PNG DIARIES 2016
Day 7 started out and should have been like most of the other days. Woke at 5.30 to the sound of Chris cranking up the coffee machine, few stretches, then out to the slab for about 4 hours of tubes. Days 1-4 were pretty similar except for the late arvo glass off surf was sometimes exchanged for fishing if the wind stayed onshore. By 10am the wind would come on most mornings but by then you were keen for food and relax time anyway. Day 7 some lunchtime squalls came in and for the only day the wind went really light. Time to surf.
On Day 8 and 9 Hally finally got to surf his left, he’d been staring at it for a week and it didn’t let him down. Craig C, Greg, Pags and Peter mainly surfed Vala. Marto, Kel, Davo and myself preferred the Slab. Sometimes we all used the same break. It worked out perfectly thinking back. Some sessions one person would be on fire and the next session they would be slapped back down to the bottom again. It happened to us all, as it always does in surfing. One day you’re a 8th Dan Black Belt and the next your back to a Green Belt.
On Day 7 Pags stood out but not so much for his surfing but that he smashed his head 3 times on various parts of the steel on the big boat, then got a fin to his head. The guy that is normally dishing out the stitches was about to get a few. And a black eye. We surfed that Day 7 Lunch session and it was great until the wind came ony with an hour of light remaining. Dangerous when there’s a big esky of cold SP tinnies at ya feet. Actually Days 5 and 6 had the same danger, we rolled the dice for a faraway left in the most amazing location. So close to the Equator. How’s the serenity. The wind went around to the wrong direction though and the fishing kicked in and so did that same tinnie danger.
Day 7 continued back on the Explorer with coconuts opened. In went crushed ice, limes and a little Vodka. Chris Peel is one of those few people you meet in life that really do stand out, bit like a younger Andrew Rigby but also a pro surf photographer and somehow with more energy than Marto. On the way to the 6am surf he’d always play ACDC, thunder struck. It stuck and became the song of the trip, there’s always a “song of the trip” and this was it. By 7pm a big storm had kicked in and we were up on the top deck and it was raining like it only can in the tropics. Buckets per second, two hits of thunder and then we started singing the song. Then bang, like you see in the war movies when a bomb detonates next to you. We all got a couple of inches of air and landed, ears ringing, stunned, in shock. Coconuts still in hand we are all staring at each other thinking who got zapped, but we are all good. The lightning bolt had struck and disintegrated one of the antennae up top (about 5 meters from us) and blown the shit out of some of the gear in the wheel house but besides that the generator is still making noise, the lights are still on and we are trying take stock. We sing till late in the night.
Day 8 first wave I got a great barrel before 6am. The ringing in the ears subsides and life continues….Reesy