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Feb 11 09 11:26 PM

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Okay, I'll try to post a few pictures and tell you guys about the waves I've seen and ridden on this trip whenever I can get a spare moment. I've got pics and stories from Munich (yeah, the crummy river wave in the Englischer Garten), Santorini, Mundaka, A (sort of) secret location in Asia, The Mentawais (coming soon), the Maldives (coming later), and maybe Bali or Tahiti (coming much later), and who knows where else along the way?

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#1 [url]

Feb 11 09 11:36 PM

Okay, because I took some time to put them together, here's some from... where I am now. The first day I drove down the coast and ended up back at a spot that had been blown-out on my first visit. The swell was way down (DOH+ last time) but a lot cleaner. There were some natives trying to make a go of it on bodyboards and funshapes, which was a surprise, but they stuck to stink-bugging on a backing-off mushball by the beach's access point and left this prime peak for me to pluck.
It didn't look like much, but turned out to have a punchy barrelling HH left. It was breaking over sand-covered lava reef (yes, it was that clear) and I could mark my position by a big square rock on the bottom. I must have caught practically the exact same wave 20 times. Drop in right behind the peak and pull into a nice almond-barrel right off the bat. Get a nice 2-4 second barrel and pop out as the tube shut down. Worked the left shoulder for as long as I wanted after that, it peeled most of the way in to the beach, but didn't open back up. Only the 2nd or 3rd set wave broke all the way in at first, but as the tide dropped, I didn't have to be quite so picky about waves. The wind stayed light the whole time. Very fun. Very benign. Nice warm water and just a great day. Tried some other peaks down the beach, but they were windier for some reason. This was all in the same bay, so I have no idea why my little corner was working so well.
Sorry that there's just a few photos. I'm my own cameraman, so I don't want to waste a lot of time shooting what I should be surfing.
Check the sunset. 





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#2 [url]

Feb 11 09 11:48 PM

Okay, the next day I headed north to check out a hidden beach down a backroad that wound down to a rivermouth. I had spotted some peaks off the river even though the beach itself was unrideable--breaking right on the sand.
As expected, the sandbar off the rivermouth was delivering the goods. A nice fast barreling right around HH on the sets. There was a left-hander too on this A-frame peak, but I never saw it open up. Only one rideable peak on the whole beach. Really classic beachbreak though. Big steep drop that you HAD to bend into the perfect bottom turn or you wouldn't have enough speed. I watched the lip out-run me from that gray tunnel more times than I care to mention. Warm water shutdowns are no big deal though. Unlike cold-water spots, this was more like being in a running dryer filled with pillows (rather than bowling balls). 
Oh yeah, I made it out a couple of times too, once in a big tube spit! WHOOOSH!! Haha! So much fun! Long freaking hike, though. Also, had to carry the camera back to the car, after shooting the wave from about a half-mile away. Someday I'll get close-ups. Maybe in Indo.


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#8 [url]

Feb 13 09 3:59 AM

In early November of 2008 we took a 22 hour ferry to get to Greece from Italy. After a few days in Athens, we headed to the islands, with Santorini our eventual stop. During the entire time, the beautiful blue Agean remained depressingly flat.
However, while on Santorini we rented a little compact and went tooling around the island. First I went swimming in a little red-cliffed cove. Later that day we drove to the East side of the island where clean little peelers were rolling in against a light offshore breeze. No wetsuit needed. Though the waves were just BARELY big enough to bodysurf, it was still nice to get in the water again. Here's some pics.

The red car is our beachmobile. The sunset island and the white buildings are--no bu!!$h!t--the view from our room. 






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#9 [url]

Feb 19 09 7:09 AM

Right, so working backwards, my first surf experience in Europe--way back last fall in Oktober... was just after Oktoberfest, of course! When else do you think I'd go to Munich?
Oh, excuse the nonsense in this post. I'm a tad sh!tf@ced off 12 year scotch, courtesy of my cool FIL. Finding surf shops in Taipei is a b!tch! Monday I head for 11 days in the Mentawais; the first 3 look pretty tame, but after that there's some action coming up in the form of a moderate S swell and then a bigger SW according to the models today. Oh f--ing kick@a$$! However, before yall gnaw your wrists off with jealousy, be aware that I didn't get to f---ing surf from August to f---ing November, and even then it was that sh!tty little wave you see above, which hardly counts. Mundaka was better, but sloppy as all getout and HUGE. Not really all that fun, just a test of mettle. I would've prefered it on a 4 foot day (because it's an AWESOME setup, but more on that in another post) as opposed to the 20' day I got.
But anyway, back to Munich. Yes, there's a river wave there. Yes, there's a bunch of f---er's "surfing" it. It's all of 7 inches high and gayer than Paris. So are the jerks riding it. Well, maybe not, but i'm still bitter I didn't have a shot at it.
What I did do in Munich: Arrived on the day before Oktoberfest ended. Dashed in past a bouncer and drank 2 liters of beer in one of the MASSIVE beer halls. Stood on tables. Sang in German with a bunch of f--ing Ozzies. Went and club-hopped at the kartoffeln factory--a huge club complex on the other side of town--after Oktoberfest shut down at midnight. Walked back to midtown at 5AM. Got some coffee at 6AM when the coffeshops opened and checked the news on my PSP. I think there was a McDonalds in there somewhere, because it was the only place  open and that night was effing COLD! Headed back to Oktoberfest at 10AM when the beer halls reopened. Had a 10AM liter of beer. Had an 11AM liter of beer. Haha. Stumbled to the hostel. Passed out until 6PM. Back to Oktoberfest. Had a 8PM liter of beer. Sang a sh!tload of German songs. Broke my beer mug. Had a 10PM liter of beer. Had a midnight liter of beer and snuck the mug out of the beer hall. Not like that was hard or anything. 
Yeah, I saw some other bull$h!t cathedrals and such in Munich, but who cares? I can't talk about the rest of the stuff--some NAZI $h!t--I saw in the area without adding a major downer to this post, so don't worry about it.
So, now, the moment you've all been waiting for: Pics!



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#10 [url]

Feb 19 09 7:21 AM

Please tell me that is the small one that they send the newbies too...pleeeeeeeeeeease!

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#11 [url]

Mar 12 09 6:25 AM

Nope, that's the only wave in Munich.

However, I just returned from going mental in the Mentawais! Oh holy s---t the waves there are good! Maybe some day I'll write in depth about it. My boat was the King Millennium. We were 7 guys--5 spaniards, 1 frenchman, and me. We hit Burgerworld, Nipussi, Hollow Trees, Lance's Left, Bintangs, and Macaronis among many others. Those spots were the stars.

Food was great. Surf was better than anything I've ever experienced.

Still, there's no place like home. I got dragged over the reef a couple of times and that isn't any fun at all, let me tell you. That coral is like knives! I kinda miss the round cobblestones of C-street or the hard sand of Westies.

However, i'm not missing the quality of those waves, or the mils of neoprene necessary to surf them.

Okay, here's pics. If you can go to the ments, DO IT.









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#13 [url]

Jul 18 09 8:27 AM

Hey! I'm back! Not in SoCal, but in ****** where there are waves!

A tropical storm just passed south of us and I'm headed out tomorrow to catch the swell as it rolls up the coast. 

I have pics and stories from the Maldives, but you're gonna have to wait until I have time to post them. The Mals are sick, but don't quite stack up against the Ments. However, staying at a 4-star all-inclusive resort and then strolling out to an empty reeling left-hander every morning. Well, that's pretty damn nice. More later.

Oh, since March I've been in:
India - Smelly, good curry, no surf beyond the windy kind.
the Maldives - Heaven on earth.
Malaysia - A nice diverse Muslim society. No surf. Expensive booze. Sucky in other words.
Thailand - A effing blast from Patong to Bangkok! Still no surf, though. SCUBA. 
Cambodia - Cool people. Cheap alcohol. No surf.
Vietnam - Charlie don't surf. But there's other fun stuff to do.
and f{}king China - Two and a half months was three months too long. Ding Dong don't surf either.

Next stop is either Philippines, Palau, Guam, or Bali.

Anybody ever surfed in Palau or Guam? Is there any?

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#17 [url]

Jul 20 09 10:20 PM

Seriously, going to the Maldives, gorging on good food, quaffing litres of beer, walking on squeaky white sand, snorkeling in crystal-clear bathwater, surfing in the same on a picture-perfect, ruler-edged, barreling left-hand pointbreak just a few steps away, all while having a nice AC room to retreat to with your spouse, that's rough. Here's the promised pics. 







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#18 [url]

Jul 20 09 10:37 PM

Most days the break (there was only one) was empty as in the photos. It broke exactly like it looks like it would, with a nice-sized fast outside throwing a shapely barrel. Most of the time you could get in-and-out, but there were some closouts and sections, more on the high tide. Once you were sectioned off you were done.

As it rolled to the inside the wave slowed down and the barrel shut down leaving a long whackable wall that rolled almost as far as you cared to work it, getting smaller and smaller before pretty much piddling out over shallow rock reef. Easy-peasy. From the first peak to the inside (around the corner, more or less) was probably a 120-150 yard ride. Very nice. Great deck to relax on and watch perfection peel all day too.

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ecr

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#20 [url]

Jul 21 09 6:34 AM

Wow.  That is living life.  Some people get it - most don't.

As the son of a son of a sailor, I went out on the sea for adventure.

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