30 December 2012

Fiji Episode 2 - Oldfartsurfing Research Continues

Those of you who read the first installment of oldfartsurfers Rouge (OFSC No. 45) and Mexican (OFSC No. 4) Fiji research trip might be forgiven for thinking that the Oldfartsurfer has dropped the ball on this.  The trip was in June and the first installment was in July.  The Oldfartsurfer begs your understanding as he was distracted with a big follow up research trip in search of waves and the north west passage in British Columbia and Alaska.  The Old Farts Surf Co. is relentless in its quest to find and report on the best oldfartsurfing experiences for oldfartsurfers.
(Mex numbs the tongue with Kava)
After a Kava ceremony initiation as Chief Bill of the tribe of Oldfartsurfers, The Mexican was seated on a throne wide enough to take the both bum cheeks of a 200 kg Samoan.
(Mex, aka Chief Bill, ascends the throne)
"It was a great honour to sit on the throne" said Mex, "At home I usually read a surfing mag on the throne, but there were none at hand so I had to enjoy the entertainment put on by our hosts."
(Mex helps guard the Fiji Presidents throne room)
The lack of door latches on throne rooms in Fiji and the plethora of coups meant that the boys  and support crew had to be constantly on their guard. "Bula is the word" said Rouge, "It is a friendly greeting and a way of saying everything is good.  We repaid our hosts generous hospitality by helping out with guard duties.  Mex even helped out guarding the throne room of the Chief of Chiefs, The President"
(One of our Fijian hosts guards Chief Bill's throne room)
After the massive surf of the oldfartsurfer's arrival day and the subsequent induction of Chief Bill, the oldfartsurfer's set about finding surf suitable for oldfartsurfers.  Key criteria were discussed over an evening gin and tonic but they forgot to make a record.  "I think we thought we should look for a place to surf where it is easy to paddle out, easy to catch a wave, is uncrowded, has a comfortable place for support crew to shop and have lunch whilst still affording photo opportunities"  said Mex.
(Sigatoka river mouth)
Mex and Rouge set out on their never ending research quest for oldfartsurfing waves.  The first port of call was Sigatoka where they called in to a local cafe to ask directions.  This is where they met a bloke/sheila called Mary.  "Mary was full of good ideas and, for a small deposit he/she was quite happy to set us up our own surf guide, and for a little bit extra we could get just about anything we wanted" said Rouge.  "Mex was desperate for a wave and was all for paying up but the absence of the guide made me hesitant.  We left Mary and with the help of some locals we found our way to the famous Sigatoka river mouth but it was maxing out at a messy 10' with murky brown water that wasn't particularly inviting"
(Brave Rouge paddles out alone)
"Eventually we found a break that satisfied nearly all the oldfartsurfing criteria" said Rouge.  "It was out the front of a resort called 'Hideaway', the staff were pretty friendly and they let us through the property to surf."
(a Hideaway barrel waiting for those who dare)
"I thought it looked pretty sketchy on the first day so I opted to take the role of official photographer"  said the Mex.  "It was pretty messy from the cross shore wind, it had a mean looking rip going out through the pass and it looked shallow.  I always take Clint Eastwood's advice on these occasions 'a mans gotta know his limitations'".  So brave Rouge paddled out alone.
(Rouge taking off, Hideaway)
Rouge caught a few of the smaller waves and while he was out there the resident surfers started to emerge and build their own courage.  They told Mex that they had been waiting for the high tide to put a bit of water over the reef.
(Rouge paddles over a throaty barrel)
According to the Mex "Rouge really put on a show of expert oldfartsurfing, he showed all his skill and experience taking off over coral that he developed surfing Red Bluff and Indonesia in the seventies."
As mentioned earlier, Mex and Rouge were on a mission to find the ultimate oldfartsurfing wave.    According to Mex "Hideaway ticked a lot of the boxes, it was easy to paddle out, it was uncrowded, there was shopping and a restaurant for the support crew and the outdoor cafe provided shelter from the rain and the sun while they sipped aperitifs and took photos of the boys".  The takeoff could be steep and the Mex managed to lose a bit of skin on the coral.  "Losing the skin wasn't such a worry, it grows back, but it was the damage done to Bob the Bobsled's nose that had me worried, he had to be checked into the Dude's hospice for oldfartsurfcraft for a nose job when we got him home" said the Mex.
(Bob the Bobsled's Hideaway nose job)
"The second session at Hideaway was a little more sedate" said Rouge, "the swell was smaller and cleaner, and even the rain didn't deter Mex from mixing it up out there.  There were a few other guys in the water to keep us company, all friendly.  I paddled over the channel and caught lefts to myself which was fun and the support crew managed to capture it in pixels, I was stoked".
(Hideaway right in the rain)
(Rouge goes left, Hideaway)
(Hiding away in the barrel)
(Rouge with the grin of a stoked oldfartsurfer)
After the surfing Rouge, Mex and the support crew partied hard at a Bula night.  "Much Kava was consumed, food eaten, drinks drunken and dancing done, not a bad spot for oldfartsurfers" said Mex.
(Mex, Rouge and support crew out on the Kava)
(Rouge and Mex dancing with the locals)
(The locals dancing for Rouge and Mex)
(Fiji night cap)
(Rouge Kava's it up in Bula style)
Click here to see the previous installment of the Fiji Series.
While in Fiji Rouge, Mex and support crew stayed at the Holiday Club Fiji Palms resort.
Please leave comments below for all to enjoy.
Click here to email the Oldfartsurfer.


Anonymous said...

hey Mex, great story, great memories. I reckon we have some unfinished business with these tropical locations...looking forward to the next adventure - while we still have enough flexibility, tendon, cartilage, cojones, etc

Anonymous said...

Definitely some unfinished business Rouge. We need to do some more research and plan the next olfartsurfadventure.
Cheers, Mex