Day 12 – An epic trip comes to a close!
We rise to the sound of the anchor going up in the dark on our way to the Kandui playgrounds area. Up in the northern end of the chain our last day and of course its raining. This trip has had bad weather everyday. Not the best for a photographer. My job depends on getting good images for these guys and that had been a very hard task this trip with the conditions mother nature has given out. Of course it was a challenge to get images when I had my small window most days but that is what draws me to photography.
We reached playgrounds just after sunrise and scoped out A-frames where it was sideshore from the storms. Instead we opted to get a quick little tour of Kandui from Scott, who had stayed there in years past. A nice little surf retreat surrounded by islands with world class waves out front. After our morning excursion in the tin where we all somehow stayed dry getting in and out of the boat in the shorebreak we pulled anchor and headed to Meat Pussy. Yes, that is its official name, wtf! I will refer to it as MP. We ate breakfast on our way weaving between islands on the Indies. MP breaks very close to the shore which prevented me from shooting from the tin boat for the guys. Since conditions were cloudy and not barreling at first the keeper count of photos is much higher if I shoot from the boat. I had to shoot from the water or go to the beach. I opted to shoot water with my 50mm. I shot near the end of the wave which provided entertainment as well as a good vantage point. If you didn’t kick out at the end of the wave you ended up on 1.5ft of water on the reef. Within 20 mins I saw the first victim get his reef credentials. After getting caught inside the unknown surfer eventually paddled back out with his entire back bleeding. Poor guy. None of our guys got torn up although Dave claimed to have ended up in the shallows once. I swam for about 3 hours before exhaustion set in. The sun came out for an hour and I finally could get a couple decent images. Just as Dave and I paddled toward the tin moored in the channel we noticed the Indies Trader leaving us, going in the opposite direction out to sea. There were still 6 of us out at the break and we were all beat. Scott had invited friends from Florida on the boat and without a proper tribal council had taken the big boat back to Kandui. We all were not sure why they left us right when we were all done. There were some heated words on the tin ride back to Kandui. We were over it soon enough as we beat the Indies back to camp by atleast 30 min. While we waited we paddled out at perfect 3-4ft A-frames by ourselves. I was exhausted but since doug wasn’t going to paddle out, I grabbed his board and got in another 2 hour session. I had a blast surfing the fun little lefts on the crystal clear shallow reef. It was back to cloudy and raining so I couldn’t shoot. Eventually we all were too tired to continue. Just before the session ended Noel lost his action cam. He had a bite mount on. On a set wave he got thrown over the falls and lost grip of the cam. We searched the whole point/tiny island and came up empty handed. What a bummer for Noel!
I went back to eat lunch and then came right back out this time with my own board and surfed with Scott, Frank and Skylar. We were out a couple more hours before I had was again to tired to even paddle. Put in a solid 7+ hours in the water today! Great way to end the trip! By the time we got in most of the guys were already finished packing. The journey began back to Padang, a 10 hour trip across the channel to Sumatra most of the night. Tim served up Filet for our last meal and it tasted great although I hardly ever eat meat. Being that tired all day, I needed that! We would depart the next morning at 6am from the boat, take a 1.5 hour van ride to the airport and start the 45 hour trip back. The visual cultural experience driving back to the airport through indue madness keeps you on your feet inside the van. 5 people on scooters, crazy lane changes, huge piles of garbage, stray dogs and chickens all over. Its something that everyone that lives in the first world should experience. Our youth need to see how the rest of the world works and the defining of what carries on in a typical indo day. These experiences I learn so much about how I wake up everyday and realize how lucky I am. The trick is though these people are happy and most likely happier than most of us. There is something to be learned and everyone can take from it. I can’t thank all of those people out there that got me to where I am today. Thanks to all the guys on the trip for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to document this amazing experience. All my readers continue to inspire me to write about my experiences and share the images I enjoy capturing! Thank you!
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