Dream Big. Plan. Execute. G Land pumping june 1995

In transit. Kuta Beach Bali to Java Indonesia. Wild rides at night in that van brought us here and onto the ferry . Off and running to the next leg of our mission with the sole objective of getting tubed out of our minds.

Thats exactly what I did leading up to this inaugral trip in 1995 to the enchanted, mysterious and coveted land of endless left blue tubes. A trip filled with Salty old school, experienced, tidal wave surviving and cool as shit Aussies. An old grouch, with a giant gorgeous sailboat moored just offshore, just outside some of, if not the best reeling left hand tubes i've ever seen, surfed or photographed probably still to this day. Some of the worst fried potatoes I've ever eaten in my entire life. And a kid from North Long Beach, CA who'd been dreaming of this place since the first time he ever layed eyes on it in an issue of Surfer Magazine. Time has funny way of fading away. However with epic images and wild adventourous stories of guys like Peter McAbe and Gerry Lopez charging into the jungles of Java were burned into my heart, mind and soul from the very first time I saw them. I knew in that moment that someday I was going to that little corner of the world, across that channel and into the land of the mystic which to me was Grajagan, better known as G- Land, Java Indonesia. I honestly cant recall what year it was that I'd first read about G Land but I do remember how incredible that article was, how amazing the images of McCabe and Lopez were and how my life and what I really wanted to do with it was likely beginning to take shape right then and there. Many years later I finally made that trip to Indonesia with a couple of good friends. One from the Central Coast of California, a few years my senior and one hell of a goofy footer. The other a mountain man, surfer, chef and brilliant mind and spirit from the Sierra Nevada. That was over 22 years ago. Its hard to believe its been that long. Back then I spent my time in the water on a surfboard. Not swimming around with a camera. These days I prefer the latter and wouldn't have it any other way. The following images are all I have left from that inaugural trip to Indonesia. Needless to say I cannot wait to return to this mystical land. Return a lot older. Maybe a tad wiser. But with the froth of fourteen year old Grom, my camera, and a hell of a lot more sunscreen.

In 1995 Quiksilver ran the inaugural G Land Pro and Kelly Slater took the crown. That tower there in the foreground was built for the comp. This is where the judges had a perch to view the worlds best surfers get busy on one of the planets very best left handers. When we arrived a day after the comp had ended many of the competitors were still hanging, the swell was still pumping and I do remember shooting a frame or two from a lookout tower that would have resulted in this perspective. I don't recall however if this image in particular was from that lookout tower or not. But I do remember clearly reaching the top of that tower and sharing a quick chat to a guy who more or less a hero to me as a kid, Jimmy Banks from Australia. Talk about a tube pig. The camp was full of them, everywhere.
Uluwatu June 1995

A few days prior to G Land we were running around Bali, Kuta Beach and making the trek out to Uluwatu on motorbikes daily.

The trip to G Land from Kuta consisted of these vans, a wild night ride in them across ferrys, thru all sorts of craziness at a very hi rate of speed. And finally we land here, before first light. Where I had, still to this day, the heaviest cup of joe I've ever had. And its a good thing I did too. Cause what was in store for us needed our full attention. After all these years of wishing, waiting, wanting and needing to get to G Land, we were only one more boat ride away. Bobby's Camp was our next stop. I will never forget that mystical place, the jungle, the howls of the monkeys, the tiger tracks, the aussies that we shared the camp with and the tubes. Oh the tubes.

Java.

By now we had offloaded the vans. The gear, the surfers, and the white G Land Express boat shown just below was loaded. Eight of us, minus the boat driver were about to embark on the last leg of our journey. The journey that I had been dreaming about ever since I was a kid. The one that I had seen for the first time in Surfer Magazine. The one that blew my mind. Actually one of many that blew my mind. Little did I know I was headed for a life changing, unforgettable experience. The camp was nearly empty in fact we were the only boat in for several days after this shot was taken. Maybe luck had a part in it all. Im not sure. But I do know a lot of sacrifice and hard work played a role in arriving at this moment. All of it a labor of love. A love that has only grown stronger. The worlds oceans are our playground. I know you love them just as much as I do. That love we have for the Oceans needs our attention. The world and its Oceans are now, more than ever, being threatened, polluted and disrespected. It is our responsibility to do what each and every one of us can do to protect the worlds Oceans so that generations to come will be able to expercience them in all their glory as they are meant to be enjoyed. Just as my father has and still does. And as my Grandfather did. And as your families have and will hopefully continue to do. Protecting the worlds oceans is and should be a top priority for every man, woman and child.

"Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic."
G Land Express awaits our arrival after a long night of hi speed bobbing and weaving thru traffic, onto ferrys where local kids would dive from the top railings for small change , villages blaring prayers at dawn, and colors, smells, tastes and sights like one can only see in this mystical, magical, tube filled corner of the world. I loved Indonesia. I cannot wait to return. This time with the same goal in mind. Getting Tubed out of my mind. Again, but this time swimming, with my camera instead.

"The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before,

"Jenny Smith" as she said her name was, center of frame pictured above was the massage boss at this joint up on the cliff above Uluwatu in 1995. Here we are having one of her massages post surf. Probably for the spare change we had in our pockets. To me back then they seemed to be the happiest people on earth. Look at the smiles. No iPhones, no internet, barely any money at all. No cruising though. These folks work, and work hard.

the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat."

Jacques Cousteau 1910-1997 THE ORIGINAL OCEAN CONSERVATIONIST

Created By
Jeff Davis
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