We lived in a cottage in a massive private tropical garden on the edge of the lagoon that feeds Teauhpoo. The garden is hidden behind 8 foot high walls. They had a guard dog. It’s called “IT” and Its owner said it would attack you AND eat you if you looked into Its eyes and challenged IT. So we didn’t do that.
They also had chickens and roosters running free. I chased them with my drone but they just bolted for the jungle.
At the end of the garden was the lagoon that leads to Teauhpoo. I anchored my tinny out there. We rented the boat from Matahai Drollet and his sister. They were so helpful getting us set up.
Matahai is one of the best surfers at Teauhpoo and he is a Hurley team rider. He took me out on his jet ski to watch and taught me some tactics on how to read the wave. Matahai also called me into waves in my first real scary session. I learnt about the west bowl and how to start reading it. I got some amazing waves and got barrelled but it was probably only in my last session after a month that I started to get better.
I also got cleaned up within what felt like an inch of my life. Everyone scrambles for the horizon and when you are behind the pack bolting for a shoulder you know you are done. This was my turn and I got it not on the head but about a metre in front of me. I had been washed through the lagoon before but this was new. A boat from the channel went over the falls on that wave. Two people fell out and lost all their stuff.
Matahai also taught me how to drive his boat. It’s a 12 foot tinny with an outboard engine. He showed me all the tricks from starting it to the reef formations and how the boat markers work for reef navigation.
I loved cruising the reefs and surfing the passes. We watched dolphins, turtles and spotted some scary big sharks. You need to wear shoes or “slippers” in the water when you are getting the boat ready because they have stone fish which are camouflaged. If you stand on one, the poison can kill you.
I became good friends with Eimeo. Eimeo is French, he is two years older than me and is also home schooling with his family. We surfed most days with his Dad who also filmed us.
My sister surfed the Teauhpoo River mouth every day. It is the sickest 1 foot cobblestone set up just like a mini right hand Trestles. All the local kids are out. They ride anything from boogie boards to kayaks and old snapped boards that pros have left behind. It’s a collection of locals, French and some Aussies who now live in Tahiti. All the kids have heaps of fun. Freezing fresh water comes from the volcanoes down through the river. The fresh water kills the coral reef which makes the natural passes we surf.
I surfed the river mouth a few times. Then one day it was about 2-3 foot and it is just so rippable. Maybe three or four fast turns. But I also destroyed a board on a finish turn on the cobblestone end section. The next day the swell hit and shifted the whole cobblestone bank.