Saturday, May 21, 2011

Namotu day 6

Back in Maui, I now found the time to complete the post about the last day in Namotu.

As I anticipated, it was another great day.
The big swell peaked and the wind was the regular trade direction. With that size and wind, the only surfable place was Restaurants, the left in Tavarua. We went there pretty early on a very high tide. That created a strong current and it was like being on a treadmill: constant paddling just to stay in the spot. I caught a couple, but it was really too much for my tired body, so I went back on the boat and watched the show. Didn't have the camera with me, so can't share the beauty of those waves.

Back on Namotu, I noticed one lonely kitesurfer on the Lefts. The waves looked pretty big and I decided to go check them out windsurfing.
When I got there, the kiter had lost his board and had been rescued by the boat. That meant that I was alone. For once, that was not a good feeling...
The waves were so big that the channel between Lefts and Wilkes looked like it could close out. Or at least you could clearly see the whole wall of water connecting the waves at the two breaks that are a few hundred yards apart. Even the locals told me that that doesn't happen often.

Very carefully I caught a big one prudently on the shoulder. It was a great feeling, but the sound of the wave breaking just upwind of me was pretty scary... didn't have the courage to look upwind!
Then I caught another one. This time it was a medium one so I decided to go a bit deeper. And I ended up upwind of a close out section with no much wind at all. Fortunately I was able to pump my way out of that, but that was enough for me.
It wasn't my gear and it wasn't Kanaha outer reef. If I fucked up and and lost the gear, it would have been trashed on the reef, guaranteed.

Anyway, that wasn't even the highlight of the day. Because after lunch, we went for a quick boat trip to Cloudbreak. The waves were massive and the kiting action was fantastic.

Ben Wilson and his team riders were killing it.

This is a tow surfer.

Spotting the barreling section and setting the line.

And there he is.

And there she is.

The tow surfer catches another one.

This guy instead paddled into this wave.

And got barreled.

And that's him again. This wave was unreal.

Unbelievable stuff.

Photographer Stu Gibson was on a chopper and he posted a few shots in this gallery.

After that we only had the time to grab our bags and get on the boat again. This time heading to the mainland (the big island of Fiji, which in Fijian language is spelled Viti). There a minivan was waiting for us and took us to the airport.
And after a red eye flight, what's the best thing to get rid of the tiredness?
Get on your windsurf board and catch a few head to logo high waves at Hookipa!

This was an amazing trip, but Maui remains the best place in the world to go back to.

PS. Not done with the Namotu photos yet, since I purchased the cd of the photos that Stu took of me... stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's all well and good going on about the waves, plus the ubiquitous shot of the bikini, but what about the general scenery? Are we going to be allowed to see that?