"I committed to nothing else. Logging some serious late-night hours online, I focused on studying the country, the terrain and bathymetry, the people, the marine life, weather-patterns, the cost, travel, logistics…"
Secrets, who needs ’em?
Mirage, the ever-changing story of Skeleton Bay is a well-constructed and often discomfiting portrait of a wave, fiercely protected by a cadre of locals and South African surfers, that was brokered to the world by a magazine and a computer nerd in 2008.
The Google Earth challenge was a Surfing magazine initiative to shoot a little out of the box, readers using the then new Google Earth tech to discover secret waves.
Deal was, you tell the mag, they let you join a photo shoot to the joint.
Brian Gable, an IT specialist, was a runner-up to the contest in 2007 (a wave in Western Sahara was chosen though no trip was made).
His loss drove him nuts.
As he wrote in the now-defunct Surfer,
“From that moment, I committed to nothing else. Logging some serious late-night hours online, I focused on studying the country, the terrain and bathymetry, the people, the marine life, weather-patterns, the cost, travel, logistics, etc. I corresponded with locals halfway around the world. Obsessed and possessed, I selfishly put personal and professional duties aside and spent my days formulating the ultimate package for the ultimate magazine surf trip. To me, it wasn’t just a free adventure for myself. It was a chance to prove that the gem I found not only stood up to every other world-class setup, but was on the very short list at the top. Then, on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007 at 10:03 AM, I got the call. First prize, the Indians take the pennant, the whole freakin’ enchilada!”
Skeleton Bay, of course, is now a photo studio, many pro’s and so on.
Better than snorting crystal blow, as old-timers used to say.