Thursday, May 07, 2015

2015 first Indo trip report n.4. Balangan at low tide 2, GP 0.

The surfing part of this trip came to a sudden stop when last Wednesaday, on the first day of the big SSW swell, the low tide at Balangan had the best of me again (first time happened last year).

The usual critical situation of a big wave about to unload its energy and not enough water to duck dive. Always a mistake to end up in that position.
I found out afterwards that the only thing to do in such a case is to try to grab the reef and hold on to it like there's no tomorrow.
If you succeed in doing so, hopefully you'll get away with a few scratches on your hands. If you don't, you can only try to dive under the wave (which is what I did), but the chances to be picked up by the back of it and slammed on the reef are more than 90%, imo.

This particular case ended up with a bad cut on my head that required 8 stiches at the hospital to which I drove by myself on the motorbike with a rough and bloody dressing Rambo style.
Shoulda seen the faces of the other bikers on the road when they crossed my path.

All good though, I feel very lucky that it wasn't worse. Done with that spot at low tide and big waves, that's for sure. And I'm gonna look into some helmets when I get back to Maui.

Here's some photos to lighten up the spirits. I didn't take many, since I preferred not to torture myself and since the 1h drive from where I'm staying to Uluwatu is worth doing only if there's a chance for a surf, so the following two are from Echo beach on the high tide and a swell that was way too big for the spot.



This is as close as I've got to getting barreled in this trip (which is not close at all). Post processing by Jason Hall.

The next photo was quite a hit on my facebook page.
Not photoshopped. Just one of those last moment realizations that you're too deep to go and decide to sit back on the board. This was a moment before the wave engulfed my face.

And this is another kookie dismount on a right about to shut down on me.

Done with the gopro shots, but not with the selfies. The beautiful house where I'm staying has a little pool. I tied the leash on a pillar so at least I can get a bit of a paddling workout. I didn't paddle for two days and that did not feel good.

Just posted this one on facebook with the link to this post. Expecting the ladies to go wild on it.

Me, me, me! Saya, saya, saya in Indonesian! Since I can't surf I took a lesson of Bahasa Indonesia and it was great to challenge my brain with a new language to learn. I think I'll take more in trip number 2 later this summer.

Next ones were taken this morning while sipping a kopi at Echo beach. Tide still too high, but at least the size is more adequate for the spots.

This guy's style wasn't the most elegant, but it was quite effective nonetheless.

I don't think I'm gonna post another report before going back to Maui on the 13th (but you never know), so I feel like getting to a bit of summary for this trip.
A missed connection, three days of flatness, five days of fun waves, a land locking injury for the last week. It wasn't the best trip ever from the surfing point of view, but it was great from other sides (which I don't necessarily talk about on this blog).
The most pleasant surprise was the discovery of a beautiful river mouth 15 minutes from home that I have the feeling I will surf a lot more.

Life is still very good. And the "it can always be worse" philosophy triumphs once again. I'd say!

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