Reaching Reality is a story of surf exploration at sea and the deeper discovery of what it takes to make a dream into reality. Traveling from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas on a 24-foot boat three friends battle the elements to explore 7-islands for untouched surf and baron beaches. In the process they uncover the known, the unknown, and the balance of what it means to live out a dream at sea.
Reaching Reality is cut as both a full length feature and a 13-part episodic documentary by director Barry Walton.
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Reaching Reality is also designed as an online digital series with 13 Episodes playing from 10 - 15 minutes in length. In the episodic version Reaching Reality has an additional 60-minutes of content and storytelling. Fully exploring both the coast of Baja and the deeper struggles and rewards of the trip.
*See episode breakout below
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Three friends are set to depart on an epic journey of sailing, surf and adventure. Leaving from San Francisco and rounding Point Conception and Big Sur on the Pacific passage south. We learn that departing on this voyage as come with sacrifice and risk. How much has been risked and what they will gain is unknown. What is known it they are underway in on a new adventure at sea.
As the current two members, Dan and Barry close in on the first week they are already at odds. Barry is debating on his decision and considering abandoning the entire trip. While Dan is swept up in the highs and lows of it all. Now staling for the third and final member Dennis. It is left to be seen if the documentary will be finished and if Barry will stay onboard.
After a tumultuous couple of weeks on the boat Barry resolves to stay onboard. Dennis joins and the three set out for the Santa Cruz Islands in the midst of a lightening storm. Now battling the seas and finding their space inside the boat. The three begin to define themselves as a crew as both division and coalitions begin to form.
From the Santa Cruz Islands, down to Catalina and into Mexico. The three are covering ground and loosing direction at the same time. With storms and cold weather and little to no surf for entertainment. The moral is low and they are like loosing some of the identity of the trip. Ironically however in the process they are finding things they didn't expect. As they charge south for a painful overnight to Mexico. The question is out, will they find what they are seeking or will the drift the distance of the coast empty handed?
With a lay over in Ensenada holding the trip back. The three are now both seeking adventure and avoiding it. The pain and struggle of the coastal journey has made the desire to return to the sea a difficult. As boredom grows, Barry begins to fragment and opens up about the deeper story behind his mental anguish. It is clear that Barry has lost his direction and uncertain if his fellow crewmen will be able to help bring him back around.
With the departure of land in Ensenada and the uncovering of surf on Todos Santos. There is new light and enthusiasm with the crew. While spirits soar a whale visits Barry while filming and like a visit from a spirit god it opens within him a new vision for the trip. As Barry begins to come to terms with the trip we start to see a shift from foreign observer of the voyage to crew member and partaker of it all.
With an anchor stuck the three fight to save it until finally the line snaps, leaving the anchor at the bottom of the sea and the crew free to sail on. With a new take on life and the trip the three now seem more in the moment than ever. Uncovering light house keepers, empty waves, and islands without a soul. They are now both completely alone and closer than ever on the trip. Now in the sweet spot of the trip with all things moving fluidly one begs to ask. Can it last?
Now having been at sea and in virtual isolation for nearing 6-months. The crew has begun to take on a culture and perspective very much there own. Dealing with the struggles of traversing to land for showers and wash and the recovering from the near loss of their solo portal back to the ship of their dingy. They now are teetering on the edge of sanity and reality. And staying in touch with the one that will lead them home is becoming to be a question that only the winds of time will answer.
After another overnight sail the three friends have arrived in Isla Cedros and are washing clothes for the first time in weeks and enjoying some much deserved R&R in a hotel. A dichotomy of sorts this Island is friend to a fisherman's village on it's south end and a global salt exportation on the north. Eye opening to say the least the three observe the variation in the quality of lives between the two sides. Returning to their hotel they are greeted with news of coming surf along the coast and like men on a mission are off to find the best spot on the Baja to enjoy it on.
Charging south toward surf in Punta Associon the three take a short layover in Tortuga Bay to resupply. In the process of acquiring gas, it is discovered that their are no cash machines until their arrival in Cabo some more than 3-weeks down the road. Seeking a sign of good fortune from the news. They charge deep into the desert to uncover the blessings of a fossilized sharks tooth. Facing the sand storms and dust clouds of the desert the three seek for their treasure before charging on to the mecca of surf and hopes for some good waves at sea.
After months of seeking the ultimate wave for the ultimate adventure. The three arrive in Punta Associon and surf, but with it comes crowds of society. Now faced with conflict their is a new awareness of how much they have appreciated their isolation throughout the trip. Catching the longest of waves on the best of days and desires for satiated. They again prepared to exit only to find their dingy again missing. With now the looming feeling that they have stayed too long in this over trafficked place. They rush to go out and in the process loose a man overboard.
Escaping one last time into the the empty wilderness of the Baja. The trio are now just a week away from their final destination of Cabo. Having seen a little of the American culture they remember in Punta Associon. They are enjoying the return to solitude. In the background however the clock of their return home it ticking louder by the day and it's sound is eating away at mind of Barry. Regressing back into his fearful worrisome ways. He again feel the sting of all he left behind and how it will look when he returns to it. Begging to find against his fears, he seeks answers to his questions in the unknown abyss of the horizon.
Now the crew have been at sea of 60-days and all the lessons of the voyage are front and center. Having visited their last town of Magdalena Bay and hardily uncovered the supplies of water and gas for their final overnight sail. The three traverse the final overnight toward Cabo while their experiences and memories unfold like a fine concentrate of though offering life lessons and perspective of the voyage. Wrapping it all up in Cabo with the final words of the trip. Dan, Dennis, and Barry all have something to offer as they return to their lives. And in the final moments they are left a sense of bliss and uncertainty as they go back to life as it was.