Two boats, seven surfers, two Skis, five cameramen, an Internet technician and me. I found out I was going two days ago, and so here I am, winging my way to some Indian Ocean outpost before I"d even had time to consider what kind of surf mission required the presence of Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll and big-wave nutters Ross Clarke-Jones, Peter Mel and Ralph Hagen (who is my brother) chucked in at the last minute to round out the mix. .
We were on our way to a secluded spot off the coast; I was in the boat with my brother, Carroll, Peter Mel and the Internet technician. When a couple of the guys screaming at the captain "Killers," dude look I sat straight up from my seat in the den and ran up to the deck to see these waves breaking as high as a four-story building, and roaring like a 747 on takeoff. I felt my stomach turn to knots because I knew the guys wouldn't think twice about grabbing their surf boards and jumping in now that we have jet skies to pull us in. For me, Killers is less like a dream and more like a nightmare. I much prefer a long, peeling point-break wave like those that roll into Rincon, California. Where the breaks are usually 2 to 10 feet tall and go on forever. .
Though, the waves were not a sign of great swells, it was a sign of a storm forming. The Internet technician was shouting to us that a tropical storm warning was in effect and that we are going to hit it pretty soon. I was getting worried along with the rest of the group, the ocean was getting even rougher and the wind was picking up fast. I could feel the intense strength of the waves pounding the deck of our tiny fishing boat. We had no lifeboat, no first aid kit, and no emergency supplies at all. I fled to the bathroom to go and calm myself down when all of a sudden I heard screaming and yelling that one of the guys fell overboard. I ran out of the bathroom to the deck where the crew was searching the ocean surface with spotlights and throwing over rope to see if they could get a hold.