5 years ago today in rural New Zealand, a drunk driver crossed the centre line and plowed head first into oncoming traffic. My handsome dad, the driver of the car Drunk Driver crashed into, died at the scene holding a kind stranger`s hand. A pretty major shit sandwich to hit my family. All I have left of my dad is a silver gun necklace, some holey woollen work socks, memories of growing up with handmade go-carts and treehouses, listening to Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith records. And a white cross on the side of the road.

I don`t usually post such personal truths but felt it important, on this day, to share and remember that life isn`t always going to be pumping waves and tropical sunsets. That sometimes, unforeseen and random shit sandwiches are handed to each of us. I can`t believe it has now been 5 years since the phone call that night, but if anything the way in which my father passed away has viscerally reiterated to me is the fact that our human experience truly is short so don`t waste time. Do the things you love and which make you happy. Do them regularly.  Surround yourself with good people and good vibes. Take a deep breath and keep smiling.  Tell the people you love that you love them. 

And please, please don`t ever drink and drive. 

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter`s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

KAHLIL GIBRAM, from his book ‘The Prophet’


Challenging myself to find my happy place. Maldives 2012.

Nowhere is my mind more focused and my spirit more recharged than in the ocean. This one is for you Dad!

*If you, or someone you know, is currently experiencing a traumatic event, depression or just a sucky low point in their life, we have found the following organisations and communities who may be able to help. Please feel free to leave other recommendations in the comments below: 

Live More Awesome (NZ)

ONEWAVE (Hawaii/Australia)

Wave Project (UK)

So Worth Loving (USA)

The Jimmy Miller Foundation (USA)

**We found the term ‘Shit Sandwich’ through Marie Forleo. Check out her take on it here. 


  1. mandy lancellas

    Wow what a special post, so touching and really puts things in perspective 🙂 Great words hon!!

  2. KellBell

    Aww boo, big tautoko from Perth. Amazed, still, at your bravery and light xxx

  3. Mike

    Lovely post, good on you Danny

  4. Bessie Boop

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing chick. Much love from us xox

  5. Thinking of you Danny! xx

  6. rootnotemusic

    That is truly tragic and I’m so sorry to heart that. I’m glad you found surfing as a happy place. I have too. My dad passed away 7 years ago from liver disease based on his drinking. It was so hard to see him die that way at the age of 57. He never got to see my surf and I like to think he’d be saying to me “cowabunga!”

  7. He sounds like he was a great dad. Thanks for using your pain to the remind others to enjoy the things we do have. Very positive. ❤

  8. Adele Clayton

    Love you Dan, beautifully eloquent as usual…Love Mum xxxxx

  9. Leone

    You are every bit as eloquent as your mama. Beautiful Danny. You’re on the money with your sentiments about making each moment count & surrounding yourself with good things and good people. Glad you’ve found your happy place and so excited your mum is going to share it with you in just a few short weeks. Love and admiration always Leone xx

  10. Morv

    Danny, that day in Bali when that Guns n Roses song came on in the van while travelling back to the Villa after a surf and you said it reminded you of your Dad – we should have totally cranked that volume, jumped out of the van and belted out a damn good sing-along with some fine, wild and rad air guitar in honour of a bloke who looks like he would have clearly enjoyed a good rock-off.

    Today – in Auckland – I’m going to bang out some Led Zepplin and pull a bit of air guitar for you mate.

    Shine On You Crazy Diamond.
    Morv x

  11. I live in fear of this every day. You can never leave someone mad, you just never know. Thank you for sharing, I’m so so sorry for that unimaginable loss.

  12. A lot of beautifull words!

  13. Beautiful words Dan, so so sorry to hear of this loss to you and your family. Keep charging, your Dad would be incredibly proud of the gorgeous person you are xoT

  14. What a courageous post from a courageous woman whom her dad would be so proud of ….. ❤

  15. Chris

    thinking of you Danny xxx

  16. Touching post. Thinking of you from France. I send you heaps of good vibes from the baguette’s world. 🙂

  17. Beatiful post. Love the poem.

  18. Karen Song

    i’m so sorry to hear about your loss and that you had to go through this. it really saddens me. but thank you for sharing and keep on shining that beautifully radiant light of yours danny. and yeah, the poem is everything. thanks for that as well.

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  21. Hey Danny, Great words “don`t waste time. Do the things you love and which make you happy. Do them regularly. Surround yourself with good people and good vibes. Take a deep breath and keep smiling. Tell the people you love that you love them”. I appreciate with you. 🙂

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