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Old 08-12-2003, 06:22 PM
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“Tough surf” mission – Nusa Island revisited by Alison Anis

FOUR ecstatic surfers from Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, left Jacksons Airport on Friday November 5th for home with only the shirts on their backs as they had given most of their clothes away on Nusa Island before setting out for Port Moresby.

With a “fill” of tropical paradise, from when they had first arrived in Papua New Guinea six days earlier, all could not stop talking about their experiences. Greg Young Principal - Ray White Mooloolaba, Bruce Russell a Restaurateur, Barry Coulter a Plumber and Geoff Campbell a Health Food guru and also Restaurateur.

Geoff was also among the group of trekkers accompanying former World Champion, middle distance – runner and Olympic gold-medalist Steve Ovett from Kokoda to Ower’s Corner just two months ago in a trek to raise funds for the Bloomhill Cancer Centre in Queensland.

All surfers were so impressed with the surf, food and hospitality of their friendly neigbours on Nusa Island in New Ireland province, that they gave most of their personal belongings away.

From Left to Right - Geoff Campbell, Greg Young, Bruce Russel and Barry Coulter
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:25 PM
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To Barry, Greg, Bruce and Geoff the surf in New Ireland province was ‘First Class’. To quote their exact words: “The surf was fantastic. We had such a good time. The waves were very good – and the surf was just first class!

Apart from this, the surfers also enjoyed snorkeling, diving, bushwalking and a visit to the World War II Japanese embattlement.

Editors Footnote: On the waters back home on the Sunshine Coast, they all agreed there would be well over 100 surfers fighting for space if the waves were the same quality as those at Nusa.

Whereas, the reality was that at Nusa Island Retreat, there were only a handful of surfers including themselves.

A SURFERS DREAM COME TRUE! They added, ssshhh, dont tell anyone cause we want it to be like that next time we come back! Are we telling anyone.....NO!
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:27 PM
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I first caught up with the four gentlemen at the domestic terminal after waiting patiently for the plane from Kavieng to arrive. As soon as I saw someone walking out with their long surfing board I rushed to greet them and started to take pictures both inside the terminal and outside of the guys carrying their 2-metre surfing boards and loaded them into the minibus outside waiting to pick them. I decided to follow them all the way to Gateway Hotel to pick their brains.

The guys arrived on Saturday with their surfing boards and spent the night at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby before catching the early morning flight to Kavieng airport.

Their boat arrived at Nusa at 2.00pm and the gentlemen had an hour to freshen up before picking up their Malibu boards and heading for the boats in search of the nicest surfing spots around the “incredibly beautiful” isle.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:31 PM
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The day, began immediately with surfing. “After we arrived, we did not want to waste time and decided we’d go surfing first thing that afternoon. They had boats organized for us… there were about five to six boats available. We got on one of the boats went first for Nusa Left (beach five minutes ride from Nusa Island Resort where the guys were staying). When we reached it we had to sit down and wait for the tide to come out before we actually started surfing. We went back to the Resort after that.

“Our Sunday evening started with a feisty meal, there was a buffet – a great selection of food,” said, Bruce who was in charge of the group and has surfed since he was 17, .
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:32 PM
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The guys spent four nights at Nusa Island and each day they looked forward to tackling some of the biggest waves around the Island.

All surfers were up early on Monday morning, the second day. “Breakfast was optional. It was either after or before the surf. We had ours before the surf,” Bruce said.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:34 PM
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This time the guys went past Nusa Left and headed for Nago Left. “It was beautiful, the waves were good but not as big and challenging as Long Long beach,” said, Barry who started surfing in 1960, but the beauty was awesome.

The guys discovered Long Long Beach after lunch on the same day and it was just the perfect spot they have all been looking forward too.

“Once we discovered Long Long we went to Long Long the following day and the next. It was just the perfect spot. The waves were big about 7 – 8 foot high and also better suited for our Malibu boards,” Barry added.

Editors Note: The Surfers thought 'Long Long' Beach meant long waves or long beach. When we told them what "long long" meant in Pidgin English, they laughed out loud and said "well we were pretty crazy about the place".
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:35 PM
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The guys did two surfs on the third day – one in the morning and other after lunch and on the fourth day there was only one. There was a low tied that morning the surfers had o wait till midday for the tide to build up. “We had to wait because low tide can be a little bit dangerous,” Bruce explains.

While waiting they went snorkeling and scuba diving and even paying a visit to Big Nusa where WWII Japanese guns were.

“We visited the Japanese embattlement and saw the artilleries and concrete bunkers where soldiers kept their ammunition and used as protection from the Americans during war,” said Geoff the owner of Raw Energy - fruit juice and coffee bar.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:38 PM
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Two months after the much publicized Cancer Trek on Kokoda, Geoff was back and when this writer questioned him if he really had any second thoughts about coming back into PNG Geoff simply said: “No. I had a peculiar feeling. It was like coming back home. I have been here for only a week when I first came and some six weeks after that suddenly I am here again. I can't really describe that kind of feeling…it is like a warm fuzzy feeling.”

Surely he is not referring to Kokoda as the land of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels he once trekked but the guy who is known to produce the best cappuccino in Maloolaba added that they had such a good time at Nusa. Geoff started holding the surfing board at the age of 13, just three years after Greg who started surfing at the age of 10.

Exhausting it might have been as the tired faces of the four gentlemen confirmed on Thursday after their flight from New Ireland to Port Moresby but it seems each had something interesting and different to say about their stay at Nusa when asked to give highlights of their trip.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:40 PM
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“My biggest impression would be surfing and secondly, the food. Food was really nice, we had selection of food …buffet to choose from, salad, curry, crabs and fish and the surf was first class.

There were very good waves,” Bruce, owner of a Montezuma’s - Leaders in Mexican Food - restaurant said. Bruce explained that Montezuma’s was that name of the Mexican’s great and popular cook of all time that has since been adopted by restaurants dealing with Mexican Food.

Nusa Island has been Bruce’s idea. He was familiar with the waves of Nusa Island and this was his second visit since 2001.

Like Geoff, Barry and Greg, Bruce was a member of the World Surfari’s through which their trip was made possible. The World Surfari’s is a surfers' organization where certain countries in the world are member of.

PNG Surfer’s Association is a member of the World Surfari’s as well as countries like Australia, India, Bali Indonesia, Fiji, and Samoa and is also responsible for the Maldives.

WS has organized the trip to Kavieng, taking care of bookings and their three days stay at Nusa Island.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:42 PM
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“The surf was fantastic. We had such a good time surfing and got a long well with the people there.” Geoff said when asked. However his highlight would be the day when he saw the dugong – an animal fairly rare in the world.

“We were paddling in a dug out canoe when we saw a dugong. It was a big one but that was a highlight of my trip as dugongs are seen on rare occasions,” he said.

“The corals were very beautiful. There were quite a number of fish but the corals were just great,” Barry stated.

“When we went to see the Japanese guns, a local guy had climbed the coconut tree and took off some green coconuts. And as we watched, he came down with his head first. I have never seen anyone doing that before and the guy put on a stunning performance I took of my shirt and gave it to him,” Barry laughed as he told us about his experience.
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