I could just make out the outlines of Discovery a few hundred meters off the end of a lurching plastic dock as a moonless night descended on Lombok, Indonesia. I’d sent multiple texts to the freelance Captain who was supposed to be delivering our yacht to Thailand and who was presumably still on board as I crossed 15 time zones from Idaho to Hong Kong, down to Bali and a final quick flight over to Lombok but all had gone unanswered. Now I was finally here, but there was no sign of the Captain. I found a fisherman willing to take me out to the boat for a big wad of rupiahs and was greeted with a scene out of the movie “Dead Calm” with Nicole Kidman, one of the greatest suspense/horror films of all time. But this was no movie.
This is the dialog we were greeted with upon anchoring in a small, touristy bay in Lombok, Indonesia. Safe to say- we, and the Aussie, ended up paying the $5 equivalent for “protection”, in what was probably the safest area on the island. Sure enough, a local boy no older than 18 showed up at sundown to guard our boat. We all laughed. Our crew and the locals knew there wouldn’t be any trouble and that the “protection” was just a ploy to get some cash out of the westerners on the nice boat in the bay. It felt silly to even deny them such a small sum.
Between three exhausted crew members and five jet-lagged guests, there would be no late night game of dirty clubs, one of the staples of the Quest. But we woke with the sun to the best accompanying wake up call there is- steady wind. After some espresso everyone was kiting or foiling across an Alice in Wonderland scene; swerving in and out of the 150ft dizzying drop offs surrounding the scattered atolls.
Every two weeks or so I have to sit down for many hours and craft a story of our most recent adventure. Sometimes they write themselves, other times they are a real grind. Jody (our photographer and my partner) has to spend hours getting all the photos ready. After over a decade of traveling the world by sail seeking out wind and waves we realized we’ve got a lot of information stored away that might be of interest to fellow adventure-seekers. But we don’t really have a place to easily share what we’ve learned. Well, we’re hoping this new blog is the answer. We’re going to try to make the blog informative, interesting, visually stunning, and our ultimate goal- to inspire and motivate people to get out there. Be it on water, in the air, or somewhere in between- it’s a great big wonderful world out there. So here we go, the top 10 places to kite that we’ve found on our world tour. Thus far 40,000 + miles, 40 countries, 131 locations, over 90 of them virgin.
Come aboard the Best Odyssey with superstar Ben Wilson for the swell of the decade in Sumbawa.
Scoring wind and waves in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago…
Finding unsurfed and unkited waves takes a lot of homework and plenty of planning, but we’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years and on this trip it pays off in the heart of Indonesia in spades. Join the Best Odyssey with John Amundson on board as we hit a mother of a good swell.
We take a long stop in the island nation of Palau and find some amazing wonders