The Awera Files #4

Suicides is painless.

If possible, it is best to read this humming the theme music from the M.A.S.H. TV series, “Suicide is Painless”…just a thought

Suicides is the right hand break that is straight out in front of the camp and is about a leisurely twenty minute paddle from the beach.  It requires a bit of swell to work as it is tucked inside the bay.  On the 2012 Awera Trip, nature was pretty chilled and only delivered a bare minimum when it came to swells travelling up across the Indian Ocean to the coastline of Indonesian Archipelago but not enough for Suicides to pump.

It was a different story in 2014.

My first memory of Suicides this trip was Blackie being caught inside and having his first encounter with the sharp coral reef. There he was standing knee high on the reef with the arse torn out his boardies, Suicides 1 Surfers 0.

Over the next two weeks, Suicides ranged in size from out of the sky hairy big (15 ft) when experienced big wave surfer, Mark Matthews took it on with the help of a jet ski to the more gentle mechanical swells rolling across the reef. I settled on the later more than the former as I know my limitations. When the swell peaked that day, the whole bay was alive with water swirling in each and every direction and defying any of my logic about how ocean swells and currents work.  This particular day, in the afternoon, Gaz and I decided to take on the peak (3-4 ft) about 50 metres off the beach and while it only took seconds to reach the peak, it took about good 20 minutes to get back in, I had paddled out as a rooster and once again I had been totally feather-dusted by Huey.

Suicides was a very popular wave that season as it is a quality right hander that breaks with the swell and wind directions we were experiencing.  Sometimes that meant that the waves at times had to be shared with too many surfers for too few waves but you take what you can when nature provides and to be honest, a few quality waves in an idyllic place shared with friends epitomizes the joy of being a surfer.  It is also offers the opportunity to meet new friends and meet the local surfers.  While the young lady with the very brief bikini who I shared a paddling tip with so she could improve her enjoyment is somewhat engraved in my brain, so was the time when a fellow surfer introduced me to the term Sea Beggar, the new moniker for knee boarders, I can relate to that and I happily resemble it.

Mickey, Wild Simon, Silverfish, Blackie, Chipper, Gaz and I were able to regularly dine on the tasty treats that Suicides provided. If it wasn’t for some of the accompanying images, it would be hard to separate the sessions as they dissolved into each other. Thanks to Chipper, Wild Simon and Captain Pete for capturing the essence of Suicides and the joy it delivers.

I mentioned that Suicides is a reef of sharp coral so cuts and slashes are common and it is pretty safe to say that we all left a bit of our DNA on the reef, not intentionally but just being part of the game.  The underwater pic shows how much or how little clearance there is between fin and coral so your skin isn’t that much further away.

Later on the trip Suicides was to claim one of my fins and as I only travel with one board I had enlisted the skills of our resident “ding fixer”, Mr. Chipper to fix the smashed fin box so I could get back in the water.  I looked on offering minimum help, my normal offering as Chipper happily worked away when three local coconut farm workers walking up the beach approached to watch him apply his craft. Chipper explained as well as he could in “his” Indonesian balanced with their limited English but smiles and gestures all work as part of language. One the workers noticed our most recent cut and slashes from the morning session and smiled/laughed, as he pulled up the leg of his trousers to show us his “Suicides Tattoos” as he called them. I can clearly remember the history of scars crisscrossing his legs, the white teeth of his broad smile as he was wearing them with pride.

My Suicides experience will never be forgotten as I continue to share my memories.




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