Titanic director James Cameron lists sprawling oceanfront compound at mythical surfing Valhalla Hollister Ranch for $33 million!

"It’s the last bastion against Los Angeles! You know shit’s getting real in California when we summon up the bogeyman of Los Angeles."

The Canadian film director and deep sea explorer James Cameron is tossing the keys to his beachfront joint at The Ranch for thirty-three mill, saying he and his fifth wife spend most of the year in New Zealand so the joint is redundant etc.

Called Tranquility Base, Cameron bought 89 Hollister Ranch Road, Gaviota, in 1999 for a little over four mill. The parcel sprawls over 102 acres and includes an 8000 square-foot main house, 2000 square-foot guest house, two barns (one in which Cameron used to keep his helicopter), a tennis court and a divine swimming pool.

In the upstairs library, the Oscar-winning writer and director wrote a movie about blue lizard people called Avatar (Didn’t see, was it good or silly?), which eventually spawned a total of five movies thereby edging Cameron even close to billionaire status. (Currently he’s sitting on around 800 mill.)

Per the selling literature,

“Other features of this exceptional offering include a solar power system, wind generator, theater, and a spacious gym. Tranquility Base is mere steps from Drake’s Beach and miles of the beautiful ‘Hollister Ranch Shoreline Preserve,’ with its world class surfing waves, fishing, diving, paddling, beach combing, and abundant ocean-related activities. For those who love horses, one can ride their horse directly to the beach and up the coastline, all while experiencing the natural beauty of the landscape and also the common area of approximately 125 miles of roads & trails Hollister Ranch offers.

“Developed with self-sufficiency and sustainability in mind, this property is solar powered with ample energy storage. Southern California Edison is available, if desired. There are sumptuous vegetable gardens and an assortment of numerous varieties of fruit trees.”

All photos by Blake Bronstad.

Another angle on The Ranch, of course, is that there’s a “hard ugliness” to the place, as Warshaw wrote a while back.

The big issue is that private beaches exist at all in a state that, decades ago, mandated “maximum public access” to California’s entire 840-mile coastline. Not helping things are all the fence-sitting surfers, like me, who have forever both-sided the public-private debate when it comes to the Ranch—everybody doing the same mental gymnastics, which is basically a version of how do I get in there while everybody else is locked out and not feel like an asshole. Which of course is where the “conservation” part comes into play—the Ranch is the last piece of undeveloped Southern California coast and must be preserved at all costs—and I won’t change anybody’s mind here by saying it, but I myself am giving up on this line of nonsense.

Open up the Ranch. Limit access, charge a fee, patrol the beaches—whatever has to happen in order to limit or mitigate the environmental wear and tear that comes with allowing people in.

But enough stalling. Let people in.

There will be more mess, and possibly some environmental damage.

But that’s us, that’s our low-budget democracy, and even if trashcans overflow at the end of the weekend or if some big-truck assholes go offroading now and then, that is so much better than fantasizing about Vahalla over the hill and behind the gate, and there you are stuck on the wrong side without a key.

Even Jen See gets het up about the joint.

All your arguments about keeping Hollister Ranch private make you sound like elitist assholes. There. I said it. I said that whole thing in my outside voice. I will probably get punched in the face at the coffee shop tomorrow. Live dangerously, is a thing I always say.

It’s the last bastion against Los Angeles! You know shit’s getting real in California when we summon up the bogeyman of Los Angeles. The Ranch will become another Trestles! Or Rincon! Filled with kooks!

Just listen to yourselves. Omg! Other surfers like me might surf where I want to surf! I mean, I hate the kooks as much as you do, but really, you are losing your minds here.

Want to buy and keep The Ranch The Ranch ie shoo away povo scum like Warshaw and See? Call Emily Kellenberger here and tell ’em BeachGrit sent ya.

Jonah Hill’s spurned ex Sarah Brady maintains rage as attack on proud new father moves into fifth day, “I finally get to paddle out not feeling like I’m the surfer girl who dated Jonah Hill”

“So fucking freeing…”

After yesterday’s stunning coup de grâce where the ex-girlfriend of Jonah Hill proudly shared screenshots of Hawaiian locals promising hell if the Hollywood star ever returned to Kauai one might’ve assumed that was that. 

However we must stroll back three hundred years, to dialogue in playwright William Congreve’s three-hundred-year-old play The Mourning Bride, Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d, to realise that this is a story without end.  

As any divorced man quickly learns, a spurned woman will only stop when the ruination, the utter destruction of her ex, emotionally, financially, is total. 

If you’re coming in late, here’s the play so far. 

Five days ago, Brady lit a very public fire, dumping a series of what she said were private texts between the pair on Instagram. Brady claimed to be a “survivor” following the  end of a relationship with a man she described as misogynistic and a narcissist. 

Brady said Hill was made sad by her posting bikini shots, the inference being these languid poses suggested sexual availability.

The world quickly sorted itself into two camps, leftists siding with wronged woman bravely navigating the horrors of a controlling or to use the language of the day “coercive” man and conservatives taking the hand of a shell-shocked actor who, again, is stung by the dark side of fame. 

Yesterday, Hill, who is a keen surfer, was banned from surfing one of the world’s great waves, Hanaeli Bay, on the north shore of Kauai, where he had holidayed with Brady during their ill-fated relationship almost two years ago. 

Brady posted a message from a supporter who wrote,

“Will do my part to make sure he’s clipped from surfing on Kauai. He was a hazard in the lineup when I saw you guys out at the bay and the only reason no one said anything to him was cause he was with you and you were shredding. There’s enough toxic masculinity in surf culture already, glad you are free of him so you can keep shining and elevating women’s surfing without his bullshit holding you back!”

Brady replied, 

“Thank you!! That was my original intention, to make sure no one was still calling him into waves because they knew him through me haha kinda petty but…

“He got mad at me that day, because I paddled up the point and he was too scared to follow me.”

It was Brady’s most emasculating posts thus far although today, as the imbroglio moves into its fifth day, Brady has now shifted gears into Ludicrous + acceleration mode, posting a whopping seventy Instagram stories including this contradictory message, 

“Now, I finally get to paddle out there not feeling like I’m just the surfer girl who dated Jonah Hill. So Fuckin freeing. Might sound weird to you guys cause I still am that but now it’s not like people associating me with him and him as a nice person who I still have to talk nicely about.” 

I think after five days of I’m-Jonah-Hill’s-wronged-ex, along with an avalanche of press coverage she will be forever prefixed as Hill’s girlfriend, yes? 

And, question, has any man here been able to safely exit a relationship with a woman and not feel the sting of her wrath, even if her idea, new stud etc?

Surf Equity (insert) pausing attack on women.
Surf Equity (insert) pausing attack on women.

Incel-friendly Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing’s brave assault on women stalls on all-important day two!


The surf world was stunned, yesterday, when the incel-friendly Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, or Surf Equity, opened up yet another front against women. The non-profit, which accepts all races, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, national origins, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender expressions, countries of origin, ethnicities, religions and genders, loves nothing more than protecting the vulnerable by lowering its howitzers and firing, point blank, into the ranks of gay women, women with disabilities and women in positions of power.

Keala Kennelly, Bethany Hamilton, Jessi Miley-Dyer have all been bravely targeted and brought low, gracing Surf Equity’s exclusive Racist Anti-Trans Wall of Shame etc.

And, yesterday, flaming liberal feminist Circe Wallace was marched upon, tarred with the boldly libelous and defamatory “writing and publishing” of “misogynist trash about the surf industry on their website BeachGrit” even though the extreme sport agent, one of the very few women in that game, has neither written nor published anything on the relatively evil BeachGrit.

The surf world, starved of drama in these hard post-Erik Logan years, went to bed wondering who might be next on Surf Equity’s kill list. The universally adored Hawaiian star Carissa Moore? The ghost of the activist Rosa Parks?

Mother Theresa herself?

In a tactic not seen ze Germans stalled outside Stalingrad during World War II, Surf Equity has paused its assault and is, seemingly, losing advantage, posting nothing on its lightly trafficked social media, letting stale air fill the room.


Falsehoods being gathered on Margaret Atwood, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Betty Friedan, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Barbara Bush your mother and grandmother to vanquish all women everywhere in order to decimate in one fell swoop?

More as the story develops.

Robinson (right) having life sucked out of him. Photo: Erik Logan
Robinson (right) having life sucked out of him. Photo: Erik Logan

Corona Open J-Bay kicks off in surprisingly inviting surf with onetime prodigy Jack Robinson continuing “the most dramatic fall from grace from one end of the season to the next!”

But John John Florence on the come up!

I was not expecting to be greeted by azure, inviting J-Bay first thing this morning. Forecasts had led me astray. I’m at a bit of a loss these days with the dissolution of Magic Seaweed into Surfline. It’s amazing how something as simple as a software interface can throw us off kilter. I can’t get used to Surfline, and I haven’t found a good alternative.

For WCT forecasting I’ve come to rely on the pre-event Swellnet updates, but it, too, was some way off.

I’d woken up on the couch, partly because I hurt my ankle yesterday afternoon and had it iced and strapped, and partly, well, for other reasons men might sleep on couches in their own homes.

The ankle injury was comical and karmic. I’d set-up a tarp by a little stream in the woods beside the house. It’s a delightful little spot. Perfect for me and the kids to have a fire, eat some charred sausages, and go to sleep to the sounds of trickling water and wind-rustled leaves.

If not for the wasps.

The nest was discovered when my youngest stood on it. The screams were the first we knew about it. The wasps were in his clothes, stinging at will. We whipped off his trousers and t-shirt and whacked at the insects and tried to calm him down. After that he wanted to go home, understandably. Me and the older one braved it, but wasps under the tarp made us bail later.

So I went back yesterday with my standard toolkit for disposing of wasp’s nests – half a gallon of petrol and a lighter. You’d be amazed how long a nest will burn.

There I was, dousing away and feeling slightly guilty as flames licked and wasps buzzed furiously, trying to find a way back to their queen. I tossed more petrol nonetheless, far too casually as it turned out.

The flame leapt up to the container in my hands, and in fright I threw it into the stream, flaming petrol flying through the air as it sailed into the water. Now the tree beside me was on fire, most of the undergrowth beside the stream, and the container drifting away. I jumped off the bank to try and submerge it, folding my ankle in the process.

It was so bad I got that nauseous, dizzy feeling you sometimes get after an injury related adrenaline dump. But after the initial shock I couldn’t help but laugh, collapsed in pain, surrounded by flames and agitated wasps.

Karma indeed.

So it was a day to relax into a CT event with decent looking waves and hope the world’s best wave artists might provide some fine entertainment on the type of canvas most surfers salivate over.

The waves were not pumping, but they were clean and desperately inviting. If they started a bit small, they seemed to pulse a little through the mid part of the round, before the wind ruined the final heat of the day and competition was called off.

If Kelly Slater had his way, it might never have been called on. He’d made his disgruntled voice heard when the comp was green-lighted this morning, said Pete Mel.

But on it was, and Slater, multiple event winner in his pomp, would go on to surf one of his worst heats this season, in a year where there have been a few to choose from.

I missed the first heat, won by Joao Chianca, and also missed betting on him as I’d intended, thinking I’d have more time. Bookies had Chianca well down the pecking order, something like 25/1 to win, and that seemed generous.

Ethan Ewing, last year’s winner and a man in possession of a J-Bay game if ever there’s been one, was among the favourites. But he was to be pipped at the post in the opening round by Rio Waida, who surfed just two waves at light speed to take the win.

Filipe Toledo was similarly economical in his heat, though clinical might be a better word. He waited a long time to put his first score on the board, an 8.50, backed up by a high six.

Kanoa Igarashi seemed frantic by comparison, and Toledo never really looked threatened, even when he was behind. He can afford to be selective at J-Bay, such is the precision of his surfing. He almost never falls. Rarely does he lose speed, much less mis-time a turn.

Also finding the J-Bay flow today was Griffin Colapinto, comboing Slater and Liam O’Brien, courtesy of an 8.50 for a particularly stylish grab with a straight air.

Yago Dora took some of the panache from his Rio victory and followed Griffin’s lead. Trailing Connor O’Leary with a minute and a half on the clock, he launched a huge full rotation on his backhand, scoring a 9.27 that iced the heat and was to be the highest score of the day.

Is Yago currently the best aerialist on the WCT? You’d do well to argue otherwise.

But if style was evident in the water, not so much in the booth. Paul Evans and Strider Wasilewski dressed up like toy soldiers for the event. Evans opting for full khaki, whilst Strider dressed head to toe in sand camo.

I felt it necessary to message Evans via WhatsApp, flagging the faux-pas and pointing out that communication between broadcast professionals really needs to be better.

“Condor was pissed he didn’t get the ranger cosplay text”, he replied.

Both men dressed down as the day went on, again in sync with checked shirts, the uniform of the man trapped in the smart-casual netherworld of middle-age.

Pete “Condor” Mel was once again left wanting in a glum, plain black t-shirt.

But it was good to have Evans back in the booth. He did say “spanks” a lot, in reference to top turns, but he brings a modicum of intelligence at the very least, and some different tones. Quite English tones, it has to be said, but different. He’ll be even better once he thinks future employment has been secured and can cut loose a bit.

It was mainly the goofies that really cut loose today. As well as Dora, Callinan, Medina, O’Leary and Ferreira all looked superb. Don’t be surprised to see one win here. Backhand surfing is very en vogue right now.

John Florence also looked great, edging Italo to take the win, both counting excellent scores. In his post heat interview Florence attributed his recent improvements to relaxing a bit, not taking winning so seriously, and just surfing like he did when he was younger. He spoke of letting go, enjoying where he was at.

It’s easy to see with the naked eye when Florence is in rhythm. But the thing about peak performances, flow states, if you will, is that they exist on a razor’s edge between effort and relaxation; challenge and ease.

It’s a mistake to think an athlete in flow is cruising, or it’s just about being present. Rather, it’s a fine balance, and it’s all too easy to slip off either side. John Florence doesn’t always hold this line, but when he does, he’s unstoppable.

But that was the best of it. By the final heat of the day the onshore wind had blown it all to shit, and Leo Fioravanti made the most of it to take the win over Jordy Smith and Jack Robinson.

Poor Jordy. The one event on Tour he might be capable of winning in his veteran years, a wave he knows so well, and he’s served mush when everyone else had prime cuts.

As for Robinson, he grows ever more hapless as the season progresses, and I can’t remember a more dramatic fall from grace from one end of the season to the next. He could well pull it all back if Teahupo’o is pumping. And if he exits in the next round at J-Bay, it will be his only possible way back to the top five.

Onward we go. If anyone’s got a credible forecast, or a more humane way of getting rid of wasps, please let me know.

Comment live: Corona Open, J-Bay!

So many projection floaters!