Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Year Ever

The one and only Machu Picchu

I'm writing this in bed. Literally just opened my eyes, and I can't believe it's the last morning of 2012.

Each year I keep thinking - this year can't get any crazier or any better than the last. But yet it does. I don't want to get all mushy on you, but reflecting on this past year just makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Leaving home in mid December last year all I had was a one way ticket to Hawaii, my new camera gear that I had NO idea how to use, and enough money to last me about 3 months. Fast forward to now and I'm back in Hawaii after an unreal year on the road.

I surfed amazing waves all over the world, was the first person to document women's surfing in Cuba, was then stranded in Cuba and rescued by the Canadian embassy, continued on to run the ground operations at a surf camp on a crazy remote private Panamanian island with no electricity, water and amazing surf where every day brought new and dangerous challenges.

In April I found myself being brought along on a 10 day magazine surf trip with WSSM, traveling all expenses paid to beautiful Peru to surf the best left waves in the world. We caught Chicama, the longest lef in the whole world, so good they were setting the Guinness World Record for the most manoeuvres done on one wave. The set up there was the most beautiful thing I've ever witnessed. But was I going to leave the country after only 10 days? Hell no! So I changed my ticket to stay with my surfboard, suitcase and almost non existant travel funds.

The travel gods were smiling though and I was offered a job managing a beautiful hotel in front of a smoking point break. I spent 5 very difficult months there learning the ups and downs of business management in a foreign country. No one spoke a word of english either so I had to learn fast. It was sink or swim, but one of the most incredible learning experiences of my life.

It was a very tough decision leaving Peru, but my need to move keeps me going. Will I ever feel the itch to settle? Guess we will have to wait until next year to find out, but I doubt it!

To everyone I met this year, to everyone in my life old and new, to all the people following me, supporting me and inspiring me, thank you and Happy New Years! xox

Here are a few previously never seen pictures from this year.

Surfing at Lobitos

Blue moon rising at Lobitos Lodge

Shooting the women surfers of Cuba

Taking in the view in Peru

Good friends, good times

My third magazine cover

beautiful people, beautiful year! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Finals Day

Ok I know this is old news, but I got distracted by christmas. I'm over on the beautiful island of Kauai right now, and there's so much awesome outdoors stuff to do that I've forgotten about the internet. Not a bad thing right?

So here is the last little video from the final day of the Pipeline Masters on Oahu. The conditions weren't epic but it was still fun. Pretty much the whole beach was going for Parko. In the team houses overlooking Pipe all the surfers were going off cheering for him.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Zoo

I'm sorting through the final day of Pipeline footage. This guy above copped a serious free fall. While shooting Pipe is always entertaining, something was different this year. The initial OMG I'm on the North Shore jitters have worn off. I even neglected to attend the finals parties at the team houses, notorious for their festivities and boozing hot pro surfers. Does this mean I'm getting old???

Still it was good to watch fellow Aussie Parko being shoulder carried up the beach and the crowd going off. Poor Kelly just sat out there in the water after loosing his heat. We gave up waiting for him to come in, and packed up the car to go eat.

Here's the video from day two, with the final video coming soon. Congratulations Parko!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's Pipeline Bitches!

It's that time of the year again. Podiums are built, T-shirts are printed, camera's are prepped and Pipeline is on. The circus is in town. Will I ever get sick of shooting here? Never.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Love My Job!

Lastest video from our WSSM Peru trip. It was my first magazine trip and I can't wait to do it again. Long waves, INSANELY beautiful hotels (way out of my budget), flights with Taca included...
I love my job!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rumble in the Jungle

Welcome to the Amazon Jungle. 

You’d be crazy to go in there without a guide. Hiking is insane. Five minutes of walking and I didn’t know where I was, it all looked the same.

The river is the life of everything. We bathe in her, drink her, wash our clothes, dishes, move along her and feed from her. Village life is simple. 

Women run the town. The family I stayed with had four young children. The mother (only 32 years old) would cook, clean, fish – she knew how to do everything. We would load the canoe up with the kids and take off piranha fishing for the next day's breakfast. She was a skilled fisherwoman.

My bedtime was early as I craved the safety of my mosquito net. My sheets were from a hospital; they still had the logo and the splattered bloodstains. After a while my bug bites started to grow stuff but the kids helped me scrape them all out. 

The family sent me to school with the children for two days. They told me “your Spanish is so bad you need to go to school.” So I did, but I couldn’t even keep up with the five year olds. They all thought it was pretty funny. 

The Tarantula  We spotted its dark living hole just off the path, with a few big hairy legs and sparkling eyes barely visible. It took four people and a few large sticks to extract it unwillingly. It was everything I could have imagined – big, hairy, and totally unreal, like straight out of a movie. 

I’ll miss the morning swims and the sounds of the jungle. Taking a slow breath and swimming deeper and deeper into the cool brown water and racing the kids to the other side of the bank. The magic of  the life in the Amazon.