Or we will come back to it 🙂 Pohnpei is already on our itinerary for next year.

Words Janni Hönscheid | Surfers: TPW Mermaids Janni Hönscheid & Sylvi Bódi | photos by Simon Williams – Swilly (follow Swilly on Facebook and Instagram)

The last week in Micronesia, was again another week full of adventures, stories, laughter and waves.

And again, we got to know so many more faces. Faces of the wave… but also faces of the shore.

The first part of our stay would be more like a “wait for the big swell” so to take some attention and that little edge of anxiety from us, we spent some time on the dance floor of the local disco – only a short walk away from the Pohnpei Surf Club – called Flamingo. The best excuse was one of the guys’ birthday, so we organized him a cake and it was the perfect start to the night. After dinner, we moved to the club. We were the only two tourist girls in there and seemed to be quite the attraction for the locals, who were patiently taking turns to ask us out for a dance and kindly thanking us after each song. They were filled with so much hospitality that we even got brought a tray with noodle soup onto the dance floor by 1am, just in case we were hungry.


The music was a mix of tracks that we had never heard before, the gender was unknown, and the gap between each track was half a minute of silence. We had so much fun, getting so lost in this legendary moment, letting go, detached from any material world… so detached, that at some point, Sylvi looked in her shorts pocket and realized she had lost her phone… the club was getting busy by now and we were looking yet it was nowhere in sight. I went up to the DJs and kindly asked them if someone had left it there. They took it so to heart that they decided to turn on the lights, stop the music and make a full on announcement through the microphone… has anybody seen Sylvi’s phone?


The next morning it was raining and Sylvi was sad… not just her I phone, just all the memories and funny pictures from all our travels on it. Sensing her mood, I suggested to just go for a walk in the fresh air, and hey you never know, life is crazy sometimes, maybe it will just pop up? So off we went, making circles around the Flamingo. Some cars were stopping and wanting to help. But the iPhone was gone… Sylvi started to consider giving up on it. But then I had another idea: why don’t we just draw a cool “Wanted” paper, and hang it around the town?” The more energy you put into something, the more it will help you with it, I’m sure! So we got to the supermarket, got some pen and paper, made some photocopies, and Benito – a local priest and our boat driver – took us through town with his little car stopping by every little spot. We also had another helper, a legendary Aussie charger, Sean, who was just hoping to get a quick ride to the ATM . The poor guy didn’t know what he got himself into by getting in a car with a priest and the Surf Bunnies on a mission, as he ended up with no cash, but running in and out of the car, drenched in rain, hanging WANTED papers all over the place as if our life was depending on it.

And I have to say, this didn’t get us back the phone, but this was one of the funniest experiences ever and it made our story famous on the whole island. From then on every day we got asked by all kinds of people, if the surf bunnies have back their phone yet? When we really saw there was no chance, we had to face the truth: actually this phone is very lucky, as it gets to stay on the beautiful island of Pohnpei, and basically we are just jealous, as we wish we could stay forever too. 😉

Our hangover slipped away smoothly, the rain cleared up, and the first lines of the swell started rolling in. This was our last day. Swilly, our photographer, was already getting super pumped on the boat ride over: “this is the day girls!”.

The swell really was here. Some good 4-6 Ft. sets, and the way the waves were breaking was very different then on the smaller waves. I paddled out with a few of the guys, my heart was beating, I felt alive.


At first I was very careful and a little skeptical. The tide was still low and there was a little morning sickness as there had been some wind with the weather.

A little later I saw Sylvi’s bright bathing suit making her way to the line up. And I felt more confident. We can teamwork this!

I took off on my first bigger wave, I didn’t breath, I didn’t think, just followed my instincts… and made it. The ice was broken – I want more!

What I didn’t expect, is that only half an hour later, all the boys decided to go back to the boat and have breakfast. So Sylvi & me were sitting all by ourselves in the line-up. On the biggest day. Right out back… the set would come in and we would know this is it, it’s yours, no excuses, no hesitation, no pulling back. Free falling, letting go. And most of the time making the waves. I would paddle out after a wave and see Sylvi going for a bomb. This fearless Hungarian celebrity, on the gnarliest spot of the wave. Giving 100%.  Grabbing her rail. Wow… the next wave would be mine again. And so we were taking turns and our smile would grow after every single wave, the boys hooting from the boat and getting amped to come back out.


This was one of the most memorable sessions I had in my life so far.

Waves of freedom. Tears of joy. Pure love.

The same night, I was booked in for a tattoo to inc these memories into my skin forever.

But Swilly was right, there will be waves again the next morning right before our plane leaves. A surfer shouldn’t be out of the water. So last second I postponed my tattoo to next year… same time, same place.

And yes, the waves were very fun the next morning. So we surfed until the last second. After my last wave I looked back one last time at P-Pass. I couldn’t look at her too long. I hate goodbyes. Constantly travelling you live so much, see so much, meet so many waves and people. A lot of the times after the trips, when you are already back home, you want to keep living that same dream. You stay in touch, watch your pictures, cook the same food. But if you take the dish away from its place, it’s just not going to taste the same. The thing travelling its teaching me, is the ability of LETTING GO. Make the most out of everything you live. Give it a 100%. Then move. Don’t look back, just make plans. Live in the NOW. And next year, same time same place, I hope my NOW will be Pohnpei. 🙂


But of course, the Surf Bunnies wouldn’t be the Surf Bunnies, if we didn’t have a legendary exit of this trip.

First of all, we were checking in our luggage. A little scared, as surfers always are when it comes to the moment of truth about how much you will get charged for your giant board bag…

The local guy on his computer smiled to us though: “You girls like to party hah? I saw you at the Flamingo! Good dancing!” he started laughing and somehow money didn’t seem to matter anymore.

We were stoked. However, a little later the stoke wore off again and with sad faces and low spirits we were sitting at the departure gate, waiting for our plane. But then a local security guard carrying a bag with betel nuts caught our attention. We had always seen all these locals that had red teeth and were chewing on some stuff and spitting it out, what was behind this? We had heaps of time so, driving by our curiosity, wanderlust and the love to explore different cultures and habits, we went over to him. 5 minutes later, Sylvi and me were sitting outside, next to the departure gate, with 2 security guards teaching us how to take the betel nut. It took only a few minutes and we were already looking pretty professional. It gave us a little high, but most of all just made us laugh… what a timeless, hilarious moment.


When our plane arrived, some foreigners stepped out amongst all the locals. They were wearing perfectly ironed white shirts, touristy straw hats and their skin looked very bright. The heat of the midday sun hit them and you could see the relief in their expression. One of them looked over to us through the fence, where we were sitting outside next to our departure gate. He saw two suntanned girls, wearing crystals and feathers, surfed out, partied out, cracking up with the locals and living life to its fullest. And through that fence, we exchanged a look. And we both had to smile. It was a smile of wisdom, of realization, a smile of truth. We both will have to let go. Let go of what you know, of the boundaries you built, of fears, of stress, of old habits. Let go, in order to let in new light, step into the next adventure, in order to grow and expand.

You will have to let go, no matter on which side of the fence you are.

Let go, and if you love it, you will be back sooner than you think.


On this note, I wish everybody an amazing start to 2016. I can already see some incredible new trips full of adventures, cold coconuts & pumping waves on the horizon… I can’t quite recognize the faces of these who will be on the adventure with the mystical mermaids yet as they are just that little too far… I hope one of them will be you 😉

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Written by:
Ben Horvath

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