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An epic sailing adventure of surfing, skateboarding, kiteboarding, and exploration aboard the “Natural Mystic”

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Bonjour Friends

February 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments

In the Chopo barrel

Welcome back to a sweaty nautical life. You are rejoining us at Taina Marina, Papeete, where we are awaiting the arrival of replacement alternators courtesy of DHL postal from America. Our engine situation has kept us in this vicinity, but we have found some fun little escapades of late, mainly nocturnally.  

Within direct eye sight of our Bimini couch is the vicious reef pass wave of Taapuna. The waves break in less than a foot of water and offers a solid adrenaline shot with each shallow slab that dredges inches over the reef. Recently we had a full moon that illuminated a tranquil night with such a vibrant silver glow that enabled our crew to share some shallow midnight barrels. The serene breathless night made for excellent visibility through the crystal waters to observe the flurry of activity on the reef, as fish of all sizes perused our bobbing forms, occasionally feeding on our reef wounds. I am speculating the local fish of Taapuna have evolved specialized unique carnivorous feeding habits, as the waves here deliver skin slicing kisses from the ever close reef which the little buggers eagerly nibble and feed upon. Through the still night you could hear hoots of surf stoke punctuated by abrupt yelping and cursing as another eager fish struck its dinner from your shredded knees, hands, feet and back. As the hours passed midnight, the moon was in perfect overhead position for the barrels, and your view from the inside as the lip hurled its curl off the inky black transition of the wave face gave each droplet in the cascade a backlit colour of steely shining silver, like standing inside a spinning molten metal monochrome vortex.

The Natty M dynamic has rearranged itself, With our lovely feminine representative, Tina (much missed, love muffin!) heading back to the real world in Norway and Dom arriving to continue capturing the adventure in photo form. His learning curve as a water photographer went into a steep incline as he was promptly thrown into the menace of Teahupoo with shooting subjects of surfing world champ Andy Irons, Cory Lopez and entourage on our recent mission there. We hit the wave for a week long strike to coincide with a beautiful south swell, and as with previous visits to this Mecca of tube riding, Plenty of mind altering waves were ridden and observed. The wave and its surroundings have stamped itself into my mind with an other-worldly aura.

Adam getting barrelled

On return to Marina Taina, our crew unfortunately contracted some form of the flu, rendering our actions lethargic and pained for a week. Coupled with our patient expectation of our replacement engine parts has given us a slow week, interspersed with some mediocre sessions at Taapuna, and I have been using the cruising time to dabble into plunking one of the boats guitars. Although the close quarters of boat living doesn’t promote the best environment for novice musicians to experiment, there’s plenty of solitary moments to sacrifice the serenity of a sunset where I have anchor watch and the boat to myself to make an audio disaster and turn a otherwise mellow day into a little learning experience. The staggered acquisition of small snippets of a new skill have helped me retain my sanity as all of us with an abundance of energy and a regular caffeine induction will agree that keeping the mind busy over an ailing week keeps the voices in the head muffled. Similarly to this end, I am piecing together my first attempt at a novel. This work has been progressing in segments over the previous months dictated by the availability of electricity, and while we have been at the dock with an abundance of power it has been interesting arranging the aforementioned internal voices into sentences and paragraphs.

I'm learning the guitar

As soon as DHL delivers our eagerly awaited parts, and sailing gods willing, we shall be moving off to investigate the waiting secrets of the remaining Society Islands. Apologies for the lack of manic adrenaline dripping content to this recent update, but as we all know, at times cruising is exactly that, and soon we shall have new waves, horizons and tales to share. Till then, Peace – Diz

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Fun Times and Even Funner Times

February 17th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Kickin At the dock Marina Taina

On a Dock!

Preparing to finally leave French Polynesia, we spent a few days on the dock of Marina Taina, our adopted Tahitian neighborhood by now. I still wander around at night looking for P Kiddy every time we are here. Its chalked full of cruising boats from multitudes of countries, cruising families, mega yachts with crews just kicking it, waiting for their owner to show back up, local Tahitian fisherman and local Tahitian boat owners, that sometimes hook us poor traveling folk up with wakeskate rides, like Christian does, sick!

Kids playing with more kidsWakeskating with Christian and Tieke

It really is like one big family here, with everyone hanging out and playing with the kids in the afternoons, looking out for each other and helping each other with their various technical specialties. We were supposedly getting ready to leave French Polynesia finally, gosh! But just like always for us, that didn’t happen quite so easily.

Moira Showing of the Parties Beer Cooler

Moira and a boat of beer

Michelle, of Tahiti Yacht Accessory who I can highly recommend for any rigging or electric problems helped us get the last of those little bugs sorted and Moira our Colombian crusing senorita lent us her back up sowing machine, so we could get some stitching on warn fabric done and Tina could redo our deteriorating bean-bag chairs with new, groovy Sponge Bob Square Pants covers to make them way more comfortable and immensely more attractive. Especially now that disgusting duck tape residue doesn’t adhere to your ass and back every time you sit down. Also super huge that she put zippers on both covers so they can be washed and decontaminated after Dizzy taints them, some hot, sweaty afternoon.

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Sponge Bob Square Pants Bean Bag

Over a bit of time I’ve gotten a little herb garden growing on our transom, in perfect fitting little trays, that are super easy to stow underway. Now we are always cooking with basil, cayenne chili peppers, oregano, and we’ve even harvested some radishes, O and aloe thanks to Tina! (which she needed the most any way in her quest to be Norway’s tannest girl alive). “Natty M” was loaded up with tons of food and provisions, but as a good little sailing boat should, Mother Nature had the final say in where we were headed and I listen to her unequivocally.

Start of the little herb garden

All legal herbs

A solid southern hemisphere summer south swell was headed our way and that left us little choice but to head back to Teahupoo for more fun times. But, before we left we had to take care of some unfinished business. It was our solo sailing Brazilian friend Christiano’s birthday and we had some celebrating to do. Luckily for us, the Italian cruisers on an R/P 80 “Capricornia,” that has been converted to cruising boat were taking off for Samoa the next day and threw a solid going away party, that we easily parlayed into a B-Day bash for Christiano as well.

The B-Day Party Crew

The Party Crew

It was one hell of a shindig and a big thank you goes out to “Capricornia,” the crew and their owners for an extremely fun time. Complete with a melodious musical Tahitian trio, self-serve open bar, a dingy full of refreshing brews and a catered dinner fit for a Tahitian king, with all kinds of delicious BBQ’ed local meats, salads and especially tasty poisson cru (Tahitian raw fish salad) that I can never get enough of. Basically the entire marina and half the surrounding neighborhood showed up for the bash and everyone was seriously a bit loose by the end of the night. Christiano loves his whisky and thought we got him into the best B-Day party ever, with his fill of ol Jack Daniels for the evening (quite something else, as a bottle of Jack is $55 here).

Party Favors

Shoping is fun in Tahiti

As standard, the “Natty M” boys and girl shut the place down, helped clean up a bit and as a bonus reward got to take some of the excess boozes and women back to “Natty M” for an after party that went well into the morning hours until everyone just passed out together in one big sleeping snoring heap on the trampoline. Unluckily for Dizzy he passed out first and found himself getting an early morning not so fresh water shower.

Who dosen't love fucking with Dizzy

Time to rise and shine

As they say, there is no rest for the weary, and I had everyone up and not so rearing to go by 9am Saturday morning and we were throwing off the dock lines and heading out the Taapuna pass, past the weekend throngs bingeing small waves, headed for good old Tahiti Iti and Teahupoo 45 miles southwest. The trades were back up strong, as were the seas, all dead on the nose, so I decided to head inside the barrier reef at Mara’a to take the protected inside route that looked OK on the charts.

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This means sometihing

As we went in the pass, Tina noticed a peculiar cloud. Shaped like an arrow and pointing out of the pass, not in, or also could have meant Happati’s the good call and not Teahupoo. It felt like a sign to me, even friggin looked like one, I just wasn’t sure exactly what it meant at the time and I truly believe in signs from Mother Nature or manifestations of mana. After powering inside the reef for an hour, arriving at the pass we needed to exit from, we all discovered what the sign meant. The pass we needed to egress from was called Ava Iti West, which means “small pass” in Tahitian. The first Tahitian reef pass we ever took “Natural Mystic” through was Ava Iti East and it was OK. Well the western one looked like it might have worked, and might not have, as the still small south swell was almost closing the shallow pass out. So, no need to needlessly risk it, I followed the sign, albeit a bit late, but relieved to know that it was still the right call to be heading for Teahupoo, turned the boat around and headed back out the way we came in. As with almost any detour in Tahiti it was well worth it, just to view the up close beauty we were presented along this as yet unexplored by us part, of the Tahitian coastline.

sleepin on the job

Sleeping on the job

The trip took a little bit longer than typical, with the strong unfavorable seas and winds, but gave us all a little time to catch up on some sleep we might have missed the night before and some 8 hours later we were safely anchored in a bay just on the other side of the Teahupoo marina.

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Peace on Earth

It was nice to spend Saturday night anchored off, as Tahitians love to drink on the weekends and we wanted to get some rest before the swell hit. If we went straight to the dock there is just no way we could keep saying “No Thanks” to all our Tahitian friends who would undoubtedly be coming over with cold Hinanos and other fancy treats.

Teahupoo Harbor Friends

Harbor Ratz

Sunday dawned with a small fun swell and we surfed the playful waves with the friendly locals. Rumors of Andy Irons and various other pros showing up were floating around and as we checked Teahupoo right before dark, sippin on a complimentary cold Heineken for a change, we got to see Andy and Cory Lopez just destroying the now building swell. They had a good piss on after watching the Super Bowl and drinking beers all afternoon and even an inebriated Andy Irons was absolutely killing it, smacking thick chunky lips with reckless abandon, and getting shacked out of his mind in the now growing solid surf. We ended up being the only boat around and gave the smashed boys what turned out to be a funny boat ride back in, both telling some funny stories, seeming like nice blokes, all as a crazy electrical storm instantly broke out at sea to the southwest, as if Mother Nature was exclaiming something is coming with thunderous exclamation!

Kahlil and Dizzy cooked a meaty pasta for dinner, which was quite tasty and we all went to bed early ready to be on it early next AM. However, maybe I should have installed a conspicuous sign in the kitchen saying “All crew please wash your hands thoroughly, after using the bathroom or scroaping” (Dizzy is famous for this not so sanitary male routine of ball play). I woke up from a dead sleep at 3 am to find my insides cramping up something fierce and as I got out of bed to assess the situation, I was so screwed up I couldn’t even climb back up the 3 feet to get back into bed and instead curled up on the hard floor in absolute horrendous abdominal pain.

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Ahhhhhhh how cute!

There was commotion upstairs and I couldn’t even get too my feet to go check out what it was, so Tina went and discovered Dom in a similar state and both of us cursing the food we ate for dinner. Dizzy and Kahlil were seemingly unaffected, as the two sometimes suspected lovers probably are immune to what ever inhabits their deep dark places.

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Morning glass

As dawn broke on Monday morning it was perfect. Teahupoo was flawless, all the pros were out, getting barrel after barrel and I was just not up to the task at hand, still feeling like I had a little demon living in my bowels. If your AI its one thing, but as a normal good surfer you need to be absolutely 100% to be out there getting waves on a solid day, so I was happy to take a back seat and just watch the show unfold, video a little and support Dom as he swam with the 6 or so other water photogs, trying to get some shots. Not an easy task at all, especially when your guts rotted out.

AI layback barrel

AI showing off

All the pros were very good, but Andy just stood out from the pack without a doubt. He is unbelievably talented/gifted and makes riding one of the most dangerous waves in the world look like an absolute breeze. Taking off nonchalantly, sooooo deep and just airdropping into standup, no grab pits without any hesitation or even look of effort. It is like the guy is riding a magic carpet, while everyone else is on surfboards.

Air Drop 1Andy Irons Air Drop 2

Andy Irons Air Drop 3Andy Irons Air Drop 4

Andy Irons Air Drop 5

AI makes it look so easy

Young Kolohe Ando was out for his first session ever at the wave and I have to give him props too. So much of the surf Mags are hype and cater to 13 year old boys, you really don’t know how well to expect a 14 year old to surf, especially when it seems they are super over exposed in all the surf Mags recently. But Kolohe started getting into rhythm and scored some sick pits out there and is truly a great young surfer with unlimited potential ahead of him. Tons of waves were coming through, everyone was getting plenty, the vibe great and what a show it was to watch, as barrel after barrel went down, with most made, but still a handful of nasty reef gashes here and plenty of broken boards there.

Kolohe Andino airing it out

Kolohe super gromit air

Jamie O’Brien was the other pro that stood out from the crowd. He just sat way outside and deep, waiting for the biggest ones to come through and went on absolutely anything, typically as everyone else was scrapping to just make it under the heaving lip, and camera men were swimming for it trying to save their lives (expect Jack McCoy who had his video camera mounted on an underwater scooter and buzzed around the reef like a mosquito). Jamie would typically make it out of the most insane, deep pits, some times switch and while not as effortless as AI, still one hell of a great surfer and a joy to watch.

Jamie O settin it up

Jamie O settin it up

My stomach stared feeling better by the next day and we were in the water early the next morning, before the Pros were on it and while not as big as the day before, it was still super fun and tubing. The swell stayed around all week, sometimes getting a little bigger, sometimes a little smaller and we spent the days surfing Teahupoo and the various other waves, mostly uncrowded with a few locals out or sometimes with the pros, who were fun to surf with, always respectful, with everyone taking turns, as there were so many waves to go around.

Me the next morning

Me a tad deep on this one

Really helping push my surfing to a higher level and making me a better surfer for sure by the end of the week. You get to see the lines they draw up close, as they bust 360 airs with ease and they push you deeper on the peak, making you get every inch of travel out of the barrels that were to be had, and always friendly Cory Lopez might even offer up a good little surf tip to help ya out.

Cory Lopez setin up the tube

Corey Lopez just having fun

It was absolutely one of the best weeks of surfing of my entire life. To be able to surf in such a beautiful place as Tahiti, with some of the best surfers in the world, in some of the world’s best waves, enjoying it all with your friends and girl. Christiano ended up following us down a couple of days later and getting, some fun sessions in too and Tina would sit on the inside of the right, trying to catch the tail end of the waves and avoid the reef (not 100% successfully) and being sucked out to sea in the ultra strong current, complete with cheers of encouragement and advice from the Pros.

Jamie O getting shacked

Jamie "Freekshow" O emerging from a long tube

Dom was getting into the Tahitian swing of thins too, he would switch it up between shooting and surfing, relishing the opportunity to have some of the world’s best to work with. But, the learning curve is steep, both photographically and surfingly out here. With focus issues plaguing many of the photo sessions, but that’s really nothing compared to having to dodge the lip of Chopes’ west bowl and the insane rip current of the right, which makes it almost impossible to stay in optimum position.

Dom shooting Dany Fuller with the other Photogs

Cameras getting in Dom's way of Danny Fuller

Combine that with trying to surf Teahupoo and the right for the first time on a sold swell and you get dished up destruction, as the macking right broke Dom’s brand new, supposedly unbreakable Firewire board clean in half, leaving me to surf perfect waves all afternoon by myself, while Dom and the girls cheered the tubes on from “Red Rocket”. He still has not heard back from Firewire about their supposed replacement policy for a true broken board. I think they are dodging him, screw that company their expensive boards break like all the rest.

Dom's broken Firewire

Tina's enchalads taste better

It was also funny to finally meet Dizzy’s chick Vanuie. She is Tahitian and lives over in Morea, but would hook up with Dizzy wherever we seemed to be found. Morea any coast, Pappete, Teahupoo, she had family everywhere and would pop up to pick him up in the evenings after a hard day’s work. This went on for months and we never even met her once, only saw grainy pictures. We were all starting to suspect she was some Tahitan tranny, hopefully a hot one at least and were pleasantly surprised when we finally got to meet her on the Teahupoo Dock and she was quite nice and lovely and only has about a 7.2% chance of still being a tranny.

It seems like when you follow Mother Nature she knows things you don’t yet. On the trip down to Teahupoo I noticed out port engine alternator was not working. And I’m thinking one nice thing about having a catamaran with two engines is redundancy; we have another alternator for back up power. However the starboard alternator didn’t last much longer either and soon broke too. So, after a couple of days we were eventually without any way except Mother Nature to charge out batteries and Christiano’s attempt to help us out by lending us his portable generator, was met with pure failure. Christiano got it running once, warmed it up, turned it off to place it on our deck, hook up the cables and then the pull starter just self destructed, with no easy fix and that was the end of that friendly idea.

Marina Taina full moon rising

Good Full Moon Rising

So, with the realization that we had to leave our beloved Teahupoo once again, head back to Marina Taina and civilization to fix our boat, absolutely nothing new there, we packed it up. And so, we all said good-bye to one of the best weeks of surfing in all of our lives. But, it wasn’t quite over just yet. Sunday evening found us anchored off the Marina, hanging with our lovely Tahitian friend Charlotte, all with a couple of celebratory beers in us and an enormous full moon rising. I made the call to head out to Taapuna and get some full moon barrels, having to amp up the rarely non-frothing commonwealth kids and Tina. And that is how our wondrous week ended, in perfect 4 foot barreling waves at night, lit by a silvery, shinny Tahitian moonbeams that danced like happy children on the shallow reef below, through crystal clear water that you can barely feel on your skin as the temperature is so, like almost everything Tahitian, absolutely perfect! Cheers- Kyber

Another Chopo sunset

Buh Bye!

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…on a boat

February 15th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We need to get Mystic back on the NastyM to do a remix of this song and video.

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Tahitian Pixels from Ben

February 2nd, 2009 · 11 Comments

I think most of these pictures stand alone without words depicting the moment I captured. However, I bet a few of you want to read the story that goes with the photo. So, I’m calling out to all you MysticSail fans and families… If you would like to hear more about these Polynesian Pixels, just post a comment/question ——>BA

  waterfall 

Awe-inspiring views with perfect morning light

michaelclients …click thumbnails to enlarge lotus docking fisher_wave

cave

chopes_duckdive e_solomon spray ky_chopes_barrel kurupt_flip sweeper patrick_dropin

random phalic_backdrop1

 taivatiana motoring godrays whale_breach christiano misty_mtn_hop soccer chopes_sunset kyber_g-mabarber_haul gendarmes  taina_sunset_lagoon1  

The most Beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious. It is the Source of all true Art and Science  —–> Albert Einstein

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“Bienvenue a Tahiti”

January 31st, 2009 · 7 Comments

First session Barrel

After actually making the decision to head half way around the globe to follow my dreams, wants and simple urges to wonder that was a saying I longed to hear. I had been living in the BVI for over two years and had made it a happy home with many friends para la vida… Without who this voyage would not have been possible, especially my dear friend Joanna Morris!! I can not thank her enough for making this happen for me.

Living in the BVI treated me well and taught me so very much as well as being a good opportunity to start living by the sea. It had been along stint in cold (beautiful) Montreal before I relocated to the Caribbean.

My decision to join the Natural Mystic voyage was made simple by my need to get my photography headed in the direction I always wanted… Doing documentary work of far off faces and places, as well as learning how to shoot surfing from the water. Not to mention the obvious but a large motivator was to surf these waves that had for so long seemed out of reach but soooooooooo very tempting.

localtube.jpgsurfreef.jpg ripping.jpg

Since arriving here in Tahiti it has been a non stop string of “Firsts”. A new set of stars to familiarize myself with, living aboard a sailing vessel, seeing living coral everywhere… even growing on the main dock in our “home for now”, marina Taina. Just looking over the side dock is like having your own aquarium with tropical fish swimming in droves. It is refreshing and gives hope to see nature taking some of its territory back from our human intrusion.

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Taken by just aiming my camera at the dock!

My fist Tahitian wave taught me a valuable lesson… take off late and you WILL meet the reef hard. So I donated some flesh to the mass of coral beneath me as an offering for more surf. The olas (waves) here have proven to be beautiful and as perfect as they seem when staring at them dreamingly from within the pages of a surf mag. Requiring a lot of fear swallowing and narrow escapes but, not to sound like a surfer dude cliché!, once you are rewarded with one Tahitian barrel you can’t help but want many many many more!!! From late drop fast barrels to playful horseshoe reef fiestas these waves have me in awe.

Local friend Christophe getting a nice cover-upkyber under a ledge

The waves have been just as punishing and generous while I have been in the water shooting. It is a constant learning experience shooting surfing. Exposure and finding the correct settings to capture the movement, intensity and colour of surfing this place has been an adventure onto itself. Not having the luxury of adjusting my settings once incasing the camera in my Essex housing has been a mission that will be ongoing. A simple cloud can make for what you think is a shot in the water look bland once on the screen. But this is a challenge I am very willing to undertake and master. Even if it means taking many more waves, boards, fins and coral on the head!

Ahhh fins!local far barrel localhellman.jpg kyber tucking inNice tube but would hate to be the guy in the impact zone

While sitting and waiting for your next turquoise wave there is no shortage of inspiring scenery to look at. Lush beautiful mountains making jagged skylines shoot up from these beautiful clear water lagoons that are abundant with sea life. It looks like the backdrop to an old episode of land of the lost.

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Just like the land/seascape the Tahitians are very friendly and welcoming until the drink hits them, and they hit back. (As I could see in Dizz’s blog.) So they are much like my fellow Mexicans in that respect, only a lot larger. They, like their surroundings, are generous but can take a quick turn for the ouch. What I can not avoid mentioning is how the Polynesian, Asian and French mix makes for some of the most beautiful/ lovely women I have ever seen! But that is another story for mis amigos.

trany.jpg Quick portrait of a Tahitian transvestite.

They are very accepted here and a are intergrated into the culture. Make no mistake this is not what I meant by the beautiful women here, haha.

Speaking of amigos I have made some new friends that you have all already met through these bogs… Our Skipper Kyber, who has made all of this possible, is a man of many talents and bravado. To take a word from his vocabulary, he is gnarly! He at least is use to Mexican immigration issues coming from California. Kahlil, is our constantly surf and pretty much all life stoked first mate (who has been kind enough to bestow me with “not a wanker” status, so I shall return the favor in kind, ha-ha). Dizzy the second mate, whose grin and contagious laugh can make anyone join in, is beyond any shadow of a doubt drunk on local Tahitian beauties. Last but not least Tina, who is so laid back she makes most us men seem fussy. She is a much needed and appreciated dose of the feminine on board this ship!!! They have all been very welcoming and have made me feel like one of the motley crew!


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I love this Natural Mystic experience may it keep showing me new things with every sail.

To all my Missed friends back homes. I love you mucho and hope you know you are here with me. Ermanita mamaLela te QUIERO y tu papJean!! Doolies, tuooolies, little one and Biek… cheat my _­lls. Mama, Papucho, Josh y fam LOVE YOU mucho moskos. Wave, my doggy and best friend me duele cuanto te extrano.

I will end my rambles as all things in a foreign place begin… with learning simple words in Tahitian… so here I go Iaorana (hello) I am Domenic Mosquiera, hailing from the lands of Mexico and Canada.

Cheers all.

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Illegal Mexican Immigration a Problem for Tahiti

January 29th, 2009 · 9 Comments

moon-rainbow-web.jpg

Save the economy, there is gold on the moon, Obama.

Actually our Mexican immigrant Domenic, “Natty M’s” new photographer was quite legal, but getting the French government to grant him legal status for entry was no simple task. It was the biggest bureaucratic pain in the ass on this journey yet; trying to get Dom’s Mexican/Kanuck ass approved, so he can pollute the pristine waters of French Polynesia with his brand of Puerto/Canadian funk.

Dom after his first water shooting session in Tahiti

Dom Floats Too

The story goes like this, we had been hanging around Morea, waiting for our new camera pro to leave his life of yacht photography in the BVI, and get his ass over here. All the while extensively taking in all the activities the blissful island has to offer, or more specifically surfing, surfing, surfing and more surfing. The island is perfectly sized to go from one side to the other by boat quickly, as the swells from various parts of the world reach the island’s reefs and detonate with regularity on one side or the other, or often multiple sides simultaneously. We had just been keeping ultra mobile, often heading to a different anchorage or two every day, chasing the wind and swell angles for not so elusive liquid perfection. All while enjoying the company of the many new friends we have made there, both in the water and out.

Moving from one anchorage to another

I'm Driving the boat, duh.

The other thing about surfing Morea besides its convenient size, is there are numerous reef passes dotted all over the place. This provides potential setups everywhere you look. Each pass has two sides, and the reefs unique angles to each other, so if you’re on it and can put 2+2 together, you’re going to score good waves often. And, like everywhere else in the world there are the known spots and ones not so renowned and if you search in those dusty corners of barrier reef, they are just lurking for some lucky/prepared surfer to score those forgotten corners.

Forgotten Corners of lovley reef

Never know what you might find, maybe me getting tubed

Well, we stumbled across a perfect slabbing left, that no one really surfs, for good reason and its super fun if ya got the skills. Swells hit the top shelf straight on and you sit inside there, too deep on the reef to ever feel comfortable, then chuck yourself over the appearing ledge, behind the bowl, as water just drains off the now dry reef, this usually involves a grabbing airdrop on your backhand, landing just feet from the dry coral, as the bulk of the wave hits a corner pocket of reef, jacks up and the wave just bends 90? and heaves a perfect, thick bubble and spits you out, every time, like a mini Teahupoo. Maybe you got time to bust one turn at the end of the wave before kicking out becomes a necessity and if you blow the drop or tube, you’re on the reef for sure, been there done that one.

left just fireing

This discovery was a little heavier than the previous one

Then when the winds got weird, blowing northerly, ruining the island’s bread and butter spot, it was back to searching for alternatives. But, wouldn’t you know it they exist. In the form of a fun left, that can get fat or a little racy, depending on the swell angle, but the real gem came in the discovery of a super sick, right-hander. It takes the swell and just bends it into multiple waves, over a long stretch of reef. The top wave is fat, go grab you longboard kook, middle wave is fun, rippable and mostly tame, ending in mush, and backing off into deep water, but here’s the rub.

easy drops to fun tubes

Setting up the right off the easy drop

You catch that mush as it pushes through the deep water pocket, you’re usually up and riding as it hits the inside reef and just tubes down the line as your race it and then it lets you rip turns until you have to kick out as the wave ends its life on almost dry reef. Basically, like a tropical version Cowboy Corner on crack rock and coral instead of smooth sand. This discovery was all the better, as it let me surf the inside barreling wave and Tina could surf the middle wave with out too much reef risk (shit still happens), and everyone could surf some fun waves together for a change.

fun rights

lookin like fun times

This discovery was made just a short time before we were forced to leave our island paradise. We needed to head back to Papeete a couple days in advance of our Mexican’s arrival, as I had to organize all the necessary paperwork for his planned immigration. Now, I was planning to leave Morea on Tuesday, as Domenic arrived on Sat. and whenever you are dealing with immigration you should give yourself one day for crap, another day to fix the crap, and figure they don’t work on Friday at all, because of some obscure holiday, you ignorantly didn’t know existed. Well, the surf was too fun and empty to leave on Tuesday, so screw immigration; we left Wednesday afternoon for Tahiti.

on auto pilot ridin the sprit back to Tahiti

The Joy's of auto pilot

Thursday, starting bright and early, was spent hectically running from one immigration office at the port, back via dingy and leg power to the immigration office at the airport 4 times or so. Not being EU citizens, we have to post bonds equivalent to an ultra expensive airplane ticket out of here ($1,500), so if we don’t leave, the authorities all ready have our money to ship us deadbeats out. Dom, had a 1-way ticket here, only round-trip tickets get you out of the bond and airlines will not even let you on the flight without proof or a bond or exemption.

So, I go to the port office and the authorities say Dom needs be here in person with his passport to post the bond. Or else we needed to use an agent, if we have crew showing up, this agent assumes Dom’s immigration risk. Too late for that one. We wanted to just leave the country basically right when Dom showed up, but we couldn’t add him to our crew list without him physically being here. It was one ridiculous catch 22 after anther and I was now laughing by this time. So, the port immigration office said, “You need to go to the airport office and they will sort you out. The airport office told me to write a letter explaining the situation. That we were leaving just two days after his arrival, asking them to wave the bond, that repeated officials said he should have purchased from his home country before he left. Oh yea, where? But a nice lady was insistent immigration just needed a written letter explaining our situation and it would probably work, but of course you need proper forms that the port office has, so go back there first. So, back to the port office, before it closes for lunch from 11-2, whoo, make it by the skin of my teeth, grab the forms, back to the boat, write a letter and bring it back to airport immigration before it closes for the day at 4pm and I better have some time to spare. I made it, but DENIED! The big French head honcho (really a little man) says “Two days is it too much time, one day between the day he arrives and your boat leaves is the most time we could make an exception for, without him posting a bond.”

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Please let me in your country, I'm serious!

Well that just isn’t happening, “Can’t you just please let me post the bond for him? I ask again. “With the copy of his passport and not the original, just in this one case, SVP.” A conference occurs, sectaries, bosses, random Tahitian people that I thought were just in the waiting room with me are all in on the conversation that is just French gibberish to me. The boss then reluctantly makes a phone call, as I thank them for their “Wonderful help” and they tell me to go to the bank downstairs. Not much time left in the lengthy Tahitian workday now, as I run downstairs. Only to endure a plethora of phone calls for help by the confused bank teller, countless forms filled out in triplicate, my credit card eventually swiped, cash advance cleared, receipt in had, run back to the immigration office upstairs and give em the bond receipt. They tell me to hold on while, they OK the paperwork and call the airline letting em know it is now ok to let Dom on the plane. Its finally all done and only one whole day of bureaucratic crap and some money to get a Mexican into a country legally and the sad thing is, that’s really not too bad, probably.

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This is an actual picture of my dream.

Its 9am Friday, I’m sipping on coffee, waking up, the immigration stuff is just a leftover bad dream from yesterday, replaced by blissful dreams about frolicking, flipping dolphins, I just got to chill until Saturday morning when the Mexican arrives. With clouds still in my eyes, I glance at my cell phone. 18 missed calls! WTF! Then the phone rings, I must have really been asleep dreaming, I never heard the phone ring once. Its Dom’s friend Joanna from Tortola calling to tell me they will not let Dom on the plane, as he has no official document in his possession, only an e-mail from me titled “Hey your Mexican/Kanuk Ass is Finally Fucking Approved.” This however makes his first set of airport officials laugh, at least enough to allow him on the first leg of his flights from BVI to Miami. Luckily for him, his layover is three hours and Joanna catches me in time to go make a copy of the bond, scan it, and pdf. it to him, in an e-mail. And the officious, US officials let him through customs and onto his next flight to L.A.

In L.A. he is greeted by a warm welcome from Air Tahiti Nui telling him to enjoy his flight to the waiting “Natural Mystic” and Tahiti. The airline was already informed, I guess they just didn’t feel the need to inform the American Airlines portion of his flights. Oh well, just like Tina, Dom arrives in Tahiti excited, with surfboards, but missing his luggage and the airline representative is telling him, “The missing bags will be on the next flight.” “Yea right” I say “Four more days and maybe you will see them again.”

check out my red sperm board

Dizzy will always be a sponging kook at heart.

Following Dom’s arrival came the arrival of a new toy for the boat. I know, I have given “sweepers” a lot of shit and still do. Our derogatory name for stand up paddleboarders or SUP for short, as back in California they just look like a bunch of old ladies sweeping the flat ocean clean of pesky kelp and riding tinny, mushy waves. But, here there are SUP guys out at Teahupoo charging and the protection of barrier reefs make for a perfect way to get some exercise on a flat day or an ideal vessel to paddle out to the reefs and spearfish from, so I capitulated and bought one. There is not much of a selection of SUP boards to choose from in Tahiti and we were also restricted by the width of our spot to store the board, so we only had one option. A bright red twelve foot long board to match Red Rocket, but with a giant, flaming red sperm on the front. I guess the board was shaped by a French shaper named “Fire Ball,” but some one should tell him his logo looks like a flaming sperm, not a fire ball. Killer hot! I can’t wait to start offending people in lineups across the world, with my extra kooky SUP flaming sperm board.

So, with a new giant red board, some catching up, waiting for rain to pass, a little restocking, refueling and Dom with no clean underwear (typical Mexican) we head back to Morea in the middle of the night, throw the hook in a now familiar anchorage and all quickly pass out to sounds of thundering surf on the reef.

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View across the anchorage in the morning

Dom, wakes up to his first sunny day in French Polynesia with perfect pumping surf and offshore winds. The left across the pass from the boat is as good as it gets, double overhead cylinders spinning down the reef, but crowded with 15 guys out. So, we load up “Red Rocket” and head out to the left slab a short drive away. No one’s around, its mean, pumping with double overhead sets greeting us and we’re hesitantly out there, triple checking the dink anchor, as the current out the pass is like an angry river, complete with rapids, as the lagoon tries to empty all the excess water out of the 25 foot wide, very narrow opening, as the new swell surges huge volumes of water over barrier reef.

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You can just see Kahlil getting sucked out the pass

No need to paddle out, the current sucks you right to the peak, as I watch Kahlil airdrop, to a tube smack down pummeling on his first attempt. I grab a few sick ones, its fucking real and dangerous. Dom’s no stranger to big, powerful waves. He grew up in Puerto Escondido, the “Mexican Pipeline” its called, but proclaims, living and surfing in the Caribbean for the last three years just doesn’t get you ready for Tahitian waves.

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Lookin down, Hello Reef.

He and Christiano are finding it hard to just commit to the drop, as you stare from 10 feet above, looking straight down through the crystal water at jagged reef, just waiting to do its best human cheese grater imitation. I selectively pick and choose a few gems over the next hour or so and then the wind switches and its over. But, all we have to do is pull up anchor and head over to a right, which is mostly offshore now. Fortunately for everyone, its an easier wave and now everyone is getting some waves, having a blast and Dom’s first day in French Polynesia is full of stoke and adrenaline.

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Monday dawns with shitty winds, and small north waves, but a chase of offshore winds brings us to find a new SE swell has hit and the right Tina and I discovered is offshore and firing. Tina paddles out, but the wave she was surfing before is now super solid, too big for her and she is forced to sit in the channel and just watch. Dom shoots some of his first water shots of the trip, its just me and Dizzy surfing on a cloudy day. Some fun, dimly lit tubes go down and we surf all morning by ourselves.

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The afternoon is still pumping, with a couple of friendly locals out and all the boy’s share a fun surf together, as Tina kept an eye on the “Natty M”. The evening session finds me on anchor watch, as I let Tina and the boys go and surf Haapiti. When they arrive back at the boat, just past sunset, I haven’t seen Tina smiling so much since her dolphin orgy. The left was smaller and fun and Tina caught her first real reef wave. Taking off on the peak, even grabbing a rail through the bowl and making it out the end. She was super stoked and everyone was stoked for her too. I wish I had been there to witness it firsthand and snap a photo to show Sandor (he hooked her up the board).

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Dizzy turning it on, and not just with his pungent sex panther cologne.

It basically goes like this for a couple more days, until we hear of Dom’s luggage arriving four days later than it should have and have to entertain thoughts about heading back to Tahiti to pick it up. But, not before Tina gave the middle right one more try on a little bit smaller day. Only to pick one off, but unfortunately the first wave, of the set of the day and she is washed onto the dry reef by the ensuing ten solid waves. There is nothing I can do, as I don’t have booties on either and just watch as she figures out how to extract herself and slowly makes her way down the reef to paddle back out the inside of the pass.

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Dizzy a bit too late

But, not before a bootied Dizzy tries to help way too late, and well after a local fisherwoman lent her some flip-flops to make her reef stumble a little easier. Tina is one tough cookie and isn’t even worried about the cuts to her feet, leg and mildly shredded hands that are now rougher than mine, but that I think is more my problem though.

Ouch! A Boo boo

Tina's new Tahitian Tattoo

Well life ain’t always easy and only one of Dom’s bags made it, one is still missing some where in airport baggage purgatory and all the new movies and goodies Dom brought us, are probably long gone. I guess we will just have to keep watching the same old movies until we have all the lines memorized, not just the good ones and enjoy the girly TV shows that Jill bestowed upon us, like Gossip Girl, The New Beverly Hills 90210, and America’s Next Top Model. Like the Kool-Aid man says, “OH YEA!”

Taapuna crowded but fun as always

Taapuna usualy crowded, but still super fun!

And now one finds us back at Marina Taina, near Papeete, on the dock, the same exact spot where P Kiddy disappeared, just fixing a few more things on the “Natty M”, busting out some more projects, doing some spring cleaning, getting her ready to get out of here, and scoring some more sick ones at Taapuna, as south swells are still hitting. We were planning on leaving for the Tuamotus, then Christmas Island this Thursday, but now the wind forecast doesn’t look quite so hot and the south swell is forecast to come back up for a week straight, with no north swell for a while. North swell is necessary for the Tuamotu spots, so now maybe it is back to Teachuoo instead or maybe Morea once again. Who knows if we will ever leave French Polynesia, maybe the government is smart about making surfing slackers like us post bonds, guaranteeing our eventual departure, because why would anyone ever want to leave this paradise, none of us do! Cheers – Kyber

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Morea dishing out the crunchy sunsets


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Kiwi Dispatch

January 28th, 2009 · 3 Comments

We have had a flurry of blog activity due to our proximity to civilization (Papeete), and I’m long overdue my two cents from the last five months of sailing and cruising the wonderful islands of French Polynesia. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, if I were to give a full account it would be a small novel. Foremost on my mind is a shout out to all my friends and family from across the seas, I hope this blog gives some small insight into our lives aboard the Natty M of late, and hopefully entertain those of you I have yet to meet.

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Our arrival was heralded in the Marquesas with scruffy beards and scurvy drawn faces crusted inches thick with salt and fish guts after a hair-raising 3000 miles in a mere 13 days, eight hours, and twenty minutes, topping out at over 20 knots of boat speed surfing the swells, up to and over 250 miles a day under sail only. It was a trip I shall never forget, and an achievement I shall always be proud of. I shall never forget the feeling of being 1500 miles from the nearest point of land in either direction, each mere tiny islands themselves far from continental land masses. For me and our subsequent cruising in Tahiti has pushed my year mileage of blue water sailing to over 12,000 nautical miles, and living aboard boats for over a year.

The Marquesas were a trip. Skull Island style sheer cliffs in tropical jungle with forboding and volatile rocky shores lashed by strong winds. I shall never forget the islands for their faultlessly generous inhabitants, bountiful fruit, astounding sea life, and the pure childish fun of frolicking in the sea-caves and blow holes.

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My Tuamotan experience was memorable for the sheer sense of adventure involved exploring remote and sometimes uninhabited atolls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In our pursuit of surf we truly do drive ourselves to the far flung and forgotten corners of the world, and it is one of the reasons it brings me such joy. But surf was scarce out there, and I was put to task learning the art of spear fishing, scouring the passes and ledges for tasty fish and dodging the inquisitive and hungry sharks who provided what adrenaline rushes our weak run of surf denied.

Fishy business

Man in a grey suit

Swimming and holding our breaths for four or more hours a day and our simple protein rich diets of fish and rice made us a fit bunch. Our daily installments of collaborative bakery, driven by our doughmaster Tina, kept us active lads sustained. I passed much of this time in the peaceful and slow-paced paradise completing my first novel, which has taken me two years, and is another achievement from the last few months in which I take pride.

Next stop for us was the infamous Teahupoo, and a crash course in heavy Tahitian barreling waves, which after serving me some of the most exhillirating barrels of my life served me up on the inside with a slab of reef, an impact which left me invalid on the boat crawling about like an old man for a few days. Thankfully I have made a full recovery and live to go back and do it all over again. Teahupoo remains one of the most stunningly beautiful places I have ever been, framed every day in the most vivid rainbows I have ever seen set with lush green mountains, turquoise lagoons, and criminally good surf.

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Shortly after I once again had the pleasure of cruising with godfather Sandor, and meeting grandmother Jamie, whose presence as we completed our first of four moorean circumnavigations was a delight from start to finish and the Natty M turned on all the stops in a whirlwind of partying, surfing, and kiteboarding.

Since then it has been a rollercoaster ride of fantastic surf which has brought me countless memories, some four broken surf boards, more reef cuts than I have skin to lose, and a shit eating grin that just won’t leave my face (unless I start thinking about all those flaming broken boards, then I get grumpy). Our surf stoke is running high and Tina has caught the bug too so its no longer an all testosterone affair.

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Our extended stay at Taina Marina to search for our furball friend was a difficult time for us all, and I can only say that if you are out there reading this P Kiddy then at least send us a comment to let us know you are okay. We miss you.

I would also like to give a shout out to Jill, who joined us for a spell after a work mix-up, and whose presence was enjoyed by all aboard, we miss you too.

The end of 2008 saw a run of ridiculously good surf in Moorea which for me goes down in my book of all-time sessions, trading triple overhead perfect long reef pass waves in warm water for three days and culminating in a sunset surf on the 31st with a group of friends from Tahiti and Brazil with perfect waves and a sunset with colours that make Van Gough paintings look like sepia tones. To all of you who were there, I will never forget that moment we shared.

Meanwhile the world economy crumbles, but we can barely hear it rumble out here in the wide blue. This life is a dream.

So now sees us busting ass to prep the boat for our delayed departure and escape the evil clutches of the tropical cyclone belt (which produced its first cyclone of the season south of Fiji last night, TC Hettie), which to be caught unawares in would quickly turn our dream to nightmare. Again we are taking our leave of civilization in search of the remote, the new, and feed our insatiable lust for waves. Who knows when you all shall hear from me again, if at all (don’t worry, I touched some wood). My thoughts do stray at times to my great uncle Hans Maurenbrecher who sailed single handed from the Netherlands to New Zealand in the sixties, and who was tragically lost at sea with his boat Takebora off the Great Barrier Reef. We strive on the Natty M to keep our boat and ourselves in optimal condition and conduct our explorations in the safest manner possible, rest assured. As you can see by the below photo, we take things very seriously.

Seriously

I am also glad to report that our new dirty Mexican photographer Domenic is not a wanker, and is integrating so well into the Natty M run of things. I can only wonder why we didn’t prod him on to get out here earlier. Welcome aboard Dom.

Anyway, thats enough rambling from me, and I’ll save the juicy details to be savored over a cold beer when I see you all again in person. In the meantime I intend to go some extra shade of Pakistani in the equatorial sun, grow my mullet to the point where you can see your future in it, ruthlessly murder and eviscerate a large number of unsuspecting fish, and continue the transformation of my accent and vocabulary into one so influenced by the multitudinous cultures of the world to make it some proto-homogenized globo-speke that is only intelligible in current company.

K a h l i l

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Hospitalization, Hikes and Heavy Water

January 19th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Ioarana (hello in Tahitian, pronounced yorana) and greetings from the ever sunny islands of the Society Archipelago, from Dizzy.

Teahupoo off its nut

We have rejoined the real world of commerce and bustle in Tahiti, sailing back into the foreign bizzarities of traffic, Shops, refrigerated dairy products (yeeew) and busy streets. The movement and hurry seems strange after the solitude of deserted atolls to re-accustom to, but the beautiful melting pot of Polynesian and Asian heritage amongst the tropical flower cloaked girls here is making the transition easier.

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Our first anchorage in Tahiti was Teahupoo, which oozes a majestic power and magic unparalleled by anywhere I have seen. In addition to having one of the world’s most menacing and perfect wave, the coast is collared by mountains that abruptly rocket into the clouds, tangled in green jungle, spurting waterfalls from angular spines. I remember watching the most hideous waves unload onto the coral with the mountain backdrops and thinking I was in a Peter Pan style cartoon. As shown in the pictures, there’s some amazing big blue waves to behold in these islands.

In the water, the Aloha (Hawaiian word meaning the pure spirit of surfing brotherhood) is potent. On the biggest, most menacing days, Everyone joins in a round of applause, hollering and celebrating together for any surfer paddling back from previous waves with leering grins, a smile that screams ear to ear that you just got the barrel of your life. Shakas and handshakes from the localised line-up for the monster slaying (or the odd heinous beating when things don’t go your way). Feels good.

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The crowds are minimal as the wave is situated a two hour drive from the main population centre of Tahiti, and there’s only a handful of locals willing to give the wave a nudge, so most days it was a few familiar faces in the water at most. Even then many waves go completely unchallenged, as they roar down the reef screaming defiance in gigantic bellowing blue pride, daring anyone to try, while the surfers squirm about, feigning indifference and trying to convince anyone else but them into running the gauntlet.

We arrived and anchored four days before a 4-5 metre south-west pulse rocked the coast. When the swell was peaking I was sharing the beasties with five pro surfer/bodyboarders and a flotilla of photographers milling and bobbing in the channel. Floating around them where multiple tourist boats, bringing the curious to observe the greatest show on earth, and two rescue sled teams on the sidelines, which fortunately the services of which I never had to call upon. That day had the ambience of the Roman Coliseum, an arena where there can only be one player at a time running from the beast. The perspective of sitting deep in the throat of a growling cavern, the spectrum of blue hurtling around you more diverse than any colour chart, muscling and wrestling with all your strength to reach the channel where the crowd sits in safety gawking at the mayhem is an image that continues to tweak me out to this day. If you are released from the bowels of the monster and get spat like a grape seed into the channel, your brain cells are fizzing, short circuiting and exploding from over-stimulation, such is the adrenaline charge and relief that renders you a shaking, tweaking, unintelligible fool, Higher than a kite of your own bodies greatest drugs. I think I found my new favourite place on earth, A surreal playground for the insane.

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On our Immediate agenda is to find our furry buddy. My fuzzy friend P kitty has gone AWOL and hasn’t made it back yet and the wondering of his wandering is killing me. Even worse is seeing our captain without his little furry sailor friend, as they were a powerful cruising salty seamen duo. Its harsh to have to witness a man who has only exhibited the best vibes have something like this happen to them. We are tumbling over peoples fences and stumbling about the local properties meowing at all hours of the day and night (in the process making a most entertaining comical sight for the locals), and are holding hope that one of our many posters in the neighbourhoods will eventuate in his safe return.

I took the previous weeks off cat hunt duty on account of my brief hospitalization. I went out to check the social scene on a Saturday night, and awoke the following afternoon with tubes in my arms, caked in my own blood in emergency at Papeete hospital. This was not the circumstance I was expecting or hoping to wake to when I pried open my swollen eyes into the hazy day. Some very nice man got drunk and decided to stomp me about, and proceeded to let me headbutt his fists as I had a little rest in the gutter. Our crew has been repeatedly warned about the other side of Polynesian hospitality, that when they drink they don’t handle themselves with as much merriment as we are used to at home, and are prone to getting a bit punchy. Turns out I have a broken nose and lot of swelling and a few cuts and what not, but as the realists often say in irritating tones, it could have been much worse. Looks like I’ll be having a bit of a quiet healing week, and at the end of the day I’m not at all fussed by the situation (Big cheers to France for footing the medical bills) I’m still literally floating in paradise, I just want the freakin cat back.

We managed to spend enough time anchored around the island of Moorea to become friends with many a familiar face from the surf. A particularly lovely Polynesian princess, Vainui (Hawaiian for a large mass of water moving) of Moorean descent, initiated me to more than just the delightful surf fringing the coral reefs, and took me hiking through the lush valleys and hills. I was able to sweat my way through the elevations to be rewarded with a view of Cooks bay where the Natural Mystic floated in sun drenched contention. In the foreground is the main industry on the Island, other than tourism, of Pineapple and Papaya fields hugging the coastline. Through Vainui’s introduction, some memorable BBQ’s, beers and waves were enjoyed on her home Island, and it was a treat to share some great times with a true lady of the local ocean.

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For our daily agenda we are attending to the reparation of our boats and boards various ailments here at Marina Taina and to avoid getting smote by psycho cyclones December – March. This means sailing north from here to explore a few island chains that from Google earth reconnaissance proves to be mighty alluring. Tomorrow morning our new photographer, Dom, will be coming to join us to continue capturing our magic mission. With that final piece in place we will be off into an unknown endless blue horizon to have a good look about the less frequented parts of a big ocean.

It looks be an interesting upcoming path into unknown territories. There’s a supply ship that services our intended region four times a year, but broke and hasn’t visited in 7 months. Yippee. We have stocked an arsenal of fish killing equipment, as that’s where dinner is coming from. The culture/diet etc has changed minimally since Captain Cook first rowed ashore so we best play nice or they might eat us. We have already done two months out from shops and services through the Tuamotus and were comfortably self sufficient. We generated electricity for five people from solar and wind, and gathered and fished for our sustenance. Four months is a different ball game, but as they say in America, whatever.

Hope you enjoy the images of our latest dreams and dramas, and look forward to reporting on what we encounter on our next trajectory into the unknown. I would also like to wish a Naturally Mystical Merry Christmas to our most missed at this time of year. We had a tropical Christmas relaxing on anchor of one of the more beautiful islands you could fathom, chasing waves around the corners and crannies of this paradise, but our thoughts were with those far away, family and friends at this time of year. Wishing you all stellar celebrations, gentle hangovers, and a fulfilling 2009!

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Thanks for reading. Peace Diz

→ 6 CommentsTags: Dizzy's Blog

My Natty M Experience

January 17th, 2009 · 15 Comments

By Tina

This is me

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Blue eyed, hardly ever stepped foot on a boat before, I arrived to join the “Natty M” boys one early September morning in the Marquesas. One backpack short, heart fluttering and with all my sense of adventure, Kyber met me with a flower and a big smile at Atuona airport, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas and so this grand journey began.

Living with 4 salty seamen (now sadly reduced to 3, you are missed Ben!) is awesome. It seems like anything that pops in to their heads is said and done. They fart and burp heartily which always makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. They do dorky, weird stuff all the time and make me laugh, tell me stories and let me in on some of the mysterious ways of being a boy. They toughen me up, teach me new things and make me do things I never thought I’d ever dare do.

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The boys have all taken me surfing, or at least tried to as I sometimes just end up eating shit. Kyber taught me to surf behind the dinghy and attempted to teach me how to kite. Kiting might not be for me, as I was a disaster, but surfing is pretty much the most fun I can have here with all my clothes on. It is tremendously amazingly fun and I can see why it is just about the only thing the guys want to do. Unfortunately for my inexperienced self, most the waves here seem as big as mountains or the reef threatens to drag me over sharp rocks and coral. Still, some passes are sometimes surfable for me and I go out every chance I get and do my best. The guys point out the place to be and tell me to get over my girly ways and go for it. They laugh when I fall and are maybe stoked as I am when I get one and it makes me feel safer knowing they aren’t too far away.

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I have also tried my hand at spear fishing with a Hawaiian sling, amongst the beautiful coral in the Tuamotus. The sea is so full of life; there are stunningly colored fish everywhere you look, frisky little fish that nibble your legs, more sharks than I liked, dolphins and whales frolicking about with their young, the occasional turtle, moray eels, crabs and octopuses. My hunting skills however are not the best and I felt bad for trying to assassinate poor tiny fish for fun and stuck to snorkeling and watching the other guys hunt and provide us fresh fish instead.

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Snorkeling about and swimming with sharks was something I never in a million years thought I would do or ever wanted to. The first shark I saw terrified me nearly to death. Kyber was telling me to be confident and act like I was in charge, not let it be known that I was frightened and that these sharkies are only reef sharks and they are mostly mellow. Easy for him to say, when in my mind a killing machine is circling around us, with his (or her) yellow catlike eye fixed on us. I was probably doing a poor job of hiding my fear and oozing terror. At least Kyber was there to hold my hand, hide behind and keep me from fainting until the thing lost interest and swam away. However after a few days and no attacks I realized that he was right, my fear faded away and I was able to enjoy myself around the big carnivorous fish. At one point I even thought the smaller baby ones were cute.

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Life on board the Natural Mystic is pretty tranquil. There is nowhere we need to be or anything we have to do. Our next destination unknown, the wind blowing us and following the surf. Sleeping in, hanging out and having fun, life seems pretty excellent right now.

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My bikini covered butt looks white as snow these days after tanning for a couple of months and it is hard to believe I was almost that pale when I arrived. I have read a handful of books, filled a drawing-book with this and that and pondered about the mysteries of life, the universe and everything. I have also discovered the baker in me and I now know how to make a wicked loaf of bread.

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Sometimes I miss the company of other girls. The guys are great fun and all, but girls understand you, when guys just think you are being unreasonable and silly. For about a week now we have had the pleasure of having Jill on board, a magnificent chick we met on the dock when her yacht was our neighbor. She escaped the tyranny of her mega yacht and was welcomed with open arms on ours, where she could relax and enjoy herself, as one should when you are in paradise. Sadly she had to go back home, leaving Kahlil and myself to mope about the boat a little bit. I had so much fun with you Jill and I miss you!

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My birthday came around this time of year and I turned 24. The day was celebrated at the spa where Kyber got me a couples hot rock massage treatment, one of the best birthday presents of all time, and later that evening on the boat, where Jill made a first class super tasty dinner and Dizzy whipped up yummy drinks. The night sky was covered in stars and we lay as a human maze on the trampoline, everybody with their own date, snuggling and enjoying the sweet and simple pleasures of life.

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The day after was equally incredible, as one of my childhood dreams came true and I got to swim with dolphins! It was mind-bottling and fantastic, wondrous, superb, there are really no words to describe how wonderful it was. Jill and I got to hug and snuggle the dolphin and kiss it on the chin. The little buddy, who in fact was bigger than I thought, also swam with us under water as we held on to the dorsal fin with one hand and wrapped our other one around his belly and snuggled close. It feels like a dream now and it still makes me smile just thinking about it.

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Celebrating Christmas and New Year without snow, cold weather and a warm fireplace was not a first for me, still I don’t seem to get used to it and it feels a little strange. My snowboard was traded for my surfboard, cold for warm, but my family and friends are still in my heart, as they always are and I think about you guys a lot. I miss every one of you and I hope you all are well, healthy, happy and safe.

Being so far away from home is not always easy. I get homesick from time to time and miss everybody terribly. We all do. But, I feel like we are a little family of our own cruising around the ocean together. I know the guys are there for me if I need to talk or cry just as I am there for them if they need it. When Dizzy throws nasty stuff at me and makes me run away screaming he will always say he misses his sister. I guess he used to torment her, and now he finds it highly amusing to do the same to me. He and Kahlil both feel like my brothers, and I hope your guy’s biological siblings don’t mind sharing them a little bit with me.

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As for Kyber, I love hanging out with him and I think he is the cutest boy in the whole world right now. He managed to steal my heart away and I hope it will be safe in his hands.

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Only time will tell what the future holds in store for any of us and in the mean time I will laugh, play and have as much fun as possible.

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I hope you all do the same and that you have a wonderful day!

To Sandor:

When we were in Haapiti for New Year I hung out on the inside and tried to catch the waves. I got my sinuses rinsed out, paddled until my arms turned into mush, pearled once or twice, caught some and managed to get up too! It was great! There is no picture proof of me actually standing up, so here is one where I am just sitting, chillaxing and trying to look cute. We all miss you and hope that you will come and visit us again soon! Moorea is not the same without you and Jamie.

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Ps: I named my board Shawn Door, Mr. Door for short, and our lovely painting from your sweethearts still decorates our wall.

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Lots of love, Tina

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Tina’s Dolphin Ride Video

January 16th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Just a lil’ video I put together of Tina and her dolphin buddies.  Cheers – Kyber

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