Breaking: Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously approves members-only luxury surf resort to be built on the shores of the Salton Sea!

Break out the checkbook!

The surf dystopia grows more gloriously dystopian every single day. Ocean filled to the very brim with adult learners bobbing on Costco surfboards. A rusty plunger straight off of Fury Road pump, pump, pumping waves in an inland corner of Australia. A Surf Ranch, fronted by Kelly Slater, in Lemoore.

And now, unanimously approved by Riverside County’s Board of Supervisors, a members-only luxury surf resort has just been approved to be built on the shores of the Salton Sea. A true post-apocalyptic tableau.

Supervisor Manuel Perez said, “I want to thank the community advocates and all involved in this project for getting us all to this point. This is unprecedented. This has never been done before in the County of Riverside. With our concerns for affordable housing needs, clean water, lack of infrastructure and basic amenities, we have to establish partnerships and relationships to advance improvements.”

And nothing says “affordable housing needs” like a members-only luxury surf resort.

The Thermal Beach Club is planning for 326 luxury housing units, along with a 22-acre lagoon featuring wave-making technology. Memberships will span from $175,000 to $1 million.

For those unaware, the Salton Sea was formed as a glorious accident when an irrigation ditch bringing water from the Colorado river overflowed and made California’s largest lake. Initially seen as a miracle, prospectors rushed to build gorgeous homes on the shore but then it turned gross, toxic, stinky etc. because it was not a miracle but rather an abomination and now it is a sulfurized circle of hell where dreams go to die.

Or surf.

Very exciting.

Stinks like Quebec surfers in here, boy.

How COVID-19 is changing the face of surf localism: World famous Canadian mounties called after Quebec surfers breach “Atlantic Bubble” to surf Martinique beach!

"They have no regard for the protocols of quarantine."

A group of surfers from Quebec have breached the Atlantic bubble and caused a ruckus among Martinque Beach surfers in Novia Scotia for refusing to self-quarantine after their six-hundred mile journey.

“They showed up on Friday and they just have no regard for the protocols of quarantine. They were out surfing Sunday,” local Archie Wilson told The Chron Herald. “They all paddled out together and they caused a bunch of trouble with some of the other local guys.”

For those late to the game, or unaware of North American COVID restrictions, the Atlantic Bubble permits free movement between Canada’s four Atlantic Atlantic provinces.

If you ain’t in it, you gotta register and isolate for two weeks upon arrival.

Another local, hiding under a bitch’s change robe of anonymity, said he called the Mounties on the group ‘cause when he spoke to one of ’em, the man admitted he was from Quebec but didn’t feel quarantine was necessary ‘cause his COVID test had come back negs.

Still, the Mounties came although, says Wilson, it didn’t matter to the visiting surfers.

“I went down to look this morning and they were all back in the water again,” Wilson said.  “It’s just disrespectful to everybody – not just surfers. There are also a few elderly couples that live down there. If they’re going surfing they’re probably going to buy their beer after, too.”

The cops described the scenario of busting a dozen or so surfers as “complicated”.

“They’re not just going into a mall where there’s people. They’re on the water and depending on where that location is compared to where they’re staying there’s a lot of different avenues that we have to look into before we lay a charge,” Mounties Cpl. Lisa Croteau said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Heady days.

Watch: Australia’s Bondi Beach puts on magnificent show as swimmers, sharks, salmon engage in what social scientists are calling “non-triggering reproduction of The Little Mermaid!”

"These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now."

Under the sea, under the sea, darling it’s better down where it’s wetter take it from me. And were you a fan of the Disney classic The Little Mermaid? Oh it was so wonderful with the singing and the dancing and the ham-fisted creole accents.

Well, as you may have read, Disney is now laying a twelve second message in front of many of its older films that reads, “These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”

I do not know if The Little Mermaid is fitted with the disclaimer, though I’d imagine many were triggered by not only its creole accents but also Ariel’s white privilege. In Denmark, for instance, someone scrawled “Racist Fish” on Copenhagen’s Hans Christian Andersen Little Mermaid statue.

But leave it to Australia’s Bondi Beach to make things right.

Yesterday two sharks, two swimmers and a large school of salmon put on a magnificent show that is entirely non-triggering. Zero accents. No songs about “kissing de girl.”

Except… are the salmon making some sort of racist caricature?

More as the story develops.

Fabrizio Stabile.

BeachGrit investigation (Part one of four): The death of Fabrizio Stabile and the case against BSR Surf Resort

A surfer dead, a thirty-million dollar sale of the park blocked pending the verdict, allegations of fraud.

(Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll be running a four-part investigative series on BSR Surf Resort by Cedar Hobbs, whom you already know and perhaps secretly love. Was New Jersey surfer Fabrizio Stabile’s death caused by a negligence and the matter covered up, as alleged by his family in their ongoing wrongful death lawsuit? Was the pool’s water, dyed a fabulous blue-green, coloured to cover “a pathogen soup” in which deadly bacteria thrived? Today, part one, the background of the death and the lawsuit.)

On September 8, 2018, New Jersey surfer Fabrizio Stabile and a group of friends visited the BSR Surf Resort.

Less than two weeks later, Stabile, who was twenty-nine, died in a hospital bed.

His death was attributed to a brain-eating amoeba; his physicians calling it primary amoebic meningoencephalitis and Naegleria fowleri infection of the central nervous system.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Naegleria fowleri “infects people when water containing the ameba enters the body through the nose.” Infections cannot occur from drinking contaminated water.

Infections are extremely rare. From 2010 to 2019, only 34 infections were reported in the U.S.

They tend to occur during the summer months, “when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which results in high water temperatures and lower water levels.”

The fatality rate is over 97%. Only four people out of 143 infected in the United States between 1962 and 2017 have survived after contracting the amoeba, according to the CDC.

Seven months after his death, Stabile’s parents filed a suit against BSR Surf Resort, owned by Stuart Parsons, in the District Court of McLennan County, Texas, for more than a $1 million.

The complaint claimed that Fabrizio Stabile was exposed to the amoeba at BSR.

The Stabiles alleged gross negligence, asserting that BSR “had subjective awareness of the risks involved, but nevertheless proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, and/or welfare or others.”

They additionally asserted a premises liability claim, arguing that BSR knew, or should have known, that there was a substantial risk of a recreational water illness that posed “an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to Fabrizio Stabile.”

Lastly, they asserted a wrongful death claim, asserting that Stabile died as a result of BSR’s wrongful conduct.

In December 2019, apparently in response to a pending sale of BSR, the Stabiles filed a motion to protect the cash sale proceeds.

According to the motion, only a month after the filing of the lawsuit, “Parsons entered into discussions to sell the assets of BSR.” Notably, the sale would have apparently separated the liabilities, where they would have been kept in “shell corporate entities” owned by Parsons.

It further alleged that the pending transfer was fraudulent, as evidenced by an alleged “massive chlorination of the surf pool” prior to a CDC inspection and alleged false statements to the press “about the pre-inspection chlorination.”

The Stabiles detailed several other examples of behavior that they contended showed that Parson’s had “a tendency toward fraud.”

These included the alleged destruction of evidence through a chlorination of the surf pool the day before a CDC inspection.

And the fact that Parsons allegedly “set up numerous LLC[s] and trusts, all of which he [was] the sole owner and officer [of].”

The last was an alleged event in which Parsons lost his phone in Lake Whitney “just before being required to produce the text messages in discovery.”

BSR filed a response that same month. They asserted that the motion for protection of cash sales was “extraordinary and unprecedented” as it requested the Court to hold proceeds from a non-fraudulent transfer.

BSR denied that there had a been a hyper-chlorination of the pool prior to the inspection, arguing that CDC test results had in fact shown that chlorine was not detected.

They further denied that Parsons had lied to the press.

They also called the allegation that Parsons had “purposefully” dropped his phone in Lake Whitney “nothing more than mere conjecture,” as the text messages sought were later recovered and produced by a forensic data expert.

On December 21, 2019, the presiding judge submitted an order that required BSR to preserve the proceeds of the sale, effectively stopping the sale.

BSR appealed the order in January 2020, arguing that order should have been vacated as it failed to satisfy the relevant legal requirements, calling it “a sword over the Defendants’ neck held at the whim of the Plaintiffs” and an attempt to force a settlement.

In a brief filed January 7, 2020, BSR pushed back on the notion that Stabile had been infected at BSR, asserting “no one has made a judicial finding that Stabile was infected in the only body of water that he visited at BSR.” They further implied that Stabile may have contracted the amoeba at his job at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which “involved collection of water samples.”

BSR additionally claimed that the sale was not fraudulent, asserting that there was no evidence of attempts to destroy evidence.

The brief called the pending sale “an arm’s length transaction for a fair price.”

The court denied the motion and later referred the case to mediation.

BSR rejected that order in March, calling mediation “impractical” and claiming that further time to consider mediators would “not aid in an agreement,” leaving the parties in a stalemate.

Oral argument is scheduled for November 3.

Surf-lit: “He stares up at the carpeted roof panel with the LED lighting and grimaces. He thinks about how he judged surfers with vans like this; It didn’t matter how well they surfed, they were bound to be dickheads. And now it’s him”

His mind claws at the bad thing. It might be a dream but sometimes it’s not.

Something doesn’t feel right.

It’s the feeling he sometimes gets in the morning when the limbo between sleep and waking has briefly freed him from something awful that could come flooding back at any moment.

His mind claws at the bad thing. It might be a dream but sometimes it’s not.

He was on the boat again, trapped in the hold. He remembers the cloying darkness, the heat and throb of the engine, the plastic boxes stacked with ice, the layered smells of diesel and remnants of old, dried-in prawns, and the thudding on the deck above as the men continued working.

He remembers the feeling of knowing they would be laughing at him. Grown men, hard men, buoyed by humiliating a 13 year old.

He fumbles for the hood of the sleeping bag, pulls his knees up into his chest and extricates the last gasps of sleep’s warmth. He tries to shiver off the feeling of dread as if it were trapped in the coldness of the air.

The van doesn’t help. He wishes he was back in the old one. He stares up at the carpeted roof panel with the LED lighting and grimaces. He thinks about how he judged cunts with vans like this. Fucking Transporters and Sprinters. It’s embarrassing. It didn’t matter how well they surfed, they were bound to be dickheads. And now it’s him.

At least there’s a crack in his windscreen. He’s refused to fix it. It makes him a little more comfortable, somehow.

“Wankers,” he mutters to himself.

He’s listened to the sound of the building swell with apprehension. Just beyond the condensation and the cold, metal panels it’s been bombing on the reef all night. He knows it’ll be big today, knows that he’ll struggle to be sharp enough.

If he misses one or two early it’s over. The crowd, his confidence, all will devour him.

“Fuck it.” he says, shaking his head in one quick motion like he’s trying to knock something off.

And what board? It’s always the same. A relentless carousel of decisions that probably amount to nothing either way. Any board will do.

At least it can be his pre-loaded excuse. Shouldn’t have brought this one out, he’ll say when he misses one, nodding down at his board. Yeah, yeah. Bit more volume, yeah. Haven’t been getting in much. Yeah.

It’s all bullshit.

None of it really matters. Not in the micro of how much he enjoys his surf, and not in the macro of fucking-everything-else.

He wishes he could shake the feeling of being a fucking fraud.

He remembers more.

He’s squinting at the shaft of light pouring down as they scrape back the heavy hatch cover. The panicked cawing of white feathers tumbling towards him merges with cackling laughter. He can’t tell whether the sound is coming from bird or man.

Mostly it’s gulls they’ll throw into the darkness, but sometimes he’ll get pelted with other things, small octopus, fish not worth keeping, spongy pink growths attached to chunks of sea coal.

He shakes his head again, this time so hard he feels a sickening pressure at the back of his skull.

Funny, he thinks, as the rumble of water over rock snaps him back. He travels this far then gets uneasy about going in. It’s getting harder.

Could he move? Should he? Think about what you’d be giving up. And would you even surf more often, or just be pickier?

Fuck it. Same thought spiral. Still no conclusion.

At any rate, she would never come. And you’ve got the boy to think of now.

As he drove away, both were crying. The entire twenty-four hours before leaving were spent arguing. He’d shouted, said things he knew would cut. It was pathetic, letting his anxiety and guilt about going surfing manifest like this.

The long, isolated drives will catch him open and he’ll want to call her, say sorry. Sometimes he feels like calling within a few miles. But he knows it won’t change anything, apart from quelling his guilt, briefly.

Maybe he’ll call, maybe he won’t. Sometimes he can avoid it and the moment passes. Sometimes it lingers until finally he meanders home. Those times are the worst. Returning disappointed in yourself. A waste of time, a waste of emotion.

He’s thinking about the boat again.

He didn’t mind the gulls. Their squawking, hell-bent flaps were always quickly silenced by the dark as they cowered silently in the corners, just waiting for it to be over.

He shuffles out of the sleeping bag, shivering and exhaling loudly. He leans over the front seats and wipes the condensation from the windscreen to get a look at the reef. Black-clad figures move silently over the rocks, heading for the water in the retreating darkness.

He looks at the crack in his windscreen.

He thinks about the fracture spreading from the bottom corner and into his eyeline like a grim, translucent spider.

He can’t tell if it’s actually growing or not, he thinks it probably is but he can’t know for sure. He should get it fixed, but he won’t.

Instead he’ll try not to see it in his peripheral vision, try to stare right through it as it spreads or doesn’t.

It could shatter at any moment.

He’s sure of that.