Day 5 – 3 waves, 3 water shooting sessions and 2 surfs

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.

Ben Hicks

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