The end of our second week in Indo. More waves, and plenty more rain. A tropical system settled in for the week so there was a fair bit of wind and some pretty serious squalls. It is the wet season after all. Inclement weather isn’t an issue as you’re getting wet all day anyway!
Luckily the island chain we’re in has plenty of nooks and crannies were you can find an offshore wave no matter what the winds doing. It does however entail a bit of travelling, and when the wind chop is hectic the ride down can be a bit bumpy. Always worth the effort though.
Christmas came early, with a decent swell hitting on the 23rd and turning on one of the regions premier waves. A small corner of reef in front of a local village that is a real barrel machine. Super hollow, which means super shallow. So you pay to play.
Total crowd on this day? Four. Coulda been 5, but I opted to stay in the boat and take some shots. Cos it was big and barrelling – neither of which are my preferred surf options. Decided I’d get far more pic’s than waves! It’s a really shallow reef, so as you’re looking over the ledge all you’re seeing are gnarly looking coral heads which appear to be no more than 2ft under water.
A bit of skin was donated to reef, but nothing too serious, and the crew were frothing over how good the surf was and that there was no-one around.
On the 24th we were on our way back to the resort from a surf and had to stop at a local village to fetch one of the staff members. Each day we get a big bag full of chips, oreo's and chocolates as snacks for the boat trip, so Garth decided to swim over to the village to give it to the local kids. They were super stoked, and said "thank you Santa!" (the majority of people are Christians in these islands)
Christmas day dawned with a howling wind and enough rain to fill PE’s dam’s in about 30 minutes. Sanity prevailed and we opted to give the morning surf a miss in favour of a lie-in and a big fry-up brekkie. Thankfully the weather cleared and the Christmas Olympics could take place. Introduced the Aussies to the Indo version of Jukskei – who can throw the Bintang bottle closest to the coconut!
Christmas lunch included a massive tray of prawns, which had a classic lil coconut tree garnish as its centrepiece. Complete with olive cocounuts!
Injury count so far not too bad. A few brushes with the reef here and there, a fin to the inner thigh (bruised not sliced thankfully), plenty of mossie bites, but otherwise unscathed.
The weather looks to be clearing up for this week, which should open up a bunch of new surf options with the winds switching round. Gotto admit it’s actually quite nice surfing in overcast conditions as you don’t get quite as fried, plus been a good excuse to wear my Billabong Surf Capsule. Been a life saver on the slightly nippy days and saving my ribs big time. All the fresh rain water pouring into the sea from the creeks and rivers tends to drop the temp a few degrees.
The sun’s hectic on the equator, but 8h30 you’re already feeling it starting to fry, and on the windless days by midday it’s like sitting in the oven with the grill element turned on. Sticking to long sleeve rashies and caps to keep protected. Already have a bunch of new converts to our cap leash idea. Everyone hates the traditional surf caps with the chin straps, so the option to wear your normal cap is a win. Two clip swivels, a piece of string and a lil ribbon loop sewn onto your rashies and ya good to go. Guess if I actually spent some time in the barrel I wouldn't need a hat.....like this lightie!
Found some amazing sunscreen here at the resort. Actually made by some mates of the owners in Bali. Called Surf Yogi. All natural ingredients, that include coconut oil, cocoa, honey and zinc. Works like a treat. Pop it on in the morning and it stays stuck to your face the entire day til you wipe it off. Love the stuff. No smell, no fuss, works like a bomb.
Charts looking like we’ll have a coupla small days at the start of the week then some seriously solid swell pulling in later. A 20 second period swell is pretty solid for these parts. Holding thumbs the winds stay light, which looks like will be the case.
Could see some big barrels…and me safely on the boat taking pics of them!
It’s actually nice to get a few small days, as then you don’t feel to guilty to spend a morning or arvo on the island just chilling out – most days are full-on surf missions, so to have a lie in followed by a swim in the pool and parking off under the coconut tree reading a book is a welcome change occasionally.
Trying to keep a bit of fitness up by hitting the jungle track a few times a week. It’s a kilometre out and back, and entails dodging hermit crabs, iguana's and tree roots – the turnaround point being a gazebo at the end of the track that overlooks one of the area’s primo waves. A super scary big right that sucks up below sea-level before rifling off down the line. You fall, you bleed, guaranteed. They only let the really good surfers out there, else they’d spend too much time picking bits and pieces of the average Joe off the reef.
When it’s on it’s one of Indo’s better waves, and has been featured in many surf movies over the years. Nice from far. Far from nice.
Might just do its thing later this week…..