My options for the last day at Aloita were do nothing or stump up 50% of the cost to take the yellow boat across to Playgrounds once more. I didn’t need much persuading!
The weather on the journey across was miserable and the wind was biting through everything. Being the Boy Scout I am I had taken a windproof jacket with me, but not everybody had the same foresight. You can see David here trying to shelter from the elements under my towel.
It took us two hours in the driving rain to reach Burgerworld, which was on the limit of the boat’s fuel capacity, and everybody was cold when we arrived.
If the sight of the waves breaking off the point didn’t warm your heart, getting into the sea certainly would. The temperature of the water is nearly 30C, so it was like getting into a hot bath. The chill I had acquired on the journey across instantaneously vanished.
Things didn’t start very well for me here though. After paddling right up to the point and catching my first wave my leash once more got ripped off my leg when I wiped out, sending my board in towards the volcanic rocks and coral lining the shore of the uninhabited island.
Cahn chased my board but it was on the rocks before he could get to it, and I then had a nervy swim in through the breaking waves, rocks and coral to join him on the shore. You can see the two of us inspecting the camera which was miraculously unscathed by its journey in through the dangerous shallow water.
The board didn’t get off so lightly though and there were two huge gouges cut into the base where the rocks and coral had torn it open.
The fins were just scratched though and it was good enough to get me back to the boat, even if I didn’t enjoy scraping across a few more sharp objects on the way back out to sea from the island.
It was still the start of my session and David was only just getting in when I made it back to the boat, so I decided to try and fix the holes to see if I could get back into the water quickly. Fortunately I had decided to put my ding repair kit into the bag I take on the boat for the first time today, so had everything readily available for me to start working on the damage.
The biggest issue was finding shade to work in. The solar resin I use would cure in minutes in the UK but took seconds under the equatorial sun. After a couple of failed attempts I got there eventually with a little bit of help from the crew of the boat holding a towel above me as I worked.
Then having made the board water tight I sanded down the rough edges and paddled back out making sure that my leash was securely fastened. (It has become an annoying problem that I cant resolve due to the lack of surf shops here, but is going to have to be replaced in Sri Lanka if not before. Your surfboard is often your lifeboat, so I must have faith that it will remain attached to my leg, and at the moment I have none!)
I couldn’t resist catching a few more of the gorgeous rights on offer here though, even if I was nervous about my leash the whole time.
As you can see I did respectably well in the set waves which would come through every few minutes and caught a number of rides quite quickly on my patched up board.
I didn’t stay in long before joining the others to have lunch on the boat, but was still stoked after quite an eventful session.