I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kelly Surfs Here

If you don't know who Kelly Slater is... you should. On paper he is the best surfer in the world. In the real world he is one of the best surfers in the history of surfing. I guess that is why the locals here are so proud of the fact that Kelly Slater comes here to surf. I probably shouldn't divulge the location of this secret spot (cough cough- southpassfakarava- cough cough) but anybody who comes this far out of their way to surf better know damn well what they are doing. While I have come this far, I am not so confident in my surfing skills, especially because I have not surfed in ages.

After leaving Tahanea at first light yesterday, we motored to the south pass of Fakarava- about a 50 mile passage- with sheet glass water. No wind. Dad put out a line and a couple hours later we snagged a 25 pound tuna. More sushi!! The fish put up a good fight but eventually succumbed to being my dinner.

We arrived at the south entrance to Fakarava around one in the afternoon and headed right in, figuring that the tide was slack enough to make it. As we entered I watched huge waves peel perfectly (well, not so perfectly, but gnarly) across the reef on the left side of the pass. Looking at the wave from the back they were about four feet, from the front about eight. Eight foot, top to bottom, barreling and crashing on razor sharp reef six inches below the surface, waves. Absolutely beautiful and terrifying at the same time. I wanted to sit and watch the waves come in forever, but there was a good current pushing us through the pass so I only saw a few.

As soon as we anchored I launched the kayak and headed into shore. There is a small resort (if you can even call it that) with thatched, open-air huts that look out onto the crystal blue waters of the lagoon. I am sure this is where Kelly stays when he is here. A perfect place for a honeymoon- especially for surfers (and divers). I tied up my kayak by a little hut and walked down a grassy, palm tree lined road to the pass, smiling and saying "iorana" (hello, in Tahitian) to the few people I saw.

Then I walked out and watched the wave (the left). It was a glassy, 6-8 foot day. A wave would come out of very deep water and stack up on the very shallow reef, pitch a barrel down the line, spit, the next section would suck over a boulder and close out, then another barrel, more spit, and then peel nicely on the shoulder onto dry reef. Can you visualize that? The wave was not make-able. Not to me at least, and nobody else was surfing it either. The right, across the pass, looked a bit more mellow, but I was too far away to tell. While it was refreshing to see a wave again, I have realized what I am in for if I really want to surf, and it is gnarly.
At 5/21/2011 3:35 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 16°30.38'S 145°27.32'W

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