Monday, November 21, 2016

Hitler and Bali....

Hello All,

With just 2 days before I fly back to the frozen USA, I am reminded that I have been in a paradise the will not easily be replaced by pine trees, cold ocean temps and gray weather. Bali has grown on me each and every day, and I think this could easily become a place for me each year in the future. The people come number one, but the beaches, waves and culture are close seconds.

Right now it is partly cloudy (rainy season now) and about 82 degrees. I think there are waves over at Nusa Dua, but decided to relax by the pool here at the Bukit Inn and spend time with friends.

Oh, by the way....did you know that Hitler stole the swaztika from the Hindu religion?

In this blog, I think I will sign of for Oceanautic Adventures Bali, but simply adding photos that I have not previously published. This place is absolutely about ocean blue, green palm and other kinds of trees and fruit and the constant of the reefs just off shore.

Enjoy the photos and will see you back in the states real soon.


Costa Rica is a dream come true.  Friendly people, great waves, super little restaurants and a chilled environment that sets it apart from the rest of the world.  Yoga, eco tourism, laid back and angry dogs and had the time of my life for 5 days in the water at Playa Guiones.  Come and visit us for a pro surfing experience and check out the property at Villa Zona Azul, Nosara, Costa Rica.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bali in the Rear View Mirror

I have chosen the title for this last and final post of my trip to Bali as "Bali in the Rear View Mirror" simply for the fact I have now arrived back in the states and have had some time to reflect on my adventure of 2 months there.

The people could have not been nicer. The sweetest, most helpful, kind and generous people I have met to date in my travels around the world. Balinese are the kind of people you want to live around. They obviously see Americans as a walking ATM machine, but they are upfront about their desires to provide you with products or services, and only once did I feel ripped off and we won't go into that.

Overall, I made some life long friends and I hope to help continue my support of my driver, Kaput and his family. I have included a picture of Kaput, his wife and kid, Tudey here for you to see a very humble and thankful Balinese family.

I already miss my life in Bali, as it was ideal and a lifestyle I hope to find again real soon. I truly believe I belong in a tropical environment somewhere in this world, and intend to find it, as cold weather is something I truly want to avoid for the rest of my life.

Looking back, it was a true struggle in the beginning to understand the Balinese pace of life and how all the pieces of this exotic "ying, yang" puzzle fit together in this strange yet wonderful land of green mountains, blackened volcanos and elevated rice terraces with azure oceans and "firelit" skys. But, once the "magic of Bali" took hold in my heart I was hooked forever and hope to return to its waves and people someday. These are the constants.

Hope you enjoy some of these random photos from Bali and keep a lookout for my next "Oceanautic Adventure". Rumor has it I could possibly be found somewhere south of the equator again in a place called Floranopolis......know where that is???



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Days in Lombongan and Ceningan Islands

Hello All...

As mentioned in one of my previous blogs, Indonesia is an archpelago of 17,000 islands. This is "Water World" revisited. Ocean abounds everywhere and you can not excape is power and beauty.

Recently, I took a three day trip over to Lembongan and Ceningan islands to visit an Australian friend I had met through my buddy Mick Malone. Jenny, a fun and delightful woman married to a Balinese local, Pak Wayan arranged for my passage over the Lombok Strait to Lombongan via the "Scoot". The Scoot being a 36' boat powered by 2, 200 HP Yamahas, took approximately a half hour to cross the channel of maybe ten miles. It was somewhat rough out there, but all passangers and crew managed to land safe and sound in Lembongan harbor as we cruised by The Bounty, an ocean going water park that is somewhere out of this world. Huge yellow yacht anchored to a huge waterslide out in the open ocean near the harbor and the surf spot, Playgrounds. Playgrounds is the tamest of three reefs near Lembongan harbor, the others being the world class right called "Lacerations" and "Ship Wrecks." Wonder where they came up with those names for those surfing reefs....huh???

When I arrived in Lembongan, Jenny had also arranged a local, named Made, named this since he is the second child born in his family to meet me with a rented motorbike with surfboard racks for my borrowed 9' Pearson Arrow surfboard. I was headed over to "Jenny's Place" on the left point wave on Ceningan island. The ride on the motorbike with board and backpack was really crazy, since I had never ridden one of these contraptions, especially with surfboard in tow. As I navigated the small hanging bridge over to Ceningan, I passed through a Balinese village of seaweed farmers. Temples everywhere, and everywhere a view of the emerald waters surrounding Ceningan island. Once arriving at Jenny's I knew I had found another surfing paradise, right in front of my room and view.

Small paths of some asphalt and rock greeted me and I only crashed the motorbike 3 times and felt very fortunate of have survived another ordeal in "third world travel."

Lembongan and Ceningan islands are only for the hardy traveler, but once there the accomodations are fantastic, and the waves are super. I highly recommend anyone visiting Bali to visit these beautiful outer islands.

Hope you all enjoy the photos.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in Balian

This Christmas day will have to go down as the most unusual in my life. My Australian friend, Phil and I headed out to his friends small hotel in Balian on the west coast of Bali. I wanted to go there for the Christmas party, but also got some of the best waves of my trip at the river mouth at the Balian River. Balian means "river of healing" and that is exactly what it did for me, as I caught some of the fastest right handers of the trip. It was a short walk over the river in very cold water running down from the mountain range in the distance and once I reached the other side (about 50 yards across) I paddled out to a beautiful right, with only myself, 2 guys from Western Australia (WA) and one local. There is a big left hand reef about 200 yards north of where we were surfing, but I liked the right since I am regular foot and it was fast has hell.

I surfed for approximately 3 hours and then walked back up the hill to the hotel and jumped into the pool to rinse off. Phil and Michael, the owner of the hotel were pool side chatting and I joined them for a chat about the festivities of the night before.

Michael has just built this small hotel and invited all the locals that helped him build this place. They slaughtered a suckling pig right beside the pool and cooked it for the party. There was also western world fare, such as chicken, turkey, veggies, etc, but the little pig was slaughtered, cooked and was also on the table with everything else. Later that night, Christmas night we were entertained by traditional Balinese music with music instruments made from bamboo, reeds and leather. There was also 2 traditional Balinese dancers and as the evening grew on, and the locals got their fill of Arak, a local alcohol drink similar to a rum moonshine and became wild and crazy with the Arak Attack.....

Bali continues to grow on me, and it would really be great to return someday with my daughters, Kelly and Caroline. They would love the place as it is full of smiles and the magic of Bali. It has taken me a month to really get this place wired and I have approximately 23 days left to be here and hope to travel after the first of the year to several islands off the coast. There is an Australian girl and her friend from Jacksonville, Florida who own another small hotel on the island of Nusa Ceningan which I plan to visit after the first of the year. There is a wave right in front of the hotel, and I hope its on while I am there. You have to take a ferry over and it takes about an hour to get to the island.

Anyway, boys and girls I am still alive and well on the other side of the earth and wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year for 2010.

More later...check out the pics of Balian.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Day at Pantai Padang Padang

Hello America and the Ships at Sea....

The adventure continues and the "dream never dies". I think MLK said that, but he most likely never saw the poverty and lack of dreams of the people of Indonesia. I have become somewhat philosophical while here and must tell you that we, as Americans have no idea how the rest of the world lives. As Americans, we are extremely isolated whether we like it or not. Not only geographically, but intellectually as well. The rest of the world, and I have met Australians, Indonesians, Germans, Italians, British, Spanish, Brazilians, French and other peoples while here in Bali, but the least of which I have met are actually Americans. They just ain't here.

I rented a mini van a few weeks ago and hired a driver since the traffic is so crazy here and have gotten to know one of the most wonderful persons I have ever met. He we say in America...."has my back". His name is Katut, which means he is the fourth child born to his mother, but his nickname is "Kaput", which is German for finished or damaged as he says. Kaput is the most quiet, kind and loyal individual I have met here and he will drive me around 24x7 if I ask him to, but I really only have him drive for me 5 days a week and pay him hansomely given Balinese wages. Actually, I have paid the rent on his house for the next year, which is approximately $250.00 USD. His house is a one room hut on the top of a dusty hill in which he lives with his wife, his 20 month old son, his mother and sister. When it rains here, it floods his house, yet he has absolutely no complaints. He is happy just to put food in his family's mouths. What a guy. Another thing, I have asked him and others like him about their dreams and aspirations (which we take for granted in the US) and he truly looks only to survive another day, smiling all the while.

As surfers, we all have heard about the point breaks of Uluwatu and Padang Padang. I spent the day at the beach (pantai) at Padang Padang the other day and got some great photos, but this is the flat season in Bali, and have only managed to get a few waves in at this point. There are waves of some sort everyday, but you have to have local knowledge, which I am slowly gaining.

One of the other things that amazes me about these happy people in Bali is how life is a struggle for everyone here. The electricity goes off almost every day, and if you do not have a generator, your food spoils in the refrig. Anyway, so much for the doom and gloom. I will finish with some great photos of Padang Padang.....Enjoy!! and Merry Christmas one and all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Road to Mt. Agung Bali (Volcano)

Hello All,

Just took a trip up to Mt. Agung and Lake Batur in central Bali. My guide was a girl named Santi and her cousin. Santi is an extremely talented artist and owns salons and jewelry stores here in Bali. She is also considered to be the number one Balinese traditional dancer.

I have a car and driver and he (Katut) he took us on this adventure up to Lake Batur and we all stopped along the way, had lunch (several times) and took pictures. The volcano is smoking just a little right now and hasn't erupted in 10 years.

Spending alot of time just hangin down at Nusa Dua beach and have included a few more pics from there and the temple on the point. This is a very holy place for Hindu Balinese, but also one of the best point breaks on the island. I have yet to see this place under 4 feet, but the wind gets on it pretty early some days, and there is always a current you have to paddle against constantly.

Bali continues to amaze me in its contrast, but its safe to say this is one of the garden spots on planet earth. Hope you guys enjoy the photos.