Dizzy? yes? Brent Madden is the name from my parents, but Dizzy is a much more apt title (and increasingly a self fulfilling prophecy) given from beer lubricated evenings of my grommy hood. I have been cruising n’ grinning along side the other mystical men for the last few months, but have been hesitant to subscribe to these blogs as my shoulders rub alongside impressively cunning linguists with impressive talents of the pen and tongue and until now, have left archiving the details to better equipped hands.
looking errrr dashing after getting sightly defeated in a recent food fight.
Bio n’ Background styles…so here goes….Tasmanian heritage, occasional Taz devilish antics in the forgotten hours of the evening. 23 years young. Global wanderer that has been gallivanting here and there and aspiring to everywhere. Black with shades of blue. Gin n tonic with a big slice of lime please. I departed my dear mother land of Tasmania at age 17 for a holiday to explore the Australian Alpine and associated ski bum living and didn’t come home again, as blurry horizons of spontaneous global travelling and snowy fantasies distracted me for the last years. I am most content when my material possessions can be stuffed into a single backpack and a board bag, as they are currently (actual lie, they are strewn hurricane Katrina style about my room). Recently been transported into a journey of curiosities pursued aboard the Natural Mystic (Natty M), and into a daily ‘pinch me’ reality. Stoked is an understatement, and something that is in vast surplus aboard. Am blowing out on the daily routines of exploration and adventure we are chasing every day as we use the ever constant and renewable global force of the wind to slide us from country to country. Hopelessly lost in a spiralling addiction with the many faced mistress of the ocean, an obsession which has left me at the end of each day unsatisfied with the amount of time to indulge in the water in each day that passes. However living below the waterline on a boat and immersed by the sea, my first time as such, I find this itch scratched.
I am renewable thunderstruck every morn whilst lying in my bed at the experience of bouncing and spearing through the ocean that envelopes me on all sides, gurgling, rippling, slurping n slapping waves being sliced apart by our bow and the fibreglass that encases me. To this whispered confused cacophony of liquid rhythm beats that reaches my ears as they press against my pillow comes the sounds of the local ‘Lobos’ (Espanol for Sea Lions). The Bubbles they emit as they weave and wind about each other in their perpetual playing connects with the fibreglass hull creating an unearthly alarm clock (that has no daily designation for time) that awakes me and starts my day. It is in this prostate position in bed the feeling of torpedoeing (such a better or this actual word I fear not exists) feet first towards foreign lands and island chains will soon begin again as we embark to the Marquesas Islands, Two-ish weeks sail South East of our current coordinates in Isla Santa Catalina, Galapagos.
my fuzzy floating alarm clocks, tranquillo on the back of the boat
Our arrival into the Galapagos ushered into a whole different realm of unique bizarreness. The animals of these parts that can be stumbled over while looking for waves is like nothing we have encountered, as Kahlil and I found on our first surf here. We were searching for a reef that Kahlil had spied on Google earth, the ever revealing software program that allows you to use satellite photos to scan entire countries coast lines and makes for a great tool to spot find for waves. I had surfed it the previous evening finding the wave after an hour long coffee fuelled paddle and walk from where we were anchored. However trying to retrace my steps of the day before was proving difficult as we were dropped by dingy onto a different section of coast. It had appeared the land had superficially changed with the 18 feet of tidal movement, rendering us wandering the landscape sufficiently lost. The sun scorched ground here resembles the contents of your trash the last time you cleaned out a wood fire hearth. The landscape consists of large black volcanic rocks spewed from inside the molten earth, this being the construction of the archipelago. Kahlil and I wandered the charred terrain bewildered and lost, fancying a chance encounter with a car size tortoise or other bizarre dinotopian fauna that makes this part of the world famous. A few more disorientated kilometres passed with curses and no idea where we were till I heard Kahlil making a racket up in front through the brush. We had stumbled on the giant Iguanas of the Galapagos! They possess serious claws and fierce demeanour, complete with spiky Mohawks and goatees, resembling a smaller version of the sort of creature that ran amok through Tokyo in the Godzilla films. They responded to our laughs of curiosity by launching spit out of their noses at us, giving the impression they definitely didn’t want to be disturbed. With feet filled with 3 inch nails and a body like a husky dog pup we obliged and left them in peace to continue our confusion to find waves. After more cursing and stumbling over the ashen moonscape we found our prize = a grinding left hand point that detonated along the black reef. Only the biggest sets broke wide enough of the exposed rocks to enable you to squeak past and charge for the channel making you pump like a demon and race to keep in front. Good to get the heart racing after near a week getting bounced about the ocean sailing here! We were again greeted by a large group of seals who really showed us how to ride the shallow rocky waves here. I shared a few sets with some playful pups, exchanging cutbacks and weaving to each others liquid lines, both simultaneously kicking out of the back of the waves before the rocky shore break with synchronised little airs. The are the aqua-diligent version of a Jack Russell puppy and a blast to surf with, but its hard ignoring thoughts of what’s further up the food chain sharing the waves with us. Upon arrival back on the beach in the near dark I nearly stumbled over a seal carcass. Remember the last time you ate watermelon and your bite left a perfect half moon in the flesh of the fruit? This exact shape had been applied to the lower half of the seal, leaving no doubt the size of the sharks that frequent the waters here.
Monstrous props to our insane crew of P. Kitty, the ever graceful feline for absorbing the crews excess affection, Kyber for being a densely layered wealth of skills who created and is leading such a mission in a trajectory that oozes his styling’s of fun loving flair, and all others contributing their positive energy to this dream, a unique blend of peeps unified in stoke and the mission of satisfying curiosities (N’ hurting waves). This gratitude extends with potency towards the changing faces of a recurring family of good peeps that we are encountering from port to port; From Juan at Boa Surfboards (boasurfboards.com), Panama City who met us late one Sunday night to open his shop and energies to us ensuring we were properly equipped to handle the great waves of his country. The Man operates as a respected and renowned shaper in panama and he was a one stop shop for our various needs. The morphing but merging tapestry of faces from country to country we are blessed to be sharing our stoke with, currently such as the compounded good vibes accumulated from team Ireland here in the Galapagos, is an element of constant amongst the change from destination to destination and I would like to throw shakas, ice cream and thanx to all that are along for the ride.
Getting some goods in panama, cheers Juan!
A few weeks ago, Whilst on the green shores of Panama, Benja and myself found ourselves entertaining the two local waitresses in the early hours of the dawn, in a mid 80s sedan some fricken where in the Panamanian jungle. The girls had done it in true high school, drive-in movie style and bought a supply of cold beers and munchies to our unknown destination deep in the ever active jungle. Throughout the days that I had met Elena, my lovely company into the wilderness, she had made repeated references to her imagined (there is truth in every lie) efforts I was making towards women within the marina, and I think that the time we had shared came laced in central American style with nuptial designs in the future for which she was testing my suitability. She told me salaciously that our next destination was rife with beautiful ladies which were received by me with a poorly contained smile, which for some reason I am unable to concoct with innocence anymore. This smirk didn’t last long as she erased it with a solid backhand thump into my throat and a “RESPECT ME!!!!” SNAP, local girls hit hard! So fricken shocked I couldn’t help laughing. This wasn’t a good approach as I relaxed, and in my relaxation imbibed several more beers, and proceeded to get belted a few more times, much to my amusement. Panamanian girls are friggen crazy guys, whachya self’s in these parts, the local Hombres will assault you for your shoes and anything else you carry and the ladies belt you for fun.
We have a few days left in these Isles before roaming upon the wind to the Marquesas Islands, and it looks to be filled with one last swell to ride and a lot of boat work to get ‘Natty M’ ready for passage. I spent the afternoon yesterday under her scrubbing algae, Barnacles and what-not of the hull and attending to our anchor chain and in doing so ticked one item of the-to-do-list that stares and challenges us from its place on the wall, behind the coffee percolator . After a few weeks tranquillo here in port without weighing anchor the chain resembled a demented Christmas decoration with accumulated crustaceans and seaweeds that took much lung capacity and a steel brush until I could see metal links again. I bought a spanky shiny new 5’11 round tail and am frothing uncontrollably to ride out one more swell here with my new friend, beginning the introduction to a new boards personality and secrets, and upon completion of this and the remainder of the to-do-list, Marquesas Approaches over the wet horizon.
Peace and mucho gusto y’all…..Diz.