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Panaitan Surf Trip with something great that was not on the list

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Words and photos by Damien Bock

…In your life you have a number of things you’d like to achieve…
…some you achieve, some you don’t… and sometimes… you achieve something great that was not on the list.

I was invited on a short trip to Panaitan island 3hrs by fishing boat north west of west Java.. we spent 4 days – no bed, no water, no kitchen and probably the best food, fun and laughter no amount of money could buy.

Panaitan is known as the true ‘no mans land’ protected as an Indonesian national reserve – un inhabited, yet rich with wildlife.. wild deer, the rare white rhino (only place in the world), black panther, tiger and crocodile.. the waves are some of the most dangerous with beautiful hollow barrels that break over shallow sharp coral.

After surfing intense waves, watching sail fish sail, marlin leap 300mtrs from where you sit in the line up, peacocks fly, deer bark and eagles swoop.. this is another world.. everything is big and alive and the crazy life loving crew i shared this with made it all the more incredible..

…On our way back to Jakarta we detoured to visit Krakatoa..
4.30am in a heavy down pour, no visibility we travel in our small charter boat 1 1/2 hrs. The call was to continue and so we did – to sight the silhouette of a volcano, the awesomeness of Krakatoa anak (son of his mum Krakatoa) is an experience in itself.
In August 27th 1883 Krakatoa (the mother) was recorded as the largest eruption known to man. It’s explosions were felt around the world killing more than 36,000 people with 10mtr tsunamis obliterating villages and small towns of Java and beyond. Groups of human skeletons we found across the Indian Ocean in East Africa on rafts covered in volcanic ash up to a year after the eruption.

So when we finally arrived as the only boat bobbing amongst the three islands we felt small.. our presence shrunk further when we heard the first of three loud cracks of what turned out to be eruptions from this big black mound in the middle of the ocean.. these eruptions occur weekly..even so we were reminded that if it grew with more explosions it would be time to leave.
After many photo’s taken we heard the second crack. This is when i focused my camera on this massive mound with thick dark grey smoke puffing up and out. I aimed and shot… AT THAT EXACT MOMENT- the third crack was felt and seen by all aboard. Lightning had struck the volcano dead centre and we litterally gasped in awe.. “did you see that did you see that???” was bleating amongst those witnessing this incredible display of mother nature and her power…I clicked as she struck and without a viewer on my camera i had to wait 2 hrs to see, at that exact split second, weather or not I had captured lightning not just striking but striking the most famous volcano known to man…timing is everything.

This was not on my list but thanks to timing I can share this amazing moment with you.

From the heart –

Damien…
Aka: Damien, Damo, Cock, Little shit, Bocky  XXxxx

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