A yin and yang week in Indo. Waves that kept me on the boat had others hooting in glee. The swell that pumped through JBay recently made its way across the Indian Ocean and unloaded itself at all the premier spots, throwing out gaping barrels for those who didn’t mind launching themselves over the ledge.
Some of our crew feasted on the all-you-can-eat tube buffet, whilst the rest of us opted for self-preservation and found the more protected nooks and crannies. No-one else around, just the guests at the resort. Peak season would see plenty of peeps crawling all over waves like this, but outta season there’s absolutely no-one about.
The earlier part of the week had seen a rather tame injury count – just 3 sliced fingers from an over-enthusiastic attempt to cut a breadroll with a steak knife, and a few very minor reef nicks. All that changed when the swell hit. One of the crew discovered the trip from heaven to hell can indeed be a very quick one. Paddled into a bomb, made the drop, pulled into a massive barrel….and then had the lip detonate on his head, pile-driving him into the reef – and dislocating his shoulder!
The reef at this particular spot is ridiculously shallow, and even at 6-8ft you’re dealing with thigh deep water on the shelf, and absolutely nowhere to go if you end up inside. No fun dealing with the rest of the set on the head with only one functional arm!
The rest of us opted for a super fun day at one of the right points down south, which although also having a bit of size was a far more manageable and did not entail saying your prayers every time you took off. The guys were so stoked with the waves they got they starting klapping the Bintangs as soon as we lifted anchor.
The journey home is close to an hour and a half so the beer consumption tally mounted rapidly. The surf guide told the guys about the ou who holds the resorts beer record. He managed to clobber 28 Bintangs in a day (whilst still doing 2 full surfs in 6ft+ surf). Woke up the next day, jumped on the boat at 6am, and promptly cracked his first can – reckoned hair of the dog was the way to go. Did 22 that day. Aussie guy of course! They’re good at rugby, cricket and most definitely drinking!
Pretty much all the guests at the resort are Aussies (as it’s owned and run by Aussies), so after 3 weeks we’re both starting to speak “Australian”! Ou’s become mate’s, lighties are young blokes, barbies instead of braai’s, leashes are leggies, vowels become elongated and we have to keep remembering that no-one knows what “yah” or “kak” means! It’s actually amazing how much Afrikaans slang we use in general conversation, and it’s only when someone looks at you quizzically you realise you’ve just included some in the last sentence you spoke.
Water clarity isn’t quite like the Maldives, but you still get really good days – like yesterday, when I surfed over a whole school of parrot fish, and then over a turtle on the following wave. The hiccup is that following the rains there’s always plenty of coconuts and palm fronds that wash out through the creeks and float through the line-up, so it becomes like a surfing obstacle course!
Coconuts have to be the best post-surf energy drink you can get. Locals paddle up in a canoe and you can buy one for a 10 000 rupiah – which sounds lank expensive, but in reality is just a dollar (R10).
The ou lobs off the top of it with a machete, and you get to shlurp down syrupy sweet juice which has a better electrolyte mix than any manufactured energy drink. Such is the perfect nature of coconut water that it was used as a substitute for blood plasma in the world wars in the Pacific when they ran outta blood for transfusions.
Every trip needs a mascot. Garths nickname is Spongebob, and he has the cartoon character painted onto the bottom deck of all his boards. So one of the surf guides bought him a blow-up Spongebob from the market, so he’s been coming surfing with us every day. He ventured onto a board for the first time a few days ago, and will be having his first bash at a real wave this week. Watch this space…could be a Bob in the Barrel.
Just as every trip needs a mascot every surf camp should have a dog as cool as Larry. No chance of getting on the SUP or canoe for a paddle without having to take him with. He reckons it's perfect for fish spotting, and when he finally eye's a school of fish he's off the side and after them.
Coupla quiet days at the moment, so just lazying about til the next swell hits later this week. Soccer with the staff, coupla runs down the track, an attempt to spearfish, bit of trawling, laze in the pool, SUP, table tennis, pool, read. Plenty to do in down-time in Indo. Lekker!