Trouble in Paradise

Steve sends this photo and some insight into what folks living in paradise are faced with when things get rocking in the big pond (and being a surfer, he also took note of the surf potential and local customs).

"I recently went to survey the damage caused by the tsunami in American Samoa. It was my first time working in a disaster area and it was kind of heavy. Some of the villages were completely wiped out. The Samoan people were unbelievably friendly and were quickly cleaning up and rebuilding their homes and lives. Everyone had an incredible story to tell about their experience with the tsunami. I attached a photo I thought you might be interested in, tsunami damge and a perfect wave in the background.

Unfortunately too much survey gear to bring a board!! I know, hard to believe. Plus there are basically no surfers on American Samoa. No surf shops. No boards to rent. Not even a surf sticker anywhere. But there are plenty of spots and we saw alot of perfect set-ups. Most of the spots appear to be high tide only shallow reef ledges. There was quite a bit of wind at the places with the most swell as well. The wave in the photo was a few feet overhead, spitting and makeable. At low tide, every wave ended on dry reef. Respect is key in Samoa. You can't just pull up and surf. You have to find the village Chief (Matai) and ask for permission to basically even just hang out. The people are super friendly and there are no problems, but you have to ask."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ward-Nice posts always interesting. One of my best friends was working as an ER doc for a 1 month stint on Amer Samoa, three days before his time was up the tsunami hit. He was dry and fine but as a doctor he had some crazy stories. He took boards and liked it enough to decide to go back for a 5 year stint starting this summer. Steep drops fast waves. Also the locals don't allow surfing on Sundays??? If your friend ever heads back that way he should ask around at the hospital for Dr. Mike.
I also wanted to say the 6-0 board is working great. I haven't tried it as a thruster yet but 4 sessions as a quad have been great. A couple of guys have asked about the shape as well. Also thanks for meeting me on your off day for the pick up.