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The Spontaneous Ricochet Westwards

Tags: wave

Dizzy checking in once again…


Talofa folks, Its been a short while since my departure from Natty M, and much has changed, and much has stayed the same.

French immigration were giving me the hard word about my extended bliss in their country and I needed to find a boat instantly, definitely the most horrible part of a travelling life. I had just enough time for a few more sessions at my favourite haunts in Tahiti with my lovely lady before dealing with departure.

Chopo 1Chopo 2Chopo 3

One for the road, always time for one more

Found my next boat very fast over the internet, and promptly was helping a complete stranger sail to Samoa who I met over the internet, all arranged in the space of a day and a half. Hmm. A little concerning going to sea for 1200 miles with a gent you don’t know from a bar of soap, but had little choice with immigration on my back so Western Samoa eventuated.

Eagle Wing

Eagle Wing in more happy and buoyant times at Samoa marina

The passage took a little under 2 weeks and the utter stranger that I shared it with is no longer that, but a very easy going American who has a few decisions to make.

Just the two of us sailing is a step into a firmer reality, and if you are not sleeping or cooking, then you are manning the helm. She is a big beast, concrete and filled full o home-living, and handles like a shopping trolley on a shattered footpath. Without the Captain Kyber or Kahlil and all other hands on deck my sailing has matured out here and the liability feels good, piloting a big ship across the worlds biggest ocean, making our way westwards, especially golden every evening as you push and fight towards the defining glow on the horizon of the lowering sun, strive and charge towards it, to catch its descending inferno and race to catch its point on the perpetually escaping horizon.

Aganoa Rights

The prize over the horizon I went seeking for. Aganoa rights full steam ahead

We felt the violent rhythm of the world’s largest water mass rumbling and stirring in its mighty winter movements below us and all around us, and were buffered by corduroy arranged military ranks of grim grey waves which hold their domain with contempt to our lengthy intrude out here by constantly fighting against our bearing. But with diligence and weary strength (a broken autopilot and a concrete hull make for an exhausting two man passage) we made our course, and 1000s off miles have dissolved into singular victories into our wake behind us.

And every wave that mocks our pathetic ungainly motions and left our tiny boat spitefully behind, fluidly ghosted past towards its final destination ending as a breaking, roaring wave on the islands. And now, now in sweet revenge, I am there upon my boards gliding across their backs as they again try to shake me once more. Ah, but this time I can rip every wave’s head off, slash splash and disembowel and slaughter them with creative savagery. For out at sea these arranged military formations of mischief indomitably brush us to rolling, fumbling off their backs, but my new occupation is finding those waves that rushed ahead of me and savour their slaying hissing at my feet.

Sweete Revenge

Such sweet sweet revenge at last, but not my personal victory dance (cuz its not me unfortunatly, a guest on Aganoa rights for the bars entertainment)

Every wave that tampers and taunts our heading knocks us to all sides and ruffles our sails above, and the rumble of a highly taut fighting fabric of a sail is an orchestra of galloping whips thundering across the decks, with only yourself to witness. Our bowsprit has been leading, thrusting like a drunk and sedated pigeon as seen from behind, bobbing and belligerently lunging us forward, slowly we make our way. Unfortunately the boat was terminally stopped by the eventual victory of the oceans might. Eagle Wing now rests on the seabed off Nukualofa, Tonga, brought to rest by cracking concrete in the hull during the final storms that pounded us into Samoa. Fortunately I Jumped ship in Samoa, ya gotta know when you hold and fold em, as the writing was on the wall with the condition of Eaglewing.

Always wanted to get shipwrecked on a distant island with waves, the clichéd scenario come to life, so be careful what you wish for. Things seems to be falling into a comfortable rhythm here as I have been given a home and regular feeding times in return for my services as a surf guide and server at Aganoa Beach Retreat, Savaii, Western Samoa. I got the job partly from connections made in my hitchhiking exploits (39 random cars in 2 weeks, haha yeah I got around).


Me in the back of ute number 22

The expat surfer crew here are pretty tight, and there’s about 30 surfers from Aus or New Zealand here sharing the waves so hitchhiking and being a thirsty, boozey, round buying sailor of an evening took care of the introductions. In less than a week I knew mostly all from a combination of buying the right guys beers and standing by the muddy rainforest trails with my thumb out, and with my boating and global wandering background it set me onto this current position.

Home sweet home

Home sweet sandy home

My wooden hut is half onto the beach, the front balcony is in the sand, and the ocean side has no wall so I lie on my mat and diligently keep my eyes on my work, that being the waves.

View from bed

The view from bed, no more excuses to be late for work!

Mornings we machete thwack a few papayas and coconuts for the guests breakfast and russle them out of bed. Every day here we have been able to surf the reefs within heckle of our bars balcony, or get the boat and mission for the outer reefs to fish or search for other waves. Finally summarized my last near decade of missioning to the far corners of the mosquito repellent canister lifestyle into a day to day occupation. The bars viewing balcony is 200 feet long and runs around the restaurant giving the diners a prime and centred view of the aquatic action, We limit our number of surfers at 15 max, but a crowd in the water is 6 people.

This keeps the surf a zen place to be and allows all participants to enjoy their time out there by catching more waves and avoiding frustration. Its actually kinda weird after working, striving, hitchhiking to the most remote lost corners of the world to have to surf with other people again (ewww, surfing solo is magic in its spell of self reliance and soul),not only that but my duty is to make sure complete strangers are aware of the secrets of the wave, which completely contradicts my nomadic, hitching wanderings of before, in which is the intrepid explorers learn their own damn secrets and its up to each surfer to interpret the coast with their knowledge to maximise their gains.

Da feast

Me and the other samoan local surfer, ready to devour. Bananas fronds make easier laundry.

The only surfers in Savaii that are local kids work at our camp, and his name is seabass (Sebastian, and yep, one local surfer for this island, the locals are much too lazy to go to the effort to learn something like surfing) and is welcoming into the samoan village life in every facet. The pioneer and owner of this place, Keith, ex Aussy who has spent his life much the same as how mine has begun. He used to be a gypsy like me, who was exploring the Fiji/Tongan/Samoan by sail power amongst the islands in the 1970s finding the waves to himself that have overcrowding pesky resorts and crowds plaguing them today. His travels rival mine for distance and countries roamed, and we have walked some similar footsteps. He was among the first guy to the famed spots that hold the world surfing tour now (Tavarua being one of em, bastard!!). The more I live the more I realise I was a generation late. Babyboomer buggers ate all the fish, petroleum products and property and got to the waves before surfing got so fashionable. Keith is a Complete pioneer and has completed the mission that I seem to be accidentally undertaking (global surf wanderer). He, like Kyber before him, are good libraries’ of information and Buenos hombres to have as bosses, and there’s is much to be studied as I envision my future being similar to his achievements in adventure surf tourism.

If the waves are less than desirable then I have been helping take tours around the island. Although it lacks the skyline deformities of Tahiti’s bizarre mountains, Samoa has its beauty in the details, and the fact you can drive for kilometres and find no cars, just people asleep everywhere. The locals have ‘fales’ which is a house essentially, but the local way is to have no walls, just timbers supporting a thatch roof, so anyone can wander in from any side and have a nap, before wandering to the neighbouring house. And having another nap. This seems to occupy their days for the most part here, leaving the waves for us foreigners (lovely). I have never met a more narcoleptic race before, and sleeping, working in the plantations, fishing, church and rugby pretty much fills their peaceful days.

The islands possess no shortage of geological bizarities to display for the guests, with blowholes, geological and volcanic formations dispersed through the jungle.

Big ol' Blowhole

Another geyser-esque eruption dwarfs our guests that scurry about trying not to get canon launched

In much the same essence of the Natural Mystic mission, my current trajectory is still seeking waves and foreign culture. It’s a big ocean and much to explore, and it appears no end of secrets to find in the mighty Pacific. Looks like Ill be busy for a while. Thanks again for reading all, Peace.

This post first appeared on — An Epic Sailing Adventure Of Su, please read the originial post: here

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The Spontaneous Ricochet Westwards


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