When Australian photographer Andrew Shield jumped on Air Asia flight D7 207 out of Coolangatta back on July 5, to shoot guests at Pinnacles on Telo, the long-term forecasts for the Indian Ocean were looking intriguing, but it was far enough out that anything could happen.
All Shieldsy knew back then – as he settled into seat 8D (traveller’s tip, if you’re flying Air Asia, drop some coin to get in the ‘quiet zone’, it’s the best $25 you’ll ever spend) was that waves were on the way.
Now, as August rolls on and Shieldsy scampers home to reset the visa, he’s still faintly traumatised by what he witnessed: “It wasn’t just the biggest Telos I’ve seen, it’s how relentless it was,” he says. “You’d wake up day after day and if it wasn’t falling out of the sky, it was still overhead and pumping. We had a head-high lefthander coming through where normally we’d anchor the boats out the front of the Lodge. It was out of control.”
“Obviously it wasn’t as big as Ulus or further south in the Ments, but it was still mega. A few days were too much for the guests, obviously, but they were happy to go watch the show at the big right.
“We headed down to the South Telos on the tail end of the last swell to check out some spots down there. The crew at Pegasus are firing up some special split trips: five days at Telo Island Lodge or Pinnacles then five days Down South.
“I guess the idea is to give guests access to all the Telos have to offer without having to spend hours on a boat every day. God if you scored at both zones you’d lose count of the joints you’d surf.” Anyway, here’s some pics from a remarkable run of swell. All captions by the photographer, pics courtesy Pegasus Lodges.
We ran this gallery past photographer Shieldsy before posting it and he shot back an email saying: “I just want to say a huge thanks as usual to Pegasus Lodges for putting me up. I’ll be back over ASAP.”