Baler_mapVietnam and much of the South China Sea are largely sheltered by the Philippines, Borneo and Brunei.

It was for that reason (and I’m sure a degree of hostility to all things from the USA so soon after the war) that Colonel Kilgore’s quote of “Charlie don’t surf son” in Apocalypse Now was actually filmed in Baler in the Philippenes.

Charlie's BreakThe surfing scene in the movie is entirely down to John Milius the screen writer who went on to write and direct the legendary surf movie Big Wednesday.

A surfer himself he could not resist adding some larking about in the water into the screenplay.

Vietnamese SurfingIf I had my own squadron of Huey helicopters I would be up for making a dash down to Da Nang to the sounds of Flight of the Valkeries by Wagner, but sadly I don’t.

They do get good waves there as you can see, but it will take me at least a day to reach whatever is available, along with all the associated expense and grief and then the same for the return journey so I am going to pass on the opportunity.

It is a shame but I will shortly be in the Indian Ocean again and can gorge myself on the waves available there to make up for it. Charlie might surf in Vietnam, but Rob doesn’t look like he will on this trip.

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