Ablution Azure

By Michael H. Kew

Photo: Philippe Bacchet.

This, an odyssey through time, represents volumes of my pre-travel life, knowing this existed.


Storybook longing over seductive tropical images and tales of Oceania preceded baptism in French Polynesian seas.

Yvon, an experienced traveler, emerges from belowdecks.

“Ah, this is paradise for me,” he says. “When I was a kid, I read every book I could find on the South Pacific, and this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to disappear out here someday. (laughs) My wife doesn’t like the tropics, though. Otherwise, I’d be here all the time. Go with my fly rod and my surfboard; find some island that had good surf on it, good bonefishing….”

His vision vanishes as the fantasy unfolds: an azure right-hander sprouts from the depths and heaves over the pink coral reef.

At dusk, cracking a Hinano, Chris reflects:

“I think it’s every surfer’s dream…I see the same kind of waves that we all used draw during math class in school. The teacher’s talking up at the front, and you’re drawing little palm trees hanging over with these lines peeling around the point. I get to see waves like that in real life, on a regular basis, with nobody out.

“And the colors here, mate….”

Chris. New spot, first wave. Photo: Kew.

Photo: Luis Marden.

Photo: Kew.

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