THE AFFAIR TWO TIMING WITH MASTER PHOTOGRAPHER RYAN ROBSON
It’s 6am. I’m dressed for Antarctica and I’m still cold. The wind is piercing. 10ft of raw Indian Ocean swell is unloading before me. A washed up whale carcass rolling in the shorebreak. Sharks around. Submarine sharks. My wetsuit is dusted in frost. I wonder why I’m not back in Indonesia, the place where this same swell will detonate in a couple days, signaling the end of it’s Indian Ocean crossing. I wipe the thought clean and get out there.
So many years ago I had picked up a camera. A passion ignited. I struck north toward the legends. I found Indonesia. I was in love. There’s a pioneering feeling about being at sea. From the unchartered waters of the Maluku Islands, to the mystical right hander’s in Northern Sumatra, we covered a lot of miles…at her mercy. Vessels were lost, shipwrecked fishermen rescued, green-eyed villagers ambushed the boat. Sleepless nights. Guided not by the stars but the ocean they shone upon. The fulfillment of discovery became addictive. All sides of her beauty competed for the honors.
The dark abyss. Shifty charcoal shadows lurking beneath every time you paddle out. You’ve got to be able to deal with the wind. There’s so much wind. It’s a constant search for shelter. Trying to find a corner away from the southerlies. Surfing’s not easy here.You need to be able to look at the trees, the clouds, the way the sun rose that morning. Your heart beats faster. It’s always time to find them. To find her.
A wild love affair. And I drank deeply from that love. But, like any sultry affair, I knew it wouldn’t last. The time came to go home.
The Wild West, like a high school flame, was once again calling me by name and I was quick to answer. I ate the misty mornings. Wind so cold it blows your ear drums shut. I wanted to surf in a wetsuit again. Feel the camaraderie of the hardship that cold water brings. Indonesia had desensitized me. Spellbound me. A perceptually nude woman with flowing hair and flowing warm waves. She had shown me so much sensuality that my creativity was diminishing. My old lover called, and I ran. Western Australia is a cold bed of Lava. It requires planning and cleverness. Just like any love worth feeling. The variety of thoughts here is second to none and patience is a virtue. So is solid ground. And home made love.