Living in Cape Town, on the southern tip of the African continent, we certainly have our fair share of good waves. Yet an opportunity presented itself of getting away over the colder winter for a few weeks and spending some time in a tropical paradise.
We were to spend 4 weeks sailing around Indonesia on ‘Rhapsody’, a 40 ft open bridge deck catamaran. Along came our kids and toys, and we were on an adventure to discover some unbelievable Stand Up Paddle spots, great snorkeling and fantastic landscapes.
Our first stop was Nusa Lembongan. This quaint island between Bali and Lombok is certainly not off the beaten track. Boasting numerous hotels and resorts, it is a tourist destination, catering though mainly, to the avid surfer. Offering all, from fancy restaurants to bars, pools and massage parlors, Lembongan, we knew, can attract a crowd.
Shipwrecks is one of Nusa Lembongan’s most famous surf breaks, a right hander with a powerful take off area, peeling fast with a high, tight envelope and open shoulder. Much can be said for crowds and naturally, paddling across to a famous break like Shipwrecks on a SUP, with 35 surfers in the water, we were more than a little nervous.
What are the locals like? Will it be tense like Uluwatu? Yet, no boo-ing, shouting, no blank stares, no hassling, no bad vibe. This was much to our surprise and the friendly climate on the water was most welcoming.
Respect and attitude, I believe, is what gets you a long way, not only in terms of vibe, but also in terms of how you enjoy your session. We certainly had our fair share of waves, and, being on a SUP certainly had advantages. Yet we didn’t exploit these and enjoyed sharing the waves with fellow watermen/women. What goes around, comes around.
In the next days we had a chance to surf all the Lembongan breaks, Shipwrecks, Razors (a left), No Mans, Lacerations and finally, the fun Playgrounds and soon made friends from Australia, South Africa, America and met up with some of them in Lombok.
We soon realized that hazards are not only the amount of people in the water, but also the metal and wooden stakes the fishermen use for seaweed farming. They start appearing in the outgoing tide and can be quite nerve wrecking especially at No mans where you can get caught in the inside very easily. Guess that’s why not many people surf it (hence the name).
From Nusa Lembongan our journey continued sailing east towards Lombok and we made our way up the coast and spent time at all the known and also unknown Lombok surf breaks. Amongst these are Desert Point, Belongas, Mavi, Grupuk and Ekas. Most spots we surfed were completely uncrowded such as Belongas, where we spent 2 days on our own.
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