As a keen and experienced SCUBA diver, learner surfer and all round lover of the ocean, it’s been a dream to visit the Maldives. All the travel brochures flashing the same cliches and photos of Tropical Island Paradise. Sparkling warm oceans, great visibility, teeming with abundant marine life, clean white beaches, colourful coral and bountiful pelagics. Snorkel, dive, fish and surf till the sun sets for cocktail hour. It’s packaged and shrink wrapped bliss. Honeymooners mingle with the Rich and/or Famous, beautiful people all round, the holiday of your lifetime. Some wise old codger once said – “If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is”. Read the rest of this entry
Mention the word “Cokes” to any surfer and it’s not the fizzy Cola variety that springs to mind, but the famous surf break on the island Thulusdhoo, situated in the North Male Atoll of the Maldives. It’s one of the most talked about and popular surf breaks in the Maldives. Read the rest of this entry
While the wind gusts relentlessly across Arugam Bay, most surfers, wannabes and instructors have gone into hiding while the kiteboarders come out to play.
Main Point saw a few die-hard, desperate surfers try in vain to get a decent rideable wave, which popped up infrequently as the small swell was flattened into submission by the wind.
As they bobbed around, wistfully staring at the horizon trying to will a set into action, their frustration was further aggravated, as the kitesurfers cruised around them in the line up, snatching a few waves beyond their reach. One crashing his kite into a batch of unimpressed surfers. Oh well, “What to do ? “. Pack away the board, slip on the party shoes and sip on a coconut arrack, as the one thing the wind will not be putting a dampener on, is the regular Friday night Party at Sababa’s, Whiskey Point or The Nest, Arugam Bay! 😉
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Main Point Arugam Bay – A world class break they say. Many learner surfers stare longingly at the “hardcore” surfers at The Point, hoping that they too will one day progress to the level of capability to venture across the reefy bottom from Baby Point to Main Point.
But having counted around 65 surfers in the line up one sunset evening with a small swell, it held as much appeal to me as attending a packed shopping mall on Christmas eve, with a hangover. And 20 screaming kids in tow. And no bar in site. While the turkeys and gammons are all sold out. Get the picture?
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Arugam Bay Surf Contest
In order to get some inspiration to tackle a new (in fact any) adventure, we find it essential to carefully observe, take notes and learn a few tricks before storming head first into a potentially life threatening exercise. Of course it also helps if there are a few cold beverages on hand, bikinis, palm trees and good tunes. Thus, we set out in the blazing sun to watch and learn from the masters of the art, in order to pick up some of the lost surfing “skills” from last year, before foolishly rushing in to confront the masses in the beginner’s line up, armed to the teeth with boards and bodies of immense proportions and shapes. This is how we found ourselves parked off under a palm tree for 3 days, watching the sun, surf, bikinis and surf talent do their thing. It’s not easy I tell you! Read the rest of this entry
An article in a local newspaper recently highlighted an age old incident of surf rage, something that seems to be on the increase. What’s causing all this aggro attitude in the water? Does it boil down to so called “tribalism”, locals who think they own a spot and lay claim to it above everyone else? Is it overcrowding due to the growing popularity of the sport? Or are we simply becoming a selfish, goal driven, generation of greedy humans? Read the rest of this entry
After 10 weeks traveling around Sri Lanka with it’s beautiful beaches, warm water, gentle surf, tropical climes, great spicy food on every street corner and bustling markets, (not to mention coconut cocktails), we’re finding it near impossible to adjust to life back in Cape Town. Lets face it – it’s not entirely a shabby place to come home to, great beaches, “the mountain”, vibey bars, warm weather.
BUT the water is 10C, the surf zones are either packed, sharky (if you’re in England then read “man-eating, shark infested waters” ), or you’re going to snap your board (or at my age your neck), the wind can howl for days on end until your last sanity cell fuses and you scream at everything living or not, and also you should mortgage your house if you’re in the mood for a sundowner cocktail or 6 along the sunset strip of trendy Camps Bay. Sadly, spice is not the order of the day and you are often met with bemused stares from your waiter when asking for fresh chilli to perk up a bland meal. Along with that, unfortunately we seemed to have developed a fast food, supermarket culture that provides anything and everything pre-cooked, packed, wrapped and ready to eat. Read the rest of this entry
The trip to Jaffna, the Northern most city of the island, was going to be interesting to say the least. We have all heard bits and pieces about the notorious Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and the war that raged in Sri Lanka for 3 decades, ending in 2009. So leaving from surf happy, Marley mania in Arugam Bay, to the once war torn and tsunami ravaged Jaffna was going to be an adjustment of sorts.
We were not sure what to expect from Jaffna, as many Sri Lankans have never made the trip north and know nothing more about it other than, “LTTE stronghold, war, but now it’s ok”. Or, “Oh, there are Tamils.” Intrigued by these stories of “Tamils” as if we were talking about little green martians that had descended on planet earth and stumbled into a mormon gathering. It’s like coming to SA and saying, “Durban? Oh ya Durbs, cool spot. There are lank Indians there. And they are Hindu.” And the Dutchman hide in Bloem and Pretoria (usually wearing two-tone khaki short pant and shirt). Read the rest of this entry
Sri Lanka’s, surf capital, Arugam Bay.
Beer, cocktails, beach, surf, sun and sand, interesting people, not so interesting people, freaks, power cuts, beer, coffee, lack of coffee, dogs, cats, crows, cows, and squirrels. Together or singularly, all these things are to be blamed for my slight tardiness in updating ChillieAndRum. Not to mention my aging rum fueled forgetful mind….. But here is something more on Arugam Bay…… Read the rest of this entry
Arugam Bay Sunset
As the sun sets on Colombo and the WT20, new adventures lie on the horizons of surf city, Arugam Bay. Read the rest of this entry