Fear and Boating

By The Editors
May 15, 2013 9:00 am

Hunter S. Thompson loved guns. Including harpoon guns. So he went to cover a deep-sea fishing contest in the early ’70s.

There were drugs. There were run-ins with the Secret Service. And all of it was photographed.

Now you can see these never-before-seen pics in The Cozumel Diary, available for pre-order.

“We both thought that this [deep-sea story] would be very Hemingway-esque: hard drinking fisherman, etc., etc.,” says chronicler Al Satterwhite, a big-name photog in the ’70s for the likes of Life, Sports Illustrated and Time.

“Turned out they were all a bunch of rich guys who had their boats ‘flown in,’ went to bed at 7, and for the most part were pretty boring.”

Hunter“So, Hunter and I took it upon ourselves to do it the right way.”

Satterwhite left the Caribbean jaunt with “a hangover and 20 rolls of exposed film,” some of which ended up in Playboy … but most were never seen. (You can read about it, though, in “The Great Shark Hunt,” one of Thompson’s seminal essay collections.)

If you’re looking for a more reflective side of journalism’s enfant terrible, look elsewhere.

“We closed most of the local bars down every night.”

The book is limited to a run of 1,000, including special editions ensconced in a slipcase or clamshell box and bearing copies of a letter from Hunter and some of Satterwhite’s archival prints “suitable for framing.”

After all, it was a memorable fishing trip.

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