Long shot

Chelsea Erwin is an aspiring photographer and Puerto Rico provided the perfect backdrop for her portraits.

Words and photos by Shaun Devine.

About a week before leaving New Zealand, I get a series of messages from a old friend, Lex Weinstein. Lex and I were roommates back in 2006 when we both moved to St. Augustine, Florida to attend Flagler College. It had been quite some time since we had seen each other, but I had been keeping up with her surf, art, travel and fashion blog http://gypsealove.blogspot.com/, which always makes me smile knowing she is pursuing her dreams.

When Lex gave me the details on a quick trip to “La Isla del Encanto” — more commonly known as Puerto Rico — I instantly knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Puerto Rico has been regarded as the Hawaii of the Caribbean, and for good reason. The island hosts a variety of warm water waves that break over rock, reef and the occasional sand bottom. With consistent frontal boundaries pushing off the East Coast all winter, Puerto Rico is a magnet for thumping North swells. The plot was lush with a oceanside apartment to stay at, fun waves nearly guaranteed to be on tap and the opportunity to capture some tropical imagery. How could I say no?

Our trip hosted a nice little crew including a couple from South Florida, Blake Burns and Chelsea Erwin. Blake and Chelsea instantly struck me as sincere souls and over the course of a week we shared plenty of fun waves, cold beers and good times. I’m always grateful of the opportunity and experience to connect with other people who are motivated and inspired by their true passions in life.

The following images are just a touch of the beauty that Puerto Rico holds.


Shaun Devine, Northwest coast Photo: Chelsea Erwin


The west coast of Puerto Rico offers stunning sunsets


Chelsea Erwin, hand drag bottom turn


Blake Burns is from South Florida and no stranger to warm water conditions


Blake’s also no stranger to good on-rail surfing


<3 sunsets


Lex Weinstein opts for the traditional single fin


Matt Shipley off the top


Blake Burns taking his backside game to the air


At .93 cents a pop, Medalla Lights are all too inviting


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