South Pacific journal entry

L’Archipel Dangereux, the End of the World Dec 14 2005. 

The Tuamotus are the heart of French Polynesia, 78 atolls scattered across a universe of ocean. Palm tree covered crowns of coral, the rims of ancient sunken volcanoes ringing huge lagoons. The place is empty, no roads, no traffic, no towns, and no pollution. Just surf! It seems hotter here and the colours more vibrant. The beauty of the place was stunning, in the absence of civilisation nature roared. The colours sent my senses reeling; Every shade of blue in the spectrum from the sky all the way down to the depths of the ocean. The bright turquoise of the lagoon, the dark aquamarine of the pass, a gluttony of greens, the black tips of reef sharks, white coral shingle beaches, fiery sunsets, dark sun-coloured local polynesians. Being able to moor the boat metres from the break, watching perfect waves go off all day meant that one couldn’t stay out of the water for long. I soaked up every moment as if it were my last, surfed every wave as if it would be waveless for eternity. 

‘Sometimes happiness is a blessing but generally it is a conquest. Each day’s magic moment helps us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams.’ I discovered the meaning of Paulo Cohelo’s words the day before my departure. The surf picked up and the wind dropped. Powerful, fast, hollow waves reeling off a coral, palm covered motu (island) into a deep blue pass. It was perfect. I surfed beyond exhaustion and the limits of energy and into euphoria. Instinctively realising that perfection and beauty is as impermanent as life itself. I surfed a record 5 times though I only left the water to swap boards, drink water and lash on more sunblock! Just as the sun was going down and I was ready to collapse, I heard everyone hooting and whistling as set after set came bombing through, I couldn’t take it anymore, stoke is infectious, so I jumped overboard again. A group of hot Tahitian’s rocked up, blowing up in the surf. We hooted at each others rides, smiling and laughing in shared joy. They’re disadvantaged kids who’ve never been out of Tahiti before and their church group had brought them here for the week to stay in the local village! It was important for me to understand how much our happiness is linked to others. There is no individual happiness totally independent of others.