All of our crappy illnesses have faded to a distant memory now and good friends leaving start to be replaced by good memories made with new ones. As we patiently wait for the necessary parts to arrive in Tahiti to fix our alternators, good times flourish once again aboard “Natural Mystic.” No one seems to be sweating the fact that DHL is one way screwed up company. My wonderful mom, packaged up a few necessary items I had sent to their home, to eventually find their way out to me, as well as our new alternators. DHL worked flawlessly last time we used them, months ago, getting us a new BBQ in only a couple of days and since they already have our necessary customs paperwork on file, why not use them again? This time was different, the parts should have been on a flight out here from LA, yes one flight, but went instead to Ohio, New York, then Sydney, Australia and now are in New Zealand. These are heavy ass parts, what an absolute waist of energy in this time of global warming. I heard DHL might be going out of business and its no wonder why, with absolute crappy money/time/energy wasting shipping routes. Bottom line is, our boat still broken, parts still not here and what are the boys to do but have some more fun and hone our various skills.
For Dom, the commonwealth kids and myself that takes the roles of surf photography and surfing. We had been hitting up the new left point for a few fun afternoon sessions and as the waves were sick, the light was always back lit to hell, with the blinding sun directly behind the waves in the afternoon when we most seemed to be on it, the story with west coasts world wide, so everyone just surfing was the call.
On one particular fun session with a S. swell still running, Kahlil in a froth induced blindness, as no one is really sure if his conscious mind has control of his motor functions when riding a wave, tried his best skewer me with his pointy board. Narrowly skirting in front of me, good, but only to kookfully cut-back right in front of me, loosing his balance in the whitewater, as I protected my head with my arms and dove for safety. We ended up on top of each other and as I don’t take kindly to kooks endangering me in the surf, no matter whom they are, I reflexively, angrily untangled our boards, chucked his board towards the inside, called him a kook at the top of my lungs and told him to split, while the locals looked on in amusement. It was funny really, as my aggressive side doesn’t need to come out too often here and the insident reminded me of surfing in crowded Southern California again. However, we still had to have a little chat later about how the waves here are dangerous enough without worrying about your friends unconsciously putting you in harms way. Then after a few days the south swells started to die out and a new N. started to fill in. This was first discovered late one evening when we hit up the left point and found the dying south and north swells were hitting simultaneously.
Death rights were firing down the opposite side of the reef that I tried futilely to catch, as wanted to keep living. I ended up paddling back over to the lefts that were still workable, warping as the N. swell was making all kinds of crazy wedges everywhere, with short fast rides on the various sections into the shallow reef. The top corner of reef was especially gnarly, S. and N. swells would come together, doubling the wave in height and throwing latterly, a crazy pie shaped wedge onto almost dry reef you wanted nothing to do with. But, the afternoon waves were fun, the drops intense, the rush heavy, compared to the length of the ride and the next day we knew we needed to change it up.
Its Kahlil on anchor watch again, because Dizzy still hadn’t come back from one of his many nights out with his chick Vainui. So, Dom and I split alone, headed for the North coast and the new swell. Checking spots along the way, the wind was offshore or nonexistent and it looked like all the variables were coming together. We looked at one of the deadliest waves I have ever tried surfing, a slabbing right, that is so hard to get into its crazy and then breaks on a super shallow, jagged coral ledge/shelf, that your fins scrape if you are on the bottom trough of the wave. It mostly the domain of boogieboarders, which a pack of greeted us warmly waving for us to paddle out and also two surfers who were yelling at us not to take pictures, like anyone really wants to surf this place for fun, its just a psycho wave. We watched a couple of sets turn spongers into reef meat and the surfers pulled back on all of em, and we split for more bountiful waters.
A secret spot we found previously hidden behind a motu was firing and we were out there. Dom in the water with the camera, trying to figure out the lineup and where to wait for the best shots and me on my 5”11” quad fin, grabbing fun barrels right off the bat. Dom barley got a chance to snap a few shitty shots before his memory card malfunctioned and he was reduced to surfing with me. Oh darn! The waves mushes through the top section, connecting into a wrapping barrel when big, that is perfect, heaving and just so much fun. Really only a few people were out, it was super mellow, but still its great to have Dom around to know when people are talking shit about you in French here. The language is still basically gibberish to me, thus I have no idea what people are saying, but Dom on the other hand is fluent in French and busts the froggy fuckers all the time. Calling them out and making them feel like the stooped fools, its great! In this instance out in the water, one French guy, sitting next to us was proclaiming “How stooped Americans are, that they come here and surf our waves.” Dom quips in French “Stooped is thinking you are the only one who knows your language.” And laughs in his face. He tries to tell us this is some local’s spot and Dom makes him feel like a retard, pointing out the obvious fact he is not Tahitian with a nose like that. Even the local Tahitians are laughing at the French kook and he splits after another shitty wave. Photographically the session might not have been too successful, but it was sure fun as hell and we stokedfully jammed home, dogging rain squalls and rainbows on the fairly long ride home.
That evening Dizzy was excitingly claiming he surfed the same spot earlier in the day for his first time and Vainui wanted to take us surfing tomorrow morning if we were up for it. I told Dom to fix his memory card issue and Dizzy spent more than a few minutes massaging Kahlil into serving yet another anchor watch for him and now I believe owes him five anchor watches; He’s going to be hating it when the surf is pumping in front of the boat and he’s stuck onboard manning the ship.
It was a fresh flowery smelling Tahitian morning, Vainui showed up with the car and we loaded the boards on the roof and for the first time since I can’t remember, I was going surfing by car again. It was fun driving in a car, as we don’t do it often and it offered a different perspective of Tahiti Nui. I have to say though, in Tahiti it is way faster to travel by boat, even our little “Red Rocket.” The barrier reefs create smooth, aqueous highways here and the air is way fresher out on the ocean. For, my ocean purified nose notices the exhaust fumes of all the cars exponentially more these days and I don’t think one feels how polluted the air actually is when driving on streets and highways, until you give it up for a fair bit of time. And as I reminisce fondly of my SUV collecting dust back home and all the great surf it has brought me too, I find I really don’t miss it much at all.
Showing up by land you discover why its a “Secret Spot,” as one can’t see the wave very well from shore. Hidden mostly by a motu and looking flat from so far away, its well camouflaged from most kooks. For the first time in ages I found myself paddling out from land and not a boat, what a novelty. We all made the long paddle, Dom struggling against the strong current with his camera gear propped on his board, having to cross the sharp reef and offering flesh as a sacrifice, as he eventually yielded to the unrelenting current in the channel and had to walk it. We eventually all made it out to the lineup and well, it wasn’t quite as big as the day before, but still super fun.
Dom’s camera seemed to be finally dialed, the sun intermittently cooperated and anther fun session went down. It was great to surf with Vainui, who for so long seemed to be Dizzy’s little secret. She got plenty of fun ones and even made me smile as she snaked boogieboarders with no hesitation.
Then apparently every Tahitian’s, Saturday’s night hangover wore off all at once and instantly we were surrounded with a pack of flailing, spazzing boogieboarders (the real scourge of Tahiti, apparently they haven’t got the memo here that you should start surfing when you grow up and leave the boogie for kids), a bunch of local surfers and now with a solid pack out in the surf, I was over it. Opting instead to relax in the warm shallows of the motu, chatting it up with Vainui, as the last minutes of morning ticked by and Dom and Dizzy battled the crowd for some last tasty waves. We scored it, every one was happy as stoked little surfers after the session and thank you a million for coming out of the closet as Dizzy’s girlfriend Vainui (only a 2.3% tranny chance now, I kid), and hooking us up with fun times and surf.
All those exhausting fun times make growing boys need to eat good, scrumptious food to say fit and healthy. On the “Natty M” we know what good eating is all about. Life is just too short to eat poorly and soon, god willing we will be in the middle of nowhere eating what ever is at hand, but right now there are well stocked markets close by, albeit expensive markets and nightly good eats have been going down. Homemade BBQ’ed sauced T-Bones one night and tender teriyaki sirloin stakes another, but then the good got even better.
Jamaican Mike, who is by now an honorary “Natty M” crewmember, had a special, special gift for us. I’m not talking about his West Indian/Caribbean tooth suck sound, that Dom had been missing and brought me back to warm Caribbean memories; Even though what usually follows after the tooth sucking sound is never good news nor a kind reply, but sass. This gift traveled across multiple oceans, all the way from Jamaica, its birthplace, hand crafted by Mike himself, with nothing but the finest of Jamaica’s herbs and spices blended together. It was authentic Jamaican Jerk sauce. Upon opening the bottle your nose is greeted with the potent smell of spices, a little sweetness and the pungent odor of goodness, that instantly makes your mouth water before you can inhale another heavenly sent.
Everyone had been reminiscing about chicken wings and Caribbean BBQ since the day we all left the place, now it was a reality! The Jerk spent all day marinating hand fulls of chicken wings and young New Zealand lamb chops and that night it was a Jamaican BBQ feast. Dizzy was off once again on a hot date, which was great, because there was just more for us to devour and we wedged on succulent, spicy meat, we greedily pulled off the bone with our teeth. Dinner was so good and brought us all back to a place we love, The Caribbean with its African culture, music and finger licking good BBQ, what an absolute treat way out in Tahiti.
The great Jamaican dinner we had that night, was preceded by yet another gorgeous Tahitian sunset we thoroughly enjoyed watching from “The sandbar.” “The sandbar,” is a long shallow, obviously sandy, mostly coral free area just inside the barrier reef, where Tahitian catamaran party barges and tons of local boats anchor on the weekends and everyone wades around in waste deep water, dancing to competing beats and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, i.e. the opposite sex and alcoholic refreshments. You hang out with big jovial Tahitian men who warm you with their friendly spirits and generous gifts of beers and strange alcoholic punches I always try to avoid, as well as topless Tahitian women, who are quite friendly to us haollies and whom I also try to avoid. For like I said big friendly Tahitian men abound and I don’t want to see their other side. As the sunset fades into a starry night, the party starts to wane, the girls get cold and everyone weighs anchor, most headed for various local eateries to soak up the booze of the day.
The next evening we were hungry, growing boys once again after the fun Sunday morning surf session and yep, you could have guessed it I’m sure. More tangy Jerk sauce, marinating thick, juicy pork chops were awaiting us to be covetously consumed. I grilled the other white meat to absolute perfection and once again we were in gastronomical heaven. All of us greedily devouring the deliciousness and then just keeling over, right there on the spot, from the excess food and probably the previously consumed alcohol too.
For it was Sunday afternoon and we had strictly been observing the Sabbath, not working, relaxing on the boat, afternoon breeze blowing, most still in an afterglow from the fun surf of the morning, so we kicked it into high gear and started playing Shithead. If you don’t know Shithead, it’s a fun card game with no winner, just a looser, the Shithead, who typically has to drink something nasty or potent as a reward for being the Shithead. A perfect game to get rid of your left over booze from previous parties or stuff you don’t want to drink, but might just chance it, hopefully to watch your friends gag it down. In this particular case it was Kahlil’s only for trading, cheap, shitty, red box wine that was the poison and everyone received their dose, but Mike got destroyed way harder. It was quite classic, as you can be doing oh so well, but your last three cards are face down, unknown to you and if you choose the wrong one, Ouch! It can turn the tables dramatically. You end up getting unloaded upon and Mike’s sly luck from the previous nights games had all been washed away, eliciting jabs and pokes of fun from everyone else and plenty of, you had if coming to ya’s.
As if the jerk sauce wasn’t enough, Mike came over the following night and made us a big pot of Jamaican chicken curry, with rice and damn did it hit the spot again! You couldn’t scrape a drop off the side of the pot by the time we were through with it, it was so good.One truly feels like you are brought back to times of old, when we are all cooking and sharing food together in the evenings, playing games, talking trash and story. I find it quite amazing how interactive and social people are, when there is no high-speed Internet at you fingertips and TV to watch on demand. I construe, most of the busy people of the world could benefit from a healthy dose of, the old-fashioned way life.
Well, good thing the sun has been shining and the wind blowing more these days, helping us keep our ships batteries charged. Its now officially back to high season here as of March 1st,, doubling the once affordable dockage rates of Marina Taina and making us not want to go back and tie up any time soon. But, we do seem to know how to play the waiting game quite well and I guess we will just continue to do so, enjoying ourselves in the process. I’m getting a strange kind feeling, like our parts are going to be lost forever and we are going to have to apply for another visa extension soon. I know all our friends here are rooting for that one, but for now we will just wait and see what’s in store for the “Natty M” boys, next. Cheers – Kyber