Surf Safari is a true story that follows a family into the 1960’s Latin America in search of adventure. As surfers, they clung to the Pacific Coast of Mexico and Central America, often forced to travel unmarked roads through dense jungles to lonely beaches. In addition to braving unknown waters and unexpected travel hazards always lurked as well - bandidos and armed soldiers of the ruthless dictators in those third world nations. They survived a major hurricane, an earthquake and drove through the middle of an ongoing war. Several times they were stopped by armed soldiers, automatics weapons pointed into the car until proved they were americans. There was even a brush with the law, the boys and Land rover arrested then released. another time they were held for several days in El Salvador’s main prison. few down there had ever seen anyone surf the terrifying waves that crashed on their shores. Entire villages came out to watch the boys surf waves they feared and expected to see them eaten by sharks. When they emerged from the ocean they were treated as local heros, surrounded by kids who wanted to carry their boards and touch their shoulder length sun bleached hair. after two years in Latin america the Blanchard family moved to Hanalei, Kauai where Holt and Brad still live and surf, including Holt’s children. alana Blanchard, a top ten world pro surfer, helped her father and brother save Bethany Hamilton’s life when attacked by a Tiger shark.
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W.W. Blanchard graduated from UCLA with degrees in education, psychology. He also holds a law degree from the Los Angeles University of Law. He spent most of his early career in political research. The loss of his wife to cancer in the 1960's left him struggling alone with work and raising two young sons, so he moved the family to Mexico and Latin America where they could live cheaply and the boys could pursue their passion for surfing. Later, they moved to Hawaii, settling in Hanalei, Kauai, where Bill worked for the USDA and wrote for local newspapers and business journals, and the boys continued their education and surfing. After a stint administering an acute care hospital in California, Bill returned to Kauai to become the energy commissioner for the island. After retirement, Bill moved again to Mexico to complete Surf Safari. He finally returned to Hawaii and settled in Hilo, where he continues to write. One of his screenplays, Ko'olou, Outlaw Leper, won first prize in the Honolulu International film festival.
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