Surf's up in Heaven

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
Trip End Dec 05, 2011

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Monday, July 18, 2011

The ocean is the main focus at Nihiwatu, and especially the main wave. A classic indonesian reef break. The place is phenomenally proffessionaly managed as there is little doubt the sea is dangerous here. They only let 10 surfers out on to the wave at any one time to ensure everyone gets a turn riding the big wave and any one in difficulty can be spotted easily. They have 3 boats on hand, Christian and Ben, the watermen, and up to 10 boathouse boys all dressed in red rash tops and capable of pulling you out of the water. In fact when we took the boys further along the beach to boogie board the shore break they sent a life guard with us. 

All this professional help and on the water advise gives you great confidence to do things you perhaps would not otherwise do. Thankfully for us, when we were there the wave at Nihiwatu was not quite as large as the photo on the left would suggest. But, it was still up to 8 foot, and when the water "sucks" up the face and you can see the reef down below its still pretty daunting. 

Clearly none of these photos were taken on my first time out. Rather my first experience consisted of a few tumbles down the front of the wabes and a good period trapped inside, which basically means getting dumped on by large waves with barely enough time to catch you breath and re-orientate yourself before the whole process starts again. All I wanted to do was get to shore as quickly as possible and thank god I was still alive, it had nothing to do with surfing.

But clearly the tution is great, and lets be honest, when there is a pro surfer is out there pushing you on to the perfect take off point on the wave even someone like me can look ok.

Given the size of the waves the kids were restricted to riding tandem which hey loved. Basically Ben would paddle out a massive board with one of them on the front, effortlessly catch a good sized wave, and then let Jamie or Zach stand up in front of them and ride the wave in or even catch a ride on his shoulders. This still meant ever once in a while the kids got a huge dumping in some pretty big waves, but they bobbed up and asked to go again every time!

The water based activities were not limited to playing in the waves. They had a chance to try diving in the pool with scuba gear. The BCD is semi inflated so the tank sort of floats of its on accord with the breathing regulators in the water and the kids got to try out breathing under water which they loved. They were so confident in the pool that Ben took both of them out on to the reef at low tide and down about 3 or 4 metres, breathing from the spare regulator on his gear while he ensued they never strayed too far. All of this I might add observed by Dad who was snorkelling above, but again the boys just loved it. This sort of thing, breaking the rules and letting them do some really adventurous stuff for a 5 and 6 year old has really improved their confidence, not that it was lacking to start with.

We had also planned a family minus Ben fishing trip early one morning, to go after some of the Tuna, Wahoo and even Sail Fish that are in the region. But after another restless night and a temperature Ben needed a bit of parental nursing so I stayed back and Katherine took Jamie and Zach out with Justine and Leon. They left at 6.30 in the morning and were back at 8.30. I took Ben down to meet them, not expecting too much as the last couple of fishing expeditions had not turned anything up. But much to the joy of all the boys on board, big and small, they had landed a good sized Wahoo which would be served up later in the day as sashimi. When I say they landed the fish, I actually mean the deck hands as these fish put up way too much fight for 3 little boys!

The whole family loved the water sports and there were still so many things we did not get to do as we ran out of time. All in all a huge hit and one we all want to repeat. And further, anywhere that has a room full of surf boards that they call the board library has got to be worth a return trip.

Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Sylvia Klemz on

I've just been catching up with the last 3 months of your travels - most remiss of me to let it slip so long without reading. What a truly fantastic time you've all been having.

Alastair frequently asks when Jamie will be coming back, but I daren't let him see your blog! - can you imagine all the questions about when he can do the same thing?!? Thanks for the postcard which Angus passed on a while ago.

Good luck for the rest of your trip, & I'll try to keep up with your doings a bit more regularly.

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: