Eish, why is it when you have so little time there's so much to do? Bailing for the Maldives tomorrow first thing, and still have a ton of work to get through. If anyone knows how to squeeze 25 hours out of a day, please let me know.
Stoked to finally be going over to get our project underway. Early stages still, but a start is a start. Ducking down south for the first part of the trip. Going to spend some time on the boat gathering data on the various channels - measuring current speeds and stuff like that, and interviewing fisherman and boat captains on the islands. Maldives is a country from days gone by - not much is written down or recorded - it's all oral history, so you gotto go chat to the folks!
The last week or so will be in & around Male itself, checking out the channels in that area - hoping for some east swell to come through so can catch the dawnies and sunset sessions.
Thanks to the net I can still keep the website up to date - so photag's, keep sending your shots in! I'll post some shots each day of the view from my "office" - hopefully will involve either waves or fish, or both....
The net is quite a tricky beast out there in the middle of nowhere. Have to be near a main island to get signal, and then has to be direct line of sight between your laptop and the tower. That means you have to climb onto the roof of the boat for uninterrupted signal - else each time the boat swings on anchor there goes your signal - laaaaank annoying!
Hope you ou's get waves - cos what treks past our coast ends up in Maldives a while later. Means I'm timing it just perfect to hook up with the swell that pulled through last week and the weekend. Makes up for missing that swell cos was stuck in Joeys!
Life's full of yin and yang. Up's and down's. On the upside - last week Friday I collected a long awaited toy - my new canon 7D, complete with nice big 100-400mm lens for surfing. Not quite as much of a mother as Luc's monster 600mm anti-aircraft gun, but still big enough to get close to the action.
Luckily Luc was on hand to help me set it up and get familiar with some of the basics. Thanks Luc! Helluva lot more complicated than "muk n druk" ek se. Just remember that if any of you have a decent camera and Luc spots you with it set on "Sports" or "Auto" mode - be prepared for a tongue lashing. All our photag's are super cool guys, so feel free to ask them for some tips if you see em shooting at the beach. They don't bite! At least, I don't think they do....
Taking stills on this beast is one thing, but hang, shooting HD video is another kettle of fish all together. The quality video it shoots is mind-blowing - looks pretty much like what you see at the movies. Only hiccup is learning how the hell to use video mode is like trying to cram for final year exams in half a day. Info overload to the point your brain starts to feel like it's oozing out your ears. It's tricked out to the max - but you still gotto focus the damn thing manually. Geesh, pushing record on the camcorder is a moer of a lot easier.
Nonetheless, irrespective of the scary learning curve let's hope I can start uploading some quality HD video on Millerslocal in the near future. Just got to wait til I've bought a new super-computer to handle the massively processor intensive editing requirements of HD video! Maybe I should have just stayed with a muk n druk???
Onto the bad - for me - good for everyone else. Off to Joburg for the week tomorrow for work, so expect the west to come through and the swell to roll in. Everytime a coconut. Guess we all have to be the swell sacrifice sometimes.
Hope everyone gets lekker waves, just remember to say thanks next time you see me...
Jeepers, what a week. I never thought I'd be happy to see the swell drop off and the wind go onshore - but by this afternoon I was ready for a break. We've had pretty damn decent waves since Friday last week, so that's 6 days straight days of surfing for those of you lucky enough to have bunked work, taken sickies or just gone AWOL.
The ou's that missioned through to JBay this week scored massive, with reports of stomping waves and hardly anyone in the water. Brownie and Jorg reckon they had max 7 ou's in the water with them during their respective sessions. And we're talking overhead, good as it gets JBay here....
Not to be outdone, the bay also had it's share. Although it was a little flukey at times, with some days just having sweet spots for an hour here and there - you had to be in the right place at the right time to score.
Yesterday was a great example of that. In the water at 07h00 - the only surfer with 3 paddleskiers. Lucky me! Actually, they were all bloody well mannered - I'll give em credit for that. Thanks to Kenny (Miller's resident paddleskier) for ensuring the Millers line-up rules were observed by his mates!
The surf was one and a half overhead and sheet glass. Total perfection, not a drop of water out of place. Got 4 waves down past 2nd avenue. But perfection can be a fickle bitch - just 45 minutes later the devil NW wind came up and spoilt the party. Turning the line-up into mush by 08h00. Someone also flipped the swell switch to off, as it just dropped by half in an instant.
Today was much the same, the early birds got the worm at Clubhouse this morning. Some solid sets in about the double overhead range coming through. But also just fleetingly - by mid-morning it'd gone off the boil completely.
Reckon everyone's super stoked to have got in the water with some decent surf at last. Life returns to normal tomorrow with the east back til next Monday, so the kids will go back to school, the ou's back to work, and the students back to their lectures. Works piled up plenty whilst we surfed ourselves stukkend this week, but it's worth the mission of playing catch up....don't you skeem?
Rule no. 1 about being a surfer in PE - you gotto put your life on hold whilst there's waves, cos they're few and far between....
More Surfing Videos
Check this out - it's the footage from the first time that 3rd reef Pipe was ever surfed - so a nice lil slice of history. The media player seems a tad slow, so let it download whilst you do something else, then come back and watch it - it's worth seeing in smooth playback, and the commentary is a classic!
It's from a little known movie called Blue Surfari from 1967 (by Don Brown for American Sports Films), showing Ricky Grigg, Greg Noll and others taking on 3rd Reef Pipeline for the first time ever. That's the session that is famous for the classic shot of Noll standing on the shore watching the sets, wearing his famous black and white striped shorts, his big elephant gun by his side.
There’s plenty of classic sixties narration (think Endless Summer), some real drama and generally gets across the sense of courage these ou's had to have to paddle out at world’s most famous wave when it was still a little understood spectre that haunted their surf instincts and taunted them from afar.
This is classic stuff, and despite the advances in surfing since those times – better equipment and a much better knowledge of the reef at Pipeline – the conditions those ou's went out in would still be considered hectic today.
Geeesh, this flat spell is seriously doing my head in. Things are pretty dire when you get in at Millers when it's 6 inches and onshore - and you still count that as your "surf" for the week.
We've all just had to seriously downgrade our standards as to what we qualify as surfable. 2 years ago you would never stand a chance in getting me out in the conditions I surf today. Desperation is a horrible thing. But hey, if you don't set your sights significantly lower than normal, you just won't be getting in the water.
I mean, I might even have to consider surfing at Pipe one day!? Nah, on 2nd thoughts, I'd rather just take up knitting! Sorry Pipe regulars, know you love your wave - but I just don't do crowds. Although i have heard the banks there are pretty stellar at the moment cos of the sand that was pushed in a coupla weeks back. Now if only some solid groundswell would sneak around the corner and light it up....
The Durban okes have just had a 2 week surf glut thanks to the cyclone just hanging around offshore. Pity it didn't find it's way down to us. Nothing wrong with some long period groundswell from the east. Remember about 5-6 years ago when the pier still had sand - there was a straight week of solid east groundswell - everyone was in heaven.
It was also the first time that I learnt not to paddle too close to the pier if you're paddling out from the Hobie side. Nasty current pulls you straight through the damn thing when you're about halfway out - thankfully avoided getting ground up on the barnacles. Just made as if I was meant to paddle through the pylons!
At least there's maybe a bit of swell for the weekend. Not much, but at least beats the lil stuff we've had so far. Just hope the winds play ball. PE's infamous for chucking up an east every time there's a hint of a wave.