Courtesy WSL.
Courtesy WSL.

Portugal’s government bans surfing at Nazaré: “Failure to comply with this determination incurs in a criminal offense punished by law!”

Officially on ice.

Well there she goes. Surf forecasting website Magic Seaweed is reporting that Portugal’s National Health Ministry is enforcing a ban on surfing Nazaré beginning today, November 4th, enforced by the harbor captain with “failure to comply” incurring “a criminal offense punished by law.”

You certainly recall the recent “monster” swell which had much fighting and ski jumping and bad behavior. More than 30,000 spectators packed the cliffs to watch the punching and hair pulling and no-no business, which alarmed authorities. Oh, not the naughty water play but all those looky loos.

Europe, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a second or third wave of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic and having many people together is not generally smiled on so there she goes.

But were you planning an autumn trip to The House that Garrett Built? Maybe a little poke around the lineup like famous newsman Anderson Cooper?

Ice those, for now.

More as the story develops.

Watch: Whale attempts to swallow two kayakers whole in what experts are calling “A Divine Comedy!”

"I'm thinking, 'I'm dead. I'm dead.'"

But are all of your nerves completely frayed after last night’s election results marathon that will likely stretch out for weeks and weeks and weeks? Republican signature experts and Democrat signature experts sitting side by side in fluorescent rooms surrounded by Republican lawyers and Democrat lawyers presided over by many judges.

Not exciting at all but we can always count on nature to deliver and in Avila Beach, yesterday, very near Pismo on California’s central coast a sperm whale tried to swallow two whale watchers whole in what must be called a Divine Comedy but lets not tarry. Let’s hear directly from the actresses, Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel, in this wonderful Biblical tableau.

McSorley told the local news affiliate, “I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water I saw the whale come up. I thought, ‘Oh, no! It’s too close.’ All of a sudden, I lifted up, and I was in the water.”

“The whale was right here in my face, literally,” added Cottriel. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push. Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way! It was the weirdest thought. I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead.’ I thought it was gonna land on me. Next thing I know, I’m underwater.”

But the whale was just playin’ and both of them emerged unscathed with a wonderful story to tell their grandchildren.

Back to the election, though, did I downplay the thrill of watching signature experts, lawyers and judges dance a glorious tango? Will the next weeks and weeks and weeks be even better than competitive professional surfing?

Much to discuss.

For weeks.

AI by the great Steve Sherman/@tsherms

Open Thread: Comment live as Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden paddle out for what is being called “The Most Exciting Final in US Presidential Election History!”

The hooter has sounded!

And the day of all days is finally here. Those on the left have been waiting, albeit not very patiently, for four agonizingly long years. Those on the right have alternated between cheering, robustly, and wincing. Facial muscles exhausted. Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive has been boarded up, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan has been getting covered up all in anticipation of November 3, 2020.

The most exciting, most talked about, most early voted on Presidential Election in United States and America’s history!

The pollsters, so cocksure but four years ago, are hedging heavily with their now-tarnished icon Nate Silver only being able to write, “And indeed — although nobody needs any reminders of this after 2016 — Trump can win. All the election models are bullish on Biden, but they are united in that a Trump win is still plausible despite his seemingly steep deficit in polls.”

But do you feel debilitating anxiety? A barely-harnessed sense of euphoria? Will you be watching multiple channels, reading multiple news sources until the clock strikes next week or will you be hiding in bed watching Cheers re-runs and dreaming of simpler times?

Well don’t do Cheers. Instead, come to the place where everybody knows your Disqus account moniker and be amongst friends. Oh, we may not all agree but we fight funny and, when all is said and done, we’ll still have each other.

Now, let’s start the final heat!

New Jersey surfer Fabrizio Stabile, killed by a brain-eating amoeba.

BeachGrit Investigation (part three): Former BSR employee describes “1000 pounds of shock” chlorine being poured into famous Waco wavepool prior to CDC inspection and ten days after Fabrizio Stabile’s death

Includes surprise cameo by superstar Stab editor Ashton Goggans… 

Editor’s note: Was New Jersey surfer Fabrizio Stabile’s death at the celebrated Waco wavepool in 2018 caused by negligence and the matter covered up, as alleged by his family in their ongoing wrongful death lawsuit? Today, in part part three (read parts one, here, and two, here), a former employee describes “1000 thousand pounds of shock” chlorine being dumped into the pool prior to an inspection by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and ten days after Fabrizio’s death.

In the days and weeks following Fabrizio Stabile’s death, BSR allegedly took several actions to destroy evidence.

The Stabiles alleged that Parsons attempted to destroy evidence “by shocking the surf pool the day before the [scheduled] CDC inspection.”

According to a former BSR employee, BSR had notice that the CDC was coming.

“They knew they were coming the night before they got there. We knew when Fabrizio got sick. He got sick like 10 days before the CDC ever showed up. So 10 days, we had 10 days to know it was coming and be prepared. The night before they showed up I think they poured 1000 pounds of shock at least.”

A receipt dated September 26, 2018 shows that BSR purchased over $2000 worth of chemicals the day before the inspection. According to a motion filed by the Stabiles, that purchase was BSR’s largest chlorine purchase in 2018.

It appears that American Wave Machines and Cheyne Magnusson were initially unaware of the alleged shocking of the pool.

The former employee said that “Cheyne [Magnusson] was pissed” about the chlorination.

“He was mad about all of it and he was upset about them dumping all that chlorine in the water the night before. He was upset that the water hadn’t been taken care [of] properly. Cheyne did everything he could, within his powers as the manager, to make it right.”

On September 27, 2018 the CDC conducted an environmental assessment of the pool.

While waiting for the results, BSR worked with the press.

The court record contained emails from Sam McIntosh, the co-founder of Stab, in which he forwarded an email from Ashton Goggans to Stuart Parsons.

The email contained a story to be published, pending clearance from Parsons.

McIntosh wrote in relevant part, “Fellas, here’s the Stab story. Please let us know if any changes.”

Parsons claimed he had no control over what was published by Stab.

He testified, “Stab is kind of the National Enquirer of surf, so what they write, I have no control of. They’re kind of the smut of surfing magazines.”

A little over a week after the CDC’s intitial investigation, the CDC published their findings.

In a report dated October 5, 2018, the CDC stated that “there was no routine chemical treatment, monitoring, scrubbing of wetted venue surfaces, filtering, or record keeping to document water quality and treatment for the venues open to the public.” The report also that stated that “testing results may not reflect regular practices at this facility, as we are aware the facility performed acute remediation (e.g., high-level chlorination) of some venues immediately prior to the assessment.”

Parsons denied that BSR had conducted an acute remediation, testifying: “how would [the CDC] know that. No, we didn’t.”

The former employee said that in addition to the shocking of the pool, BSR hid a visible, partially installed septic tank prior to the CDC’s inspection.

“On the day the CDC was there, there was a big open hole with a visible septic tank in it, so in order for them not to be able to see that visible septic tank we stacked all the extra Lazy River tubes on top of it and made it look like it was the storage for the Lazy River.”

On October 11, 2019, the CDC released its report. Naegleria fowleri was not detected at the surf pool, but it was detected in other water bodies at the Cable Park. The report also found that “a free chlorine residual was not detectable in the reportedly treated Surf Resort.”

The report concluded that “the presence of fecal indicator organisms . . ., viable thermophilic ameba, and high turbidity indicate a treatment failure, and when the water is warm, would create conditions amenable to Naegleria fowleri growth.”

An email thread from the Texas Department of State Health Services also stated that “there were extremely high counts of E. coli throughout and that the general CDC opinion is that the setup creates an environment conducive to pathogen growth.”

In response, BSR released a press release titled “BSR Water CDC Test Results Come Back Clean.”

The release also stated that “comprehensive test results have now confirmed that the water at BSR Surf Resort meets every standard for safety.”

Numerous sites ran with the report, spurring titles such as “BSR Cablepark Tests Comes Back Negative For Brain Eating Ameoba.”

Parsons testified that the CDC had essentially told him that the amoeba had not been found in the surf pool and that had been the extent of his conversation with them.

Following Stabiles’ death, BSR contracted with Water Tech Solutions to install a filtration system. On October 22, 2018, Water Tech Solutions released a Water Quality Management Program. The four main tenants of the plan were filtration, oxidation, disinfection, and the creation of an inhabitable environment.

The filtration system was reportedly approved in May 2019.

The Stabiles also alleged that Parsons began discussions to sell BSR soon after the suit was filed.

Parsons testified that he had been talking about selling the park for years, but he had become serious about it about a year and a half prior to November 2019. He claimed he was selling the pool to make time for family.

The sale would have only transferred the assets of the park, with the liabilities remaining in shell corporations owned by Parsons.

In May 2019, Edenpark Development Partners sent Parsons a Letter of Intent to Purchase Land Property. The purchase price was listed for $30 million.

The sale was originally scheduled to clear on November 27, 2019.

According to the former employee, the sale was then delayed so that BSR could “fix the septics” to ensure they met code.

Then, in December 2019, the court effectively stopped the sale.

The legitimacy of that court order is still being litigated.

Watch: Jamie O’Brien blocks Pipe crowd for Carissa Moore in echoes of nightmarish Blue Crush scene from 2002!

Four-time world champ meets world's most demanding wave.

A movie scene that still gives me shivers is the opening gambit in Blue Crush, a Hollywood take on the North Shore surf scene from 2002.

The film’s protagonist, Anne Marie (played by Kate Bosworth) is surfing the lovely beach break next to Pipe. Her ex-boyfriend, played by Chris Taloa, a stand-up bodyboarder who famously beat hell out of Bruce Irons on Bruce’s eighteenth birthday, tells her that since she’s surfing in an upcoming Pipe contest and she’s dang uppity about it he’ll block the pack for her and call her into a set.

Oh, god, it’s the stuff of nightmares.

Can you imagine?

The paddle stutter as a bonfire roars in your little endocrine gland, flooding your body with adrenaline and cortisol?

The horror? The paralysis?

Thank God, it’s only a movie, right?

Hey! What's this horseshit on-the-sandbar crap?


For the Hawaiian Carissa Moore, a four-time world champ, it’s a nightmare breathed into reality by Jamie O’Brien, a carrot-topped vlogger who is 190 pounds of rock hard muscle with 40 pounds of sturdy protective fat and who grew up at Pipe.

In this sobering short, watch as Carissa bravely attempts to ride the world’s most demanding wave on a solid-ish four-to-six-foot day.

Watch as Carissa gets strung up on a rack of desire and frustration.