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Caroline Islands – Micronesia

22/10/07-6/11/07
Pohnpei – a far flung island in the corner of the Pacific. A rare little gem, crystal clear bright blue waters, unforgiving sun and sometimes it even throws up the best barrels in the world…

underwater Mermaid

It seemed like an impossible quest at first – possibly the hardest place on earth to get to, navigating several nightmare airlines and airports, crossing endless time zones to reach the other side of the world. And not the cheapest place to get too. But maybe that’s also what makes it so unique and special… the chance of scoring epic, tropical barrels with no crowds and experience a little known corner of earth. After a lot of umming and aawwing and negotiating with university lecturers I took off with my surfing boyfriend on a crazy adventure into the big blue unknown…
wishing, waiting…
Wishing, waiting…
The ocean is capable of delivering brief but intense moments of pure joy and long periods of torment, waiting and searching for those elusive moments.
It’s humbling to constantly discover how little we really know about the workings of the ocean, how unpredictable her moods are and that we have no control over her whatsoever. We are at her mercy. It is a very good idea to adopt an optimistic attitude on surf trips for times when the outlook becomes bleak. Make it your mission to find the positive in the darkest of situations. We had been here almost a week…we got in the water every day either swimming, snorkeling, fishing or surfing small waves but still no sign of perfection, no moments of pure and utter stoke, adrenaline rush, heart-pumping flawless barrels, mean, heavy waves full of the power of the Pacific. The novelty of warm, velvety water, and riding over vivid coral gardens in the lush, exotic tropics was like a tease…mild despair began to set in heightened by the guilt that we were in the Garden of Eden but the fruit was forbidden. Even the sharks in the channel seemed to grow restless for the ocean to show some action…

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We watched the red blob that hovered around Hawaii on the charts for days as it slowly tracked closer and closer to our little corner of the Pacific, praying it wouldn’t fizzle out before it hit. Finally P-Pass came alive…she roared into action almost without warning. We paddled out into the line-up at sunrise, unable to see the sets before they were almost upon us. The swell came out of water over 200m deep and detonated on to the reef in less than 2m of water. It was crazy and beautiful. Big blue barrels and open, empty walls. The boat stayed out at the pass all day and I only left the water to refuel with sunblock, bananas, water and the best tropical rehydrator – coconuts! I surfed non-stop until I thought my arms would fall off, till I was drunk with stoke and adrenaline and my vision blurred and the barrels became black in the dying sunlight…
To ends of the earth and back, all for the glory of the ride…

easkey dropping into paradise
All photos by Swilly

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