Dream Series: Cook Islands

In 2007, having just finished my Honours research year, I flew off to the Cook Islands with three mates for a month-long surf trip. The tiny main island, Rarotonga, takes 20 minutes to drive around, with basically two roads and a handful of bars. We stayed in a little ‘chalet’, and after a picture-perfect first day of sunny skies and fun, glassy waves with no-one around, the bad weather set in. Torrential, tropical rain came down for a week, with a bad swell pattern and no waves. We sat inside, moping, drinking and playing endless games of cards. Finally, a sacrifice was made to the Spirit gods, and nursing severe hangovers, we were greeted by pumping waves. The trip will stick in my mind as one of the biggest wind-downs of my life; the stress of 60-hour weeks doing research, flipped to a life with no commitment except for having a good time.

 

Climbing the Needle, an iconic rock spire in the middle of the island on a lay day…
A travelling bodyboarder getting swallowed in a warped reef barrel.
The few local surfers know their stuff – the reefs are sharp, shallow and infested with the biggest sea urchins I’ve ever seen. Inexperienced riders need not apply.
This session remains one of my favourite ever memories. A big, raw swell and the most intense waves I’ve laid eyes on, let alone ridden.
The natural beauty of the island was equally memorable… a stunning place I’ll return to someday.
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Categories: photos, Travel | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Dream Series: Cook Islands

  1. M@

    Have you ever tried surfing the tarp?

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