Another Edition of…Surf Trip Stories! Part 1.

A while ago, I wrote about two of my more entertaining surf trips that I have ever been on. The previous ones were about my trip to Barbados for a surfing contest and a time I went to California for a few weeks and managed to:

  • Stay for 3 months
  • Attend a movie premiere of a now classic Hollywood style surf movie
  • Spend time at several big surfing contests in which I hung out with several international pros
  • Take in a stray surfer who later won the East Coast Surfing Championships
  • Become a local at a surfing break that is littered with rocks
  • Not make it out of the state before our vehicle broke down and we were forced to beg my friends mother to buy us plane tickets
  • Not do anything productive

This is the link in regards to my Barbados trip:

Here is the link to my California adventure:

The Beginning

So I was slightly underage and a senior in high school. My friend, Adam, decided that school to him…well…sucked, so he wanted to join the military. As his gift before entering the Marines, he booked a flight to Abaco in the Bahamas and he paid for me to go with him.

Educational Moments are Here!

My father is a military type and you know how they can be… So his answer was just what could be expected.

Of course!

So my parents drafted up a nice letter saying that our family had suffered a loss of a family member and that we were traveling out-of-state. Of course, this meant that Steve had to miss school.

Soon, Adam and I were heading south to pick up our plane.

Built for Independence

Off we went! Out the window, the ocean had changed to a crystal blue and island after island slid into view. Looking down, we could see the white lines of waves wrapping over far off reefs. Stoked!

Looking out the window over the Bahamas

Looking out the window over the Bahamas

(On a side note – Sorry about the quality of the photos. These were taken on the cheapest instamatic cameras known to man. Just look at the camera is using to take a picture of myself!)

The reefs and islands

The reefs and islands

Soon we were making our descent. As we began to close in on the ground, I began to see planes. Twisted planes with vines and trees shooting out from the breaks in the body. I found this to be a bit disconcerting but the plane was soon meeting the pavement and we were taxing to a grand terminal. That looked like an old house.

Part of the international airport facility. A bit behind JFK Airport but not by much.

Part of the international airport facility. A bit behind JFK Airport but not by much.


After collecting our gear, we went on a taxi ride and then caught a ferry to our destination.

The island was beautiful but we had no idea about anything on it. This was pre-internet and I found a few maps to get a general idea. So after landing, we went to the inn and put our luggage and boards away. We decided a quick walk to the beach was in order. All we had to do was get over these small mountains and we were there!

That night we decided that we would wake up early and check the surf.

The day dawned and we were up and ready to go scale some mountains again. The walk was further than what we expected. Finally we could see the ocean in front of us. We were greeted with a beautiful beach…and no surf.

So we walked back.

Hours later, out of boredom; we set out again but this time for Hope Town. The big city and excitement!

We made it Adam!

We made it Adam!

What we found was Hope Town of the 1980s, which was a sleepy town and a marina which attracted people traveling the chain looking for a stop. Fisherman, people looking to get lost and live the Jimmy Buffett dream, or maybe someone running illegal products? The idea was they docked and drank and slept and then moved on. As for the town, it was composed of shops and cottages and services were spotty.

A sign read that donations were needed to fund the islands garbage truck. Which was an old pick up.

The grocery stores freezer was closed between 1 and 3 because the generator was out and they had to conserve the cold.

This was not Florida!

As luck would have it, it was not 1 and we had some money so we decided it would be good to buy some groceries. What did we need? Tyson Chicken Nuggets, drinks, bread, peanut butter and jelly, and popcorn. We were all set!

To be continued…






About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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3 Responses to Another Edition of…Surf Trip Stories! Part 1.

  1. landlockedsurfgirl says:

    Love the vintage photos! Don’t apologise for the quality of these – for me, I often prefer the sun bleached look of times gone by to today’s perfectly colour contrasted images. Look forward to the next instalment! 🙂

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      It is funny how bad the resolution is. I also learned from looking back at my photos that my father was a good guy to have working the microphone at a surf contest but as a photographer…not so much!

      As for the story…for adults the story is not so bizarre. For two 17 year olds…it is out there! Ha ha!

  2. Pingback: Two Guys & a Boat | The Side Wedge

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