Listen: Big-wave surfer Wayne Cleveland on how to buy, smuggle, cut and wholesale large quantities of Mexican cocaine: “At one stage, I sat down and I had $2.5 million in front of me. It took forever to count.”

"Wayne Cleveland's house is awash with cash."

True drug-smuggling stories are a fascinating business; men and woman who gamble their precious freedoms for truly insane amounts of money.

Secret worlds, lavish public lifestyles.

It’s a life of spiders and flies.

When the smugglers are winning, they’re spiders, living like Gods of Olympus with a total immunity to justice on earth.

When the cops get a lead, the smuggler become the fly in his own web.

Wayne Cleveland is a forty-nine-year-old surfer from Maroubra who talks with the bellicose growl of a cougar.

He made his name at Puerto, Sunset and, later, Cape Solander, waves he hunted with visceral passion, paying for his lifestyle by utilising the lucrative trans-Pacific cocaine trade.

In this episode of Dirty Water, Wayne explains the minutiae of getting the coke into Australia from LA, how it was cut and how it was distributed.

And, how it all unravelled.

(Watch the Australian Federal Police’s documentary on the sting and then bust, here, “Wayne Cleveland’s house is awash with cash…”)

And, listen, below.


Watch: Massive Great White Shark rips seal in half inches from shore, in inches of water, while shocked beachgoers flee for their lives!

Cape Cod is not for lovers.

But oh how the Wheel of Fortuna spins. One moment, there you are with your loving family dipping toes into the autumnal water off New England’s Cape Cod. The weather, turning, is still delightful. Sun shining and ocean as blue as a sapphire.

The very next moment, the water changes crimson red as a Great White Shark has snuck right into the tranquil, mere inches from the sand, and sawn the seal right in half with its razor sharp teeth.

You try and calm your wife, comfort your children who are wailing in agony.

“Shhhh. Shhhh. It’s ok. The circle of life. And it could have been your toes instead of that poor, hapless seal. Shhhhhh.”

But watch firsthand video and tell me that the brazenness of this particular Great White Shark doesn’t fill you with a deep sense of dread, even with the inspirational music layered behind.

Or maybe hope, if you happen to be exceedingly misanthropic. Inches from the sand, in inches of water. A human baby may have been toddling right there. An elderly wader.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy released the following statement regarding the incident.

“This is another good reminder that white sharks hunt in shallow waters off the Cape and, based on tagging data, we know that October is a peak season month for white shark activity off the Cape.”

There have been at least five shark sightings in the past two days.

And are you a New English surfer?

Very scary and/or exciting.


You? Me? Both of us?

Listen: BeachGrit reels under recent accusation. “Your audience is made up largely of middle-aged white male nihilists!”

Ja, we believe in nothing.

And here we finally are. The nadir. The lowest point of a low time. The only anti-depressive surf website in the entire world being accused of being a den of middle-aged white male nihilists from a respected voice in our surf industry who shall remain anon.

Oh my.

But is it true?

Are we middle-aged white male nihilists?

All of us middle-aged and white?

Male and believing nothing?

Not a good look ever but especially not in 2020.

Not, as they say, “marketable.”

David Lee Scales and I met at Album Surfboards in San Clemente today and I told him that Derek and I were, likely, ringleaders of a middle-aged white male nihilist cabal. He thought about it for a moment and… to be honest I can’t remember if he agreed or not but then we talked about Dane Reynolds’ cutback and birdwatching.

Then I went and purchased a mattress from, honestly, the best furniture store west of the Mississippi featuring gorgeous mid-century modern chair/coffee table sets. When was the last time you bought a mattress?

Middle-aged white male nihilists need comfort too, even if they/we don’t believe in it.

Listen here.


Visit: Denmark’s “Cold Hawaii” sees massive surfing boom while the world is locked down with heavy Covid-19 travel restrictions!

Envy.

Every cloud, no matter how broad, has a silver lining and this Covid-19 cloud’s can be witnessed in Klitmøller, Denmark, a town of 1000 hearty souls in the far northern tip of the country.

Klitmøller, long called “Cold Hawaii” because of its reputation as a windsurfing destination, has seen a boom in real surfing participation these past six months as Danes, unable to travel to California or Australia, content themselves with its slop.

Vahine Itchner, who started the Cold Hawaii Surf Camp with her husband and moved to Denmark from Tahiti, tells The Local DK that business is through the roof and also, “You can’t really know what kind of waves you’re going to get. It’s always different waves. If you go to a perfect surf place like Bali or Tahiti, you know exactly how the wave is going to break. Here, it changes all the time.”

Changing windy cold waves sounds awful and not inviting and not like a silver lining but Itchner knows that Klitmøller will become more famous than Cardiff Reef or Bells Beach because Denmark is the only country on earth that is hygge.

What is hygge?

There’s no direct translation in English but, roughly, it means “cosy” and those who have traveled to Denmark will know, first hand, that nothing beats it. You can be hygge in the summer, spring, autumn but the best hygge is winter, all curled up post-surf in front of a flickering fire, hot toddy or chocolate in hand, Billie Holiday playing softly on the turntable, slippers on feet, watching Saoirse Ronan in On Chesil Beach while rain pitter-patters on the cottage roof.

Absolutely fabulous and far better than stripping a urine-soaked wetsuit off in a dull parking lot, or car park, deflecting glares from Joel Tudor or Maurice Cole.

I would be a Danish surfer if I could be.

Would you?


Breaking: Multiple extra-large Great White Sharks refuse to leave Santa Cruz setting up potential clash between two of nature’s most dangerous creatures!

Clash of the titans.

The surfer is known to be a very dangerous creature. Selfish, taciturn, slappy, purposefully ignorant, driven by base reptilian-brain-adjacent instinct and not much more. The most pure (read: worst) of our kind resides in a smallish town in north-central California called Santa Cruz.

And this same Santa Cruz has just seen and influx of apex predator Great White Sharks who refuse to migrate to deeper water or otherwise go to places where there are no waves.

But come and watch the gorgeous aerial photography from local Ernest Smith.

Would you paddle?

Western Australian surfers would. And so would Santa Cruz surfers which is set to facilitate one of the greatest clashes in species history.

I used to be of the mind that Great White Sharks were malevolent jerks but thousands of comments from Facebook enthusiasts have taught me that the Great White Shark is merely in her own environment doing her own thing and that we humans are the interlopers.

Except surfers are a sub-human category and this is her environment too.

A clash of titans is expected and when oddsshark.com starts accepting bets where does your money go?

Much to consider.

Also, I was just nominated for the coveted Shark Reporter of the Year Award given annually by the Scripts Institute.

Very humbled.