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Surfing the Titanic

About 5 years ago I was talking to Derek Hynde about undiscovered surf spots around the world. We laughed at how in 1960 there were only a few countries in the world that were known to have surf. The rest of the world was only just discovering even Australia. Of course people didn?t travel as easily as today. I said to Derek, I didn?t think there were to many areas not yet discovered. Derek just laughed saying we still have not scratched the surface.

A couple of month?s back a friend of mine came in to buy a gun for a surf trip, I didn?t think too much of it. When he got back he showed me some photos of that trip. He told me where it was and I was blown away. The moral to this story is that this is another testimony to Derek?s call. There are still uncountable waves out there. These waves were world class, consistent and waiting. The only trouble is we are not going to tell you where they are; at least to we at Line up have been there. Enjoy and dream on.

Wayne Ryan





I recently visited one of Australia?s many neighbouring islands. After a short, cheap flight (4 hours from home), I found myself aboard my mate?s yacht, about to surf a perfect left reef break within a short proximity to the airport.

Aboard the yacht, which was heavily stocked with a couple of week?s supplies, I joined 5 other surfers who had just sailed across from Australia. The purpose of our trip was to sail and discover unsurfed and definitely uncrowded reef breaks. We found heaps! There is a small population of lucky surfers, who due to the cost of fuel, and the distance to reach these waves, makes your average wave check a major ordeal.



The yacht we were aboard ? the ?Perenti? ? a 54 ft ex racing yacht customized for surf adventures. Having a shallow draft (1.5m) allowed us to go where even catamarans couldn?t venture. With a crew aloft, coral bommies could be spotted allowing the big lizard to manoeuvre into atolls and through precarious reef passes. In extreme cases coral heads are premarked with plastic bottles and string enabling safe passage.

The long left near the airport was just the thing I needed to shake those city blues. A hot dog, long walling wave with plenty of power, but not too heavy.





The next wave we looked at was a different story. Similar to a ?Telaipo? left wrapping in a 90* arc over coral reef?..heavy! The skipper went out for a couple of waves but decided that the next 4months of adventuring was worth more than a flight home in a body bag.

Finding  the ideal shaped reef is no easy scene, thanks to a captain and crew, combining years of experience and lots of luck.

After getting a whisper from a local about an elusive spot x, we set off sailing at high speed under spinnaker, assisted by the reliant trade winds, arriving at our destination welcomed by a beautiful sunset. We anchored in the lee of one of the many uninhabited islands in this massive lagoon. Of he 2 weeks I was on board I saw one other boat ? therefore mans impact on this marine wilderness is very insignificant. Teeming with seabirds, fish, dugongs, turtles, sea snakes and whales.


The next morning we motored out to he reef pass to be greeted to a crisp left swell. Thinking that the grinding 200m left was ?spot x?The skipper and ?Andrea the Giant? took the bit in their teeth and paddled out. Meanwhile the rest of us just dived and fished. We all surfed this supposed ?spot x? the next day at 6-8ft. weeks later we learned that this wasn?t ?spot x? but probably a break that had rarely been surfed if at all. Riding this wave to the end was tempting but with it?s sucking dry left you had no option but to pull out early. We named this break ?skiddies?.

Outside the 8 or so breaks I surfed there would have to be hundreds of others around this island, many of which my mates went on to discover in the months ahead.



Being in a well fitted out cruising yacht, enabled us to stay out on the fringing reefs giving us the ultimate advantage to surf our firsts waves of the day B4  breakfast.

Whilst we sailed between surf spots, the fish were striking constantly, which meant we were pretty well fed, throwing a lot of excess back to sea. We also stopped at several shipwrecks, which provided some eerie but excellent diving. And at night the rock of the boat, with cleansing ale, music humming and just talking about the moments in the hard day of fun we had.





The highlights of this trip was not  just the perfect location and perfect surf, but learning how to sail, working together as a team, creating life long friendships and being isolated from the everyday luxuries we take for granted.


The elusive ?spot x? was finally surfed by the boys a month later. This spot was an isolated reef inside a reef pass, which made this spot hard to find. Apparently the take off is easy stating at 2ft then growing into a 6ft pit 50m down the line, continuing for another 50m. After seeing the footage of this spot and many others that I had missed out on left me instantly planning my next visit.