Peeping Tom: Once-bucolic Encinitas grants Surfline permission to add more cameras at Moonlight and Swami’s; Surfline, in turn, insures they “can’t be redirected to stare at sunbathers on the beach!”

Extremely troubling.

As much hullaballoos and ruckuses as major media cause, it’s still the small town, local newspaper where true information resides. Honest facts presented honestly, not fired in the kiln of “left” or “right.” Not glazed with a lead-free layer of bias.

And it was this morning that I read in the Encinitas Advocate that Surfline, a company that invites you to “know before you go,” had been granted unanimous approval by the Encinitas City Council to add four more cameras on public structures.

The deal, which will last three years, allows for three cameras to be affixed to the Marine Safety Center at the very popular with inland residents Moonlight Beach and one on the lifeguard station at iconic Swami’s.

The city will receive $645 a month total, which seems like a sweetheart deal. Like, not at all the going market rate. Like, worthy of investigation.

The City Council, heading off potential criticism, insured their public that “…the camera systems are controlled by the Surfline company, not the subscribers, so viewers can’t redirect them to stare at sunbathers on the beach.”

And this raises very much concern. I am assuming the Encinitas City Council has never met anyone who worked for Surfline. Never gazed into those beady eyes, heard the darkness seeping unfiltered from those mouths. Never felt the cold, clammy handshake or been touched, inappropriately, slightly below the waistline.

Surfline men, including Surfline Man, are never to be trusted. Not trusted to deliver accurate surf forecasts nor trusted to hold to even the lowest standard of decorum.

From this point hence, we must assume that Huntington Beach’s Surfline office is wallpapered with images of Moonlight and Swami’s sunbathers.

Extremely troubling.

Noted Cabarita surfer Christian Bungate and sons. | Photo: Christian Bungate/Facebook

Australian foilboarder breaks silence on Cabarita Beach Great White attack: “I left my board and I crawled up the beach and I lay on my stomach bawling my eyes out.”

"I was off my board and on top of the bloody thing. It was like I was submerged on a rock, it was so hard and rough."

Three days ago, foilboarder and noted local surfer Christian Bungate was hit by a Great White at the site of last weekend’s Tweed Heads Pro, the animal, which was described as a “tank”, leaving behind a tooth in the foil’s carbon fibres. 

Bungate, was, initially at least, loathe to talk to the press, preferring, according to friends, a few days to process the event.

The hit came two weeks after Nick Slater was killed by a Great White at the Superbank, forty-five minutes drive north, four months after Rob Pedretti was killed by a  Great White at Kingscliff, ten minutes drive north, one month after longboarder Chantelle Doyle was pulled out of a Great White’s mouth by her husband at Port Macquarie, a few hours south, and two months after teenager Mani Hart-Deville was killed by a Great White at Wooli, a couple of hours south. 

So, yeah, Bungate knew it was a close call. 

Speaking yesterday to the ABC’s Gold Coast bureau, Bungate said he was fifty yards off Cabarita Beach on his foil when he saw a shadow alongside him. 



“It was like there was an oil slick next to me, it was so big. It came up so slowly, and I literally shit myself and kicked it as hard as I could with my right leg.”

The White hit his board and knocked him into the water.

“I was off my board and on top of the bloody thing. It was like I was submerged on a rock, it was so hard and rough.”


As he managed to scramble off, the predator came at him with jaws gaping, but bit the board instead. Mr Bungate was convinced if he had been on a standard surfboard rather than a foil board, which has a 70cm keel and wings instead of a fin, he would be dead.

“I’m 100 per cent sure if I was on a normal surfboard it would’ve given the shark clear access to get straight back at me and it probably would’ve taken out my stomach,” he said. “Instead it caught the wing of my foil board, hence why there’s a bloody tooth in it. I left my board and I crawled up the beach and I lay on my stomach bawling my eyes out.”

World famous DJ and influencer Diplo nearly decapitated at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch: “I got rocked!”

Rare company.

Oh the unseen dangers lurking amongst the tule fog and cow stink of central California’s Lemoore. There is: 1) Stiffer than normal whiskey sodas poured at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort by gruff bartenders. 2) Methamphetamine. 3) Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch which boasts “The World’s Best and Longest Barrel for Human Beings Under Three Feet Tall.”

I know first hand.

When Derek Rielly and I traveled there, a handful of years ago, to participate in “media day” at the aforementioned Surf Ranch we shared a comfortable room at the Tachi Palace and drank a handful of whiskey sodas each. I somehow escaped the head-splitting, stomach-turning hangover but Derek Rielly did not, waking up the morning we were scheduled to hunch into the aforementioned barrel very green in the face.

He somehow worked through his discomfort and put on quite a show for Chris Cotê, Vaughn Dead, Nick Carroll and others.

I did not and as poet laureate Ben Marcus enjoys immortalizing, bounced off the cement bottom and loosened my arm from its socket.

It was not the first time. My arm had been loosened from its socket a good 30-ish times prior but still very frustrating and as I shuffled to the pool’s edge, reinserting it, I was very frustrated though semi-placated myself with re-inserting it in front of the lifeguard while sneering about medical attention. Like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.

Well, I am now joined by world famous DJ and influencer Diplo who just became nearly decapitated by the Oompa-Loompa.

Ouch but I feel Diplo’s pain. That 30-ish time was enough for me to get my arm surgically sewn in and while it was a horrible experience my arm no longer falls out of place. I would recommend the same to Diplo, re. his head, and will hope that poet laureate Ben Marcus also eulogizes him.

Very cool.


Desperately Seeking: “(40) Male, legendary pro surfer with dreamy eyes, handsome face, chiseled physique. Adults swoon at the sight of him and children aspire to be him!”

Let's assume Kelly Slater is unavailable.

Very famous television producer Darren Starr (Sex and the City, Beverly Hills 90201, Melrose Place) has a new project currently airing that may require you. The show is called Younger and mainly set in New York City, chronicling the personal and professional life of Liza Miller, a divorced 40-year-old woman with a teenage daughter and a failed marriage that collapsed due to her former husband’s gambling addiction. After 26-year-old tattoo artist Josh mistakenly thinks that he and Liza are about the same age, she concocts a plan to pass herself off as a 20-something to re-enter the ageist industry of publishing, later becoming the assistant of Empirical Press marketing head Diana Trout and befriending Kelsey Peters, a co-worker.

Obviously very fabulous and coming up on its seventh season, which is where you come in. Episode 703 is desperately seeking “(40) Male, legendary pro surfer, he has become his own brand with a sustainable clothing line, reality television show, as well as a sizable and meaningful charitable foundation. With dreamy eyes, handsome face and chiseled physique adults swoon at the sight of him and children aspire to be him. At a pitch meeting for a book he wants to write he locks eyes with Liz and the chemistry is palpable.”

Now, of course Starr and team are desperately seeking Kelly Slater as, minus the sizable and meaningful charitable foundation, he ticks all the boxes but we must assume he is too busy to play himself (the generous version) on television.

Who knows Kelly Slater better than us though?

Exactly right.

You’re 40, or could play 40, and male, aren’t you? Have enough insight into the mind of the greatest professional surfer of all time and are considered dreamy, handsome, chiseled or at least could be.




Lemoore Goat Rodeo, Hippy, SSD, Bex, VONR, Otto, Channel?

Come on. One of you has this.

Lou Harris, gettin' it done.

How to live, drive and survive in Rockaway Beach, NY!

Meet a wildcat who gives free surf and ocean safety lessons to any kid who swings by the beach…

Make a  wrong turn at any NYC corner and you can quickly go from sunny side of the street to sudden disembowelment in the flash of a homeless pan.

The City will flip you that way.

A stroll down Fifth Avenue can lead to secret bends where light-fingered larcenists will free you from the weight of your wallet. Within each borough, inside its own little section, down isolated blocks, there are enough lines of demarcation to make a Rubiks’s Cube dizzy.

And the Rockaway Beach (yeah, Ramones Rockaway Beach) section of Queens County is no different.

The Rockaway peninsula technically runs from 9th street in the east to 126th street in the west. (The surf really cuts off around 35th street, blocked by Long Beach Barrier Island.)

The west end (Belle Harbor, Neponsit) are what your local housewife fingering a 12:01 afternoon Chardonnay would call “affluent.” Multi million-dollar homes. No subway access. No public boardwalk. Parking permits for residents required. Lifeguard stands every 150 feet. They say this section is protected by the old guard, Irish fireman and cops who’s lineage in the force can be traced to the “Gangs of New York” time in the five boroughs.

As you roll further east (Far Rockaway) you approach the Mason/Dixon line of 74th street.

Within this area you will find the Edgemere and Hammell projects. And, as ODB of The Wu would say, they ain’t nothing to fuck with. A point proved during a surf check by two surfers around 62nd street. While walking back to the car the two surfers are greeted by two Dodge Chargers parked in a “V” blocking the street.

The president of the Welcoming Committee of Hammell sincerely asks “DA FUCK YOU DOIN HERE!”

Surfers walk to the car silent and drive towards the road-block. A curb hop and zig-zag navigation through street signs and local solders yields an escape, but not before a bottle is hurled and cracks the cars back window.

Welcome to the Old Rockaways, east end.

It is in this section of the Rockaways where the drownings occur.

Mostly teenage children of Latin and African American decent from the east side of the Rockaways. The side where there are four lifeguard stands for seventy blocks of beach. There were seven drownings this summer alone. A national study released by USA Swimming says six out of ten black and Latino kids can’t swim. Most of these kids have no knowledge of the ocean and its currents and have never heard of a riptide.

Ask anyone who’s read a book and they will tell you this dates back to the segregated pool days.

Enter Lou Harris.

He is the founding member of Black Surfing Association Rockaway, a division of the Black Surfing Association, that operates in Queens.

Lou gives free surfing and ocean safety lessons to any kid who stops by.

“I don’t care if you’re black, white, Asian or Muslim,” he says. “If there’s five of you, and you’re hanging out on the corner with no job, you’re going to get into trouble.”

Of course, it’s a non profit.

Check out their Instagram here.

And, if you wanna help cut a path to a kids enjoyment of the ocean, hit the GoFundMe here: