sabato 15 agosto 2015

Maupiti & Mophelia the perfect unknown

After a week of rough weather in Bora Bora, finally the Maramu (a typical strong local wind) calms down and lets us sail to the close and mysterious Maupiti. We heard about a heaven on earth, an isolated and preserved paradise that very few people have the chance to discover. Apparently many yachties avoid this island and our next one, Mopelia, because of their ultra-dangerous passes: most of the people are scared of the legendary waves and currents that could easily smash their boat against a shallow, naughty coral reef. Our captain feels confident and, thanks to his skills and the good weather conditions, Lazy Jack enters the Maupiti pass with no problem at all. And... Yes!!! If you're maybe wondering if we are a bit getting used to these beautiful places, well, the answer is: Bingo! Maupiti is an enchanted pearl, a kind of Bora Bora but instead of luxury resorts you'll see fishermen colored tiny houses, instead of the restaurants you'll be invited to drink and eat for free during a local party, instead of the marinas you'll have lots of smiling people to talk with and from which you'll learn that, yes, happiness is real only when shared. After all these gorgeous blue, green, fantastic waters and beaches, the real treasures of these islands are the people and their natural smiles. These uncontaminated waters hide a unique and rare creature you cannot fall in love with at first sight: every morning we are amazed by a solid group of 7 huge mantas, 3 mt wide, they move so elegantly and softly and are not scared of you at all. They know you'll respect them. Polynesians used to call them "the sea devil", because of their black mantel. They just stay around a single rock for hours. It's easy to dive down and lay on the sand not more than a meter close to them. Their big eyes are just following you all the time, we really had the feeling they wanted to know more about us and on the other side we were amazed to spend some minutes face to face with them. This is really the place to be. If we consider all the society islands we visited, Maupiti is definitely the most complete, friendly, colorful, different and organized island. We had also the chance to be there for the annual event: the "heiva". It's a dance competition that involves almost all the island. Anticipated by few days of sport competitions and the ceremony of the 14th of July. I could describe for hours how amazing it was, however I'll tell you only about a very simple thing that happened during the ceremony. We were probably ten tourists in the middle of three or four hundreds locals, listening the chief of the village and bla bla bla. So a nice lady came to everyone of us, just to inform and make sure that we understood that the food and beverage the Maupiti's shire was offering for free to his community, it was also for us. So don't be shy and take everything you want to eat and drink. They were so honored we went to visit them and happy to have us with them in that day. Again the people are really the greatest quality of French Polynesia. We'll be never grateful enough with these persons that showed us Europeans which are the true values after all.

So to thank them for their kindness we spread the news that we were heading to Mopelia, a very isolated island 90 Nm from Maupiti, where only 11 families live. These families are originally from here and they live on fish and copra, the dried coconut pulp that the French government supports with generous financial aids, and they get supplies only once a year from a small cargo boat. Later we'll explain better why a “small” one!

The morning after the party we wake up with three boats full of all kind of goods in front of us: bread, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, rice, cane sugar, water, letters, baskets, dishes, clothes. Lazy Jack is going to be a big cargo full of supplies and surprises for Mopelia's community! We are so happy that somehow we found a way to help these smiling people out. Vahine, the woman who organized this transfer, is also bringing us a little boy that doesn't see his mom since one year and his dad since 5 years!! After a double check with the major of the island, who gives his permission, we welcome on board the cute Taumihau, a 10 years old boy, very strong and with a wonderful smile. Lazy Jack is ready to set sail and face the famous pass in a creative condition: 4 mt waves right against our nose make us shake and jump like hell!!! 2 minutes of fear and we are spit out the pass. That's why we call this the heaven through the doors of hell!

After a sleepless night with 25 knots of wind, heavy rain and solid waves around, we arrive to the remote Mopelia and immediately understand why only a “small” cargo comes once a year and get in that lagoon: the pass is very long and narrow enough to make us wonder... are we really gonna make it??? A lonely ray of sun shows up and lets us see what you'd love to discover while snorkeling... Great and uncontaminated coral heads are everywhere, schools of fish and sharks follow the boat and flow around. After slaloming all the gorgeous but dangerous coral heads, we get close to an enchanted sand bay, where Taumihau's family is already waiting for their most important gift: big hugs and smiles, Hére is the happiest mum in the world right now. She invites us at her house for an opulent dinner to thank us of all the things we brought her and the community. Even if it's raining again, the 11 families of the island are now on the beach recollecting all the goods their relatives in Maupiti sent them. This is a very happy moment for Lazy Jack. The rain forces the tired crew to sleep and chill out a little bit. The day after our arrival, three more boats enter the difficult pass and join us in this idyllic anchorage: Good as Gold with Deana and Malcolm from Canada, Free Spirit with Laurie and Jim from the States and our friends Melinda, Ed, Jade and Gus from Lorien. Hére and Taria, Vahine's son, are organizing a huge dinner for us and invite all the crew of Lorien to join us for the night. Walking along the beach, I spot an octopus and Taumihau's dad grabs it with his hands and puts it directly on the grill with the other 50 lobsters, 7 parrot fish, 12 rosins and 2 x 5kg coconut!!! Alice and I look each at other in the eyes very often that night, we don't need to talk, we are thinking the same thing. For us, bringing all that stuff was nothing, but for them it meant really kind of all.

We check the weather forecasts the next day and realize the time to leave has come. We have 600 nM before Niue Island and a storm approaching in two days. As people that received a big gift, we look at this perfect island again while she disappears under the orange horizon thinking that we couldn't expect anything better than what we had to say goodbye to the French Polynesia.

venerdì 14 agosto 2015

Huahine Surf - Summerfield of Raiatea - Tahaa Style - Raining in Bora Bora

It was hard to decide to leave Moorea but in these days we would love to spend a month on every corner we visit. On the other side we are always happy to see something we just flow with the 14 knots wind that pushes Lazy Jack along the 90Nm to Huahine. “The Woman Island”, titled like this because arriving there on the early ages someone swore he saw some woman open leg's shape in the mountains. I don't know what to say about this impression, but definitely I don't have the same whiskey on board. This island is practically unknown to tourists, there are only few family accommodations and for some reasons it's really hard for them to have a regular people flow like the other islands. The result is obviously amazing desert turquoise water, excellent snorkeling, perfect anchorage for LJ and beautiful landscape to explore by kayak or MTB around the island. Only sail boats often stop here for mainly two reasons: firstly that's the only stop between Moorea and Raiatea, secondly, and I swear I'm telling you with very low voice tone... the waves!!!!

Huahine has some of the best waves in Polynesia, someone also told me about angry locals and unfriendly vibrations in the water. As usual I prefer to report what my experience teaches me, and I can definitely tell you about the beautiful time spent in Huahine's water, surfing amazing and nearly mechanic waves on a razor sharp coral reef. The water so blue to make you think the fins of the board will not pass through while the little lips covering you are trying to push your mind to remember that moment for the rest of your life. The five or six locals surfing with us were practically exciting us to take off as many waves as we wanted to, giving us some tips and pushing on Alice's fear of the reef, singing and helping her to find the good feeling and finally get her wave! We had the smile on us all day long, even when I saw her standing on 15 cm deep reef after a wipe out with a overhead set coming straight on her ;-(

When she managed to take herself out of that nasty situation she only told me; “I tried to dive but I touched the bottom and I understood I was fucked!!”

You are always my hero my darling!!! Diving 15 cm was a hard decision!!!!

A bit more of navigation with the trade winds that are still caressing us and we are already exploring Raiatea. We actually started from the biggest bay on the eastern point, where the only navigable (by canoe or dinghy) river of all French Polynesia meets the Pacific Ocean. Even after years of traveling, I'm still surprised of the nature of this place. Fruits are everywhere, flowers are incredible and still untouched by the crowd. Vanilla plantations and nice people are the non plus ultra of this magical part of the world. Alice was almost kidnapped by a Polynesian bull, who turns out to be the pirogue champion of Raiatea!!! He's only 21 and teaches at school the national sport of Polynesia. Big surprise, he lets us all try his flashing new pirogue and that's how we discovered Alice's next sport!! Pretty difficult at the beginning, you can very easily flip upside down and find yourself in the water without knowing how! We say goodbye to the champion and his island and set the Volvo Breeze to the very close tiny Tahaa. The captain heard about a wonderful mooring right in front of an exclusive resort: Le Tahaa, that makes part of the Relais et Chateaux resorts. We can simply say “WOW”: the dream is real. A private island covered by a flourishing vegetation, gorgeous little bungalows on a crystal clear water, white sand beaches and one of the most exciting snorkeling so far. A coral garden in a shallow transparent water and all kinds of little, colored, cute fish that seem curious and at the same time totally conscious that nobody will hurt them. We are thinking of leaving a copy of our resume... Who knows!!!

Smooth and relaxed we set the sails and go for the only 20nm from Tahaa to Bora Bora. The most worldwide known island of the french Polynesia. Here tourism is a present in a box where everybody already looked inside once in life. Hotel rooms built on top of the blue water with exterior spa on private terraces overlooking the emerald mountain right past the lagoon. Restaurants with good food and buoys right in front for the yacht to attach without even dropping the anchor. The only hard thing for us is the weather!!! Since our super nice friends Shishi and Furu joined us in Papeete, rain is unfortunately pouring very often. You know, after all we have seen till now, we can't really complain, however these places change so much with a little sun ray that everybody gets really exited when we have the chance to take a good picture or walk somewhere. The only good thing of this weather: off shore wind and correct swell on the pass. Obviously I couldn't lose the chance to surf the Bora Bora pass, even if nobody was there and is not marked that it's surf-able. Anyway, to make the long story short, my friend Mike R. and I tried to enjoy as much as we could the scary lefty!!! Result was not bad, so I guess if someone wants to try that, just make sure to avoid the coral head right where the wave becomes hollow and starts to barrel, and you'll have a very decent ride!!! Otherwise you can also decide to rent a bike and do the island tour, 32km of fun!! Not like riding waves but at least you'll see that Bora Bora is not made only of luxury resorts and honeymooners hotels. The locals are friendly, traditional dances are still alive and the vegetation makes your eyes confused about what direction they have to look. But be careful to look to much here and there, it could happen to step in one of the thousand coconut crab that are always sneaking everywhere, some of them are real monsters of 5kg and I'm not joking: a 5kg crab is a bloody monster!!!!


If you hear about someone in Bora Bora looking for a catamaran that broke three buoys in three days, please don't think we are criminals. Just to let you know, we heard a story about three guys that were on the internet at the Maikai restaurant when a dive instructor asked whether the boat that was flowing with the wind half meter from the other boats was ours. Fortunately these lucky fellows could jump on their dinghy and arrive at the boat and pull back ten meters before the reef could crash his port side. So they decided to go on the other side of the bay, theoretically more protected, and take an other buoy, but in the middle of the night TRAK again: the buoy's rope explodes and that catamaran started to move around again with no control. The most fantastic thing was that trying to take the next buoy, the 35knots wind pushed the boat too close and the propeller melted with the rope, so for a few minutes they where receiving 35kts and the only thing holding the cat was the actual propeller attached to the rope. Luckily, someone told us, that there was a team of German guys and a kind of Italian surfer (still don't know if an Italian can be a surfer, but this is the story we heard) ready to help the cat's captain. This Italian boy in the middle of the night had to dive, with 35kts wind and his screaming girlfriend, who was scared to see him crunched like a hamburger while he was trying to cut the rope from the propeller. Apparently the hero made it, handling the situation and also returning to his beautiful woman on his legs!!!!

Surfing Teahupoo - When Living the Dream is putting everything on the line

So many stories of surf have been told on this blog. From Morocco to Australia, Indonesia to Hawaii. I drove around Europe and traveled South America telling about every fantastic swell I've been honored to surf. Now, after we've crossed the Pacific Ocean with our UZIWAONBOARD mission, we decided to take the south west direction, straight from Tuamotus Island to a little village not very well known to the crowd, however famous for the surf addicts: Teahupoo, the surf mecca for the ones who really know how to handle a surfboard under pressure. Someone told me the meaning of the name, “broken skulls”. I forgot to check if it's true while I was there, but I guess I can believe it anyway, that name fits perfectly. Call it fate or coincidence, from the moment we entered the Havae pass by boat, everything changed around us. The swell was on, the pros were towing and, from behind the break, I could only see the smoke of the water evaporating after slapping the reef. Fortunately we could manage to anchor before dark. The tiny bay was just perfect for Lazy Jack. I couldn't take my eyes off the several waves from the close reefs. After dinner I felt like to lay down on the trampoline for few minutes. That noise was incredible and that place was real. Not a myth anymore, not a picture on Surf life nor a video on youtube. In a few hours, that swell was going to be right under my board. I felt awesome. Thinking about taking off on that wave, getting barreled and surviving a ride made my dreams way to far from reality. In that exact moment I decided I'd rather not surf that wave. I didn't even need to explain to myself why I made that decision. It was obvious. So I opened the window of my room and gave a kiss to Alice.

“Are you going to try tomorrow?” she calmly asked.

I took a breath “Don't think so darling, what I saw today is way out of my league”.

“You scare me, don't even think about it! Crazy man. Have a good night.”

Waking up in the morning, I was relaxed and glad that I was going to finally see in person that insane surf spot. Fortunately this wave is very predictable most of the times and very easy to approach the surfers even with the dinghy. So I was dreaming of a picture of me with my board on the water with the wave behind. Not surfing that wave, just having it on my background. It was at least the only way to say: “I've been in the water at Teahupoo during big swell!”.

So this is it. I should end this post telling you how beautiful was to stand in front of those waves, watching the surfers doing what they are made to do, taking epic pictures and describing the crystal water we were in. That was heaven on coral reef.

However, as you can imagine this story doesn't end like this.
Until this moment I was the good guy, who made a decision and took the best from it. Suddenly I found myself to be another guy, the one who thinks to be born for surfing. The one who starts to talk with anyone in the water. The one who takes the chance to jump on a jet-sky with Jack Jonson and feels like to score his own epic wave.

Very easy. You cannot show the ball to a Jack Russel and don't throw it. I just waited until the waves were small enough to try, paddled to the break and waited for mine. Usually I would be here describing how good was the feeling of jumping on that massive hill, but not this time. The swell suddenly dropped down making the take off doable even for a keen like me. For two hours we didn't have any “bombs” on the spot and I took my chance. I didn't even have the time to sit completely down on board when a big set came out from nowhere. I didn't even paddle so much, I understood straight away that I was right on the impact zone. Looking rapidly around me I saw that every other surfer was going to be hit as well, but even that was not going to save me from drowning or hitting the reef. I remained as calm as never before, I tried not to stare the lip of that first monster and looked only the base (that makes the wave look smaller), but didn't work. So I dropped the board on my side, hyperventilated for a few seconds and tried to go down as much as I could. When the lip touched the surface my only hope was not to be aspired by the power of the wave and be rejected straight on the reef. But hopes in that situation are just the way to feel less responsible for our own decisions. In fact I was not hoping, I was fighting for my life. I never underestimated that massive wave and I guess that is the reason why I'm here now. I couldn't even protect myself, my arms and legs were powerless so I just accepted that energy, kept my adrenaline under a stroke limit and tried to think about the next move. I was never breathless, however it's always a good sensation when you feel your board pulling up your ankle, trying to take you away from the darkest place on earth. Reaching the surface I was expecting to be suddenly hit by the second wave of the set, but luckily she was still three seconds away. I quickly inhaled and down again. This time was all another story. I touched the reef underneath in the same moment I tried to dive. The second hit was a real blast, the water was boiling and rocks were everywhere. I could feel them scratching my shoulders and my feet. When I came back to surface, my board was not pulling on me anymore. I looked at it and saw my board snapped into two pieces. I released the leash and swam to the left trying to avoid the deadly right wave, but I didn't even have the time to worry a bit because the fantastic duo, Mathai Drollet from the water and Trevor Jonson with the jet sky, was already there to take me out of hell. I saw it on the video so many times how to do it, they make a little round and you have to take the hand while jumping on the back of the sea scooter. Believe it or not they arrived one meter from me and than couldn't come closer because of an incoming wave...

Mathai never left me, showing me where to swim and a few seconds later I was on the back of the jet sky, with Alice taking pictures of the big ego surfer just few seconds before he passed out.

After all, I thought to find myself in a corner, maybe scared to surf again or having some nightmare while sleeping. Honestly there are a few snapshots before the first impact I will never forget. But at the end of the day, I feel a kind of proud.

I know it sounds crazy but I can not imagine my life to be different.

Surviving Teahupoo was a very good welcome to Tahiti!!!!!

Tahiti and Moorea: Sailing Mecca

Once we were done with Teahupoo, we were really impatient to arrive in Papeete. Sounds weird but since Panama it's the first big city we are going to touch. I don't know if we had maybe too many expectations or if things have changed, but the first look to the capital was not corresponding at all to what we have been imagining. Anyway our mission was to buy a new lap top, a few surf shorts and obviously a new board. Moving around in Tahiti can be pretty dodgy. Buses are not really the best solution, however better than nothing. Another option is eco-scooter: they rent cars and scooters for less than 30 bucks per day right in front of the Faaa Int. Airport. I personally prefer to hitchhike and every time we meet interesting people with lots of stories to share. The funny thing was that the first two persons I met hitchhiking were a surfboard shaper and the wife of the owner of the biggest company of professional kitchen equipment in French Polynesia.

Papeete is an average nice city, as I already told something changed from the past and lots of businesses closed down, letting their buildings become old right in front city's main street on the esplanade. We heard also a few stories of robber activity and tourists attacked from drunk locals, so we pushed on the side the trusting feeling built until now going along the Marquesas and Tuamotus and brought back the usual traveler guard on our belongings. But Tahiti is not only Papeete.

The Captain decided to drop the anchor in front of the Marina Tahina on a 13mt blue water with sand bottom in good company with other hundreds boats coming from all over the world. Tahiti is really the non return point. We met people with different stories, but at the end of the day, they all had a reason to remain in this place.

What do I think? Life here is perfect but expensive. Jobs are not the easiest thing to find. But if you can afford it, this is the place to be! Mountains surrounding the blue lagoon, lots of fish and some of the best surf spots in the world. People are nice and you can find anything from food to cinema, good health care and obviously internet. The ferry to Moorea takes only 20min and you have plenty of options of things to do. Our experience on board of Lazy Jack is still outstanding and even if Alice gives me hard time to keep her eyes away from the handsome Tahitian boys that are really everywhere, often half naked paddling on their kayak or sup while training for the 14th July race, I try to keep myself busy and calm going surfing at Tapuna, a world series left handed close by the boat. Fortunately I'm back on the water thanks to Teva Bonno owner of Teva Surfbord that after a few hours spent to talk about UZIWA and Tahiti's surf session with the full moon, he sent me straight to his good friend from Stone Fish board Shop to buy my new baby.

Finally I can also provide the refrigerator with plenty of good and different food. Every time we left the supermarket with a big smile we knew that on the other side the Captain is on board having an heart attack in front of is mobile connected with his credit card.

We didn't have the chance to visit a lot the island in land, but some friends told us about plenty options for trekking, bird watching and biking. We concentrate our energy to repair all our technology stuff and surf as much as we can while we were also waiting for the next two friends coming on board. Directly from Istanbul, an hilarious and easy going couple of doctors. They are going to spend with us the next fifteen days.

First step, moving to the Marina in town, for our leaving party. It was nice to meet again all the crews from Pied-à-Mer, Lorien, Family Circus, Shine, Etc...

All the boats are here for the “rendez-vous”, the annual pirogue competition departing from Papeete and arriving in Moorea. There are any kind of thing in the water participating on this comp, from canoe to SUP, sailing boats, catamarans, swimmers, etc... The same night we arrived at the marina, we had also the chance to go out and party hard with all the young friends from other boat. We ended up in a creepy and empty Karaoke bar that, after the first jar of the local Hinano beer, was the friendliest ever. As usual I found myself amazed by the difference of the people around me.

The Captain decided to leave to Moorea two days before the comp, and that was a very good decision that allowed us to arrive there, set the boat in the best spot and watch the “rendez-vous” coming to us. It was funny that we were deciding all together where we could go snorkeling and suddenly three turtles appeared right under our nose. That's how we discovered that we dropped the anchor right on one of the most amazing spot to dive with turtles. Being deep underwater is always exiting, and for some reasons there are moments that seem to slow down the time around you. When you take that last breath and your head leads you down in the deep blue, I often have the feeling I didn't breath enough. However I find myself confident and relax until I touch the bottom. I'm surrounded by corals, silence and turtles staring at me. Two of them not more than a meter far from my face. I guess they are as curious as I am. They move very little and make a tour around as if they knew they are making me an unforgettable gift. When I look up the surface, I see Alice starting to come down as well and my chronometer is telling me two and half minutes.

One of the first rule of free diving is not to look up, in order to keep calm and relaxed. Nevertheless, I like to stare at the boat's hulls and the surface of the water while taking my body back. The enormity of the blue ocean makes every thing small enough to let me think how much I belong to that place.

Before leaving to Huahine, we have the time to discover a magical unique place: not far from the Intercontinental Hotel you can find a place in shallow water (1,20 m and white soft sand) where schools of huge Pastenague rays and black tip sharks come and are really glad to meet you!! These rare stingrays are so nice and love to kiss people in the face! About the sharks... forget about Jaws, here in Polynesia sharks are like all other animals: si no toque, no molesta! (You don't touch, they don't hurt!).

Concluding, Moorea is really the perfect place if you want to escape Tahiti's crowd without forgetting it. The ferry to Papeete is only 20 minutes so you can even enjoy the waves in Hapiti, have a good lunch in a floating restaurant placed in the middle of the reef and be back in town for a movie and obviously the Karaoke at night!!!

giovedì 13 agosto 2015

Tuamotus Island UZIWA in Pradise

It seems like one other page of our diary is going to be written, Nuku Hiva and the Marquesas are nearly disappearing behind the 13 knots of speed of Lazy Jack. As usual, when the sun is falling behind the horizon and the dark is renting the sky, I slowly start to mix together some ingredients while enjoying sea's cuddles. Being 8 people on board was honestly tiring, however worth. Guests on board are breaking the balance and the habits we all have. So I guess we need them sometimes. Living together on a boat is an unusual experience that allows us an every day challenge. Find the key to survive, enjoy the places and make our work looking good as gold. For everyone we are living the dream, for the ones who know, we are just taking advantage of our decision, fearless of the time that is anyway making us look older than when we started backpacking around the world for the very first time.

Right yesterday we had one of our Italian friend leaving a message on our whatsapp, he was stoned and happy... telling: “i don't really know if you understand completely what you are guys doing as a couple...the only thing I can say is that you are living the extraordinary making it looking like an ordinary day”.

He told us even something else about how happy and cool he feels to know that his ex girlfriend now is meeting an other guy... ;-) He also said that he's going to buy the ticket to come and visit us in Australia. Perfect pictures while with the sunrise I see the first motu. We are going in. Kauhei, one of the largest lagoons with the easiest pass for the boat. Two little waves on each side of the pass and the perfect landscapes for a postcard. Looks like everybody is taking information for the same places on the internet because, as it was backpacking Australia and South America, even here we are meeting nearly every day the same boats and same people. It's actually a nice feeling, sometimes you can get really close to people a lot faster than any other occasion. So we recognize the boats from the radar, call them on the radio, chat for a while and build some programs for free diving, dinner or swimming session. It's like a moving circus. The interactions that made us becoming friends are very different and often weird. The friendship with Day Break, Megan and Matthew's boat was made in the water, in front of a big shark that appeared in front of us, so Megan got a little scared and our Captain was very happy to take her back with the kayak and made her a good cappuccino. She suddenly fell in love with him ;-)

The boat Axiom with his German crew was trying for three times to anchor not more that five meters close to us in three different bays and each time for excuse themselves they gave us some fresh fish just caught...after the third time we decided to become friends, so at least we could talk about fishing. The Pied a Mer's crew with their ritual happy hour every Wednesday, inviting every other boat for eating and drinking on board. Ali di Gabi, an Italian boat with Alex and Guido, met for the first time in Galapagos island seemed they were following us everywhere just with a few hours difference. Our friendship exploded when they gave Alice an Italian coffee machine after we broke down ours. Even small contact with Leeward and Family Circus were interesting and fun. I could continue for hours to describe how many interesting people we met during the last few months.

The first touch of Kauhei is very intense. Everything you could imagine as beauty and underwater animals, here is more and more. We anchored probably 200mt from the shore on a 5mt sand bottom and everything looks really too perfect. No houses, no cars, only blue sea and coconuts everywhere, the corals are reflecting their colors through the water and different kinds of fish are everywhere around the boat. At every hour of the day, the sun is giving different power to the shades of blue, green and rose of the sand. I guess that for some moments I thought we found the paradise. Swimming here is a big deal for the ones of the Spielberg generation. Jaws twisted our mind against sharks, but when you see their beauty and the curiosity they have, you nearly feel like to touch them, playing with their tail. With some of the friends we talked before, we went snorkeling on top of one of the coral reef in the middle of the lagoon. That was extraordinary for real. Everybody were a bit scared of sharks but honestly the feeling was not fear but more excitation, looking for adrenaline. And here we go, not even the time to launch the anchor and already two sharks curious as little dogs, coming close to the boat waiting for the first one to touch the water. Deep blue sea, colorful coral and hundreds of fishes. We spent so much time playing with them, chasing and escaping when they were coming a bit to close. The dead line for us in the water was when some little sick fish came closer to us attracting the attention of a small sharks who suddenly hunted him. We thought to have a great shot on camera, with the shark chasing the little prey. Then we realized that he probably thought we trough that little fish in the water for him. From the ground to the surface we saw the little shark smiling to us and forcing his tail on our direction. They were only a few seconds but he was coming always closer and he really didn't need to talk to say that he wanted more food!! When I must hit him on his head with my gopro we decided to go back on board and keep this snorkel adventure on the wicked part of our memories.

But if we thought that Kauhei was the Paradise, so then Fakarava jumped straight on top of our best places in the world. A big blue lagoon with dream beaches and the mythological “South pass”. If in the last few months we were exited when during snorkeling we could see a shark or two, now while we are visiting the village before going to the famous pass, we are already trying to keep our-selves on the ground for the excitement, before to go and free dive on the SHARK WALL. I had honestly never seen anything like that in my all life. The water so clear with the colorful coral reef as a stage for the daily show. Hundreds of sharks swimming trough the light current of the channel, it took us a few moments before to be confident and try to dive deep, right in between of them. Breathing constantly, calm your mind, feel the oxygen in your lungs, and head down. Slowly feel the pressure of the water pushing the mask on your face. Give yourself a moment to relax while your body moves to the bottom of the sea. Suddenly we take a look around us and we are really guest on someone else house. Sharks are everywhere. They have no fear but they are not even interested in us. Looking at the surface of the sea, in the middle of the Jaw's family, we try to accept the fact that there are unique places in the world. Places where you feel welcome, where you can see the world from other point of view and where one of the biggest man's fear become fear of men. If places like this one still hardly exist, it's because some men understood the mistake that all the others are doing. The more I travel, the more I understand how dangerous we are.

To my dearest friend at 20mt depth:

“Now I need to breath again my friend., I well understood you'll never throw a plastic bottle on my garden. And even if sometimes you might think I look like a sea lion while I'm surfing, I decide to respect you, I have no more fear of you, I hope one day you can do the same if you already didn't.”