Friday, February 27, 2009


So here I am in one of the most modern countries I've ever visited, and it's harder than hell to find an internet cafe that's open 24 hours, let alone the time to actually type emails.


We're in Melbourne, capital of Victoria. Land of fires raging and burning all around. There actually isn't any smoke here (though yesterday it was almost 100, and today its 70...sweet). However the fires prevented me from heading up to the foothills today (that and the debacle of finding a rental car when there is a motorcycle grand prix going on). So the fires are very real. Most folks here have brought it up when I've talked to them, so any donations or prayers you have to send this way will be greatly appreciated. (And yes, I have been inspired for my next feature film after this years shoot).

We finally got out of the water, and into the cities. And honestly, I prefer the water. The cities here (Sydney and Melbourne) are both beautiful, modern, filled with great buildings, gardens, parks, people walking all about, harbours and rivers, cafe's and opera houses. Art museums (VERY cool here in Melbourne. The building was awesome, with a waterfall over glass across teh front. You will likely see some of that in the sequel to "Lady CarLove" which we are filming...sort of). Cities great, people nice, but I'm ready for some adventure again. We're heading out on teh great Ocean road for 2 days, so I'll let you know how that is going later.

On Tuesday, after a day of Bondi Beach in Sydney, (amazing waves, beautiful scenery, and some fantastic views of some beach bunnies indeed!). We got ready, and headed off to the HORDERN PAVILLION on the Fox Studios Sydney lot for a little bit of NINE INCH NAILS! It was a great show, with the band only a 4 piece now. Hot as hell, but the people here are so damn nice, even the mosh pits are friendly!. The power went out for about 40 minutes right as Trent started pushing buttons for BURN to start. He said "Let's see what this does?" and out goes the power! So we all sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" and other songs. It was fun.

The next day we fly to Melbourne, get into a hotel a bit outside the city proper but on a very regular tram line (man I wish LA had trams like this). And then off to NINE INCH NAILS! We had to stop at Hungry Jacks, which is a fast food place that looks just like burger king, but has a different name. they sell almost the same things, but this time it has an AUSSIE BURGER. With ham and egg on it!

The show tonight had no power problems, and during the Good Soldier, Trent was playing his tamborine (yes, a tamborine in industrial music!), and I thought "He's going to throw it right to me".

He finished his playing, tossed it in the air and I watched it sail up, and over, and down... and right into my hands!. And NO ONE FOUGHT ME FOR IT! Everyone said "nice job!" "Sweet mate!". Even there they are friendly. In the USA that would have been a fight and a half for that thing.

The next few days were touring around Melbourne and seeing museums and sights. And on Thursday night we hit an AFL game (as in AUSSIE FOOTABALL LEAGUE). It was really fun, big big BIG field, about the size of 3 of our Football fields. And 18 people on each side. We were sitting near some super fans of COLLINGWOOD and some players from another team. So we learned the rules (which are pretty simple) and enjoyed the game. Afterwards everyone cruised back to the hotel but me and I went out and found some KARAOKE!!!! I did a little "Baby Got BacK" and then, because I'd made some new Australian friends at the bar, I had to do "Down Under" by Men at Work. It was silly, but they love it. After all it's almost the national anthem. Some of the folks were from a country band called BOSTOCK, I haven't gotten a chance to check em out, but will when I return. (yes, I said country band:)

Friday ended up with us all doing different things, Tom working on his show he'll be doing tonight, and the others shopping. And as evening came I decided "Screw it, I'm going to the NIN show tonight as well!" They were playing in a festival with Alice IN Chains and other bands. Unfortunatly due to naps and train delays I missed them. But fortunately I ended up with a couple blokes from Melbourne Sky Diving who had free tickets waiting for them... and not all their friends were going. :) They offered me a ticket, as long as I could pretend to be "Sally Baker". I said "It happens all the time. My name's Sal Baker and they call me Sally." A little bit later were heading into the festival for FREEEEEEEEE! NIN had just started, they were on song 3 or 4, and I headed in! During THE FRAIL, this mighty wind picked up and was blowing like crazy. It was really fun. This tour (which may be the last for a long time...or forever, yikes!) they're playins some unusual songs. They've rocked THE FRAGILE all three shows. It stirs up some emotions from back when mom was sick, as that entire CD is about him dealing with the cancer and death of his grandma (who raised him like his mom), so that's been a very powerful and unsual experience to have in a crowd like that. But a good one.

And here I am, getting ready for Tom's bad ass show tonight, and off on teh great ocean road tomorrow...

It's been a fast trip, but a mostly good one. In just a few days everyone goes home and I head of to Tasmania to do some rock climbing and stuff.

A few notes on australia:

1. It's a big country.

2. Everyone is super nice.

3. They actually have more rules and restrictions than the USA. (which I never really thought I would encounter).

4. It's pretty and needs more time to visit.

Anyway, off...

OH, I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to email you guys back who have responded to my reports. I really appreciate hearing from you, but It's been a bit hectic with the coordination with 4 other travelers and we haven't really had easy internet access in all of our places. I'll try to get back to you soon though!

Rock on


Monday, February 23, 2009


and plenty to drink, and swim, and raft and boat and have a blast.

So for the driest continent, Australia has been all about water so far. We swim, we scuba, and now we RAFT!

A full day of whitewater on the Tully! Class 4 rapids and fun.

It was 1 1/2 hours from Cairns (for those of you still wondering how the heck you pronounce this city, it's essentially "Can" or "Cans".)

We took a bus south to a land where they get 30 METERS of rain a year.

But it didn't rain on us. It was hot, sticky and perfect for getting soaked on a river coming down from mountains.

This was the first time Tom had ever rafted,and he got a good one. Our guide was Chris, a dirty mouthed, wild and fun Aussie (who seemed like a bit of a romantic as well, though he probably wouldn't admit it). He also guides in the US on the American River (Brad Riley, you reading this? It turns out that Chris the Aussie knows good old Brad Riley (of Former Feet First DJ company fame (where I work for those of you who don't know)).

Small world indeed.

But enough philosiphizing, let's hit the RIVER!

Chris had a blast with the 3 of us and a girl from Germany. (unorignal, but we all called her "germany"). He flipped us a couple of times on purpose. Which was a bit wild.

But he never did it when there was any real danger (though it sure felt like it when it happened). We paddled, hit some crazy rapids with names like "double D cup", "2 inch" and such. There are stories behind them all, and I'll let you guess what they are for now.

Olga got tossed from the raft when we were "surfing" a rapid, going around and around in the splashing foam. I did the river rescue thing and pulled her up into the boat... and we all took a breath... and she got sucked BACK into the churning waters...and went under the boat. When she popped up on the other side, I grabbed the shoulders of her life jacket, and Tom got one and we yanked her back in the boat again. She says I'll be the Godparent of her kids someday for saving her life. (you're welcome Olga, but don't start having kids to soon).

We had a tasty lunch.

But it was the afternoon that things got really interesting.

Because we flipped completely over in a rapid (first time I've ever been on a raft that flipped like that. It's always been someting intentional, but this one was legitamate!) Boat went over, i went way under and poppled up and we all were able to swim to shore. it was a hell of a lot of fun! :)

There were waterfalls, and other swims, riding class 2 rapids outside the raft. And at the end we went over a waterfall with us all at one end of the boat. it was about 6 feet tall, and Chris FLIPPED the boat end over end. We all went deep and had a good swim.

fun fun...

And the next day we rented a car. Drove on the wrong (right?) side of the road. Which is a very strange experience for anyone who's never done it. And then we went to a cool waterfall. (starts with a "J", but I'm blanking on the name). Where there was a really wide natural rock slide! So we slid down this 25 foot long slide of fun into a nice cool pool surrounded by jungle. Awesome.

and in the afternoon (after finally drying off, been 6 days of swimsuits in a row!), we are off to SYDNEY!

Where it's cooler temperatures. Less humidity. And...


Our first day here we met up with Catherine and her husband Troy. SOme of you might say "Craig, who the heck is Catherine?". Well, she is someone I met on the INCA TRAIL IN 2004!!!! Yep, we kept in email touch for 4 1/2 years and here we are meeting up to go out on their boat into the waterways south of Sydney! CraZy!

At this point Essylt and David have joined us, so there are 5 people in Team Nails Australia!

Catherine and Troy are so cool, they take us to the very nice boat (okay it's her parents boat, but they get to use it!), and we head out into the channels. ride some waves, jump off the top deck into the water, eat some great food, drink some strange drinks, eat some VEGEMITE! (yep, an Australia delicacy made of Yeast extract or something like that). It's bitter and salty. We shoot some video for my next Trespassing On the Lot film, and swim, and dance and sing to DOWN UNDER by Men At Work.

And yes... we were in our swimsuits again.

Water, water everywhere... every day so far!

Gotta go, running out of time on the internet.

Rock on


PS: I'm Sorry for the non BCC's on the last email. I hope it doesn't cause you guys any problems with Spammers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009



it's true...

We swam with the fishes.

LOTS of fishes.

THOUSANDS of fishes.

And Sharks, and Octopus, and Jellyfish by the THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS and then there were the stars... and the dancing stars...

3 days, 2 nights on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Holy Shit.


So, We headed out on a boat called the Reef Experience which brought us out to a bigger, badder ass boat called the REEF ENCOUNTER. This was our live aboard vessel. during this time Tom and Olga got their full Open Water Scuba certification (better than in a pool), and I got to dive 10 TIMES!!!

If you've never gone SCUBA diving before, you owe it to yourself to experience it. It feels like flying, floating, dreaming all at once. It's like you are in some Alien landscape (the mostly beautiful one, and sometimes scary one, not the terrifying hell driven Alien landscape of the movies.:). Anyway...I suggest everyone do it if you can. Tom and Olga kept saying how this was one of the coolest things ever and how they couldn't believe I hadn't told them how cool it was before. (I think I had, but until you do it you just don't know how awesome it is!)

But I'll do my best to tell you about some of the highlights.

The ship was 2 stories, had cabins, a hot tub, a sundeck and a dining room with couches and tables and a bar (not that there was any drinking, everyone is so tired after a day of diving you goto bed by 10pm! wooo! partay!)

But that's not what it's about. it's about the diving (and snorkeling since there are 6 dive slots in a day and you can only dive 4 times in a day for safety reasons). Diving.

I buddied up with a great guy from Germany, Mathias. So most of the times we were together underwater. We had a similar diving style and communicated well with the hand signals and such you have to use underwater. Sometime I also Dove with Marcus, one of the Dive Master Trainies on the ship. He was super cool (also from Germany!)

On one dive we saw an Octopus sticking its head out of a hole. on another a 5 foot shark sitting on the bottom. On another turtles! 5 turles! swimming, sitting on the reef. There are so many fish in so many colors. The reef itself is brilliant, sparkling, dancing in the sun. It's spectacular. We played with clown fish (think "nemo") in their little waving sea anemonie beds. That are kinda sticky. We pickeup sea sponges, that spray sticky white stuff all over. It was pretty awesome. Generally you don't touch most things, but some things you can. there were giant clams, one that was at least 5 feet across.

And then there were the night dives...

Yep. Leaping into the pitch black ocean with only a flashlight to see (and those of your buddies). It makes something that is already surreal turn totally wild. You can see very little. the lights from the boat hover above like ET's UFO landing. Otherdivers are shafts of light slicing the darkness. And when you get away from the other lights, away from the boat, you can black out your light...

... and the dancing stars appear.

They drift around your hands, around your flippers. it's like flying through some strange galaxy, where stars can move and spin and spiral as you go through them. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. If I made F/X like this ina movie, you would think it was fake. But it's not. It's totally real. The death blasts of millions of tiny plankton, bursting with Bioluminescence. WOW.

And on the way back to the boat, in the dark. SHARKS. Lots of them.

Circling beneath the platform. 5-7 feet long.


And for some reason, we weren't scared (until the one swam a few feet below my feet from behind me).

Gray Whalers and White Tip Reef Sharks.

Scary... perhaps.

And no, they don't eat people. :)

And if that were as cool as it got... that would be all you need.

But it gets even BETTER!

6:30am morning dive.

"there's Jelly's in the water"

"Should we wear a wetsuit?"

"No, they're harmless, you can play with them"

So into a floating mass of jellies AS FAR AS YOU COULD SEE.

It was like entering the coolest alien world ever. Floating between these 6-12 inch jelly fish. You could tap the front of them and they would turn. they were going in every direction. And the sunlight glistened through them. I swam below them, looking up at this massive fleet of Jellyfish, the sun going through their clear bodies. Tiny fish swimming around inside them. It was absolutely, amazing.

Now we're back in Cairns. Ready for some dinner and probably white water rafting tomorrow.

But my mind is still underwater... in one of the most amazing places on earth.

Don't miss it, I'm so glad I didn't.

rock on


PS: Tom and Olga got their SCUBA certification here... 3 days. 8 dives on the REEF. Screw the pool! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009


Hey Team!

That's right. We have arrived safe and sound in the land of Oz. (or is it Aus?). It's going to be a great trip.

We are heading out on a 3 day / 2 night dive boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef today, so this is going to be brief. (yes, I'll Tell NEMO hi for everyone!).

Other than 17 hours of flying, we had a little encounter with the Sniffer Dogs at the Brisbaine airport. They were serious about quarantine for food and nuts and carrots and wait, Craig, don't you bring lots of food everytime you go places? Yes I do! But fortunately they left me the balance bars, so I'm going to be okay. (don't worry, Tom and Olga won't get the brunt of Hungry Craig if I can help it.) The dogs also thought that we had some narcotics on us as well, which is sorta silly for all of you who know me since I've never even smoked pot once. Still, a little intimidating to be asked by customs in Australia and make you wonder if someone stuck something in your bag and you're going to end up in an Aussie prison digging ditches for your vacation.

Anyway, gotta hit the reef, just wanted to let you all know I'm safe, sound and I'll keep you updated...

OH, the thing we keep coming back to is how similar Australia is to the USA. It's really uncanny. (don't be offended my Aussie friends :), Obama! Obama!)

Rock on!