Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Homestay webcam check

It's just around the corner, but the webcam check from the home stay helps me decide which board to put on the bike. Impossibles looking solid and the choice is the 6.6.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Indo report. Day 23 - August 21th

Morning session was clean chest to head high, but more people than waves. First time in 23 days in which I didn't have fun.
Conditions were nice though, I gave it a 7. Once again, the gopro battery for some reason was dead, so no photos.

Afternoon session had moderate wind but straight offshore, so a good 8, as the couple of shots hopefully show.
The trend is for the size to go down and for the wind to increase, so I decided to go back to Bali tomorrow and figure out the rest of my travel plans.
It was an amazing 23 days of surfing my favorite wave in the world.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Indo report. Day 22 - August 20th

Morning session was an 8 with uncrowded head high glassy waves with occasionally bigger sets. The gopro battery was dead, so I don't have photos of it.

Afternoon session had same size and lack of crowd, but some sideoff wind and as such just below the excellent range: 7.5.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Indo report. Day 21 - August 19th

I didn't feel 100% and I took a day off. Also because there's another medium size swell on the forecast (3f 16s) and I decided to delay to return to Bali. The waves will be bigger over there, but I have more fun here.
The picture shows the two boards I've been mainly using over here:
- a 6.2x19x2.5 T&C Pang
- a 6.10x19.75x2.75x40L designed by Kazuma and built in Bali by Redz

I finished reading The plant paradox by Dr. S. Gundry. The author asserts that most whole grains, legumes and fruits (including fruits that are called vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants and squashes), contain proteins called lectins that are harmful for the human body.
The arguments are very convincing and I think I'll give his food plan a try when back in Maui. If it fixes my chronic trigger finger conditions, it will be a proof that he's right and I'll stick to it.
It's all about feeding the good bacterias in your gut and starving the bad ones, he says. We'll see.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Indo report. Day 20 - August 18th

Morning session had high tide, but a perfect light offshore wind groomed the soft head to head and a half waves beautifully. The crowd was low and I gave it an 8.7.

After lunch session had some stronger than usual sideoff wind. At Hookipa that would have been close to epic, here I ranked it a 3 (it's usually straight offshore) and cut the session short after only half an hour.

I hit it again at sunset with lighter wind. Sunset sessions used to be my favorite here, because of the amazing colors of the light through the lip (see photo below), but now they're always crowded.
The size was still there, but the Wind direction was still sideoff, so I only gave it a 7.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Indo report. Day 19 - August 17th

I skipped the morning session to give the cut a full 48 hours of dryness and hit the water after lunch.
Conditions were pristine with head and a half to double overhead sets: 9.2.
I forgot about the cut pretty much right away, which means that I wasn't feeling it at all and that was really good news.
It was my first time ever that I surfed with stitches and I was glad to find out that it was just fine. The following shots speak by themselves.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Indo report. Day 18 - August 16th

The waves were massive and the wind wasn't perfect. Since I have a freshly stitched up cut on my head, it was an easy decision to take a day off.

Below is an instagram post by Surfline, showing the power of this swell in Bali on the 15th.

I don't know how to create a link from my phone, here's the address of the page:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Indo report. Day 17 - August 15th

And much bigger it was: head and a half with double overhead sets getting more and more frequent. With the 6.2 Pang, I could only get three waves in 1.5 hours in the morning session, but they were all quite a rush. Conditions were a 9.
I couldn't resist asking Californian Jessica, by far the most beautiful girl in the lineup, for a photo together. I told her I was going to call the photo "the beauty and the beast". 

And the beard keeps growing.

The afternoon session was totally epic and a clear 10. The waves were up to head a half to double overhead with occasional two heads and a half sets.

This time I was on my 40 liters 6.10 and that helped me getting in early. I was on a great roll, and caught 5 bombs in the 80 minutes.

Then I went for a manly duck dive attempt on a big one, only to have the board ripped off my hands and slammed on my head.
That resulted in a 2 inches long cut (but fortunately not a deep one) that required a trip to the local clinic and a bunch of stiches.
When I asked the doctor how many, she replied:"I put many because you said you'd like to go surfing tomorrow, so I wanted to close it very tight".
Thanks a lot Dr. Amy, I really appreciated your service. I was pretty sure that was going to be the end of my surfing for a while.

True to my resolution to try not to take any medications for the rest of my life, I also kindly refused the antibiotics that she offered me.
I'll be very scrupulous in the after session cleaning, and I will be just fine.

In the moment of the first shot below, I saw the lip over my head, but it's still obviously far from a barrel. After today's accident, I doubt I'll push the issue tomorrow. I'm having too much fun to risk to cut the trip short.
Best surf trip of my life, without a doubt.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Indo report. Day 16 - August 14th

Transition day. In the morning it looked pretty small, so I took a half day off. In the afternoon it was waist to chest high and clean with light offshore.
The photo shows a chest high one that was a 9, while the overall conditions were a 6 for the place. Tomorrow should be much bigger.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Indo report. Day 15 - Wednesday August 13th

The size went down to shoulder to head high and the morning session offered very clean conditions that I ranked as 9. That's when the fun factor goes through the roof here.

The afternoon session was on a full tide again and I was pretty much by myself the whole time. Still head high, a little choppy at times, but still an 8.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Indo report. Day 14 - Wednesday August 12th

The Magicseaweed forecast was calling for a trending down 4.5f 15s at 6am, but instead it was bigger than that.
In the Indian Ocean the wave models don't have the luxury of the buoys to adjust their forecast, which, I assume, is based exclusively on the output of the wind models that predict the winds of the storm that generates the swell.
Some sets were solid double overhead, pretty shifty (both inside/outside and left/right) and it sure was challenging to be in the right spot and easy to get caught inside.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed just being out there admiring those big (but sill not menacing) waves and getting my morning workout. I managed to catch a couple of good ones, as the two shots below show.
Towards the end of the session, the offshores improved the conditions greatly and I gave it a 7.5, with occasional excellent waves coming through.

The afternoon session was with a full tide, which is totally under estimated here. As long as it's decent size and the wind is light offshore, I actually prefer it. The most relaxed big waves sessions I can think of.

I used the big board and that was a key factor, since I could have not got into most of the waves I caught with my smaller ones.
Here's a couple of shots from a session that was a solid 8.5, despite (or maybe thanks to) the size trending down to head and two thirds, with the occasional double overhead bombs still coming through.
What a trip this has been so far and it doesn't look like it's gonna slow down for another full week. After which, it's predicted to go small and windy and that's when I'll go back to Bali.
Travelling based on wave forecasts is the way to do it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Indo report. Day 13 - Wednesday August 11th

In order to beat the crowd, and taking advantage of an early low tide, I walked on the reef in the dark and hit the water before 6am. That didn't help much, because half an hour later the lineup was already choked.
The waves were gorgeous, head to head and a third high with perfect shape, but a bit inconsistent. I gave 8.5 to the conditions and 1 to my session, as I struggled competing for the good ones (the photo showing the only decent one I had).

The afternoon session was much better because of a thinner crowd. The waves were still gorgeous (and up to head and a half) and I gave both the conditions and the session a 9. 

Below are three shots that show the pristineness.

Meanwhile, I started reading the next book in line (I read more books in a month in Indo than the rest of the year in Maui): Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.
As I mentioned, it's one of the books that Micheal Singer found extremely inspirational in his spiritual path, and that's why it came up on my Amazon Kindle's recommendations.
I abandoned it at only 12% of it. Its English was a bit arcaic and very difficult for me, but I doubt I would have enjoyed it even if it was written in a more modern language. 
Gurus doing miracles in the Himalayas (like being in the two places at the same time) provide very little inspiration for me, as I can't relate to them.

Singer's "The untethered soul", instead, provides plenty practical western life examples of how much better it is to be un-influenced by life events, without labeling them good or bad, and as such it remains my spiritual guide so far.
Next, I'd like to give "The three pillars of Zen" (the other book mentioned by Singer as very inspirational) a try, but I need a Wi-Fi connection to be able to buy it and download it.

In the meantime, I started reading "The plant paradox" by Dr. Steven Gundry.
I've read many nutritional books (surfing, nutrition and spirituality being my three main interests at the moment) and pretty much all of them were in favor of a whole plants based diet, while providing plenty references to scienfitic studies as a proof.
It will be interesting to read a different point of view. The author, in fact, asserts that not all plants are good for us and not all the times of the year. As usual, I will report my impressions when done.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Indo report. Day 12 - Wednesday August 10th

The morning session offered the nice surprise of the size back to chest to shoulder high. I got a lot of waves and gave it a 7.
Here's three shots from it. Loading up a bottom turn.

Loading up a top turn.

The body language shows that I'm giving up on chasing this one (too fast), but I love that lip line.

I've been using my local board n.4 for a few sessions now (a 6.1 Payzel Grunt) and even though I remember enjoying it last year, I can't seem to like it this year.

The tail seems a little wider than the Pang and that should make it better for smaller waves, but it feels slower.
So I took the Pang out in the afternoon and I can confirm that I just like it better.
The waves were pretty damn good with a new solid head high 17 seconds pulse picking up throughout the session, which I ranked 8.5 also thanks to a thin crowd.
In this particular case, the Magicseaweed forecast was spot on, while the Surfline one wasn't.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Indo report. Day 11 - Wednesday August 9th

Morning session was down to waist to chest high (like the one in the picture). Still fun until it got crowded with 20 people already at 7am. I caught a few and I gave it a 5.

Afternoon session was waist high and as small as it got so far. Still got a few, but I didn't take the gopro out, so here's a sunset shot.

Tomorrow should be still small (hopefully a bit bigger), before a medium pulse on Friday. Next week looks like solid size instead.

In the meantime, I finished reading the Michael Singer's book "The surrender experiment: my journey into life's perfection".
The author describes the extraordinary turns of events that happened in his life once he forced himself to not follow his mind's preferences, and accepted without resistance everything that happened instead (hence the title).
He's obviously also a very smart person, as he ends up putting together some extremely succesfull businesses, which, in my overly sceptical view, takes a bit away from the spiritual message.
I guess I have to learn myself to quiet the mind's judgements. as I was definitely not expecting such a story after having read the incredibly enlightnening "The untethered soul", which, in my opinion, remains a masterpiece of western spirituality.
The last 20% of the book offers an even more unexpected turn of events that increased my overall score up to a 7.5 .

Next, I'm gonna read one of the two books that Singer mentions as profound inspirations in his spiritual path. I'll buy the other one too, as soon as I get back to a place with WI-FI.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Indo report. Day 10 - Tuesday August 8th

Morning session was glassy head high to a couple of feet overhead which is my favorite size for this place (which nonetheless works at ANY size from knee high to triple overhead plus). It was a bit slow and it got progressively more crowded, so I only give it a 6.5, but don't forget that the scale here is ridicolously high.
This particular wave was a 9 and I was slowing down with the hand in the water the whole way, but not quite enough to get covered. It never seems to be enough room for me to get in there, but there obviously was in this case. I need to force myself to slow down more.

Afternoon session was down to chest high. The shot below is still from the morning session that always has a better light.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Indo report. Day 9 - Monday August 7th

The size went down and all the hungry surfers that didn't feel like challenging the big waves yesterday hit the water.
Up the reef (that's where the shot was taken) it was barely head high, down the reef there were still head and a half sets, but lots of people all along the lineup. Still beautiful and a 7.

After lunch session started great with beautiful head high uncrowded conditions. It started like an 8 and it got progressively more and more crowded. Got my share of waves and another gorgeous day was in the books.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Indo report. Day 8 August 6th

Totally epic day.

At 6am the waves were still too big for my taste and I happily went back to sleep. But the swell must have peaked during the night, since when I checked them again later in the morning, they looked a little more manageable.
So I dusted off the 6.10 and hit the boat with the intention to go have a closer look. When we got on the reef, the spectacle was sublime. The wind was light, the texture was perfect, the waves were the softest peeling double overhead you can imagine and there were only two guys out.
This shot screams 10 and that's what the conditions were.

Wonder how that must have looked from the top of the lip? Something like this.

After lunch I went back out with a thin 6.3 Merrick Semi-pro to change it up and obviosly I struggled a bit more, but had a blast nonetheless. The low tide made the waves a lot heavier and there were more people in the lineup, hence "just" a 9.

That lip is not going to be nice to him.

Wonder how that must have looked from his perspective? Something like this. That lip wasn't nice to me either.

I wouldn't be surprised nor disappointed if this would end up being the best day of the trip, but I really hope in a perfect smaller day at the deeper take off spot. We shall see, tomorrow is another day in this wave filled paradise.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Indo report day 7: Saturday August 5th

Beautiful sunrise conditions. I had the whole place unusually to myself for half an hour before a few other surfers showed up, but only way down the line from me.
That means that, for an hour and a half I kept doing a proper wave selection in a constant priority situation, unconditioned by anybody else. Which, for me, makes the whole surfing experience much more enjoyable.
The waves were a fun head and a half size and because it was 3/4 of tide and no offshores, I only gave it a 7. With a 1/4 tide and light offshore it would have been a 9+.
I rode 6-7 waves without getting caught inside and when that eventually happened, I called the session off at only 8am, since the tide was getting close to full.
The gopro shots below show the glorious morning light.

As predicted by my interpolation of the Surfline and Magicseaweed forecasts (the first usually gets the timing right, but not the size and viceversa), the waves got much bigger in the afternoon: double overhead plus.

I've surfed this place triple overhead in 2014 (this is the only place where I would possible want to do such a thing), but everthing was absolutely perfect that day.
Instead, session two had sideoff wind instead of offshore and the period (18+ seconds) was maybe a bit too high for the direction: the waves were really hard to catch and very fast.
I should have busted the floaty 6.10 that I store over here, but I insisted on the thin 6.2 Pang that I took with me this year and that I'm absolutely loving. The result was a humiliating zero waves in one hour. I gave the conditions a 4 and my performance a 0.
Obviously, I have no gopro shots to show, but a guest of the camp took this shot below. That's one of the best, most makeable waves of the day.
Tomorrow still plenty size, possibly bigger. I'll have to come up with an alternative spot, otherwise I'm going to take a day of rest and maybe take some pics.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Indo report. Day 6 - Friday August 4th

In the morning session the waves were head and a half to double overhead. It was high tide and the amount of water moving was ridicolous. I only caught a couple and then I went back in... too much paddling.
Still beautiful and fun, but also still a bit of wobble induced by the sideoff wind that blew the day before, so only a 3.5 for the place.

The afternoon was much better with a little less size and a lot less water moving with the low tide. Still not perfectly lined up and only a 5. Can't wait to get some more excellent waves like that one hour on day 2.
Tomorrow should be pretty big starting in the afternoon.