The youngest member of the trip, meanwhile, Dylan Graves, 15, from Puerto Rico, performed a bit of spontaneous reef checking when he was pressed into the bottom while trying to thread a tight tube. He suffered only minor reef cuts, superficial coral clawmarks to his front and side and after a quick clean and a dousing of Betadine was ready for another session.
Tom weaved through some of the longest deepest barrels of the day, relishing riding on his forehand in the hollow waves and days of surfing rights. “It reminds me of Cloudbreak,” Tom commented, referring to one of his favourite waves in Fiji.
Kelly Slater, meanwhile, continued practising his aerial loops on his backhand, despite the hollow conditions and presence of sharp reef just below the surface.
Kelly pulled off two complete aerial loops, or flips, at the last right point break but landed on the back of the wave because he spent so long in the air the wave had passed by the time he landed. “You need a hollower wave to project out of the lip with the wave and land back on the face,” Kelly explained, determined to successfully ride out of one of the futuristic manoeuvres before the trip is over.
Spirits remain high onboard, despite the absence of the sort of serious swell the elite big wave crew on board the Indies Trader are hoping for, to further develop their jet-ski assisted tow-in surfing. With only four scheduled days remaining on this leg of the Crossing, but real swell likely within the next, the decision may be made to extend the trip.
The visit to this left hander is only a stop-off along the way to the originally planned destination: a deep ocean reef break capable of holding the largest Indian Ocean swells, anticipation is high for the remainder of the trip.