“I'd never really travelled somewhere that is so harshly effected by weather the way that I felt it there, the systems and weather patterns were so unpredictable, I've never seen a forecast change so dramatically.” Torren Martyn tells SurfStitch.
The very essence of travelling can be more rewarding than any other experience. The little things we can all relate to that come side by side with the adventure itself; living in anticipation and angst for what’s on the other side, meet and greets with new faces, trying cultural cuisines, the journey as a whole into what essentially is the unknown. But sometimes, Mother Nature has other plans than the experience you were hoping for.
After monitoring the charts for months in search of a perfect swell and a unique spot, Torren Martyn and lensman Ishka Folkwell finally made the call. The Philippines – home to crystal clear waters, pumping reef breaks and in this case, 7-10 foot of predicted swell from a cooperative direction equipped with friendly offshore winds. A new destination to explore and a new culture to encapsulate and embrace.
It all sounded like a dream. One minute hanging on the outer skirts of Byron Bay, the next, en route to Cloud 9 and its surrounding areas. However, it wasn’t long until the bubble burst, and the realisation that nature had taken the reigns with her own plans kicked in. The excitement of what was declared to be the perfect expedition came to a swift holt when a powerful category 1 typhoon, named Vinta, formed off the county’s southern coastline.
What came next was truly the opposite of clockwork. Paradise one day, disaster zone the next.
The idea of endless days in the sunshine finding shelter in perfect barrels, gone as Vinta raged through with wrath and destruction. Amongst the flash flooding and landslides, she also brought onshore gusts up to 130km per hour and rough seas that were, at the time, seen to be ‘unsurfable’….. or so we thought.
Take the plunge into the abyss and join Torren Martyn on the island of Siargao in search of unridden, sheltered set ups, while getting a stern lesson in storm etiquette. Welcome to ‘Dear Vinta.’