Drop Zone: Fiji Blogs

Day 4 Blog From Cheyne Magnusson

Alex Gray at Frigate's Pass in Fiji. Photo: Balzer

Alex Gray at Frigate's Pass in Fiji. Photo: Balzer

Man Overboard!
Wow, lot’s of traveling today! We should change the name of the drop zone to planes, trains, and automobiles!
So, the day begins with us leaving the Tui Tai at about 5:00 am. After that we take a three-hour van ride to the airport. We arrive there and find out our flight is delayed an hour, as usual. Finally get on the plane for an hour and get off to quickly be informed we have another hour and a half bus ride to the harbor. Get to the harbor and take a two-hour boat ride to the surf spot! Done. Sort of. Wow my fingers hurt after typing that! So the juice ends up being worth the squeeze and we pull up to a reef pass absolutely firing!

Bede Durbidge moments before the Drop Zone skiff got caught inside by a rogue wave... Photo: Balzer

Bede Durbidge moments before the Drop Zone skiff got caught inside by a rogue wave... Photo: Balzer

Huge barrels and shallow water. Great combo. So we all freak out and jump off the boat like sharks at the first scent of blood. Everyone is getting good waves and having the best time ever. Then, Murphy’s law kicked in: I kicked out of a wave and a huge set behind it landed on my head. I bailed my board and my leash snapped, shit.

I come up and immediately my broken leash leaves my thoughts at the sight I beheld at the surface. The dingy with all the photographers and video guys are literally riding a wave. I watch in horror as everybody bails out and the boat gets sucked over the falls and capsizes. Everyone was freaking, I made sure I could see everyone that was on the boat and started swimming towards them. Luckily, no one was badly injured and everyone made it back to the mothership in one piece. The tally for lost equipment was: 1 video camera, 1 still camera, the engine, everyone’s towels and clothes, and the priceless photos and video contained in the cameras. I was able to throw on a mask and somehow find the still camera lying on the bottom of the reef. It was unreal, but it could have been worse. So we all celebrated just being alive on the boat ride home with a couple beers and accepted our loss. Hey, you gotta pay to play.

Maria Gonzalez charging Frigate's Pass. Photo: Balzer

Maria Gonzalez charging Frigate's Pass. Photo: Balzer

Click through to the next page for more…

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5