our good friend Matt from Caroline Islands Surf Tours sends us a newsletter on what he’s been up to during the off-season. Now he’s back to this absolutely untouched pacific island paradise, ready to look after, and guide, all surfers that we send over in the next few months:
I have to admit I’ve had a pretty epic off-season—by anyone’s standards. Bruce Brown may have extoled the virtues of an Endless Summer, but anyone with an ounce of sense knows that an endless winter is what it’s really all about, so when the North Pacific winter came to a close in the middle of April, I dry-docked the boats, locked the boards away, and headed south for the summer—or winter, as it were. At the prospect of six months of Southern Hemi energy, I hardly gave the island a second thought as we flew away.
We started with a trip to the Indian sub-continent—a trip for the wife, although I couldn’t help but enjoy myself as well. Two months of backpacking through Malaysia, India, and Sri Lanka saw us curry-fed and surfed out by the first of June. From there we headed to northern California for some R&R, and spent a month on the ranch with my wife’s family, cutting mountain bike trails and shaping a quiver of boards. We drove down to Mainland Mexico around the first of July and spent two months there, living like king’s at grandpa’s beachfront villa and charging frighteningly large, shifty, sand-bottomed bombs at an infamous beach break. Then we drove up to Colorado to visit my family, enjoying time with the folks and mountain biking the Rockies for four weeks. Finally, to cap our travels off we did a 10-day boat trip in Alaska (discovering new waves and surfing with sea lions, humpback whales and Craig Anderson) and a one-week backpacking/camping/getting attacked by black bears/surf trip in the wilds of the northern California coast.
As I said—it was a pretty epic six months. But the strange thing was, by the third or fourth stop on our itinerary, I wasn’t actually that excited anymore; and by the time I arrived in Hawaii in October to visit old friends and hopefully score some early Country juice, all I could really think about was getting back to Micronesia. See, as amazing as all the places that we had visited are, ultimately, none of them can hold a candle to Kosrae. A small, green, mountainous island with 6000 inhabitants and zero nightlife—but 32 degree water and a handful of world class waves to make up for it—in my book, at least, it’s one of the best places in the world. I’ve been back for a month now, prepping boats, taking local kids for surfs, and gearing up for the season—and with the first solid N swell of the year forecasted to hit this weekend, I can honestly say there is no place I’d rather be.
Matt – Caroline Islands Surf Tours
Enjoy a photo gallery from Caroline Islands – past 2 seasons:
Photography (c) Matt Rott and Matt Shepherd