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Pale Aliens (Part 2)

Searching, true searching, is certain success. In that spirit we scored big time, because every wave we surfed had been virginal, as pure as that wonderful white sand and those clear lagoons. Luke and Pat dive in head first.
"You automatically think 'Oh, perfect waves, we're gonna score, we're gonna find the next Pipeline or whatever', but you soon realise that is very rare...
...It's not so much about finding the waves, it’s more about documenting everything in between.” Dillon Perillo
“I don't know that they'd even seen anyone that looked like me before,” Luke Hynd.
“Being really patient and being open to trying new things, yeah...
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“Being really patient and being open to trying new things”
...That’s it. And when you do score waves, well that’s true searching...” Pat Curren.
Transport to our next slot would be by an ageing ocean liner, hundreds of metres long and about eight stories high. It looked like a vintage version of the Love Boat and our pale aliens jumped on board.
It was too big to dock at the concrete pier, and so along with hundreds of island hopping locals we were ferried out on the little pablo boats.
They were overloaded to the point that the already low freeboards acted more like skim boards; they were prettymuch at sea level and due to sink anytime.
From one ship to another… The boys found a wave that had only resulted from catastrophe.
On the wrecked ship’s bow was the rusted name: ‘Nand Aparajita’. The English translation of this Sanskrit word is the height of poignant irony. It means: “unconquered.” On another level the name is also rich with meaning, since the wave had yet to be surfed.
Sinister remnants of that dramatic final cruise were evident on the beach in front of the dead ship's bow.
Out in the lineup, the sinister was transformed into the downright treacherous. Scattered randomly around the break were various metallic pitfalls, some with evil, waist high shards of jagged hell, like rusty shark fins.
A bad wipeout onto one of those would mean a serious maiming, if you were lucky.
Despite the unseen bottom and the danger below - Dillon Perillo ripped in.
“On trips when I was younger, during down surf times I'd put the headphones on and just blank out, not pay attention to where I was...
...Now that I'm a little bit older I appreciate being overseas, in strange cultures and different places...
...I've had curry for the last 3 weeks, and normally in the past I'd be complaining about it. Now, it's such a novelty, an experience I've just learned to enjoy it while it lasts." Dillon Perillo is getting smarter and wiser with each Search trip he does.
It was hard to tell if it was a good day or a bad day for this spot. It was like that with all of the half dozen odd waves we discovered. Searching, true searching, is certain success. In that spirit we scored big time, because every wave we surfed had been virginal, as pure as that wonderful white sand and those clear lagoons. Three views of Luke’s equally spontaneous and unknown approach.
The wave turned out to be good clean fun and quite variable. The good ones were inviting skate bowls, made way more novel by the knowledge that no yacht full of frothing punters was going to sail in, no territorial localists, no carloads of … anyone. Luke draws a powerful line.
That is, apart from the ubiquitous and friendly local Muslim crew, who were again quick studies, realising in no time that there was a bizarre new circus in town.
By now our boys were old hands, casually acknowledging the audience like seasoned vaudeville pros. Luke Hynd performs for the masses.
“I get frothed out,” Pat admits, I can't stay on land for too long. And that shipwreck wave was so fun...
...Even waves that aren't that perfect, you still feel really good just knowing no one else has surfed them; I appreciate that a lot. I don't think I've ever surfed an untouched wave before.”
A word like ‘frother’ may draw an erroneous picture of Pat, Tom Curren's youngest, who on land is actually a subdued and deceptively perceptive person, with a very sharp mind. He is definitely his father's son in many ways, not the least of which is a penchant for appearing to be off with the pixies when in reality he is probably wrestling with some multi layered philosophical question.
“Another cool thing about surfing spots like this is that while you're waiting for waves there's new stuff going on around you,” says Pat. “You can’t get any of this at home so you have to soak it all in while you have the chance...”
Over a month, we met some people who may help us redefine the attainability of true happiness. Maybe if we can ponder these things, look more closely at ourselves, our own karma might accumulate enough to find another truly perfect wave down some future track?
It almost felt like we were protected, and perhaps we had been the beneficiaries of Ram and Kishore's good karma. Our guides were legends and made things happen for us. Everything that could have gone wrong on a far out trip like this, hadn't. No one got hurt, no one got sick, no one even got hassled; maybe fortune really does favour the bold. We found untouched waves, lineups that have always been empty and will almost certainly resume their emptiness for years to come. Good one Teddy Grambeau – nice roll of the dice...

“Into outer orbit…”

After finding a virgin left wedge on their first foray amid the “Turquoise Islands”, Dillon Perillo, Luke Hynd and Pat Curren re-grouped and headed to another island they knew absolutely nothing about. The vacuum of doubt was filled with promise by the two local guides Kishore and Ram, local entrepreneurs with an eye for the exotic and guru like knowledge of what it took to weave the maze of local beaurocrats just to visit. Posing as “scientific re-searchers” to get the required permits, the boys headed off into the horizon, pale alien’s in an otherwise colourful world…

Captions from a full feature by Dave Sparkes. Photography by Dave Sparkes and Ted Gram beau. Video by Scott McClimont and Tom Jennings.