pranksters, had a righteous time and no heads were broken.” He again brings up the gang bang, but again asserts that “the girl was a volunteer. It was her movie.” He chalks the whole party up as a victory for Kesey, who had managed to turn La Honda into “an intellectual tourist attraction”—a place for intellectuals to come face to face with “real life,” a concept seemingly out of reach for the ivory tower crowd. It’s true that the Angels represented everything Kesey preached; they were authentically “out front,” spontaneous, anti-authoritarian, and most assuredly outlaws. In many ways, the Angels were the id of Kesey’s Prankster movement, and though taming them with free booze and LSD made for a neat party trick, there’s no denying that the men were quite dangerous.

Well, prehistoric beasts, decidedly un-PC, re-enacted the scene here.


Horrible, no?

Such very bad form and is there a way, once this Coronavirus runs its course, to get all shark locked up in Rikers Island near Harvey Weinstein?

More as the story develops.

Out front the panda exhibit. Thanks China!
Out front the panda exhibit. Thanks China!

Extravagant surfer-father and young daughter locked out of U.S. for daring to celebrate Europe’s “Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse!”

Exclusive interview from the front.

Not actually locked out, per se, as of this moment citizens of These United States of America are still theoretically allowed passage home but who knows what tomorrow will bring? Who knows how much crazier the civilized world can get by the hour?

Minute even?

I’ve been to a handful of rough places where the situation turned sour quickly. Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Palm Springs, and it was easier to sort through fake airlines, byzantine bureaucracies, exploding bombs and radical Islam/The White Party than people are talking about getting out of Western Europe. France and Germany.


It’s crazy.

“Is it crazy?” I ask my young daughter as we stroll through the Berlin Zoo, for certain the best zoo in the entire world. I snatched her, for days ago, as paranoia just started creeping. Dusting off my war reporter bona fides, smelling opportunity, getting into the muck because the muck is glorious and my young daughter needs that singular fun.

She’s laughing hysterically at a monkey’s butt and doesn’t hear the first time I ask so I repeat.

“Is it crazy?”

“Mmmm. I think people are crazy and I don’t really care about it.”

“Why are people crazy?”

“Because they’re nerds.”

“Do you know what Coronavirus is?”



“A sickness?”

“Are you scared about it?”


“Why not?”

“Because other people are nerds and only old people get sick.”

“Do you think it’s fun to be in Europe during the Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse?”

She pauses for a long minute while the monkey takes its butt and leaves.

“I think it’s fun but also dumb because we don’t even have the Coronavirus.”

“Well the actor in Big has the Coronavirus. Did you know that?”

“Good. Big was a horrible movie.”

As always, she’s right.

More as the story develops.