We came all this way, chasing our dreams of surfing the world class waves of Indonesia. Its like shooting hoops with Michael Jordan. Sounds pretty fun until until you really think about what that means.
But, what we find does not disappoint. The ocean here is so beautiful, it’s like surfing in an aquarium with tropical fish swimming under our boards. The 88 degree water temperature is so warm, it’s barely a reprieve from the hot tropical sun, and even wearing a thin, short sleeved rash guard is too warm. The surf here is no surprise either, as it’s consistently large and powerful. The Indian Ocean is clearly a different beast compared to our lovely Pacific. The surfers here vary from professionals to the just really darn good. Seems there aren’t a lot of intermediate surfers and, within the last month, we’ve seen four women in the water, including Katy.
We’re still trying to mentally adjust to surfing over coral. That beautiful clear water has a way of making the reef appear to be only inches under water as well as amplifying the high speed flying sensation that you get while surfing. The fun of surfing these waves defies explanation. Trying to out run six feet of churning white water while flying down a steep wave and knowing there’s only a foot or – hopefully at least three – of water between you and the coral, probably doesn’t sound fun, but it CAN be.
Having a motorbike everyday allows us to explore and search for waves to our liking. We search for the spots where we will have prayer of catching fun waves, avoiding the crowds, and avoiding the scariest (for us) conditions. Today for instance, the usually moderate waves in front of our lodging were giant, thundering beasts, chasing out all but the most brave out of the water. By the end of the day our fellow surfers, in addition to stories of glory, will likely also be bleeding from reef cuts and/or have a broken surfboard. Today we found a challenging wave for us that rewarded with steep drop, a fast wall and an inevitable wipeout as the wave would out run us. Thankfully our encounters with the reef have been glancing blows and we’ve avoided major cuts. Even the small scrapes take forever to heal in this tropical climate.
As is the nature of surfing, some days you win (have fun and catch lots of waves), and some days you lose (don’t catch many waves for whatever reason – too many people, crappy waves, too much wind, bad attitude – you name it). Regardless of how a surf session ends, upon exiting the water, without fail, we are greeted by a herd of local kids on the beach. Once again, we are instant celebrities.
So we are happy we’re catching waves and pinching ourselves that we truly are surfing at least on the shoulder of the big leagues. Surely it must be the fact we don’t have a cell phone that the sponsors have not yet called us up.