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S AV E T H E O C E A N

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S E A IR C HS E AA ND S HYEOPUH SE H RA D L L FI I N D

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AND YOU SHALL

find We woke at 4:20am, had a muesli bar and flew via China on our way to Sumatra, Indonesia. Six weeks earlier a cold winter surf on the windy west coast inspired us to buy a ticket to Bali and seek warmer waters and waves. We figured we would go somewhere different to the usual Bali hustle and venture elsewhere in Indonesia.

---WORDS AND PICTURES BY JESSICA NICOLSON AND DAVID PRESTON

Some of the islands off the coast of Sumatra were calling our names. After the non-refundable tickets to Bali were booked and purchased my Mum called and of course I couldn’t help but tell her my recently made plans. “Cancel the tickets tonight!” she said in a worried manner. She was stressed I was abandoning my responsibilities. We got through this little panic, made arrangements and prepared for our surfing pilgrimage. Auckland to China, China to Bali, Bali to Sumatra, Sumatra to the offshore islands. It was a long journey but we made it to our first stop. Our surfboards only just made it with us as we had to chase them down and get them onto our last connecting domestic flight while the rest of the plane which included four others boarded and waited. We had to really stress that we needed our boards with us as there was a swell hitting the island that day. After jumping through the luggage carousal flaps and finding our boards behind the scenes we managed to convince the

airport staff to get them onto the plane before we flew out. We were sweating like Indonesian chickens but we got our way and didn’t have a 2-day delay in getting our boards. Thanks to the lovely young Indonesian airport staff who were really cool and understanding, even with our lack of Bahasa and their lack of English. Terima Kasai! The water was 30 degrees and the air was 29, and the waves were standing up on the reef and peeling fast and hollow down the point. We were stoked to arrive with our boards and in time for this first swell. I was a little nervous about surfing these more challenging waves through my forever problematic injuries (snapped ACL’s in the past) but I took my Thera band set and my TK strapping. I started out with some strapping over my right shoulder because a few weeks before leaving New Zealand I discovered I had rather weak trapezius muscles and needed to stabilise my winged scapula’s. My confidence grew as the

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