Gone dark (to Manila)…an edited repost of Periscopes post

Local surf mags and ad rags are promising paradise real estate lots at Lakey, Sumbawa, so since your blog correspondent is off to Manila for his daughter’s high school graduation from Faith Academy, here is an edited repost of a previous Periscopes post.

Below: my buddy and barrel hound Rob Nichols at a break that would be called Periscopes. This was several years before word leaked out, when to get to Lakey village you still had to correctly pronounce it as Lah-kai. The correct pronunciation has a nicer melody to it, doesn’t it? More appropriate for a paradise surf destination, except it’s now a surf-mill, with snakes in the garden, the apple well and truly eaten.

Anyway, this for sure would have been one of the first ever barrels ridden there. Rob made it out. I was snapping shots and not surfing—I could barely ride in the dinghy to the beach—because a wipeout at the peak shoved my board deep, which then rocketed rail up to my side. A little different twist of chance, and the fin would have sliced my guts open, with intestines wrapped around the coral heads, a slightly more dire situation than a mere tangled leash.

We cruised there on the Hati Murnih, not overland. Here the boat at anchor in the reef pass there between Nungas and Periscopes — that’s solid 6 -8 foot Nungas in the background, we surfed that a couple times. We had no “x marks the spot” maps–just taking a punt along the coast–and we actually didn’t see Periscopes at first. The wind was on it. My other friend Steve kept looking at its back, said “that’s a right” and had the dinghy drop him off, even though it looked like crap. We knew it was a good wave when we heard him hooting like crazy after his first ride. One thing you learn when you’re looking for surf is that surf breaks can be hard to see from behind.

There was just the three of us in the water for weeks of swell on this trip, and three of us for a couple later trips before the word got out. Our first trip, Lakey villagers gathered on the shore by their hundreds to watch us do this thing they’d never seen before, hooting and hollering, their loudest cheers for the wipeouts. (Being of bad vision and lumbering coordination, your blog correspondent is well-known for his wipeouts, so I believe I got the loudest cheers of all). To have a crowd materialize out of nowhere and stand on the beach to cheer you on for a surf session was certainly a novelty.

As for the peak, on the first trip, we went right for most of one session until yours truly decided to go backside. I remember kicking out and paddling up to Rob and Steve and saying, “You know, I think the left is better.”

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2 Responses to Gone dark (to Manila)…an edited repost of Periscopes post

  1. mattjenna says:

    Love your historical takes – I hope you realise the importance of these peaces to the history of surf travel in Indonesia and keep on keeping on. I love Lakey and its people and environs-like everywhere, ‘progress’ creeps on and everything changes, as it always has.

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