This year so far there has only been one Typhoon, so-called Nepartak. But this No.1 didn't even give us any tiny pulse here in Aichi, it went straight to my beloved T instead.... I truly believe that this is the after-effect of El Niño, causing an astronomical number of flat-days or days with only knee-high waves here while there appear to be two intense hurricanes emerging and heading to Hawaii at the time of writing this article. Bizarre!

Thanks to the lovely El Niño. I have nothing to report this month.
And I just bore you even further with some of the captured images during my time in the island off Sumatra this May as below (Keep scrolling down! You will see my SUPER manoeuvre.)

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Into A Baaaarrrrreeeeel !

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And Here Comes A Nice Shoulder !

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Slaaaaaaaaaaaashhh !

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And My Super Manoeuvreeeeeee !

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"Every time you go surfing.
That's what you were born for.
That's the peak of your life."
by Bruce Gold

Thanks for watching :-)

My belated post for Air Esky this month. It took me a while to get back to the daily grind after spending my time in that tropical island.
I think I'm still day-dreaming about all those waves....

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It all started with three planes to catch from Nagoya, Japan. And the one in the above photo was the third plane to catch. The flight was less than an hour from mainland Sumatra, but my travel wasn't over then yet.
After getting off this plane and having a usual Yes-No-Yes-No negotiation with an apparent "cab driver" outside the airport, I took a ride in his rusty van to my last destination for IDR 200,000 (about USD15.00).
The road was often bumpy and it took me three and a half hours to get there, passing quite a few dangerously overloaded trucks as well as motor cyclists without their helmets on. I left Nagoya 6:00AM on the previous day and my watch was ticking almost into 18:00PM on my arrival. Huhh...

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Thanks to Kyoko, who I went surfing with in Central America and J-Bay a few years ago. She gave me tips for accommodation in the village. No negotiations with any lazy promoters of shabby Losmens (Indo-style B&B) were needed and I walked straight to this lovely guest-house “Molani Homestay”.

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Lucky me! They only had two rooms for guests and one of them was available when I arrived.
What was also lucky of me was that the room was only IDR60,000 (about USD5.00 *note: As of June 2016) per night while other nearby Losmens and surf-camps were offering at least IDR200,000 (Crazy!)
Molani Homestay is definitely the cheapest guest-house I have ever stayed in my whole life.

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It wasn't only such a super low price that Molani had to offer, but was also located right by the shore, facing just between the main break and an outside point called Indicator.
Most of my time while in this remote village was either spent in my hammock reading or listening to my favourite music or just surfing out there.

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Food in and around the village wasn't really a problem for me (personally), although it was painfully limited both in the number of restaurants and in their menus.
Nasi Goreng at a decent local restaurant cost between IDR20,000 and 25,000 (about USD1.50) while a cup of Indo coffee was about IDR5,000 on average.

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A great pity was that there was no Nasi Campur, my to-die-for Indo dish, at any restaurants in this village; Absolutely none! Does anybody know why...?
It might be hard for Westerners and non-rice eaters because the main dish was predominantly rice or else noodles here, and only a couple of restaurants were serving "Western food" such as a pizza, burger, none of which I ever needed to try.
The photo below was our special dinner one night as Niko, an American surfer who was staying in the next room at Molani with his girlfriend Freddy, bought a bunch of Tunas at a local fish-market and then Taanelama and Jenny (the owners of Molani) cooked them up for us. Yummy!

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Surfing-wise, winds were never ever an issue and even the crowd wasn't really a problem at all during my time except when a couple of Japanese surfers made a snowball for my ride or when they were right in my way: マナー悪いよ、日本人サーファーさん!
Otherwise, a few cheeky local grommets could be bothering us in the water only had the waves been small enough for them. Hahaha

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With no exaggeration, the waves here were flawless: Almost as perfect as those in J-Bay, minus the distance; J-Bay is undoubtedly much longer.
Notably, what is actually superior here is the swell-consistency: It must be all year-round. Furthermore, unlike many legendary Indo breaks, you can surf here at all stages of tides. Amazing!

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All in all, everything is equatorial at this part of the planet - the weather, vegetation, food, people and waves.
Even after nearly 40 years passed since its first prominence in the '70s, I confirmed that this island was still a little paradise for surfers. No wonder I'm already looking at my calendar for my next visit.

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Just arrived home safe and sound.....

But it's only 10% of me being happy to be back. 90% of me is already missing the sense of freedom that I had on the road and on the waves.
Yet, I'm extremely thankful for what I've scored in one of the world's most acclaimed surf-spots off Sumatra this time: Not only the shape, the size and the consistency of waves in this remote island were far beyond my imagination, but also the scorching heat (both air and sea), the unbearably high humidity, massive thunder storms along with deadly lightning and sudden downpours, all of which actually contributed to my great time for the past two weeks.

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I once called my severe symptom as "Addication" - a combination of addiction and dedication to surfing. No wonder it kicked back in right after I checked in at a local home-stay on my first day: As soon as dropping my sweaty backpack, I found myself in boardies paddling out in the water even though it was only less than 30 minutes before dusk.

Sure enough, I surfed every single day and even ignored my nearly empty stomach around lunch-time because I was literally craving waves more than food.
No chocolate, no bikini chicks and no Internet. Only thick intense Sumatra coffee and annoying mosquitoes kept me active. Otherwise, those world-class waves were what my biggest appetite was for.

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My sincere gratitude to our mother nature.
Please get me out of this miserable city-life in Japan and take me back out there again!

Airports are somewhat funny places to be, especially those 24hr non-stop international airports.
I just landed in Changi Airport, Singapore, where the whole world seems to be packed neatly in‎ one place. All colours, all nationalities, babies, kids, adults, geeks and dorks are wandering around or dashing to catch their next flights. This is a great stop-over for me to disengage myself from a mono-culture-minded Esky and re-convert myself into what I used to be.

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Yes, I'm hitting the road again!‎

For only two weeks....

‎Where to....?

Somewhere in Indonesia; One of the offshore islands of Sumatra this time.

Heading back into the super tropical climate zone is what I've been after since my time in Panama and Costa Rica back in 2014, though Singapore is already hot and sticky enough for me.
Monkeys, birds, fish, coconuts and bananas must be awaiting my arrival. There will be no Sushi there for sure, and perhaps even no Internet for me from tomorrow, which is actually fantastic and it's another thing that I've long been after; Being offline is the best luxury these days!

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Oh! This brand-new waterproof camera (not a GoPro) will be of my best company in and out of the water over the next two weeks. I will upload some cool shots on Air Esky next month if I ever capture any....
Two more planes to catch tomorrow. I hope that you are all well and happy and also travelling somewhere on this planet :-)

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Almost compulsive.
This past winter I found myself twice going back and forth between Nagoya, my home-town in Japan, and this sea-side village located not so far from Japan. I actually did exactly the same thing last winter too: going between these two places twice.
In total now I visited this island-country ten times or even more; I have stopped counting anymore because the number does not matter to me at all, but surfing does matter as always :-)

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The water is always warm, food is good and cheap, and local people are so chilled. Plus, waves are extremely consistent here every winter. Somewhere along this eastern stretch of the coastline, there are waves to be had every day. Such a condition is, unfortunately, not the norm in Japan during winter, at least not around in Nagoya. That's the reason why I keep going back here compulsively

My first visit during this past winter came with a little bonus because that fickle left-hander was working for three days in a row (pictured below): my previous two trips during the winter in 2015 didn't even see 1-foot waves breaking here.

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Back in Nagoya. Not only I was chilled to the marrow by the snow, but also by this monotonous view of buildings and chunks of concrete. It only compelled me to go back to the surf.

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Back again into the water on my second visit, the usual suspect was as good and reliable as it could ever get.
This river-mouth is such a consistent playground for all levels of surfers; Super clean (or can be glassy) in the morning and even if on-shore or cross-shore winds come up, it still offers plenty of playful and fun waves.
Late-morning sessions might even be better than dawn-sessions as there often seem to be full of 3-day-package-tour J surfers on the line-up until 8 or 9am.

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I am never a winter person and never looking forward to snow, but this snow storm in Japan will always generate good waves down there. For only that reason I can't wait for the next winter.