Sunday, May 08, 2016

2016 first Indo trip report n.3


The forecast was calling for a mix of three different swells (check previous post), one of which was 4f 20s from 193. I surfed Pererenan in the early morning almost full high tide.
The conditions were flawless with the usual light offshores and the lineup was made by 15 really good surfers who sure knew where to sit. I must have paddled for at least 15 waves and only caught 2 in one hour. But they were both close to DOH bombs of the 20s kind and the vision of the big glassy walls made the effort worth it. Got out of the water pretty stoked, actually.

Here's a couple of pics I took after the session. The tide had topped by then and it seemed that the swell wasn't pulsing anymore. Plus the light offshore stopped and you know what big difference that makes. Still kinda pristine though, I'd say.

After that I needed to kill some time waiting for the tide to get lower for my river mouth, so I drove around and took pictures.
Didn't know some Japanese books are written vertically. Had to go to Google it for explanations.
Btw, too much care in the nail polish equals big turn off for GP.

I did another google query to find out the average weight of a watermelon: 20 pounds (9kg). Those ladies were carrying baskets with at least 7-8 of them, I'll leave the math to you... their neck and spines must have been real sore at the end of the day. Click on the photo and check how many of them were in the field on the right. I confess I felt a bit guilty driving by them with my scooter with a surfboard on it.

The tradition of leaving offers to god in little baskets of goods is widely spread in Bali: you see them anywhere. The middle one even has a cigarette in it. I understand the purpose is to express gratitude, but... what if he's trying to quit?

Better put those fins on, buddy!

In the early morning, my river mouth had an uncharacteristic crowd of 10 people, but it was full tide and not breaking properly. As the picture below shows, around noon things started to line up and there was nobody around. Unfortunately, an onshore wind picked up just when I paddled out and ruined the shape a bit.

I got a couple of more bombs (this time by myself), the last one of which caused an intense adrenaline rush because it kept changing its shape in front of me: cutback needed, then pumping, then choice between low and high road and then escaping a final closeout. Fun.

DAY 10

It was the biggest day of the forecast (9f 16s from 202) and as such I was afraid I was not going to enjoy it, as at that size it becomes difficult for me to find a spot that won't scare the hell out of me. Never been a fan of big waves.
But as it often happens when you build expectations of any kind (either high or low), it panned out to be just the opposite and I scored greatly.

At 6am I was at my river mouth to have the confirmation that what I thought was true: too big. The wave out the back is more than DOH and I had no hesitation in leaving immediately. The whole place looked, felt and even smelled like a perfect setup for a drowning scene.

Old Mens looked a bit better, but don't be fooled by the perfection of this particular wave, there was too much water moving also there.

I met Tommaso again and he took this amazing photo of Batu Bolong. Love the framing and the black and white, here's his photography website.
He also suggested me to go check the nearby beach break called Berawa:"many shortboarders enjoy it!", he said.

I had heard mixed reviews about the place, but it's right around the corner, so why not?
Bloody hell, the place looked good and I jumped in the water without hesitation!
The inside peaks were head to head and a half, fast and yet kinda soft because of the high tide. I started my session there and caught a few waves, mostly rights like these below.

Then I moved to a more outside peak that was DOH, but still kinda mushy and caught a couple of bombs like the one below. Most likely some of the biggest rights I've ever caught.

The peak was very difficult to lineup, since there was some current and pretty much no reference points other than a couple of boils that only showed up when at least a medium size set hit. The outer reef pictured below could be used as an indicator and you knew that it was coming, but you still didn't know if you were in the right spot. Because of that, I got caught inside twice, ditched the board quite a few times and I'm glad my leash held.

After the session, I enjoyed an overpaid cappuccino (it was only available at the luxury hotel right on the beach) and took the surfing photos I posted above and this one below in which this lady was sporting a peculiar beach attire (specially in a day in which the shore break would often come all the way up the beach).
I know, everybody is free to do/wear whatever they want, but I strongly doubt I would have any interest in a girl like that, despite how cute she looks. You can call that judgement. I call it preventive precious GP's time saving.

Here's another tip for the fellow surfers that will travel to Indonesia. As soon as you land, do yourself a favor and get a local Simpati sim card for your smart phone. They're cheap and there's cell phone shops everywhere, even at the arrivals at airport.
IMPORTANT: make sure you buy enough credit for phone calls and text messages and also have to sales persons move some of that credit towards an internet package. 2GB for a month should be plenty for all your needs. Don't leave until you have them setup all the internet configuration parameters (APN's and stuff) and you've checked that it works.
Just like at home, I use my phone mostly for going online and I do it every day. Specially now that there's webcams available.

Here's an example of something I could have not done without a smart phone with an internet connection.
During my session I had a quick chat with a Portuguese surfer who told me he surfed a Nusa Dua (east side of the Bukit) spot called Sri Lanka. He was real happy with the quality of the waves over there and while I was sipping my $2.5 cappucino (a coffee at a warung is usually 40 cents), I first got on to check the description of the spot and then on Google Maps (looking for Club Med Nusa Dua) to see how long it would take me to get there. One hour seemed like no big deal, the Keramas webcam showed some waves (swell was from 202 and the east side was getting plenty energy) and off I went!

The security guys at the Clud Med told me where the small public access path was and below is the setup. In the middle, a very convenient boat channel that allows an easy paddle out. To both sides of it, two reefs with two fast rights. If the tide is going out, the paddle is quicker than you might think, as you get literally sucked out to the lineup. There were 4 surfers on the break on the right and I joined them.

The waves were fast and powerful. A little onshore wind slightly ruined the lip line, otherwise I would have no problem comparing them to sections of Honolua. But an even better comparison would be actually be Uluwatu, just going the other side.

For the second time in the same day, I caught some DOH bombs, and I was pretty happy about my performance on my backhand. Here's a guy pulling in a closeout barrel.

Like everywhere else in Indo, you want to be aware of what the tide is doing. I surfed it at a perfect outgoing mid, it got really shallow afterwards. I got caught inside after a closeout ride a couple of times and I was happy to have my shoes to feel the reef with, when I had to go under the powerful white water of the rest of the waves of the set.

At one point I had another partially completed ride (not all of the waves were doable all the way to the channel, but I had some of those too), the leash came undone and the board was gone. Didn't feel good to be board naked, but I managed not to panic and started my relaxed and energy saving back stroke swim towards the beach. It would have been a long one since, as I said, the tide was going out, but the area is literally filled with jet skis of the many tourist resorts that were taking their guests for little trips out in the ocean.

As soon as they spotted my board on the inside, one of them came and rescued me. There were at least 10 jet skis actively running at that moment. It felt like the security fleet at the Peahi Challenge. So, pretty safe spot from that point of view.

One more comment about the undone leash. Well first, it's clearly better to go on an Indo trip with a brand new leash. I used the one I had for two months in last year's trip and I was already thinking about changing it, even though it looked still alright.
But later on, I remembered that just before that last wave I re-adjusted it because it was slightly twisting around and I wanted to have it a bit tighter in the correct position. That was too much of a coincidence. Even though I did set it tight, I did not push particularly hard the two velcro parts together to make them engage and I did not pull on it to test it. Which is what I'm going to do from now on. Never stop learning.

As the tide started to show some dry reef, the local fishermen hit the water with their gear. In the background a dreamy empty right reels on the reef on the left, the one that nobody was surfing.

Resort tourists coming back from a leisurely (and I'm sure expensive) ride on a floaty thingy behind a boat right in the middle of poor fishermen trying to support themselves and their families: what a striking contrast! That tops my driving with my surfboard by the ladies carrying the watermelons.

The whole area is owned by expensive resorts. Out on the ocean you can see the waves peeling.

Right behind, structures like this.

I was very hungry after my session, but I didn't even think about checking the food options in the resorts. JUST outside of them, I had two portions of whatever local rice plate, a bottle of water and a slice of watermelon for 27,000 rupias (2 dollars) at this warung. And I mixed up and exchanged smiles with the locals. That's more my style.
I surfed two new spots, I caught a bunch of big right handers, I gave the day a 9.

DAY 11

Despite how good Impossibles looked in the Binging cam (bottom right) in this particular set, I didn't feel like driving another hour and surfed my river mouth, which is only 15 minutes from my Canggu base.

Tide was a bit high, but there were some fun waves if you could pick the ones with not too much backwash on it.

In the afternoon I wanted to surf with a couple of friends of mine that are intermediate level, so we went to Old Mens. Very bumpy for the onshore wind, I had the wrong board with me, but give me a challenge and some waves and I'll have fun.

That evening, during a delicious dinner with some Italian friends at the La Casetta restaurant (it's in Canggu and it's on google maps), we agreed to meet the morning after at 6.30am and go surf a spot called Kedungu. "If it's on, it's good for both longboards and shortboards and the surroundings are gorgeous", Tommaso told me.

DAY 12

Well, maybe it wasn't exactly on, since he was the one that had the most fun with his super glidy single fin.

Conditions were pristine, even though there was a bit of a crowd that I managed to keep out of the gopro shots.

He sure was right about the gorgeous surroundings that he was able to skillfully frame.

Road to another spot that we checked afterwards.

One the way back, we stopped at my river mouth to see how it was working with a very high tide.
Still totally surfable and since it was only 10am and my flight was at 3.40pm, obviously I couldn't resist the temptation of a last session.

That marked the end of a remarkable trip. Considering that I did a bunch of other non surfing related things that I didn't even talk about on this blog, I can easily state that those were some of the best 12 days in a row of my life.

I hope you guys enjoyed the reports.
The morning call for the Maui conditions will resume Monday morning.

My studio in Kuau is going to be available from June 7 to August 21 and I'm looking for a tenant with the following requisites:
- one person
- quite
- needs to be in Maui on June 7th (I leave at night) in order to meet my lovely landlords

The price is long term and I also have a car available. Email me (address on the right) for info and photos.

PPS. This is a friend's website to check out if you are into falcons, falcon sculptures and falconry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

super come sempre....favole per le nostre orecchie di bambini-cresciuti tra le onde!
grazie di condividerle !!