Parked On The Reef

posted by / News / July 12, 2008

Bali’s top surfers woke up early today hoping to score a few waves at the Bukit peninsula’s legendary Padang Padang before the opening ceremonies of the Rip Curl ISC Padang contest — the winner of which would go onto to compete in the WCT Search contest in Bali (allegedly) late this month. When they got there however, they found someone had already out-dawn patrolled them. A 150’ foot fishing boat had run aground overnight, and was parked on the reef exactly in the take off zone.

How did this happen? What was going to be done about it? These were not the first questions on local surfers minds, as sick little wedges were ledging off the side of the boat. SURFING photographer Nate Lawrence was in the water right away, as surfers Kai Barger, Bol, and Rizal Tanjung began exploiting the new little set-up. But they weren’t the only ones making the most of the situation.

It didn’t take locals long to figure out that the Taiwanese boat had been illegally fishing in Indonesian waters. When the boat ran aground (Poor navigation? Too many Arak Attacks? Captain was wearing green? No one really knows why…), the entire crew of the vessel grabbed every bit of documentation they could and booked it on the Bukit. Gone. {{{Audi 5000}}}. Between the fines for illegal fishing and the cost of getting the boat off the reef, they were cutting their losses. And their loss, was the locals’ gain.

Let the looting began.

First, they started grabbing the frozen fish from below the deck: huge tuna, barracuda, sharks…nearly 500 illegally caught fish. Then they started taking clothes, deck chairs, radar equipment…anything that wasn’t bolted down. “There’s definitely gonna be some crazy barbecues going down everywhere from Padang to Uluwatu this week,” said Lawrence. “I think I smell some cooking already.”

On the beach, the speculation was wild. Everything from some form or terrorist attack to the gods being angry for too many contests on the peninsula. But out in the water, it was business as usual. “I hope they don’t move this thing anytime soon,” said Kai Barger, after boosting a nice little air-reverse off the new obstacle.

It doesn’t look like they will, either. With no serious high-tides until next week…and that one seemingly timed with the next big swell, it looks like someone may have to go ahead and name this new spot. We’re suggesting Padang Padang Padang…but it’s not really our call to make.

In the meantime, the water is filthy with gas an oil and, oh yeah, there’s a giant ship in the middle of one of the world’s most beautiful surf breaks. Mankind is awesome.

Stay tuned to SURFINGMAGAZINE.com for further updates.

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