A Journey to the Rugged Ends of the Earth. On the Search with South American slab hunters Bruno Santos and Guillermo Satt.
We are in the middle of the Pacific, on a volcanic rock, getting bludgeoned by massive swells. We are, as remote, as you can get.
That’s Australian photographer Ted Grambeau talking. If you know Ted Grambeau, then you’ll be able to hear the sound of his deep, rough, vaguely erratic voice; the volume rising with each syllable, the delivery slowing with each word, dragging out each sentence until you can almost feel their isolation.
On one side of the island is a big, perfect bay outlined by a sheer cliff face diving into the ocean. A wave runs along the bottom of the cliffs, then turns and grinds across the bay. When it gets big it can be a 12-foot dry-reef slab, one of the best waves the boys found. Dwarfed by the surrounding volcanic mountain, it is a post-card perfect left.
“It doesn’t look quite as impressive until you put a human in there for reference,” says Ted. “The little dots on the hill that you think might be rocks are actually cows and horses. When you realise that, it dawns on you how big the swell really is. We quickly found out that six-foot surf was actually 10-12 foot, and absolutely reeling down the point.”
That’s not what this was. This was a journey. A real journey. And in my humble opinion, that ideal is endangered.
Everyone that has travelled, everyone that has surfed – they know that the whole thing is really about the journey. Perhaps that’s why a trip like this… to an island in the middle of the Pacific, on a volcanic rock, getting bludgeoned by massive swells, as remote, as you can get… is so important.
It’s keeping the Search alive, from the rugged ends of the earth.