Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine, Gene Kesler & Jill Thomas.

The original edition of the “Full Circle” series chronicled the epic surf journey Surf & Adventure Co. team rider Shaun Devine to one of the most remote places on Earth: New Zealand. While there, his close friend from his time in San Diego, Basil Harrison, hosted him on his family’s picturesque property in Dunedin. Together, the boys embarked on a series of trips that would become the iconic web feature that eventually landed in the pixels of Eastern Surf Magazine’s Travelers Notebook.

The ebb-and-flow of life’s tides that pull against all of us have caused the friends some meteoric highs and abysmal lows since that journey in the winter of 2012/2013. Basil married his longtime partner Brit and continues on his path toward an engineering degree. Shaun, alongside Eric Coulson, launched his very successful and still-growing Party Missile Handplanes brand; which was inspired in-part by the bodysurfing sessions from the Full Circle trip. But for however positive these events were and continue to be, there were stormy seas for the boys to navigate. Like so many that have loved ones taken by cancer, Basil and Shaun had this hardship hit all-to-close to home. Basil lost his brother Marco and Shaun, his mom Debbie. In a tragic turn of events, Shaun’s dad passed away within weeks of his mother.

But Basil and Shaun are extremely resilient and relentless in their battle against these hardships, inspiring all of those around them. So you can only imagine how special the gift of swell from Hurricane Cristobal was for these friends.

It just so happened that Cristobal’s passing coincided with Basil’s own epic journey through North America, which landed him with Shaun for a couple of weeks of searching for waves around our region. As the photos in this three-part series show, there was special energy that surrounded the friends as they were treated to two unbelievable days of surf in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Basil and Shaun weren’t the only ones to score Cristobal, of course. But for everyone else who glided across the waves during the swell, may they keep in mind how much of a gift the ocean and her swells are to those who surf.

The east-facing beaches of the Outer Banks were in the teeth of a heavy sideshore wind on Wednesday, but jaw-dropping moments like this one in Avon could be found. Photo: Devine.
Avon Pier: Made to bend, but not break in the grip of the mighty Atlantic. Photo: Devine.
Around the bend of Cape Hatteras, the beaches face south. The wind was howling straight offshore and the stretch faced directly into the path of Cristobal, translating into pumping conditions. The length of the paddle out and pulsing, heavy swell won the battle against most of challenged it. Photo: Devine.
This bodyboarder was one of those who went toe-to-toe with Cristobal in Frisco. It didn't end well for him on this one. 1 of 4. Photo: Devine.
2 of 4. Photo: Devine.
3 of 4. Photo: Devine.
4 of 4. Photo: Devine.
Mysto perfection and some beautiful Gulf Stream water out the back. Photo: Devine.
It's hard to tell how big the outside sets breaking over distant shoals were, but the well-overhead bomb on the inside in this photo offers some perspective. Photo: Devine.
It's hard believe the end of Frisco Pier is still holding on, considering the beating it takes on a regular basis from powerful surf. Photo: Devine.
There was a step-off crew scoring some insane tubes. On days like this when the bottom is dropping out, the best chance for success is with jet ski assistance. Photo: Devine.
The ghost of Frisco Pier casts an eerie frame on Cristobal's bombs. Photo: Devine.
Here's Nat Day racing for coverage on a frothy one. As it turns out, Nat is from New Zealand and went to college near Basil's hometown of Dunedin. Small world, indeed. 1 of 2. Photo: Devine.
Nat Day. 2 of 2. Photo: Devine.
Though he's far from an Outer Banks local, Nat shined as one of the best surfers in the water for the Cristobal swell. 1 of 2. Photo: Devine.
Nat Day. 2 of 2. Photo: Devine.
While the western breaks of Hatteras' southside began to max out in the afternoon, the boys drove on the 4x4 beach up to "The Cove" to receive some protection and more manageable conditions. But even here, the peaking swell soon turned the break into a gladiator pit. Photo: Devine.
Basil Harrison watches some heavy shorebreak detonate at The Cove. Photo: Devine.
Inside peeling perfection. Photo: Devine.
The Cove also featured some rights mixed in the dominant lefthanders. Photo: Devine.
The Cove offered up a steady diet of almonds. Photo: Devine.
Virginia Beach's Travis Kesler fades into a right at The Cove. Photo: Kesler.
Shaun Devine stalling for the tube. Photo: Kesler.
Shaun Devine negotiates a macking closeout to miss the guillotine. Photo: Kesler.
One of the most photogenic places on the East Coast, Basil Harrison takes it all in at The Cove in the golden afternoon light. Photo: Devine.
The raw power of Cristobal was on display during a stunning sunset. Photo: Devine.
Hollow, thick and pumping: The excitement builds for what tomorrow would bring. Photo: Devine.
As is always the case, especially with hurricanes that approach from such a southerly angle, Sandbridge was markedly smaller than the southern Outer Banks. Still, fun sections like this one S&A owner Rob Lindauer tears down on his Walden Enigma were to be found in the sideshore conditions. 1 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
Rob Lindauer. 2 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
Rob Lindauer. 3 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
Rob Lindauer. 4 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
Rob Lindauer. 5 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
Rob Lindauer. 6 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
Rob Lindauer. 7 of 7. Photo: Thomas.
S&A's Josh Alley tags an inside section in Sandbridge on his SUPERbrand Fling. Photo: Thomas.
Craig Thomas digs into a bottom turn on his Walden Enigma SUP. Photo: Thomas.

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