Monday, July 16, 2012

Seaport in Gracious Bay

The seaport is planned to be built at Gracious Bay and is a National Government funded project. Fr Beu said negotiation with landowners to pave the way for the project has already taken place. He said this was to allow the provincial government to register the area where the port would be built.

Question is when the gear for building the seaport turns up can they use some of that gear to shape some of the ocean bottom for better surfing?

There are plenty of people out there that can tell people how to make better waves.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nela session

Up at 6am and video the walk from my room to the swimming hole/pool. See video:
Car comes at 8am and drives me to Nela.
The surface is smooth. I start with the right hander and quickly find it is a bit tame.I move to wide on the left and work out how to not hurt myself on this challenging back hand ride. Catch a couple and have some clearance sets come through that make me realise how easy it was at Nave to get away from the clean-up sets.
Come in and then go out again with the Nikon Coolpix to try to film some of this surf. Photos from the shore are too far away. The wind had picked up a lot and spoilt the surface and the waves a lot.

On the way back in I catch one of the inside "canoe run" waves and hear a big cheer from the crowd assembled on the beach.
Afternoon at the Internet Cafe at Lata, on the only PC there, I get a virus the minute I plug in the USB drive. Take rest of the afternoon off.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Three days of pain

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
Tuesday's flight is postponed until Wednesday. I freak out, I don't have any more or enough $SI. The Lata South Pacific Bank (SPB) branch does not have EFTPOS, all savings and cheque accounts. ANZ have an ATM but they have turned it off! Finally, after lots of asking if people take credit cards (and give them back) I find someone to help me out.
Meanwhile the Solomon Airways agent keeps advising postponed flights, once for bad weather. It makes it hard to do anything when you have to keep in contact with the office in case a flight arrives.

On Wednesday, after noticing the map at the Luelta Conference centre I walk to a likely looking surfing spot called Nela. There I meet William Membuta.

Finally the airline says that the next flight it Saturday that means I can go surfing tomorrow, Friday. I arrange a car to take my board to Nela in the morning.

Next: 2012/03/nela-session

Monday, February 27, 2012

Last surf at Kalabay

Early surf out in the canoe (boat) to get right out the back quickly and easily. Long wait for not many waves. Moved further in but not much there either. Storm approaching and worried about the three hour boat trip.
Decided to go back to Lata today to make sure that I connect with the flight early on Tuesday morning. Pack everything in a way that may best handle getting my bags wet.
Make it to Lata and move in to the Luelta Lodge.

Next: 2012/03/three-days-of-pain

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Patteson family

Woke to rain easing after heavy thunderstorm overnight.
Surf was small and frustrating and the various bits of the wave were not connecting.
Church may have stopped anyone else from surfing today. No-one suggested to me that I should not surf and I did not see any signs of a church service.
Yet another small storm blew through at noon.
Afternoon walk to track down the sugar palm board and to photograph it and its builder.

Next: 2012/02/last-surf-at-kalabay

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sugar palm board

Early surf before the wind kicked in. A day off for the school kids so I have company.
Two others out, 8 or 10 year olds. One riding a Rosewood skateboard deck and the other a surfoplane made from fleshy soft pulp wood with wooden pins holding it together.
Wind kicked in like a seabreeze at about 11am.
I take the little fibreglass canoe to the lee of the little island, Temotu Lite. I find bleached coral, some sea urchins and cute little bright blue fish.

Next: 2012/02/patterson-family

Friday, February 24, 2012

No ocean reflection

Walked to the point, made more sense than going there by boat.
High tide, waves a bit full at take-off for a change. A couple of teenage locals out trying to catch waves with dugout canoes. Saw how to bale a canoe out that was completely swamped. It is quick and easy, a rhythmic shake and make a wave inside the canoe that breaks out of it.
Watching the storm build out to sea and head toward me. No lightning in it so I don't have to run from it.
Eventually the whole of my vision of the sky when facing north east is the deepest black.
Any reflection of the sky on the smooth water completely went away and my full field of vision is straight into the clear water seeing the coral clearly and the occasional little fish swimming very near the surface. An awesome sight!

Next the rain started and I paddled in and walked back in a torrential downpour, past the school (disrupted most of the classes in the process).

Next: 2012/02/sugar-palm-board

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yet another Nave session

Early surf, swell has dropped some more. Heavy rain overnight easing to light rain before the surf and on and off until lunch time. Solar recharging failure from the cloud cover today.
I got a clear indication of the swell direction by watching the swell to the east of Nave.
The left hand break in this photo is there but not really ridable, at least on any day I looked at it. The right handers are slightly better than they look in this picture.

Next: 2012/02/no-ocean-reflection

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fix the water supply

Morning surf session with the swell a little smaller than yesterday. Getting cocky with some rides ending in noserides on ankle to knee-high waves over coral.
Tides are lining up nicely with the morning and afternoon session and the current is not a problem. This could also be due to the swell direction being less east and more north.
After surfing we head up the hill to a couple of hundred meters above sealevel to unblock the village water supply.
Watson tells me what he knows about other people who have surfed the place and the names of the two breaks. Temotu lite, the left has the same name as the little island next to it.

Next: 2012/02/yet-another-nave-session

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Heavy rain 2 sessions

Woke to HEAVY rain that stopped about 9am. Straight out to Nave. Canoe had a motor failure, screw loose. Paddled the canoe out and back at the end of the session.
Sitting out the back I had the thought: Wow that is an active volcano just out there. The next surfer to the east of me is surfing in Fiji. The nearest one to the west is probably in Malaita Province and to the south Vanuatu. To the north either Pohnpei or Kiribati. Wow I have escaped the crowd!
Because of the rain in the morning the "seabreeze" did not kick in so I had another surf session at 3:30pm. School was out so the break also had 4 dugout canoes and 10 kids in the water. I remembered the thought I had this morning.
The heavy rain has stuffed up the gravity fed water system.

Next: 2012/02/fix-water-supply

Monday, February 20, 2012

Figure out Nave

This was forecast to have the best surf of the whole trip, so an early start.
The previous session on Saturday had enough current to push me out of position by the time the next set arrived. So I urgently needed to work out a method of staying in the right place way out here.
Paddle out until you are where you want to be in relation to the breaking wave.
Look straight down into the water and note the pattern on the bottom, especially the bright white blotches (could be quartz).
Stay on top of that pattern for as long as it takes for the next wave the right shape and size to come through.

Next: 2012/02/heavy-rain-2-sessions

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meet the Kalabay kids

Discovered that there is a seabreeze effect in the area that adds to the north east to east trade wind. A slow start getting into the surf at Temotu Lite was almost the cause of missing the best surfing of the day. Wind came up at 11am and chopped the left up. The current in the bay also built and I learnt a lot about when to surf the bay.

Walked out to the beach at Nave and picked up a crew along the way.

Next: 2012/03/figure-out-nave.html

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1st surf at Kalabay

Flight in to Lata Airstrip from Honiara then a three hour "canoe" (see picture) trip east to Kalabay (Carlisle Bay).
Contact at Lata was Walter Talva and at Kalabay it was his uncle, Gabriel Tavakie

Afternoon surf at a spot I later found out was called Nave. The combination of the direction of the swell and the incoming tide meant that movement away from the break was a problem.
I quickly found out that the best surf forecast for the area is WindFinder

Next: 2012/02/meet-kalabay-kids

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Preparation for the Trip

Here are a bunch of links that I thought may be needed for the visit to Temotu Province.
I place them on a page on my other blog and make an easy shortcut to the page in case I have to refer to it from an internet cafe along the way:

North Pacific wave height
and period
and note the following:

From Surfline
You may not be able to access these pages without a Premium membership.
Ignore the southern swell in these forecasts:

Surfline Text forecast

Language - Äiwoo or Ayiwo (ISO 639-3: nfl)
Vocabulary with links to other language resources:
OLAC resources for this language

Next: 2012/02/village-of-kalabay.html


There are a lot of things that can go wrong travelling, there are more things that can go wrong travelling to surf.
Feel free to contact the contributors for more information before setting out to do a trip to here or similar areas. Get information and remember that you, and only you, are responsible for what happens to you.