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Day 5: 3 waves, 3 water shooting sessions and 2 surfs
From our mooring spot I had a decision to make upon waking in the morning. Go shoot the reef, the sunrise on the sandbar or flash at the break? Since the clouds were weird and not letting a lot of light in I decided to get a tin boat ride to a tiny sandbar and try and get some morning light. Not a real successful mission but being out there at sunrise whether I got any photos or not was worth it. The wave out in front of the tiny sandbar was working and the boys were on it. From the channel in the boat it looked small but in fact it was a super fun chest high right that reeled across the crystal water on a shallow reef teeming with fish. I shot from the tin boat while the guys traded off sets. Then switched out for my fisheye water housing set up and swam for a couple hours. The water color, sky and surroundings just added to the amazing waves we surfed by ourselves. I eventually had to go in to eat. I turned around after filling my stomach and grabbed my board. Traded out waves with about 5 of us. Classic moment was watching Martin Daly doing a full cockroach on his pin Merrick! All smiles. After getting a quick ten waves we all went in and moved the Trader to another break called moots. It was a long left on the end of an island. A bit smaller and not as much wall. By this time we were all pretty fried from the sun. I shot from the Trader and my 500mm for about an hour before calling it quits and paddling out for a few myself. I caught another 10 waves or so and then went in to get my housing to shoot some water and the light started to get good. Just as I was on my way back to the break Martin rounded the crew in the water to head over to McFrights an island away. A 10 minute boat ride and we were there. The trader was on its way to meet us. I swam out with Nader, Christian, Wes and Doug. It was a barreling left right on a reef that pretty much goes dry at the end. It was small but the sets were working. First wave and Nader got fully shacked. Then Christian. The session was on and Nader felt right at home. They swapped barrels. Nader lost his board and had to make the swim to the inside, which proved to be successful without any board or limb dings. The sun was dipping and the day was nearly over. Christian and I linked up and got the first stand up fisheye barrel shot of the day. Another killer sunset and we headed in. As soon as everyone was aboard we would travel all night to Sigatoka to meet up with our 9th surfer Steve in the morning. He was traveling in on the redeye Ferry from the mainland.
Supported by: Dakine Photo packs
Day 1: Redeye Revenge
We start out the trip meeting Skip and Kane at Octane surfboards in Pompano Beach, FL. Skip had flown in from the Bahamas the day before. Kane was still sanding his boards and spraying them….. with our flight taking off to Paris in 3 hours. We booked it from there and we made it with plenty of time through MIA security. First leg was Miami to Paris, easy 8+ hour flight. Then Paris to Kula Lumpor, Malaysia about 13 hours. Got about 1 hour of sleep. Both flights were redeye flights. Once in Kula Lumpor it took about 3 hours of collecting baggage, catching buses, rechecking baggage, two sets of customs, a search of my bags with my housings and then had about 3 more hours before we took our last little flight to Padang, Indonesia. Nader and Cliff also met us just before boarding and the group swelled to 6. Eventually there will be a total of 9 of us on this trip. I went to a vendor in our terminal and asked for the largest empty box they had. Earlier I had taken a blanket from the last flight in hopes to get some rest somewhere between flights. My eyes by this time were blood shot. Sleep was calling my name! Super loud announcements, tile floors, tons of people walking by and I was still sound asleep. The time came to board and we were on our way to Padang, Java. A quick 45 min flight and then met up with Tim the cook on the boat and also were united with the 7th surfer on the boat Christian, and Aussie now living in Bali. We all crammed into a van and headed to the port to meet the Indies Trader 3 and its crew by about 5 pm. Wes, the 8th surfer from Oregon was already on board and had been in Padang for a few days. Once aboard the boat after a small tender boat ride out to the Trader we settle in, unpack and get underway for the 11 hour trip into the night out to the Mentawai Island chain. Somehow on my carry on, one of my 1d Mark 3 bodies had a cracked screen. $500 loss to start the trip kinda was a bummer. We all sat down and had a nice dinner and listened to the stories of our legendary capatain, Martin Daly. Martin pioneered surfing the Mentawai islands 30 years ago. Without a doubt a legend in the history books of surfing. Sleep was long overdue and I settled into my bunk and the rocking of the boat.
A handful of the kids images! Its amazing what can happen when you give a kid a little inspiration to go out and shoot!
Day 4 was Easter Sunday! At Mision Mexico that means beach day! In the morning the house was bustling with movement as everyone prepares for the beach. Snacks and water were loaded along with tents, more surfboards than I could count and lots of happy smiling faces, atleast 50 of us including the volunteers were in three vans. This part of the week, (which hasn’t been happening because one of the vans was broken down) is where the kids really get to experience the ocean and learn to surf. Many have been surfing for years now and are charges on anything, no fear and others like Cesar, that just arrived at the orphanage might have his first experience with the ocean at 2! Jake, Shane and I were stoked to have some quality hang time with everyone at the beach! We also still had to take a handful of kids out to shoot that hadn’t gotten to. The waves were small but great for the kids to have fun in. We pushed kids in on all types of boards while every wave was a party wave complete with carnage. These are the moments where the kids are all at their happy place. Its also a time where Pam can also somewhat let her guard down and relax, just a little. Just imagine having 45 kids to look after….
After an awesome sesh at the beach we all headed back to the compound and the older kids got ready for the big afternoon futbol (soccer) match, traditional after beach day. The rest help prepare the big dinner for later on. Shane, Jake and I went to the soccer match and Shane was the only gringo to play as Jake and I were still whipped from the 5k the day before. We also took another round of kids out for a photo session around the soccer field area. Soccer is serious business in Mexico they all played until darkness. It was a good time by all and when we were done, 2 full soccer teams and the 3 gringos all packed into 1 van and headed back where a feast of food was awaiting. Props to all the cooks as it was by far the best meal we had during our time there. After dinner I was super stoked to show the kids some of their images they had taken during the week. We all gathered in the large chapel/viewing room and I went through a handful of about 70 images that the kids had created on the big screen tv. I was super proud of all of them to be able to produce some truly awesome images. I thanked them all for participating and most of all for letting us experience a bit of their life. It was getting late by that time and we all had to say our good byes. Our flight was leaving at dawn. We will be taking back so many great memories and the awesome experience of teaching some bright minds the art of photography! A handful of images will be printed and put up for auction to benefit Mision Mexico at Compound Boardshops fundraiser on April 20 from 6-10 p.m. in Sarasota, Florida. You can also bid on some of my images taken from around the world in 2012 printed on large canvases.
Each has story behind the face and represents who they are and what they deserve. These are a series of portraits I did for the project we are working on that will be on display in a few weeks at the Compound Boardshop Photo show.
Today we rose to all the kids amped about a 5k running race that many will participate in. Easter and good Friday has created a lot of celebrations and events with this being one of the many in the area. Some the kids were nervous and others were just wanting to have some fun but still beat the gringos. Jake, Shane and I decided we would go for it and were all curious of what the outcome would be. It was pretty official with numbers, timing and everything. Very hot and dry though but along the course there were plenty of people for me to make laugh as I was the large blonde gringo running this random race. Many of the kids did really well, including smoking us, which didn’t mean much! We all had a blast but when I was done I felt sprinting a random 5k without ever running in a while wasn’t the best for my knees or ankles. Regardless we still carried on with smiles and followed that up with a quick surf joining the older kids. The running race was one way so we all had to pile in the large (15 passenger) van to get back to the start before continuing on to the surf break. There were nearly 30 sweaty bodies in the van, car pooling at its best. Waves were a bit smaller, though we still made the most of the waist to chest conditions. After a good hour session and a nice slice to my ankle from a fin we headed back to to town for a few more photo sessions with the kids for the day. In between that we did a series of photo interviews and portraits with the kids for the photo show in a few weeks at the Compound Boardshop in Sarasota, Florida. Getting the kids to pronounce the names of businesses and people provided a good laugh for all. Throughout I was constantly uploading, charging and editing photos from my cameras and all the kids along with giving small bits of attention whenever I could to anyone that approached! Eventually we had a chance to go get some dinner, where Pam told us more stories about the kids. I learned a bit more than I had ever imagined about the train riders of Mexico. Many parts of the world including the US, people travel on cargo trains as a means of transportation. In Mexico and Central America its a means of escaping their home country or area for many reasons including a chance to eventually attempt to make it into the United States. Its an extremely dangerous journey that can often even lead to death. When the train leaves its station they run alongside and jump on and then must hold on between train cars, often for hours and hours. According to Pam, some fall asleep and fall off, often getting run over by the train, surviving with lost limbs. Others are shot by gangs. There is a refuge in Tapachula that helps these train people with severe injuries and poverty that Pam is in contact with. The train once passed through Tapachula at one time where she would often see hundreds of people clinging to the trains. The train no longer comes through the area but people are still brought to the refuge. Its one of the amazing stories of life in Mexico.
Day 3 began bright and early with the first group of kids going to the market at the town square to start off with a vibrant market photo session. No shortage of Chicken feet or animal liver here! The market provided a great place for the kids to explore with their cameras. The people, colors and architecture provided a great canvas to teach their fresh minds. After we returned to the orphanage we took another group out to a park and also explored a small section of shacks where the poverty was very high.
Documenting and seeing the results in these different conditions should give all the kids a variety of results at the end of the week! They seemed to be all very intrigued by the dead dog on the side of the road. What do you say to that? Not the same challenges I face teaching to kids in the US!
The dry heat of over 95 degrees wears you out very quickly here and it made the photo sessions even more challenging to concentrate and continue to push the kids. Returning back home we took a break and went for some lunch at a pretty nice place. Most importantly was the air conditioning. Sitting there to eat for one hour recharged us and Jake, Shane, Momo and I were ready for the next group to explore another section of town where we got to explore one of the former Orphange kids homes.
Joselin had been at Mission Mexico and got pregnant when she was 18. She originally was sent up the Puerto Escondido to have the baby and get away from the area. The father was not wanted in the situation and like many was nothing but trouble. She eventually returned to Tapachula and Pam ( mom ) really wanted to help here to one day make something of herself. Showing an example is one of the most important things in raising 45 kids at a time, so she had to be very aware not to show the kids that if they get pregnant they won’t just be supported by MM and that its not a good thing to do! Currently Joselin rents a small room in a shack area of town with her little two year old and we were able to bring a small group of kids there to see and photograph her living situation. Pam has given her a job at the orphanage to help her pay for school. This is one of the many harsh situations that so many of the kids go through. Joselin has been through so much, things you really don’t want to hear and most likely can’t even imagine. Seeing her smile and still do her best to make something really inspires the rest of us. This is just one of the many stories I have learned about while visiting and makes you really want to be involved in helping these kids. I can’t thank Jake enough for providing me the opportunity to teach and inspire these kids and also create ways for them to raise money for them to go to school and create the life that they deserve!
Me and the girls, they had to have a pic. I think Luce grabbed my camera camera for the shot
Delmar and Alex
Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Haulover, Government Cut to Ocean Reef
Snook season is now open along the Atlantic coast and snook have been holding along the rocks, jetties and bridge pilings near the ocean inlets on the outgoing tides. A large shrimp hooked to a 3/8 ounce red Hookup lure jig head and cast in these areas is a sure way to get a solid snook hookup. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and jacks continue to cruise along the beaches where waters are a little dirty. Trolling silver spoons and Rapala X Raps in these areas is a great way to locate the fish and then you can cast live shrimp and jigs once the fish are found. Kingfish to 30 pounds have been caught in numbers recently outside of Haulover Inlet. Best depths have been from 40 feet out to 150 feet of water. Offshore fishing has been a bit slow but a few sailfish, blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphins are being caught on live baits and trolled feathers and spoons. Wreck fishing has been slow. Deep dropping in 650 feet of water out to 1000 feet of water is producing limits of golden tilefish plus some black belly rosefish. Nighttime reef fishing has been producing mutton, mangrove, lane and yellowtail snappers. Its seems the sailfish bite has turned on and large schools of Spanish macs have be on the shallow reefs.
Biscayne Bay Inshore
Baitfish schools continue to play hide and seek with fishermen. Once you locate a school of baitfish there is a real good chance you will find mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish and jacks feeding on them. Casting Rapala X Raps and Twitchin’ Raps around the baitfish schools will get you into the action. Find the baitfish schools over a grass flats and you can expect bluefish and sea trout to be feeding on them. Fishing a live shrimp or baitfish under a Cajun Thunder float over the deeper grass flats is producing sea trout, jacks and bluefish. With warmer temperatures there have been some snook feeding along the baitfish schools. Nighttime snook and tarpon action continues to be fair late at night. There have been no significant shrimp runs as of now.
Thursday Dec 27 Kulcha Shok presents the second annual ‘Reggae Holiday’ at the Stage featuring a special 7 piece edition of the band Inna Sense, with Sowflo from the west coast of Florida and fresh from his Venezuelan tour Kolabo Sound System. Doors 9pm advance tickets http://reggaeholiday2-eac2.eventbrite.com/ for more 305.534.6110
Who – The event is being put on by IWS, the South Florida ESA, WPA (World Paddle Association), and FBA (Florida Bodyboard Association)
What: a two day surf festival offering divisions in
and a SUP Race
Please view the attached contest entry form to learn more about the divisions
Entry and ESA Membership forms will be at the front register by the schedule clip board.
1. ESA divisions – Must have ESA membership before entering ($40 in addition to the entry fee)
Paying with check: make out to “South Florida ESA” and staple to entry form
Paying with credit card: Ring under misc, write “ESA entry fees” in the comments and Staple receipt to entry form
Paying with cash: mark paid on entry form and put cash in the envelope.
All entries and proof of method of payment must go in the ESA envelope at the front register.
2. All other divisions and SUP race:
Paying with check: make out to “Island Surf and Sport” and staple to entry form
Paying with credit card or cash: Ring under misc, write “DBSF entry fees” in the comments and Staple receipt to entry form
All registration forms must go in the ISS envelope at the front register.
Where: North side of the Deerfield Beach Pier
When: December 8th and 9th.
There will be a registration party at IWS Friday night between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM. There they will be able to get their contest shirt, pre register and found out the heat schedule.
The contest schedule will be confirmed Friday night once we have a better gauge on conditions. If the waves are better Saturday we will do surfing and body boarding saturday and SUP race and skim Sunday or vice versa.
Why: All the profits from this event are being donated to The Surf Riders Foundation and Kiwanas to help Hurricane Sandy victims.
Kiwanas will be collecting toiletries at the event. if you bring a shoe box full of goodies you get a free hour surfboard rental
Please tell all your friends and family and share this info with them.
I will have a memo for you at the front register for you to reference.
|For registration forms visit: www.southfloridaesa.com
For more info visit: https://www.facebook.com/DeerfieldBeachSurfFestival