Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Surfs Up!

Hey there welcome to my blog!

The weather in the this part of the world has been nothing short of spectacular. Sunny days, very little wind and over the last few days a full moon to usher in the evening.

The glassy water does present some challenges to us as pilots and I do have to say even the my Maldivian friends think it is pretty hot. Perhaps a steady 10 knots would do us all good! That being said we do have the option, advantage if you will, to climb up high on the the longer routes. Getting up higher, say 5500 to 6500 feet, on a longer trip allows us to enjoy some cooler temperatures. Not only for us but for the passengers we fly which is good because often times they haven't had the opportunity to change into lighter clothing!

With terrific weather comes amazing photographic opportunities! As a bit of teaser I was able to get some amazing sunset and sunrise shots though they will have to wait for the next post! That is because in this one I am concentrating on surfing! Well not entirely I suppose. If you are familiar with my blog you will note that I rarely go without an airplane or two! So on this post I will "book end" my post with some cool aerial shots of the mighty Twin Otter!

I asked my friend and colleague Chris Tuttle to give me a shout the next he thought the surfing would be good. True to his word last Wednesday he sent me a message so I headed to the local surf point here in Male'. It is a short 5 minute walk from my apartment!

I was treated to quite a display and as I am sure you will agree, there are some very accomplished surfers here in Male'. Some of whom really know how to rip it up on a wave!

Now before we get to the pictures it would be an terrible over sight on my part not to write about, whom many consider to be the father of surfing in the Maldives, Tony Hussein Hinde. He is a surfing legend in these parts and I dare say throughout the world wide surfing community.

He shipwrecked here in late 1973 and it seems fell in love with the Maldives along with the people who populate this part of the world. This is an amazing story, though not with out some heart breaking tragedy. Rather than copy and paste an article about his life please follow this link to a fellow blogger . After you have a look please come back to this blog for the rest of my post!

Okay with that it is on to the pictures!

As I said this post is mostly about surfing but I have book ended it with some airplanes! In this shot I have one of our aircraft up on the beach at the Palm Beach Resort and Spa in the Lhaviyani Atoll. There are times when the tide is to low to operate in our normal area and as result there are occasions where we back up on to the beach to unload and board passengers. Takes a bit of organizing but I find that most people enjoy getting on the plane this way. It becomes one of the many stories people take away from their vacation in the Maldives!

Now the surfing! Now for those of you familiar with sport please forgive my ignorance should it present itself! I windsurf and at times I feel like I am surfing a Twin Otter so I do think it gives me perspective but certainly not expertise!
In this shot I caught one of the many surfers arriving to the surf point in Male'. Love this image I think it really captures the uniqueness of not only the surf culture but as well the life in Male'

Ready to hit the waves! Surf board in hand as this fellow carefully steps over the coral that lines the shoreline!

This guy really knows how to make the wave work for him! I think that most people who come across this sort of scene cannot help themselves and must stop to watch !

So cool! I can't help to wonder how it is done and what kind of effort it takes to be able to be this confident and talented!

The way they carve the top and still manage not to hit anyone is amazing to see.

As in life, I suppose, it is all about balance and of course talent!

No slouch himself my friend Chris catches one of the many waves that travel such vast distances before colliding with the Eastern shores of Male'.

Another one of my friends and colleagues, Lateef! Ripping!

Another shot of Lateef just after emerges from the tube.

No offense to my to buddies but this guy caught my eye continuously! He is simply amazing as I sure you will agree as you scroll down this post!

With such ease and style. He was in control at all times. The wave was made to do his bidding rather than the other way around!

So cool to see someone spin around on the top of a wave like this!


One of him launching into one of the many jumps off the ramp provided care of the Indian Ocean!

I am pretty proud of this sequence I put together. Such amazing luck on my part to have stumbled upon the surf point on a day when this guy was out. If anyone reading this knows his name please pass it on!

A sequence of shots which shows the cool trick he does of coming off the top of a wave , spinning his board to slide backwards down the face before kicking it around another 180 degrees to ride the rest of the way!
It is as if the board was simply an extension of his body and soul!

Of course I was not the only one to take in this amazing show!

Without fail everyone who drove by turned their heads to see the action and really who could blame them. I think I have around 400 pictures, narrowed down to 88 I really like! I still can't believe my luck and timing!

Well time for me to end this post. Last shot is of one of our airplanes tied to the jetty at the lovely resort of Medhufushi! I am so lucky to have the opportunity to capture these images!

Please if you know any of the guys I have pictures of here I would love to know them.

All comments are welcome!

That is all for now,

One of the barefoot pilots!

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