Here is a bit of everything from the last two months on the Presqu’isle… between my engine woes, the WCT circus, my recent submersion in a writing assignment (check out the upcoming October issue of Surfer’s Journal), a bout with Dengue fever (or Beamish flu?), a last minute haul-out, and the Ahuna-Marotta wedding in Hawai’i… well, blogs have gone by the wayside… so here goes a brief recap:
Swell ‘stuck’ at George and Marika Riou’s waiting for broken motor mounts: nightly dining French style, permanent dish and lawn-mowing duty, views from the tree house, life as Georges’ favorite conversation piece. Yoga with Nina! Treat of all treats! Tahitian, Haere Williams, wins the trials for the one and only WCT wildcard… the local spirit is rich as lait coco: Marara Boys tailgate concerts, full moon and full voices to celebrate with traditional Tahitian songs and Hinanos. I shimmied with The Shimmies!! Chonny, Gideon, Andy, Josh and Indy, thanks for being the coolest ‘yachties’ ever , ha! Miss you guys!
Meet Prisca Aramu: The lovely 27 year old Moorean charger who conquered the reef and became the only girl of an 8 child family to love surfing, now she’s best Tahitian surfer girl around, stylish and poised, smart, environmentally-concerned… I found a girl to surf with! Thanks for our adventures around the Presqu’isle and to the east side! Birthday dinner with Mick and Jon and Mark and Marika and Georges: thank you for being my family abroad!! Between the Riou’s and the ‘Quik Euro’ dinners I forgot how to cook, Jasper’s Quik Euro crew teaching baby pigs to swim for their next ad campaign? Jasper, Jerome reported you all for animal cruelty. Julien Wilson is as talented and humble as a radical young surfer could be. Good waves for 4 weeks straight, but the Billabong Teahupoo Pro waiting period begins, and it goes FLAT… Kelly certainly knew where to be… Me, ‘dead in the water’, still disabled at the Riou mooring waiting for my new motor mounts… Happy birthday, Mr. Knox! What a legend you are… Marika makes the best chocolate cake in the world, just ask Mick Fanning, go for the middle piece… Dinner at Josh and Celeste’s with the Transworld brothers and deep-diving, bomb-charging Healy, Prisca and I in the Ripple spectating and rubbin’ elbows in the Teahupoo sunshine, Parko such a treat to watch.
Herve comes through with the motor mounts. Just go back in you stupid engine mount rubber foot thingy… uuuuuuuuuuuugh. Good idea, Georges, I’ll use your car jack upside down against the ceiling to push the rubber boot back into the hole. Too much force… frustration… BAM!!! An eyeful of pressurized car jack while trying to realign the engine… OWWWWWWWWWWWW, blood is running down my sweaty stomach. A trip to see the nurse, 5 days out of the water and a bandaged blackeye while the entire surf world is here. Had it been an inch higher I might have really had to wear a pirate patch!
Luckily, I found installation success with the help of Grillo before the eyebolt that attached the mooring line to the cement block decided to come unbolted. While hanging my laundry at the Riou compound, I look out… “Uh, where’ my boat? No dinghy either… popped it the prior day and it’s on the Riou lawn with the patch drying… there goes Swell drifting away across the lagoon again!? Mick Fanning and Taylor Knox leap into action… rescue delivery on the jet ski… That’s it, I’m dropping my anchor in the bay around the corner…
Shucking pahua with Heinui and friends for Teioro, Sunday Tahitian meal. The WCT waits on a wave… and after all that… BOBBY wins!! My hometown hero!! Santa Barbara pride far from that curve of coast, Bobby Martinez smokes em’ at the Billabong Teahupoo 2009!! Yeah yeah yeah! Anchored in my own sand patch after goodbyes, time to crawl into the writing cave… who’s this? Natural Mystic? From S.B., too? Yeah, so you got a fancy catamaran, and a bigger dinghy, and a cooler torch, AND rosin core solder… but I got sauce! Natty Mystic, you boys serve up a fine meal and much more… pamplemousse raids, handstand contests, and barefoot dock slappin in the Teahupoo Marina, thanks for watching out for me. Beamish flu or Dengue fever, still not sure… and then a mad dash to the haulout yard and the red-eye flight to Hawai’i for the Ahuna-Marotta wedding. Thank you to all of you who made this stretch of time unforgettable… now it’s off to California to raise some Swell-fixing funds!! I will be giving a brief slide show at the Ventura premiere of the ‘Dear and Yonder’ surf film at the Ventura Patagonia store at 7pm on July 18th. Come and watch!
HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ALREADY CONTRIBUTED TO HELP HEAL SWELL!!!
Blogs will be intermittent until I get back to Tahiti…