So much has happened in the last three weeks that I’ll be writing about Indonesia in 2 doses (just to keep you wanting a bit more after this email). The first portion of our trip was spent with Surfing the Nations, a humanitarian Christian organization based on the North Shore of Oahu Hawaii. To learn more check em out at www.SurfingTheNations.com, they are a group of truly amazing people with a very unique perspective and purpose (that’s my plug).
Jason and I started our journey from Kuala Lumpur to Bali with a delayed Air Asia (yuck!) flight and late arrival to Bali (10pm). We followed Ryan’s prescriptive directions , and arrived to his welcoming screams, hoots, and hollers of joy to finally have his travel companions join him, rather than follow in his footsteps (if this sentence doesn’t make sense please read the last post where Jason and I missed our Australia flight and subsequent Kuala Lumpur arrival to meet Ryan).
The details of the STN boat trip were vague so we set off with what little knowledge we had; a street name “Poppies One” and the name of the hotel “Ayu Beach” that the STN crew MIGHT be staying at. After a good hour and a half of Indonesian scavenger hunting, which included the random yelling of our contact’s names “Chris Rehrer! Tom Bauer!”, we stumbled upon our 4th hotel of the night to be greeted by Tom Bauer (picture a flowing white haired Moses in boardshorts). Upon our late arrival we were welcomed as one of the family and informed that the boat trip was leaving the next morning at 7am; what a close call, whew!
The Surfing the Nations group was comprised of charging Hawaiian loc dogs (shoots!), crazy fun and hilarious Swedes, smiling and occasionally biting Bangladesh boys, laidback Californians, eager Floridans who only know how to surf Hurricanes, and us landlocked “Colorado Boyz”. The group was about 50 people distributed between 4 boats, where you live/play/eat/sleep/dance/jazzercise/jam session/scope/swim/and overall enjoy the paradise that Indonesia so naturally provides. Our boat was the guys boat, rightfully named the Coconut Boat. Through the seven days there were many activities, places, and events that can be much more efficiently addressed in a list so enjoy my efficiency/laziness as I number the days:
1: Leave in afternoon, go to nearby island Noosa Lombongan and surf Shipwrecks at sunset, learn to jump off boat with surfboard and catch first wave in Indonesia a 3-4 foot mellow and peeling right, “Welcome to Indo”
2:Arrive in Lombok and surf Desert Point which is small and full of longboarders and party waves. Evening jam session with Jason, Ryan, and myself including reggae riffs on the guitar and freestyle lyrics. Including a fiberglass boat roof that imposed an uncomfortable late night itch followed by a 3am shower.
3:Lombok in morning with bigger surf at Desert Point, tiring swims in the ripping current to access flips and backflops off of our neighboring boat. Gili Island in the afternoon which included soccer with the local kids and walking the island with a couple of them (Harry, Danny “ladies man”, and Johnny) who scaled 30 ft coconut trees for us to enjoy as a refreshing beverage to compliment our island sunset; I really wish I had a camera for this moment (this is what traveling is all about, enjoying the locals lifestyle and connecting with people)
4: Sumbawa Island where we cliffed jumped in beautiful Yoyo’s cove and I performed my 2nd wonderful backflop off a rather high cliff. I was a little out of it for the rest of this day while we sailed to Scar Reef, but do remember night time when the always optimistic and radical Alan found an 8 foot poisonous sea snake in his bed. Upon our discovery and congegration, our boat’s noise was overcome by the sound of roman candles firing double-fisted off a neighboring boat, which was reprimanded by the 3rd of 8 shots and was followed with the phrase “I can’t stop em, I can’t stop em” (hilarious, thanks Tyler Bitner). Ryan also happened to comment that the surf had been so mellow and relaxing that STN should be Stoneskipping the Nations.
5: Swell hits Scar Reef and turns on a wave machine that produces constant lines of 14-18 foot reeling and hollow “bombs” that you could easily drive a VW bug through. It was amazing to witness these waves and the crazies that tamed them it; this was also a full celebration of Jason’s 23rd birthday which also included a baby bird feeding of Chris Rehrer and a reggae dub man-choir version of happy birthday that Jason called “my best happy birthday song ever!”
6: Scar Reef is still pumping in the morning and I decided to muster the courage and commitment to charge after one of these monsters. After much contemplation I dropped in on a solid 10-12 foot set wave, planted my feet while racing down the face of the wave, and was suddenly “closed out” on my bottom turn and instantly thrown into the most powerful whitewash I’ve experienced (like an American 110volt washing machine plugged into a 240volt international plug and set on the “angry” setting). After multiple flips, spins, and the powerful muffled roar I found myself inside for 5 more set waves, sitting a mere foot above jagged reef, humbled and powered by the comradery that Chris was also stuck inside with me (misery definitely loves company, which also suppresses the onset of panic). It was a great event and intense experience and in the words of Chris, “awesome” (no he’s not a sadist, it truly was amazing to experience, although I’d rather make the wave and not do it again).
7: Commute back to our port and enjoy the rolling ocean and times shared through music, surfing, soccer, hanging with locals, and living life to the fullest.
I’m getting too wordy with this email and will now direct you to the pictures; or if you’re like me, you scanned this email, realized it’s long and you’ll read it later (which you won’t) and will go straight to the photos below.
We are alive (fully) and breathing (sometimes underwater). Thanks for caring,
Tyler, Jason, and Ryan (our latest addition, aka. “Newbie, New Guy, and Wolfie”, honestly he’s never known by any of those names)
SAME PICS AS BELOW/BEFORE
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