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Hynson run off by Zebra First off, the radio didn’t have batteries and

second, there weren’t any radio stations in the African bush. Terrence had his own way of livening things

up. He was the expert when it came to no- legged creatures, having made his living milk- ing venom from cobras for research. His love for snakes and a very strange sense of humor made for a deadly combination. Driving up the coastline, Robert and I were

asleep in the back of the truck. All of a sud- den Terrence slammed on the brakes when he saw a snake in the road. He jumped out of the truck, grabbed it, then opened up the back and threw the snake in. I swear, he scared the shit out of us. Robert leapt over the front seat and I dove out the back onto the pavement. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Bruce was pissed. Terrence didn’t particu-

larly like Bruce anyway. He saw him as an American Navy man, which he was, who al- ways talked about surfing, but spent most of his time on the beach filming. When Bruce told Terrence that throwing the snake in the truck wasn’t cool, Terrence replied, “It’s just a snake. He’s more scared than you are.” One of Terrence’s favorite tricks was to pull

you into a conversation, get you laughing, then toss one of his pet snakes at your feet and split. Talk about scared! Terrence had been bitten five times by cobras and even lost a finger to one, which he kept pickled in a jar. When you weren’t watching, he’d slip it into your cup of tea. “What’s my finger doing in there?” He’d yell and pull out his stump. Bruce and Robert didn’t get Terrence’s sense

of humor at all. I wasn’t crazy about finding snakes stuffed in my sleeping bag either. But the five of us together constantly was really getting on my nerves, especially Robert. Now I’ll admit, I can be a real pain in the ass if I want to. I know that and I’m sure it was more my fault than Robert’s, but a few days aſter we landed in Cape Town I started seeing that he was from a different breed. What did I expect? All those North County surfers were manic. Plus, from the start, Bruce and Robert had their own little fan club going. It was more in my nature to bounce in from the side and disrupt things. All I know is he was starting to


piss me off about everything. Terrence’s tricks gave me just the excuse I was looking for to stir things up. I figured it’s better to know what the other guy is thinking than to have the plan turn on you. I really didn’t have a choice, now did I? My 21-year-old heart might not have been able to take the next surprise. So running front man through camp for Terrence once in a while, we dropped snakes, whoosh, and were gone laughing our asses off. “Every day

it was an ad- venture,” says Robert. “We were never just sitting around stagnant. Tere was a lot of time in the car going from one place to another and the anticipation of getting there. What’s gonna happen on the way? When are we gonna surf, eat, unload? I’m getting hungry. It was always something.” Driving three days straight was a grind. We

grass huts. We were stiff, beat up, ready to pass out, and all glad to get away from each other. I woke up at dawn the next morning. You

Mike Hynson and Robert August ride the African beaches

don’t even know how good it felt to finally sleep in a bed. Crammed together in the back of Terrence’s panel truck got old real fast. I felt even better when I realized we reached our destination, Cape St. Francis. Hustling down to the water, I started the day off with a good old puff of Mexican ragweed. Tanks to my friend Bobby Uptegrave and his connections in Tijuana, I had enough weed to last me three months. Bobby was one smooth and dapper little Chicano and the older brother of my very first girlfriend, Sha- ron. Eventu-

had twelve hundred miles to cover before we reached Cape St. Francis and the five of us and our gear were crammed in tight in the back of Terrence’s two-seater truck. Mile aſter mile we didn’t really have a view. So we slept a lot. To top it off, Robert picked up a gnarly case of diarrhea all the way back in Senegal. Even I couldn’t get on his case about that. I leſt the poor guy alone to suffer in his misery. “When you’re hungry you’ll eat anything,”

says Robert. “I think we had guinea pig in Ghana. Somebody told us it was just meat with spices on it. It didn’t taste like anything strange, stringy chicken maybe. Whatever it was, I got a major case of diarrhea for at least a couple of months. Geez! It was so bad I could eat forever and not get full. It just went straight through me and cost Bruce a fortune. Ten one day it went away.” We hit the outskirts of a small village in the

middle of the third night on the road and paid four dollars each to sleep over in rondavels or

Hynson and locals share a wave in Dakar, Senegal

ally she and I broke up. It was bound to hap- pen. We were only eleven and twelve, but my friendship with Bobby lasted for years, and as usual, he came through with some smoke and bennies for Te Endless Summer trip. Funny thing was the pot Bobby sold me wasn’t that good. Turned out it didn’t matter, though. Weed smoked on the other side of the world is so much stronger. One puff and bang, it spun me into the zone.

Te tide down at Cape St. Francis early

that morning was high and one to two foot, a slight offshore beach break appeared with little leſt tubes breaking toward the shore. Te sandbar looked like a typical day at Newport where Robert surfed every day of his life, just my luck. Te kid who never surfed anything bigger than five feet was completely within his comfort zone ten thousand miles away from home. It wasn’t anything like I expected, though.

I fired up my Tom Tumb pipe again and was just about to lay back and get into my early morning high when I noticed that the tide was going out. Te sun was in my face and the wind was changing direction, possible blown out conditions. Our trip hadn’t produced any good surf to speak of so far, but anything was better than nothing. So I jumped up to drag Robert and Bruce down to the beach to do what we came for, get some surfing footage in the can. I swear it was like waking the dead. Nobody

budged. I did everything except jump up and down and yell at them to get their asses down to the beach. I got nothing. I was so pissed off I leſt and sat down with a bunch of village women dressed in colorful robes and watched them bake bread. One thing about South Africa, the tides run

fourteen to fiſteen feet high and low, com- pared to California and Hawaii’s four to five foot range. I couldn’t believe it. In the short time I was gone the whole beach changed. Te

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