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I love New Jersey. Everyone knows that. I've built a career (albeit a shaky one) on it. But today wasn't so great. I went to the grocery store and watched obese Americans pick out processed meats and genetically engineered vegetables. There was no color in the sky, no leaves on the trees, and no beautiful lighting. I surfed with Jeremy at Two Five tonight. I was ready for the cold shock, but the gray water, thick fog, and ugly close outs were too much. I spent the last month on a West Indian island, and despite my undying love for the Garden State, this is not its best face. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work from anywhere, so why not trade this Island for one with a better latitude? I'd post up at night and get my writing done so the next day was nonstop right bowls, sugar fields, vibrant murals, hustling locals, teeming reefs and entire meals that came from that very island and its surrounding waters. [caption id="attachment_1016" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Jerm by Ann Coen"]Jerm by Ann Coen[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1017" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Cory by Ann Coen"]Cory by Ann Coen[/caption] Each day was a buzz around the island, past colorful chattel houses and Caribbean vistas, to check the surf - beautiful women carrying beautiful babies to the bus stop. Not every day was firing, but each dive into the turquoise was a reminder that it was turquoise and not brownish gray. We'd buy fish that only a few hours earlier had been searching for its own dinner, and throw it on the grill - mahi, tuna, kingfish, or marlin, with seasoned rice and fresh local vegetables from a roadside stand. We sucked on sugar cane and sat on broken benches, talking to the watermen, rastas, and real life pirates about how this wave broke on what swell direction, what fish hid in that reef or which ones swam in the open water, all with a dog napping on the beach. The last few days i was there, the Jetty Crew came down for a week of waves. Always good to hang out with them. My wife Ann shot the Jetty summer line in unreal settings. We dove new reefs, discovered little nooks, and got new rashes together. Jeremy goes for it. Doesn't matter where we are surfing or what it looks like, the dude goes. He paddled around locals, got urchins, came in all the wrong spots in the reef, and got trounced by set waves. I was calling him "Spilled Milk." But he did some great backside surfing. Cory watched me blow a late take off and tried calling me "Spilled Soy Milk." He had plenty of time to think up clever names while he sat in the channel. Cory gets a lot less close outs. Great time with the boys. The waves will get better. The sun will return and bring spring a few weeks later than we'd like. But I'm still thinking about the sweet Caribbean.

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