It would be pretty safe to say that Aussies like to travel. It’s not like we take our amazing beaches, breaks and weather for granted. We just like to see what else is out there. We have that little bit of adventure living in all of us.
Vanessa Cook (Cookie) has a lot of travel under her belt. The UK, Canary Islands, Indonesia, Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Zealand and all around Australia. All with a surfboard under her arm. She has had the pleasure of surfing some of the world’s best breaks. When GSN heard she was jetting off to Maldives for 15 days we wanted to hear all about it. This is GSN contributor Cookie’s blog on Maldives 2012.
Maldives; A grouping of 26 coral atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-south west of India. Maldives is becoming an increasingly popular surfing destination, especially in the months of June – October when the surf is known to be at its biggest. There was a sizeable group this time, 13 people in total. Daffy was the ring leader, along with his family, good friend Katherine and Saltmotion surf photographer Joel Coleman.
The flight from Sydney to Singapore took around 8 hours, then Singapore to Malé (Maldives capital) took another 4 hours. It was well worth it when we landed at about 11pm at night. We could notice the warmth as soon as we got off the plane. It was around 30 degrees, humid and sticky, even this late at night. We definitely weren’t in chilly Sydney anymore. Seeing our boards come into through to the baggage area was a great feeling. That’s all I needed really. My boards, a few bikinis and some light clothes to wear when I wasn’t in the water.
I packed 3 boards. A 5’10” round tail I had shaped before I left by Manly local Andrew Marsh. The 2nd board was another Marsh, 5’10” round tail which I didn’t use at all as everyone else wanted a piece of it! Andrew shaped me a board identical to my favourite one, just in case it got damaged. It had always proven to be good on 3-6ft waves and was very versatile. The 3rd was a 6’3” semi-gun by Simon Anderson, just in case the waves got big enough.
The airport in Malé sits right on the water’s edge. We all jumped in the water taxi; A boat that flies through the water at high speed. It was about a 45 minute boat ride from the airport to Thuludso, Cokes Surf Camp. The camp sits right on the sand out the front of the well known surf break ‘Cokes’. You can see the break from your balcony or when you’re lying in your hammock drinking fresh coconut water.
I woke up the next morning at about 5am. I was super excited to see what Cokes looked like. Would it be too big? Too small? Massive? When the sun rose I could see it was about 4ft, clean, glassy and empty. Perfect..I was frothin!
It was about a 5 minute walk around the beach front, through the trees and onto the coral shelf. I was barefoot, slowly walking over the coral trying to balance as the waves washed past. You had to be really carefull not to cut your feet open. Katherine was wearing booties to protect her feet, which was definitely the smarter option. We stood on the coral for a moment to wait for the safest time to paddle out. When a set came in we jumped off the shelf and gunned it out the back.
Cokes is a right hand point with a pretty consistent, even break. I sat out there for a few minutes and let a few sets go past to see what they were like and get a feel for the water. Then I saw it… The one I wanted. I paddled my guts out to track across to where I wanted to take off. As the wave started to pick me up I could see the reef underneath. I had a sweet take off and stalled straight away to slot under the lip. And that was it. I was in. I could sense the wave peeling over my head. I let out a massive YIEEWW!!! Barrelled on my first wave at Cokes! After the barrel the wave walled up and I had a good 20 second ride until I pulled off the back…. Then started the paddle out again……. This was the start of an epic day!
L-R Photos 1 & 7 By Joel Coleman of Saltmotion.com.
Thanks to Joel Coleman of Saltmotion Photography for these photographs. Visit saltmotion.com to view and purchase images. Also check out the Saltmotion gallery in Manly, NSW. All images are subject to copyright and are not for reproduction.