Archive for the ‘Switzerland’ Category

Me and RickI have been in Sydney for about 10 days and am delighted to hear from one of my old neighbours in the flats I used to live in back in London. Rick is a Kiwi who works in the oil business and is now based in Singapore.

However he is in town for a couple of nights on business and we take the opportunity to catch up over a few beers.

Lions vs RebelsWe meet up in a rugby club that is located right in the heart of the city. There is not a rugby pitch in sight, but the atmosphere there for the game between the Lions and the Melbourne Rebels is like any rugby club in the world.

We are joined by one of Rick’s colleagues James and have a great laugh watching the game, whilst reminiscing about motorcycle trips across Europe to Austria with the rest of our ‘chapter’ Dom and Adam, who join in the fun back in London via the internet. A great night.

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Haapiti Lagoon Paddle

Myself and a Swiss guy called Christian, who was also staying at the Moorea Surf B&B, were itching for a surf, so we drove down to Mark’s Place (where I had originally wanted to stay, but failed to find) to see if we could rent some of his kayaks to take us the couple of kilometres across the lagoon to the waves you can just see breaking on the reef in the distance. 

Blacktip Reef Shark 4

Mark told us that if we were quiet when paddling across the lagoon, dolphins and reef sharks would come right up to and alongside the kayaks for the journey.

Making as much noise as humanly possible and towing my surfboard behind me I covered the distance in about 20 minutes, and whilst my racket kept the sharks away it did not put off the dolphins which were swimming around me the whole time. It was an outstanding experience and the most unusual start to any surf session that I have ever had. 

Ha'apiti Mooring

The next bit was a bit more sketchy because to secure the kayaks it is necessary to slip into the afore mentioned shark infested waters on the sheltered side of the reef then dive down and tie the mooring line of the kayak to the reef to ensure it was still there after your surf session. All this was achieved without any worrying incidents with angry fish, and I’m happy to report I didn’t even see one.

I unattached my surfboard from the kayak and paddled out. The surf was about shoulder high but apart from my usual fears relating to angry fish I was also worried about the coral reef. It was the first time I have surfed over the edge of one, and because I was using Eric’s wife’s board the last thing I wanted was to return it damaged after bouncing across the reef during a wipeout. I needn’t of worried though because I was all over it having a blast in the predictable waves.

Moorean BeautyIn the water there were five stunning Hawaiian girls on an assortment of surfboards, boogie boards and longboards. They had sailed into the lagoon on a catamaran to take advantage of the waves, were in their twenties and all were wearing thong bikinis for their surf session. As you can imagine I was having a ball bantering with all of them in between the many excellent waves I caught, and was delighted that my chat was being so well received.

I am without my gopro during surf sessions at the moment, so sadly have no pictures of the ladies concerned, but found this shot online which gives an indication of both the views I was enjoying at the time. The back drop to all this was the stunning island of Mo’orea. (I do realise the mermaid in this shot appears to be au naturel, but given the difference was only about 20cm2 of fabric it is a pretty accurate depiction of the scene I was enjoying.)

Dolphin 2Not to be outdone however the dolphins I had seen on the way out to the reef had never really left the scene, and were enjoying themselves by flying out the face of waves all morning, doing backflips, spins and somersaults. There was even an occasioal rainbow seen through the spray off the back of the waves!

I am half way through my trip now and think I may well have enjoyed the best surf session of this trip and possibly even of my life here at Ha’apiti. I think only discovering Alantis during the second half of my travels could top this! You have no idea how big my grin is right now. Stoked doesn’t come close to describing it.

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