-I know of an island that is more beautiful than anywhere I've ever been
If it wasn't for the Lebanese apprentice's petulant child bride I'd have never laid eyes on such a place.
-On this island there are no poisonous animals. No ticks, leeches, snakes, rabid dogs, malaria or venomous spiders.
The child bride couldn't stand to be separated from her betrothed and so the boss gave the opportunity to work on the island alongside the two tradesmen to myself. Although there were others more qualified and longer term employees, he gave me the nod because at heart he was still the adventurer he'd been in his youth and I'd like to think he saw the same light in my eyes that drove him to expand his world through travel.
- The island is home to a species of fish that eat an algae that is unique to the local reefs. Eating the flesh of this fish will induce hallucinations and other effects extremely similar to that of Lysergic Acid. A fact that the few locals, especially the youth, exploit for entertainment and to explore the limits of perception.
Off to the Island we went, the two tradesmen and myself, to renovate a luxury lodge on a secluded part of this remote island . Both tradesman were men of peculiarities. The first being a family man with an eye on climbing the strata of society through a rigorously applied work ethic...he was also handicapped by an almost comical slavishness to stray women of questionable morals. It was the foundation of his character and his eventual downfall.
- A nighttime stroll around the Island will soon reveal a type of mushroom that generates it's own light through the fermentation of bio matter . It glows fiercely in the dark and illuminates the edges of paths on the blackest of nights.
The second tradesman was a man of an experimental bent when it came to establishing the limitations of human ingestion. Alcohol was an obvious starting point. Marijuana - which was plentiful and of excellent quality on the island - was the next name on the litany of substances that were to be consumed with astounding regularity.
- On the island there exists a single tree that covers over 3 acres of land. A single entity that drops it's roots from the canopy towards the Earth as it expands exponentially over the decades , as opposed to the roots spreading through the ground and providing the initial basis for expansion.
Both men were more than adept at constructing the lodge to the level of artisan appointment required by the owners of the soon to be refurbished lodge.
Myself ? I was little more than a bong punching , day dreamer that could barely swing a hammer.
But...I was the only surfer.
- There is a beach on the Island where the fish will swim without concern amongst humans , indeed they will eat from an outstretched hand any items proffered. Sharks will regularly be amongst the throng of feeding fish.
As the only surfer , it took me roughly three seconds upon arrival on the Island to establish the fact that the lodge was situated immediately adjacent to a lagoon that was bordered on the shoreward side by a blindingly white sand beach and the seaward side was ringed by a fringing reef approximately 500 metres offshore.
And the weakest part of the reef had over many millennia been removed by the incessant pressure of water that had been pushed into the lagoon by continuous wave action and where the gap in the reef had worn a barrelling right hander now peeled unmolested .
- The island is so removed from the world and the predation that mammals are like to impose that upon its first discovery by humans all bird life was naive to the threat that these intrepid seafarers posed. Most birds would actually alight at the feet of the sailors, if not actually upon their person. This was to be the demise of several species. Yet , such was the irregularity of visitation that the birds continued to thrive and the trait of fearlessness continues to this day. A certain uniquely indigenous species will be constantly underfoot due to its flightless nature when it's in the vicinity .
Two days. It took two days for the tradesmen to realise that I would be less than useless due to my overarching desire to surf. Fortunately, due to the fact that the single supply route to the island was delayed due to inclement weather, there was no work to proceed with and I was sanctioned a couple of days to surf myself silly and therefore be able to refocus on the task at hand when the supply ship arrived.
- The defining feature of the Islands fauna is undoubtably it's bird life. A certain bird that is renown for its oceanic wanderings has taken advantage of the sanctity provided by this predator free landmass and nests there en mass.
Unfortunately , the astounding flying abilities of this bird are not mirrored by its prowess on terra firma. In fact it struggles to land with any form of technique or ability. It is not at all uncommon to be engaged in a quiet dinner on the beach or on the edge of the forest and to be inundated with squadrons of brown, hook beaked birds landing haphazardly all over yourself and your meal. Often with force .
One week. It took a week for the pass to finally stop throwing up lonely barrels. That's when I returned to work. It wasn't really problematic as the rot of each trades mans character flaw had flourished into extreme bloom under the fertile conditions provided by separation from society and an abundance of that which each had an an affliction . In one week the entire premise of the mission had been sidelined by tradesman one shacking up with a local woman in what amounted to a second puberty and tradesman two discovering the cornucopia of mind altering delights available. Both proceeded to drown themselves in liberation and excess.
- It's not only on the land that one must factor the local avian fauna into the equation. There is a beautiful , barreling albeit short wave that lies at the base of a vertical cliff. If one is to make a disturbance or a large amount of noise, the mottled white birds that reside on the cliff will launch upon you and settle upon your shoulders , on your board and all the surrounding water attempting to satisfy their curiosity as to the source of the ruckus.
Four months. The task was scheduled for eight weeks but it was four months before I left the Island. Straddling Autumn and Winter I was fortunate enough to witness a large variety of conditions conducive to surfing . I was lucky enough to be accepted amongst the notoriously testy locals - the very few locals that there are - and they duly introduced me to the incredible spectrum of waves available on the Island.
My time on the Island was something that I could not replicate , it was a defining experience .
In fact the Island managed to alter the course of my life .
There are lots more Islands out there.
Go find one.
God , Why ?
I think we find parts of these islands and construct a whole experience from these experiential shards. Obviously man has the knowledge and the chance to live a life close to this utopian existence. War, treachery and greed must be embraced by an alien culture I live amongst. Imagine if our chinese friends were building islands such as these instead of sandspit deathstars. It fucken blows my mind people still jump on each other and breed, surely such things become reasonably obvious to most before puberty? Go forth you extreme armies of the optimistic, or naive.
Sand spit death stars ....I'd be copyrighting that hem-stret.
Been back Blowin?
If not, how come?
Yeah, I've been back Goofyfoot.
But not for a long time.
Too long actually.
What a great read mate!
At one stage I was expecting grinning cats and a rabbit with a fob watch.
Golden Cane palm?
Thanks Indo, ****** was the other one I was thinking of. Lovely plant.
I used to work in the tropics and there were stories of people camping out waiting for the seeds of Foxtail palms to fall off as they couldn't germinate unless they fell off naturally. I heard somewhere that 20 years or so ago, one seed was going for about $50.
Indo, without giving too much away, did you live around Mermaid beach or up at Labrador in the 90's? Are/were you an avid fisherman? I think I may know you.
Yeah Blowin,took me a while to work out which island your talking about,and reading it again you left a couple clues eh.I was there in 84 and havent been back but would love to go again and the the set ups are awesome for such a small place,enough said!
@ Zen lived at Mermaid beach for about six months in the late 90's, then Broad beach, then Surfers before i burnt myself on the party lifestyle in the mid 00's.
But never lived at Labrador, only time i ever went there was for a work for the dole thing building boats :P
Fishing i get bitten by the bug every few years and get right into it but never really did much on the Goldie.
You fellas reckon you could delete any information pertaining to that which I unwisely mentioned ?
Indo ? Zen ?
It would be appreciated. Cheers.
Deleted, okay i see we are keeping this little island secret….it was actually quite obvious to me before i got to your last clue.
Madagascar can look after itself .
If this is the place i'm thinking of it does have a huge problem with an introduced predator - rats, that thrive on the huge abundance of bird eggs. I might have the wrong island. Great read, love the mystery it does make me want to go exploring.
I know an even smaller little Island, also nothing venomous on its land and the whole island is covered in coconut palms, crystal clear blue water surrounds the islands, with a mix of coral reef and white sand beaches, and yes there is also perfect waves breaking off this island.
One end of the island is a village of about 100 people, mostly kids, but only a few old people as they just don't live that long due to a bad diet and lack of health care and sometimes die from illness that in the west are preventable.
The people are not the poorest of the region but still poor and of all the houses only about three have toilets, so the beach and bush is where most crap but it normally gets cleaned up by the tide or pigs, there is no real work here so cash is not something they see much of and what little cash they get comes from harvesting coconuts or fishing just enough to buy some rice in town or simple items like soap, they have a simple life but a hard life.
On the other end of the island is a high end western owned surf resort where it cost more to stay a night for one person than the average local would make in a year maybe even two or three years, unless your one of the very lucky three or four locals who have managed to get a job there then they earn about that much in about six months.
At this resort cashed up westerners live like a king, eating amazing food cooked by international standard chiefs and drinking beer and cocktails, while they relax in air-conditioned comfort, but off course this is in between strike missions in expensive fast speed boats to nearby waves which is the main purpose of their travel.
But these speed boats are often not alone, anchored not far away is luxury boats also filled with surfers, on the beach the locals watch the continual coming and going of these boats, perhaps with envy in their eyes, perhaps asking themselves how can i be a part of this, why do they have such big nice boats, while i just have this canoe made from a tree trunk.
This is just one island in an amazing island chain and there is many islands like this where the contrast between the haves and have-nots is like black and white or day or night.
Nice one Indo.
It's not so much about keeping that island a secret as employing the mystique of mystery.
It's also a little bit about keeping it a secret....
You sound like you've got more than enough islands to sustain you for two lifetimes.
That's the dream.
PS thanks to all that are in the know for perpetuating the mystery that I so nearly destroyed.
I might share a line up with you out there one day.
Thanks guys for self moderating .
Blowin I really enjoy your tales . I hope one day I do meet you again on trails and this time your there longer and we talk shop around a campfire .
This island immediately shone out in your words , just from description rather than the obvious clues you rescinded . I had an opportunity near a decade ago as multiple mates lived there for 2-3 years . Unfortunately injury , work and kids got in the way . I know how expensive it is and am spewing I missed that boat . Maybe one day in the distant future .
The images and descriptions of the rare beachie gem pumping looks like something to try and target a mission , hopefully bookended by the more consistent reefs .
I love how islands capture the imagination .
I know an island where many prisoners served sentences in the harshest conditions. A place with poisonous spiders, shark nurseries and as many poisonous snakes as i've ever seen anywhere.
A place where coral grows despite a latitude you would think would never support it.
In my younger years I had many great experiences here including catching my first fish, getting laid on the beach, snorkelling through underwater tunnels and catching waves that at the time felt monstrous.
The island has two main coastlines, one very exposed to swell, and also the fierce wind that limits trees to no more than a few metres high. The other side is far more protected from the elements but still capable of providing ocean born fury on its day.
I remember one day, I would have been about 16 and still a novice at reading the weather to give me the best chance of good surf. Me and a mate rode our bikes out to one of the more recognised surf breaks to find it was huge and messy with a side shore breeze. We continued around the coast untill the track turned us around to the opposite facing coastline. After maybe a km of riding we stopped and the view I saw is vivid in my mind now, it hasn't faded.
I saw a wave that was probably 12 foot that barrelled so thick and perfect and spat out what seemed like the entire ocean. Needless to say me and old mate did not surf this break on this day. I ended up surfing a wave that I have never seen anything like what it was that day, my mate was too scared. It was probably 8 foot solid but my inexperience made it feel proper massive. I caught a few waves and came in more like a man than before.
This island is no secret, it gets mega crowds although some breaks are so sharky that most of the time they are empty. The big spitting left is to this day one of the most intimidating waves I have surfed - like a shorter, more raw version of tombstones with colder water and bigger sharks of a more dangerous variety. This wave is no secret but if you go there and its 12 foot it will probably be spitting perfect barrel after barrel with no one surfing it.
Even islands that are well known have something to offer someone with big enough nuts.
I spent time on an island with plenty of surf, known and unknown. One spot that can turn 20ft+ onshore surf into wrapping 6-8 ft sand bottom tubes that are thicker than they are high, waves that tube from as far to the right as you can see all the way to as far left as you can see,fast, thick and sectiony but makeable,the sweep is a killer, long walks back up the beach, not empty but you will be unlikely to ever be taken there or find it, cameras will be confiscated and a lecture/beating may/will ensure those who try or are even thought to be a possible exposure threat. " 10 kirras" to some.
What's it called mike?
Too much too ask? :0
Great stuff Blowin. I did a family trip there when I was about 10, fed the fish, climbed the mountain. And then when I was about 18 I got out all the happy snaps and looked in the background of each shot. I'm yet to act on that info. One day soon...maybe.
Like others I've been enjoying your recent dips of the quill. And I can't help but notice your excellent use of paragraphs, an improvement I take full credit for as any zealous teacher would.
Credits all yours Stunet.
Only place I've ever written anything besides Swellnet was during English at high school.
PS I think I might know where you're talking about Mikehunt.
I've never been but I've heard it's incredible.
And well protected.
Actually got an invite from a nice fella I met at G Land last year.
Where the f is this Sickas , its driving me mental - another penal settlement with snakes whites and coral......but crowded on its day...
That left is my favourite wave .
Simply put , it is usually not that crowded when its pumping .
Not sure on the " Big " call though . Favourite size there is 6-8 ft ,
I'm not convinced it gets better or bigger than 10 ft .( RARE DAY IN HELL , esp. with the right wind )
Keen for a surf trip Southey?!?
The Island still waits for those with a taste for remote beauty.
Best thing I’ve read on swellnet in years.
Yeah Blowin can write, a real talent I have always enjoyed and plenty of life experiences to boot, Eh.... DSDS
My Island too is an amazing place
90% of the people go to 10% of the breaks
I never really need to leave my Island....always a wave somewhere.....amazing wildlife
King tides create secret spots here as do the highest of the low tides when most are waiting for an hour before High 5 hours previous I have them to my self
Wow, missed this great read first time round, was awesome, thanks for bringing this thread back to life.
If Blowin's island is one of the possibilities i think it is, then i met a guy from there in west Sumbawa in 2010,he was 43 then and dressed like a Caucasian hip hop gangster wannabe teenager.
First time i met him he introduced himself as the best surfer from his island, where his parents own a resort and is here in Sumbawa for the full dry season (like almost all my friends were, nothing special).
His parents pay for him to go to indo each year, he never had a job.
He later on told me he owns Maluk, and is one of the best surfers at supersuck. I asked about a few potential reefs i had spotted and he said they break every day, but i noticed they only broke on the biggest swells of only one certain direction, but one in particular did handle onshore winds well, unlike most reefbreaks.
It was the funnest shit wave you could think of, left and right hollow or sometimes just wally if onshore and bowly peak similar to canggu and in photos on facebook i labeled them as canggu.
I always spotted him drinking and his trip must have cost him over $20 000 for a dry season trip with the amount he drank and spirits costing more than they do in oz.
I rarely saw him surfing, i missed two days of good morning glassy conditions(often morning sickness ruins it) in my whole trip and i will give him the benefit of the doubt and say he may have surfed those two days, making it a total of four days he surfed supersuck in six months.
One day i took a gamble on a iffy swell and thought just maybe supers is working, maybe it's two foot which is enough to get tubed or get a few racey bowls.
He spotted me on my walk to supers from this old concrete building he had shacked up in and invited me over for a beer.
I thought, i haven't had a beer in a few weeks, maybe a month so what the hell, the surf wouldn't be that good anyway.
We got chatting about buying some land near supers and who to go through and what the prices were and he told me he was going through his mate Rocky.
I said "Rocky ripped off (made up name) be careful mate! Also i think Rocky smokes ice and is getting one of my young indo friends who works for him on it too."
He quickly pulled a big knife out of his pocket and pulled it up against my neck and said "who the hell are you?", "What the hell? Rocky is my brother im going to slice your neck open".
I should have noticed earlier, all the indo's who often hang out with him were avoiding him and standing afar in the building.
Anyway i apologized and said "sorry bro just what i suspected but im probably wrong".
I bailed checked the surf and it was mush, another hoax day in Maluk. About a week later a swell came and he came up to me and apologized as he watched the surf, i also said "i shouldn't be talking shit about people like that, i fucked up.".
He wanted to get to know some local girls i had met who wanted to also meet other surfers and i told him about them. He said he was keen and also another buddy of mine, probably the best non pro surfer i had ever seen and maybe the best at supersuck was also keen.He was just a little shy.
I called the girls and we all hung out watching mid to too low tide supers for dinner with jaffles toasted and ice chilled bintangs in the balas beach warungs esky.
The girls didnt like the island fella as his ego was out of control once he drank but a pretty cute 19 year old liked my surfer buddy so we went back to a bar with annoying early 90's well dated dance music playing.
My friend and i started dancing with a couple of the girls and the islander gangster wannabe fella shouted us a few beers. Suddenly he starts going crazy at me for drinking two long necks, so i left and the 19 year old girl stayed with my surfer friend.
Heard word the next day the gangster wannabe guy pulled a knife on my friend for no reason at all other than he didnt like my friend dancing with the girls while the wannabe mayor of Maluk sat drinking.
Anyway i pretty much never saw the Psycho again but heard stories of him many times telling everyone he owns Maluk and is a pretty big deal around there.
My surfer buddy came back to my shack, a cheap $50 a month place with two bedrooms but no furniture besides two double mattresses, a tv, dvd player and bedside table for my meds and toiletries.
The girls wanted to watch some of my DVD's a mate gave me, one was called "Spread" with Ashton Kutcher. A story about a Male hustler who hooks up with rich business women to score a nice house to live in, pay nothing and get the girls to buy him fashionable gear and everything else. Basically a man whore.He is also a major player, cheating on his rich girlfriends whenever away and often catch him.There are so many R rated scenes It is basically a porn movie and my surfer buddy said, "this is just pure porn!".The girls loved it and laughed at each scene saying "thats you!"..
Anyway never saw the psycho again but he bought the land for three times the price the real owner sold it to Rocky for, tried to raise funds with my one of my friends to build a skate ramp and he just laughed and said, im trying to build a house before i think about paying for a skate ramp.
The trees on his land were all pulled down, which is a scary thought, as his land was on a steep cliff on seaside and steep ramp on the other and trees support the soil. Once it rains heavy enough he will lose all the soil and maybe cause a landslide.
Life of a spoilt island man.
Glad i never saw that guy again.Pretty sure his parents pay for him to go to indo every year so he doesn't scare all the guests away in his home Island resort.
I have a port in my name
And penguins the my game!
swellnet's off the charts scriptwriter's convention...INTERMISSION.
ABC Barons II Executives said they're more than willing to plagiarize 'groundswell's risk taking venture'.
It's a pity that Blowin's offshore Psychedelic Tax Haven got raided by the feds...back to licking stamps!