Day 6 Blog From The Billabong Pro Tahiti With Manny Raya
With the contest being off again we pretty much hung around the breakfast table all morning. The guys are pretty geared up and ready to go handle business, but with no swell on offer for the day we once again hung out and found ways to kill time. This morning was full of random conversation. It seems CJ is reading a book on the life of Pat Tillman whom we all agreed was pretty bad ass, but it turns out Tillman’s life was way more complicated then any of us imagined. Damo, Bobby, Simpo and I huddled around CJ as he told us what he’d learned in the first 50 pages of the book. I’m not quite sure how it happened but the Tillman conversation shifted over to talking about Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Ancient Aztec civilization, George Washington, Thomas Edison, and finally settled on sports. Though the first few topics were filled with questions (we’re not historians after all) the sports talk was pretty well thought out. I happen to be a die-hard Lakers fan and Bobby’s favorite team is anyone who plays versus the Lakers, so we went at it from the very beginning. After talking about Kobe, conversation shifted over to LeBron James. Yeah we talked about whether his move to Miami was a good one or not, but more so we talked about how funny it would be if Delonte West really hooked up with LeBron’s mom. I mean how awkward could a situation get for a guy? What happens in the locker room when they’re all telling stories about chicks they’ve hooked up with? Does Delonte talk about LeBron’s mom and get real awkward when LeBron walks in the locker room?
After talking about LeBron, the Celtics, and Greg Oden’s inability to play more then 10 games in a season, the boys decided to go for a swim. The swim they went on was the same swim that I lost my leg hair to, so I heckled the shit out of them as they swam to the buoy and back. After their swim Nate Yeomans, the Gudauskas brothers and a few others decided to go into town to fill up on supplies. They invited me to go along as they were planning on stopping by a swimming hole but I declined because Bobby and Damo said it was kind of lame. Turns out I declined yet another trip to a pretty cool spot (I’m never listening to those guys again). The boys were psyching on the swimming hole when they got back. “Dude, there’s this river that leads to it, but it gets filled with water that comes from the ground. It’s like a gnarly little boil with the clearest water ever. You could probably drink it!”
Above: “Island Time” clip that shows where some of the pros stay and how small the waves are…
Once everyone was back at house we decided to do a beer run. I haven’t been drinking much since Bobby and I are trying to work out and be healthy on this trip, but the old Tahitian dude driving told me if I was going to cruise in his ride I had to drink a beer. I didn’t want to be rude so I downed the thing and listened as the old man gave me what he considered words of wisdom. I can’t piece it all together because the old man was talking in French and broken English but I remember him finishing off his life lessons with something like “drink to forget but don’t forget to drink”.
We ended the day by having a few beers and taking the boat over to a nearby reef. It was my first time ever inspecting a reef and Damo’s excitement about it ensured that I was going to have a good time. Once at the reef we found a lot of cool Nat Geo type stuff. We saw lionfish, starfish, and what we believe to be a new, never before seen urchin. I pointed it out to Pat Gudauskas, so if Nat Geo comes over here to do a show on it they better name that thing after me or give me some type of credit.
Dinner tonight was pretty interesting, as it was interrupted by the guys trying to levitate one another off a chair. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Craft, you have some idea of what I’m talking about. As for tomorrow, it looks like it’s going to be another lay day so the boys and I planned a trip to a lagoon and that waterfall I missed out on yesterday. I know I told you guys that once you’ve seen one waterfall you’ve seen them all but f—k anything is better then sitting on my ass all day waiting for the contest to begin… —Manny Raya