In Search of Captain Zero: A Surfer’s Road Trip Beyond the End of the Road

I have a weakness for surfer travelogues, and this had a nice sprinkling of philosophical and literature references. Bored with life Stateside, the author packs up his truck/camper ensemble and rolls out of Long Island, to Baja California, for a languorous trip south, all the way to Costa Rica, surfing and not leaving a spot while the surf was still breaking. A couple weeks here, a couple there, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras (which gets berated as a country because there is no surfing), Nicaragua, to Costa Rica. The main quest is to find his old pal Christopher, whom no one has heard from for several years, since he left on his own ramble southward. Man and dog in truck, very Steinbeckian Travels with Charley. Epic surfing along the way. Bad luck to mention tiburones. Bribes and scuffles with street kids. Outwitting the “downed tree bandidos” by jumping out and offering them $20 to help him cut the tree. Sprinkled in with his current journey are tales about life in the 60s and 70s, running weed out of Central America by boat, crazy shipwrecks or near shipwrecks, bales of weed being distributed as bribes to locals as they run aground in Connecticut and fill two trucks full. At the end of the road, he finds Christopher, sadly turned into a crackhead and no longer surfing. The author surfs the humongo wave for a few months, tries to help Christopher, then ultimately decides to head back north, putting his truck on a boat.
It’s always hard to strike the right tone with these stories, but he came close. Aside from a few annoying namedropping incidents ( “I wrote for season 1 of Miami Vice”), mostly readable.
Reco’d by Milnor