Spearfishing Cudjoe Key
05 January 2015 | Cudjoe Key, Florida Keys
About a week ago I was hanging at my friend WT's place and he casually suggested that we should head down to the Keys to do some spearing. I agreed that it would be good to get out of town and into the water. He'd already looked at renting some houses down there, and had found a good one on the water with a dock space in the back. Perfect.
We were slated to leave on January 1, as in the day after New Year's Eve, at 6 am. Needless to say, we didn't put in much partying. I was up at 5 am on Thursday to head over to WT's parents' place and we were all set to go. All ready, that is, except that our notoriously late-for-life friend Brent wouldn't be getting off work until 8 am. Our trip was already off to a great start...
We killed time by going to McDonald's and getting some nasty food and extremely hot coffee. Drinking coffee, digesting our sausage McGriddle breakfasts, we chilled back at WT's place, just waiting for Brontly to be done with work. Finally, we got on the road and made good enough time to stop to buy some groceries and still get out on the water by 3 pm.
A quick afternoon trip out to the reef was just what we needed to get over how boring the day had been to that point. We popped in at a spot that was about 50 feet deep and I shot a nice mangrove snapper. WT did the classic anchor check and came up with a good hogfish. We tried to dive on a wreck that sits in 100 feet of water, but the visibility mid-column was extremely limited. There was just an odd layer of murk starting about 50 feet down so we bailed and just headed in with our two reef fish. At the very least we'd already scored some decent fish and had dinner in the boat.
We went out and watched some college football that night, and had some drinks. Apparently, we all drank a little more than we thought, because we felt like crap the next day! I was surprised with how off I felt, as I really didn't think I'd had that much to drink. Either way, we got out early and put in a full day on the water. The visibility was decidedly worse than the previous day, and the winds had picked up to around 12-15 knots. It was pretty bumpy out there, with limited viz, and all of us feeling a little sick. Still, we shot a couple nice mangs, hogs, cero mackerel, and our friend Spencer shot a large margate. We had plenty of fish, and since none of us was feeling good we decided to head in.
That night, the guys went out hard. I actually ended up passing out early after I got considerably too intoxicated. They got back from Key West at 5 am and I was all the more glad that I hadn't joined them. Getting wasted earlier in the night and passing out actually ended up saving me!
The third day down in the Keys we simply did nothing but hang around and be annoyed that the wind was pumping. A front was approaching, and it was at this point blowing a steady 20 knots. Much too windy and rough to even attempt to go out. The visibility would be even worse - not doable.
We ended up going down to Key West again that night, and had a fun, low key night on Duval Street. After a few rounds of beers, a trip to window shop at Divers Direct, and some pizza, we actually got back around 11 pm. A very tame Key West run, for sure.
For our final day down at Cudjoe, we tried to go out on the Gulf side to find some lobster. We maneuvered through some very shallow patches, and slowly edged north. Eventually, we found an area that had some lobstering promise, so Brent and I got our gear on and trolled off the back of the boat, hoping to spot lobster. We saw absolutely nothing, and after not all that long we just bailed.
Overall, it was a very unsuccessful trip down to the Keys. Still, it was fun and a welcome distraction from Naples life, or the lack thereof. We've had better trips. But, it's really hard to complain about a long weekend down in the Keys with some friends, getting some fish, making a quick Key West visit, and overall not really having any major difficulties along the way!
New Year's Resolutions
30 December 2014
I told myself that I honestly didn't have any New Year's resolutions. I don't believe in changing something about yourself or your lifestyle just because it's that time of the year. Making a change, whether to your diet, exercise regime, working habits, or whatever else, should simply come out of a desire to better yourself. This can happen at any time on the calendar, not just as we ring in the new year.
All that being said, I do have one New Year's Resolution: I will
try to maintain this blog. New Zealand has so much to offer, from the water to the mountains. There's great spearfishing, which I plan to do in the coming months. I've been surfing a lot, too, and surely there are some stories to tell there. I plan to go hiking with Amanda on the Tongariro Circuit, and hopefully get her out sailing offshore some! There will be plenty to tell.
I won't try to go back and talk about Tonga, Fiji, our sail down to NZ, or the experiences I've had in the country to date. Instead, in the spirit of the New Year, I'll look forward, and begin this blog anew.
Look for some updates - I'm going to try my best to write weekly (yeah, said that before). Hopefully, I can get something out there on a more regular basis, and I won't feel like I've let so much happen without putting it "on paper!"
Happy New Year everybody. 2015 is going to be another amazing one!
14 September 2014 | Suwarrow Atoll, Cook Islands
While waiting for a good weather window to depart Bora Bora for Aitutaki, in the Cook Islands, we began to second guess our route. I casually dropped the possibility that we could head to Suwarrow, which was farther north than Aitutaki by about 5 degrees latitude. The weather down south had continually been crap, with the more equatorial Cooks having better weather consistently. We began to look more closely at our options. Suwarrow is interesting in that it's situated between the North Cooks and the South Cooks, at about 13 degrees South latitude, and is "uninhabited." In fact, there is a park ranger, Harry, who lives there with his wife, Vahine. After reading some great accounts of time spent on the island by other curisers, we decided to go. Beyond the usual intreague of clear water and protected anchorage-ness, we were interested in the island's history. The island gained the world's attention when in the late 1950's New Zealander Tom Neale went to live on the island by himself. Truly, a castaway in the South Seas, albeit self-imposed, Neale lived on the island in three different stints for about 17 years total (pretty sure) and describes his experience in his book, An Island to Oneself.
We applied to be given permission to visit, as is required by the Cook Islands government, and were promptly accepted. After a very slow but otherwise painless 6-day passage from Bora Bora, we pulled in to Suwarrow on August 22nd. The island is absolutely beautiful. It's surrounded by crystal clear water of every hue, and fringed by healthy reefs teeming with fish and thousands of sharks. Thankfully, the sun shone nearly the whole time we were there - admittedly a brief 3-day stop - and helped make the area that much more picturesque. As on other atolls, countless palms dominated the treeline. Crystal clear water, abundantant sunshine, a little white-sand beach, palms, fish...paradise.
Rob and I jumped in to explore the structure around the boat, and to do a quick anchor check. We were immediately greeted by dozens of blacktip reef sharks. These smaller, non-aggressive sharks are usually quite safe to swim with. However, dozens of sharks circling you and acting very curious is always uncomfortable. We dove down to the bottom several times to get a closer look at the groupers, snappers, parrotfish, and other reef species around. Each time, the sharks would get closer. We decided to go check the anchor and probably cut our snorkel kind of short. I found the anchor and saw that the chain was thoroughly wrapped around a coral head, with the anchor pointing 180 degrees from where it should. I dove and struggled to move our 33kg Rocna anchor. During my frantic anchor moving, I scraped my knee on a rock on the bottom, drawing blood. Now the sharks were really coming toward me, and their behavior was getting a little more erratic. We decided to get out, just in case. We'd re-anchor from the boat.
The following day, Rob and I decided to try our luck trolling the pass. We were slated to have a potluck dinner on the beach with the other cruisers, and we wanted to provide some protein. We'd heard that there are tons of pelagic fish, especially rainbow runners, that hang out in the pass and we were keen to catch some. We loaded up the gear and motored over. After a couple of sweeps, we still had no action. We tried jigging some, but still turned up nothing. Dismayed, we headed back toward the boats to cast at the shallows. As we were pulling up to the rocky area, I spotted a large bluefin trevally swimming on the surface. We pursued him, and did a hard U-turn when he changed direction. Rob kept his eye on the fish and I prepared to cast. I laid the lure about 10 yards from the fish, and just when the jig hit the water, the trevally exploded with speed and darted over to take the bait. He let out a screaming run, and I tried to tighten the drag. The battle was less against the fish and more against the clock: quickly boating the fish is imperative because of the massive shark population. I worked the fish way harder than normal, and we even drove the dinghy over to where he had run. I was reeling and reeling. As he was right next to the dinghy, we tried to lift him up, but looked down to see two small blacktips hanging on to his tail! The extra weight bent the hook shank, and he slipped off to be devoured. Bummer for us, but especially for him!
Unfortunately, we didn't have any fish to bring ashore that evening. Luckily though, Harry had caught a few rainbow runners and the Kiwis on Marionette had brought in some fish as well. It was quite a feast! Harry's wife, Vahine, had made coconut pancakes. This interesting treat is made from the foamy center of a coconut that has become overripe. Grated and mixed with some flour and sugar, the coconut makes a tasty pancake indeed! Harry prepared a fire for grilling the fish. He used half of a 200 liter drum, and started a fire deep at the bottom. Then he piled it full of rocks to heat up and hold the heat longer, he said. Over top, he laid down a grill for the fish that had been prepared with some garlic and citrus. It was delicious! The rainbow runner was similar to mahi but perhaps even tastier? Big, big fan of this fish. There was some rice and a pasta salad to accompany the fish, and of course plenty of beers.
We brought a chocolate cake for dessert that Mom had made. We had departed Bora Bora on Rob's birthday, and never got to properly celebrate. So, we made a cake for his belated birthday celebration. It was certainly memorable for all of us to celebrate on Suwarrow with the company of three other cruising boats and Harry and Vahine. Happy birthday, Rob!
Later in the night Harry and Vahine disappeared for a little bit. Vahine had previously asked if we'd ever seen coconut crabs (we had) and said that she'd find some to show us later. Being polite, we said that would be great (even though we'd seen them everywhere throughout Polynesia). Man, we're glad they found some! We had previously only seen small ones, apparently. The two large males that Harry and Vahine brought out to show us were incredibly huge! Our hosts had the two crabs on leashes, walking them out like dogs! I'd guess that they weighed 8-10 pounds and were probably about 18 inches from claw to tail. These two coconut crabs then started to climb up the palm tree that was near us. They proceeded all the way to the top, and hung out there for some photos. They were honeslty kind of creepy, reminding me of giant spiders a little. The locals throughout Polynesia eat the crabs as a staple of their diets. However, the crabs at Suwarrow were all poisonous, due to the rat poison that had been spread around the atoll as part of an eradication project. Law of unintended consequences for the win.
In the morning, after our mild hangovers wore off, we tried to do some more trolling. Again, we had no luck. We didn't try too hard since we knew that we'd be departing the next day for Tonga, and we'd probably catch fish en-route. On the way back in, we ran into the crew from Marionette, who were heading to the pass to do a drift dive and recon the spearfishing possibilities. That sounded like a good idea to us, so we returned to the boat and got ready to go back out. We figured we'd bring a gun just in case we saw something we wanted to shoot. The plan was to drift for a while, and plug one good fish right before we leave.
Well, we arrived to the pass and jumped in. I immediately saw a school of bluefin trevally, a bunch of snappers and groupers on the bottom, and a large napoleon fish. The life was unbelievable! I dove down to look at the napoleon, and as I was surfacing, I see rob pointing behind me. I turned and saw a reasonably large grey reef shark swimming toward me. Of course. WIthin another minute, there were a half dozen sharks circling us. We certainly weren't going to be shooting anything here. Alas, we resigned to just look at the fish for a while. However, the sharks got increasingly more curious and kept inching closer. These weren't the kinder, gentler sharks of the lagoon. We were now right next to the big wide ocean, and we weren't too sure how confident we should be around these sharks. In the end, prudence won out, and we decided to call the dive short. That was fine with me, honestly, because these sharks were preventing me from just relaxing and enjoying myself anyway. Grrrr so many sharks!!
With all of our chores done and the boat ready to depart for a rough, windy passage to Vava'u, Tonga in the morning, we just relaxed the rest of the afternoon. Suwarrow was a neat place and I'm so glad that Harry and Vahine were kind enough to host a potluck for us on the beach. We made some new friends on Marionette who we've already reconnected with here in Tonga, and I'm sure we'll be in touch in New Zealand. Overall, a great, short stopover at the "minimally inhabited" island of Suwarrow. Thanks y'all!
Spearfishing with Tepapa
29 August 2014 | Bora Bora
At about 730 in the morning Tepapa cruised on by in his small aluminum boat, and we all went out the pass. After saying a prayer to keep us safe in the water, we slipped in and did some deep diving. Tepapa is a stud, and was hanging out at about 80 feet for a solid minute on the bottom. Rob and I were not quite so solid in our diving, but improved throughout our session. I definitely hit some record dives for myself (while spearfishing that is) and probably hung out at 80 feet for a little bit trying to sneak up on some fish that were deeper down the dropoff - a futile effort, clearly. Tepapa said he saw a small dogtooth tuna, and that got us fired up. He had mostly been diving off by himself a little ways down the reef, with Rob and me hanging together.
I looked up to get my bearings on the boat, as I do frequently, and was not happy to see that the boat had dragged its anchor and was floating off to sea. Rob and I started to swim fast toward the boat, but it was a good couple hundred yards away. We eventually closed the gap, got the engine started, and re-anchored in a slightly shallower spot. Tepapa had set a nearly 1-to-1 scope on the anchor, and each wave that rolled out the pass pushed the boat a foot or so farther. Eventually, the boat was over the dropoff and couldn't grip the reef any more. Thankfully we got the boat back and secured the anchor well under a rock.
More excitement was to come though. We continued to dive, but now were much closer to Tepapa, just watching to see his technique and trying to replicate. He'd dive down on the dropoff, and lay motionless on the botom just looking over the edge of the underwater mountain. I watched Tepapa swim up after a long dive, and just as he reached the surface, he twitched slightly, and started to slip back down under the water. I saw his hands go limp, dropping his gun and his snorkel (he pulls the snorkel out of his mouth and holds it while he dives). I immediately dropped my gun (which was attached to my float system) and dove down after him. I pulled him up to the surface, and Rob was right there to grab him as well and help hold him up. He came to, coughed a bit, and thrashed around, clearly scared and not understanding fully what had just happened. We held his head out of the water, and tried to comfort him, just telling him he was OK and to breathe. He thankfully slowly regained his composure, started breathing more normally, and was ok to swim on his own. As he was recovering, I tried to keep my eye on his gear slowly sinking to the bottom. We were diving the dropoff, so his gun and snorkel eventually settled quite deep down - probably around 80-90 feet. I steeled myself, did a laughably mediocre breath-up and dove down. I spied his snorkel and gun right next to it, and grabbed each piece of gear, very much near my depth limit. Still shaken from his blackout, Tepapa could only muster a humble thank-you for both helping him resurface and for grabbing his gear. We decided to call it a day.
He dropped us back off at our boat, and we told him to just hang out for a little. We chatted, and took a couple pictures with him. He eventually had to go to work, so we said our goodbyes, and were sad to see him go. Later that day, he swung back over. He had clearly been thinking about our morning while at work, and the gravity of the situation had sunken in. He was endlessly thankful for what we'd done for him, and he said that he really wanted to give us his gun. The gun is a beautiful wooden masterpiece that he had made by hand, with an integral wooden grip, and external firing mechanism. It's gorgeous, and had taken him many days to complete. We told him we simply could not take the gun, since he needed it. He said, OK how about we trade? Then he can shoot fish and show us the fish he's taken with our gun and we can shoot fish and send him pictures of what we've captured using his gun. We liked the idea, so Rob traded his Mako enclosed track 110 for the gun. We gave him a spare shaft too, even though he insisted he buy the shaft. We told him no way, it's a gift. He was so grateful for everything. We had rescued his boat and saved his life all in one morning! The guy was so humble and just couldn't be more grateful. We said a long goodbye, telling each other that we'd be in touch and that we'd never forget what had happened that day.
The Lord was clearly watching out for us that morning. We had been diving separately all morning, and had only come back over near Tepapa minutes before his blackout dive. This was no coincidence, and I can't say how powerful it was that we were able to be there just at the right time and place to help our friend. Thank you God. Tepapa, bro, be safe out there!
Leeward Islands (Late)
28 August 2014 | Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa
Once again it's been forever since I've put anything down on paper. So, here goes.
After departing Moorea we sailed to Huahine for our second visit. We pulled in to Fare and anchored in just about the exact same spot as our first time. The spot is nice, in reasonably shallow water with scattered coral heads and sand bottom. Rob and I did some snorkeling, but didn't see too much except for some cool shells that we collected.
The real treat of Huahine is the surf. We went out to the mellow(er) left - Fare - early in the morning and had the waves to ourselves except for one other cruiser. No locals out to give us a hard time! We caught a few waves, but the swell was very inconsistent and quite small.
The following morning we got out at 6am to ensure that we'd have no trouble with locals at Fitii, the more aggressive right. Once again, only one other cruiser was out, and he left a bit before we did. So, again, we had the waves to ourselves. Fitii is an extremely fun, hollow right. I caught a bunch of waves - by far more than the first visit to this break - and really got comfortable with how steep and dredging the takeoff is. It was super fun! Rob and I both stayed safe at each break and caught some good waves to boot.
We continued on to Raiatea after a couple of days. We were sailing fast on a broad reach, and Rob reeled in a fat skipjack tuna. As we were approaching the northeast pass into the lagoon surrounding Raiatea, we hooked up again. This time it was a large bull mahi. I fought him for about 15 minutes until he was beside the boat. He was still full of energy though, and I had to wait patiently for another 15 minutes as he made a series of small runs and direction changes near the boat. We eventually landed the 37 pound mahi, and were stoked to have a bunch of fresh fish on board!
The next morning, Rob and I went out to check the left that rolls into the northwest pass at Raiatea, called Miri Miri. This break was reasonably mellow, but was closing out a bit, and wasn't very good. Still, we caught a bunch of waves, had some very fun rides, and once again avoided getting tossed on the reef.
The weather seems to always be cloudy and rainy when we're in Huahine/Raiatea/Tahaa. Our first visit out to these Leeward Islands was marked by scattered rain and limited sunshine. This trip was only different in that the sun hardly ever came out! Every time I checked the weather I was dismayed to see nonstop clouds and rain in the forecast. The weathermen were right, too, and it rained lots when we were in Raiatea and Tahaa.
The hilight of our visit, other than surfing, was snorkeling the "coral gardens" on the fringing motus north of Tahaa. This extremely shallow area is full of interesting coral formations and simply teeming with fish. We saw all the usual suspects, but also spotted a couple of octopi, sea anemone, and my very first non-invasive lionfish! It was funny to see such a small, not obese lionfish, as the ones in FL and the Caribbean have grown to epic proportions. Rob mentioned that in the Bahamas he had fed a sea urchin to a sea anemone, and we decided to try. I pried a small urchin off the rocks, and placed it on the sea anemone. The anemone slowly engulfed the urchin, pulling it into its tentacles. Cool!
When we finally got some wind and a decent sunny day we hopped over to Bora Bora. This lagoon is incredibly beautiful, with every color of water imaginable from clear white through green to deep blueish-purple. The steep pointy mountain in the center provides a stunning backdrop to the hilighter water. We ended up spending about a week in Bora Bora waiting for a good weather window to depart for the Cook Islands, and used our time mostly snorkeling and moving around from one neat anchorage to another.
The night we arrived - a Friday - we went to Bloody Mary's for happy hour. Rob struck up a conversation about spearfishing with a guy who works there, the employee having seen Rob's spearfishing shirt. Tepapa told us that he goes every day out the pass and that he had gotten a nice giant trevally, or GT, earlier that morning. We decided to all go out together, provided we could find a day/time that worked.
We were in touch with Tepapa on Facebook, but nothing materialized. We went back to Blood Mary's the following Wednesday for happy hour, and thankfully he was working that night. We set up to go the following morning. The story of our morning out spearfishing with Tepapa deserves it's own post...please read the next post to find out!
Rob Arrives, etc.
04 August 2014 | Tahiti, Moorea
A lot has happened since I last wrote. The biggest change onboard obviously is that Rob is here now - a much anticipated arrival. I'm so stoked to have my best buddy here! Rob and I have been friends since we were 3 years old, running up and down Fountainhead Lane together, getting into all sorts of shenanigans. He had to take off at a not-so-perfect time in his home life too, since he's getting married in January. His fiancé, Jill, has been super cool with the trip since the beginning, and I cannot thank her enough for being such a supportive lady to let him come share this experience with me! Thanks Mary! Clearly, it's huge that he's here.
Rob flew in late Wednesday night, and I went to pick him up from the airport. We hung out Thursday, made the obligatory Carrefour run, and surfed Taapuna in the evening. Taaps was firing, and I managed to score one of the smaller waves. A huge set came through and washed us all inside, and I scraped my back up pretty badly on the reef. Alas, that was the final Taapuna injury, and it's more or less healed by now. Rob thankfully avoided contact with the reef, and we headed in for a fun happy hour beer with Matt, Annie, and Josh from Cavalo.
The following day, Friday, we rented a car and all drove to Papara - the river mouth break down south on Tahiti. Rob and I had a really fun 4-hour session, even with the heavy crowd pressure. My most fun wave of the day was a head-high right. I was carving down the line, building some speed. The wave had a fairly steep face, and looked like it could barrel/close-out at any point. I kept riding down the line, trying to not get caught behind a close-out section. At the end of the ride, I could see the section tubing over ahead of me. I knew I could cut out the back, through the wave face, turn down, or just pull in. I decided on the latter, and pumped for extra speed. I pulled into the barrel, and rode inside the tube for what felt like a while (but I'm sure it was just a second). Inevitably, the wave ate me up, and I got shot out the back of the wave, through the face. It was super fun and an unforgettable experience for someone who hasn't had too much tube-riding in his life!
We got picked up by Mom and Dad (who were driving the car around touring Tahiti for the day) at 2pm and headed back to Punaauia to make a huge Carrefour run with the vehicle. No need to describe our provisioning run...
Saturday morning we awoke to some serious breeze, got the anchor up, and sailed over to Haapiti, Moorea. This small town on the southwest coast of Moorea is incredibly picturesque. The mountainous backdrop of the anchorage is studded with numerous sharp peaks and valleys. The smell of burning palm fronds and coconuts filled the air, as usual. Coming in through the pass, a large pod of dolphins swam with us, jumping and twisting acrobatically. It was quite a spectacle, about 2-3 dozen playful dolphins putting on a show! The entrance to the lagoon was quite narrow, and we had large swells rolling in behind us. It was a bit touch-and-go, but we made the transit without incident. The famous left of Haapiti was just off our starboard side, breaking a solid triple-overhead. It was pretty humbling to watch the waves crash on the reef, spitting water out of the tubes. We decided to wait until the following day to try surfing. Nobody was out.
Rob and I explored the town briefly, but discovered little ashore save a couple stray dogs, an attractive church, and a small magasin with stale bread (and a surprising Bud Ice sixer in the fridge). After grabbing a very sub-par baguette, we walked up to the church to see what it's deal was. We contemplated attending mass the following morning - a Sunday - but were skeptical that their mass was actually at the posted 7:30 am time.
Lo and behold, at 7:30 the next morning, we heard church bells ringing, and decided we'd missed our chance. No worries, we simply read our daily devotional and went out for a surf in the afternoon.
The swell had barely died down from the previous afternoon, and the sets were still way too big for us to attempt. One huge drawback of Haapiti is the river-like current that flows out the pass and through the lineup. Immediately as we were paddling out, we found ourselves too far out. We battled the current, and eventually I got back in the right area, and managed to pick off a smaller wave. It peeled plenty fast, had a good steep face, but was never threatening. Perfect. I carved a couple turns and cut out the back of the wave. We paddled around a little more but eventually gave up since the waves were just out of our league, and the current was exhausting. After painstakingly paddling back to the boat, we sat and watched for a while. The locals were killing it, catching the biggest of the waves and getting some great tubes and airs.
We enjoyed watching the waves for a while and headed back to the boat a little later. Our friends on Amphitreete, a Swedish/South African group, were in the harbor as well, so we went to hang out with them. We discussed the surf, our float plans, Leopard catamarans (since they're on a 45 while we sail a 40)...the usual cruiser conversation. We enjoyed learning some South African slang, such as "bry," meaning "grill or barbecue," and had a cheap beer with them.
The snorkeling was pretty good, and we were able to simply swim off the boat to explore the surrounding coral. We saw two blacktip sharks, which were the hilight, but not a whole lot else. Between surfing and snorkeling, we managed to fill our time at Haapiti.
We departed for the north coast, to head back to Opunohu Bay. Rob and I hiked up the Belvedere - my second trip - and enjoyed the views and people watching. We snapped a few photos, looked around, and ate our packed lunch. All of a sudden, everybody else left, and we were alone at the lookout spot. With the parking lot cleared of cars, we were able to see a path that was previously hidden. Following the trail, we walked along an old stone pathway, through a densely wooded area, and finally came to another clearing with an equally awesome view. This spot, however, had no road leading to it, and nobody to spoil the view. A bench made of a large log was the only accoutrement to this spot, and we both decided it would be a good idea to try to get the log on my shoulders, and squat it. I successfully pulled off the maneuver, dropped the log, placed it back where it was, and we left. Super successful hike.
We met back up with our friends on Amphitreete for another beer the night before we left, but called it an early night since we were scheduled to get up at 2am to shove off. Moorea is great, and I was a bit sad to leave. However, I was excited to get to Huahine and get some more surf in our lives!