Since I was surfing much longer period swells in my favorite place in Indo, I expressed my doubts to Gianfranco who replied by sending me this photo and adding: "trust me, it's the best 10 seconds you'll ever going to surf..."
After checking that the wind was predicted light offshore or none for the whole period, I bought a one way Jakarta Male for $280, plus $80 for one of boards I had stashed in Indo and decided to relocate to the Maldives. This is how the waves looked the day I arrived. Photo grabbed on this Instagram page.
And the day after they looked like this. Gianfranco was 100% correct. The quality of those waves was extremely high. Same water quality like Fiji, without the shallow and sharp reef underneath.
Before getting into those kind of details, let's have a look at the map of the main surf spots. I was staying on the small island of Thulusdhoo, which has the above left (called Chickens) just across the channel. For love of curiosity, I once paddled across it and it took me 18 minutes. But all the hotels have boats and that'll make you save your energies for the surfing. Right in front of Thulusdhoo (no boat strictly required), there's the more challenging right called Coke's (all the rights you'll see in this post). To reach the other breaks, it's a little longer boat trip. I believe n.3 and n.5 are exclusive use to the guests of the resorts in front of them, but Chickens was so consistently fun that I never felt the need to go anywhere else.
You see what I mean? Photo by Sergio.
The bigger it got, the more outside it broke (that happens pretty much everywhere), hence the deeper the bottom. I managed to never hit it.
The 10 seconds obviously helped with the relative lack of violence of the wipeouts and especially with the extremely high success rate of the duck dives. I manage to pull off some that would have meant almost sure reef impacts at Restaurants or rag doll hold downs at Lanes, just to make a comparison.
Very often the lineup was graced by a pod of dolphins.
This is one Gianfranco's inventions: the Finshot mount.
I stayed at the Season Paradise and the roof top pool was a perfect observation point to check the waves.
Waves or not, the view was spectacular. The blues of the water cannot be described in words or rendered by photos.
The last couple of days where the biggest ones. The next four photos were taken from the pool around mid day and show flowless and empty conditions.
Those ones instead are from the boat at sunset of my last day. Believe it or not, I chose not to surf, as I was totally satisfied with the surfing I had done so far and very happily surfed out.
Gianfranco got some good ones.
This next couple of shots show how relatively easy and mellow the take off in the deep spot is.
Up on his feet and still relatively slopy.
Down the line instead, the wave grows in size and steepness. This guy caught it way up the point.
Setting up the end bowl.
My colorful company on the boat.
This one gives a better idea of the size.
Sergio surfed Cokes instead and got some deep barrels.
Right now I'm in Italy (below the beauty of Naples, the city where I grew up) and tomorrow I'll go to Lisbon to visit a friend for 4 days. Travelling by buying last minute tickets depending on conditions/opportunities has allowed me to visit two places that I had no idea I was going to when I left Maui in mid August. It might be a little more expensive (even though I managed to find good deals for all my flights), but it gives me an incredible feeling of freedom. Oh yeah, the fact that I'm by myself helps.
Regular Maui morning calls will resume before the end of September. Thanks for reading!