Gimme some o dat secret sauce.
Gimme some o dat secret sauce.

Researchers declare: “More Great White Sharks in California waters than anytime in history and people may be on secret menu!”

Animal style.

And oh bother. Sharks. Am I right? But this is the time of year, usually, when Californians wipe their brows and bid adieu to our Great White population as they head for warmer Mexican waters to winter properly. 2020 though, and there have never been more apex predators sticking around California.

Chris Lowe, the director of the shark lab at California State University, Long Beach, has tagged a record 38 sharks which already triples the number that were tagged last year.

He says, “Normally they’d be leaving by now, but instead we are seeing more sharks than ever.”

David Ebert, who directs the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, agrees with Lowe’s assessment.

He says, “There are so many people in the water: you have paddleboards, kayaks, wetsuits, but the number of attacks hasn’t really changed. That tells you that people are not on the menu, they’re not out here hunting people.”

Which makes me very scared for everyone knows that the epicureanly most adventurous rarely order off the menu but force kitchen staff to innovate, to experiment, to push the very bar.

Like, when I go to In-n-Out hamburgers, for example, I never order a hamburger, cheeseburger or double-double, which are the only items on the menu.


One time I ordered a five-by-five, five meats on top of five cheeses.

I often order “animal style,” grilled onions, secret sauce.

Stretching the chefs. Pushing them near their breaking point all for the sake of culinary excellence.

Are people “animal style” for Great Whites?

Many worries.

Crow bar or choke, it all works!

Quit-lit: “Sometimes I look at everyone in the line-up and think to myself, I’d just love to smash your face in with a crowbar. Every one of ‘em.”

Surfing sucks, the sooner you realise it the better.

I’ve just taken off, my eyes on the elbow of pale blue wall bending back towards me like an old friend, when I hear it.


I chance a quick glance over my shoulder but can’t make anything out. I keep my line set for the oncoming section.

Then it comes again. Louder, and more pronounced.


I turn around just as it hits me, a whirlwind of pink and green, jamming two open palms straight into my cardiac plexus.

Fucken bam.

What was that?

A girl. A woman.

A lady?

A surfer, anyway, coming from so far back down the line I had no chance of seeing her. Her insouciance rings in my ears as I rise to the surface. Where the fuck did she come from?

I watch as she finishes her ride, flying over the back on an olive-tinted longboard before the wave detonates on the inside section. A small stocky figure with short dark hair and a pale pink-green spring suit.

She makes her way back out, shaking her head in silence as she paddles past.

“I’m so sorry about that,” I say. “I honestly didn’t see you.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.”

“Maybe it’s all the green you’ve got going on there. Ya know, like camouflage?” I offer.

She spits a mouthful of water at me and heads back to the top of the queue.

Fair enough.

It’s an ebulliently bright spring day. Small, fun waves run down the bank. Crowded as all hell. Multitudes of colourful wetsuits, vessels, hairstyles, etc dot the lineup like confetti.

She stalks through the pack with ease.

I watch her next few waves, which she picks in quick succession. Scant disregard is shown for the hierarchy, the naked order of things, barely exposed under the low tide line as it is now anyway.

Just to be sure, though, she replaces her ‘oi’ with a shrill whistle for any other chump stupid enough to go near her.

Point taken.

She has a stiff style. Not fluid, or graceful, or any of those other superlatives men seem to throw at women in the water

But effective. Purposeful. Forward shuffle to make section. Backward shuffle to set up turn. Hard, angular spray as she pivots. Elegant in its own right, like a Rorschach ink blot or a brick hurled through a shop window.

It might not be pretty. It might be the wrong board. But she’s surfing.

I continue my own struggle. But my joints are straining. My movement is slow.


I see her again at the showers, the water beading off her shaved head as she washes away the salt. Faded tattoos on her forearms jutt out from under her wetsuit. She might be half my age, maybe. It’s hard for me to tell.

“I am sorry about dropping in earlier. I should have been looking.”

“It’s fine,” she says. “Of all the cunts out there, you weren’t the biggest.”

I offer a weak smile.

It’s the nicest thing anyone has said about me in a while.

“You from around here?”

“Yeah. I used to surf here a lot when I was younger, but have been all over the place for the last few years. I’m trying to get back into it.”

“I thought you might look familiar,” I say.

We watch as two gym bros with brand new carbon wraps walk past, both stuffed into their wetsuits like socks full of walnuts.

“It’s fucking painful, though. Surfing here, now.”

“Yet we keep coming back,” I say. “Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world, right?”

“I’m not sure I’d call it joyful anymore,” she says as she shoulders her board and heads towards the car park.

But after a couple of steps the surfer turns back around. She studies me for a moment, the way an ivory hunter might consider an elephant with no tusks, and flashes me a smile.

I’ll catch you ‘round.


I end up seeing her out most days over the next few weeks. We get to chatting. Sparring, more like it.

Turns out we’re on opposite sides of the fence for most things, this surfer and I. Diametrically opposed on every major issue. Politics. Sexuality. Religion. Longboards.

Me, steeped in my archaic ways. Her, the young evolutionary.

But I like the company, her lack of pretence, her way of attacking things.

There’s common ground between us too. We can’t stand crowds, but are too lazy to go further afield. We respect where surfing’s come from, and mourn for where it’s going.

“You know,” she says to me one particularly crowded day as we wait out the back. “Sometimes I look at everyone in the line-up and think to myself, I’d just love to smash your face in with a fucken crowbar. Every one of ‘em.”

She’s a beacon of light for me in this colourful sea of grey.


Then, she disappears. There one day, gone the next.

Sand banks have lasted longer. I don’t think I miss her, at least not consciously, but then I find myself doing laps of the beach at odd hours to my usual routine, hoping to catch her out.

I never do.

I drop in on more people in the water. Get angrier than I already am. Like I needed an excuse for it anyway.

I smoke more, engage less.

My joyful participation ebbs to a neap. Highs and lows are indistinguishable. Movements strain. Joints slow.


Three months later I run into her at a cafe a couple of towns over. She’s waiting tables with the same efficacious manner she surfs, quickly, resolutely, with no excess.

She’s just about to clear my booth, corner table for one, by the open window, when she recognises me.

“What’s up, I say. Been getting any waves?”

“Nah, fuck that,” she says as she wipes the table down, taking special care to clean up the torn sugar packets I’ve poured into my coffee. “I’m over it again.”

“It’s a shame,” I say. “It was good seeing you out there. I feel like you made it just that little bit better. I haven’t surfed in weeks myself now.”

“Yeah, well. It happens,” she says as she keeps wiping. “But fuck it, I’m done with it.”

“Just like that?”


“How do you do that, though? I know you love it as much as I do. How can you just… stop?”

She finishes her wiping and turns her face to the window. The harshness of the afternoon sun illuminates her in a way that’s almost unrecognisable.

“Surfing for me became like a limb with gangrene,” she says. “The crowds, the drop-ins. The exposure. It just kept getting worse and worse. Best to just lop the whole thing off before the resentment spreads. It was good for me once, so I’ll just hang on to that.”

“But isn’t that why we keep at it?” I ask. “Because it eventually gets better again?”

“Not for me. I’m busy. Got bills to pay. Why waste my time in the water?”

She turns back to face me, takes my empty cup, re-sets the table and heads for the kitchen on the far side of the room.

“Surfing fucking sucks,” she says over her shoulder as she walks away. “The sooner you realise it, the better.”

She makes her way through the kitchen bay doors.

For a brief moment the wisps of a thought gather in the back of my mind. Imagine being that strong minded, that resolute.

That willing to end something so cleanly. It must be… liberating.

My movements are slowing. My joints are fucked.

Maybe it’s my time to go?

But the thought lasts about as long as it takes for the bay doors to swing back open again.

Just like that, the idea, along with the girl, is gone.

“Quit surfing,” I laugh to myself. “What a fucking longboarder. What a fucking kook.”

I wave my Amex impatiently at the closest waiter with one hand while I take my phone from my pocket with the other, and as the strengthening breeze swings offshore and spills through the open window and knocks sugar and pepper and salt all over her newly set table I smile at the mess I’ve made and wonder whether I should google ‘where to buy a mid length’ as one word or two.

Is it love?
Is it love?

Breaking: World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater just made an appearance on longtime girlfriend’s Instagram Live video chat, dispelling recent reportage that the two have a less-than-robust social media relationship!

Rapidly evolving.

In yet another twist, it has just been revealed that the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater made a recent appearance on longtime girlfriend Kalani Miller’s Instagram Live video chat. Rumors swirled for days that the two had ceased to follow each other on the popular social media application shocking steady fans who had watched the relationship develop over the years.

Neither were available for comment.

It was later pointed out that they do, indeed, follow each other but further reporting uncovered that neither had liked the other’s most recent Instagram post, again throwing long-suffering devotees into paroxysms of worry.

Now, we have Slater appearing on Miller’s Instagram Live video chat, as screenshot by a truth activist (photo above), which poses more questions than it answers.

With such heat around the story, are the two of them pretending to be in love like President Donald Trump and his wife Melania or are they really in love like President Donald Trump and Marla Maples?

What is happening with Kelly Slater’s eyes?

I once saw Marla Maples in the lobby of the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. She was wearing a brown fur headband and a white one-piece ski outfit with plunging neckline. She passed me while I sat enjoying a bourbon neat après-ski at the Handle Bar.

Very nice.

More as the story develops.

Mommie Dearest.
Mommie Dearest.

“Overbearing” Great White Shark, possibly largest in the entire Atlantic ocean, malingering off New Jersey coast: “She’s over 50 years old and mother to as many as 100 li’l killers!”

Ben Gravy beware.

But which do you consider the scariest horror film featuring a bad mother? Mommie Dearest? Mother!? My Mom’s a Werewolf? Dead Alive?

There are many terrifying choices as mothers, when they turn, strike more ice-cold fear into the heart than just about anything and, thus, it is fitting that possibly the largest Great White Shark in the entire ocean is a 50+ year old mother named Nukumi.

Weighing in at over 4500 lbs and stretching over 17 feet, the apex predator was first observed and tagged just over a month ago near the coast of Nova Scotia. She is now malingering just off New Jersey and surfers there should be very, very scared as she could easily fit three Ben Gravys in her belly alongside multiple helpings of Sam Hammer.

How do you imagine Ben Gravy tastes (imagine here)?

Nukumi, shark researchers estimate, has likely given birth to over 100 pups in her lifetime and is “winning the battle of natural selection.”

Back to scary mothers, though, do you think she raised her li’l killers right with good manners etc. or do you think she abused them so that they can go abuse others?

Have you watched Dead Alive?

It is my favorite of the bad mother genre.

Kelly Slater’s accuser, proved wrong by scholar of obscure neologisms says, “No regrets” as “Uncomfortability” saga stretches into fourth day!

"English is a rubbery son of a bitch."

While I fully intend to address the errors highlighted in this website’s apology article concerning accusations made in a previous article of mine I would first of all humbly request that the BeachGrit community first entertain a brief defence on my part:

I didn’t, as the title (not assigned by myself) of my original article suggested, state at any point that the word uncomfortability categorically did not exist.

I speculated (“Is that a word?”), committed (“That’s not a word”) and then immediately retracted the previous line (“But hang on, it might actually be a word.”)

I did question the logic of said word’s existence and value and what it might obliquely reveal about a speaker’s attitude and general mindset both habitual and/or temporary.

So that’s that put to bed.

Wrapped up. Done. Forever.

Now for some contrition on my part:

I extend an apology to BeachGrit itself and can only hope that this incident – this lapse in journalistic thoroughness – does not jeopardise what until now has been a cordial and fruitful relationship, extending now if my memory serves me correctly, into its fourth day.

Additionally, I hope that the offending article does not provoke any litigation on the part of Kelly, his legal team or his sponsors. Should such an event occur I will of course co-operate fully in any legal or court proceedings, especially if said proceedings should take place within reasonable distance of a decent intermediate level break with some juicy peeling lefts.

I apologise to the BeachGrit readership.

Investigative journalism can’t exist without readers and if there’s one aspect of the internet we can all agree has enriched our lives it’s the edifying musings, witty retorts and various measured speculations of the below-the-line comments section.

Most of all, I apologise to Kelly Slater aka The Goat aka The World’s Greatest Athlete for casting any doubt on his clearly extremely nuanced knowledge of the English language. English is a rubbery son of a bitch of a language and it seems in this case the evidence and scholarly arguments are on your side.

As a person who makes their living as a teacher of said language it’s not easy for me to admit it but: you have bested me and in my own field no less.

In terms of surfing?

Well, that remains to be empirically proven, but if you want to, and when this whole Covid thing has blown over, I live in Asturias. Should you prefer home-break advantage I would of course accept an all expense paid flight to either Florida or a break anywhere in the world for that matter. Peace.

I will now be taking some time off from the internet and all social media in order to reflect on my actions and spend time with family and friends.