While we were in Maldives isolated from the rest of the of the world we had access to the news and media, but everything seemed very far away. Could it effect us? Would it effect our season? Living on Discovery, having fun everyday, exploring remote atolls, looking for wind and waves it’s easy to feel the news cannot be real, that it must be overblown.
On the 21st we sailed up to Huvadhoo atoll, the world’s largest. Discovery had been in this exact same spot 10 years ago when Gavin was the skipper and I was excited to ply some of the surf he’d scored.
We’ve put together this 2010 highlight reel for all our owners, guests and well- anyone who has ever had interest in playing in the Indian Ocean as we covered just about all of it this past season. This will be mostly a slideshow from the field but I’ll give you a little run-down as well. Don’t miss the slideshow at the end!
In many ways the last trip started over 10 years ago. I was sitting in a pub on the SW corner of Vancouver Island near the Juan De Fuca Straits with a guy who’d just completed a circumnavigation. It was the spring of 1999 and other than commercial fishing in the Bearing Sea I’d never been offshore and had no idea how it all worked. This guy’s stories of adventure kept me rapt for hours and I furiously scribbled notes about all the places he reckoned were “must sees”. One in particular seemed more enticing and yet elusive than any other. Chagos. I’d never heard of it and remember pulling out a map later that night just to make sure it was real.
Knowing the trade winds would be long gone by April we planned this 10 day adventure around surf. The southern atolls in the Maldives are exposed to reliable swell from the south Indian Ocean, which culminate in some of the worlds best reef breaks. Our plan was to leave Male and cover the distance to arrive well before the clients’ flight into Huvadhoo atoll, one of the largest atolls in the world and only 20 miles north of the equator. But on the day of our planned departure I learned 8 time world SUP champion Jamie Mitchell’s signature Surftech board had not arrived. As SUP boards aren’t the easiest things to travel with we’d made plans weeks in advance to have it shipped to Male so we could carry it south with us on Discovery. Instead of departing I spent a full night with our agent Abdullah at the airport trying to clear the board from customs. This would not be the last problem on the trip.
I’ve never been into drugs. But I imagine “coming down” would feel a lot like I do right now. A bit dizzy, a bit confused, a lot tired. The last 15 days played out like an eternity and somehow also disappeared in a flash. When I look back it all seemed to start ages ago because there’s no way you can fit into each day all the things that happened, but it also seems like the clients just stepped on the boat. My body and those of our guests show signs of genuine abuse. I’ve got a serious limp after smacking my calf into a Kiteboard while rescuing a sinking mask; the guests thankfully are unhurt, but they may want to have a skin exam in the near future. The sun has crisped their skin like burnt bacon.
In the Honeymoon destination of the Maldives you find many wonders, but get off the tourist route a bit and you find pure paradise. Join us as we are the first ever to paraglide over these magical waters.