I had just received a new water housing for my digital camera, so on the first clean swell down at Teahupo’o [in Tahiti] I called my friend Manoa Drollet to test it out. The conditions were not exceptional for above-surface photography, but the clarity of the water and the glassy conditions made for some incredible underwater imagery. It was the first swell of the season, and we had the lineup to ourselves.
Manoa, who is always interested in the photography and filming side of things, was checking out the shots on the camera screen inside the housing as the session unfolded. I managed to get him amped on doing some duck dives or inventive moves whenever he passed by me, heading back out to the lineup. Near the end of the session, Manoa slotted into a deep tube right in front of me. In his flawless backhand style, he grabbed the rail and put his hand and body in the face of the wave to slow himself down in order to go even deeper. I had just enough time to dive under, reposition myself, and click off a few shots while he zoomed past. His hand came within a few centimeters of the camera, as if he was waving to me from the other side of the wall of water. Manoa was encapsulated yet again in his favourite wave. As is often the case, the session ended at the local snack bar over a big plate of fresh sashimi while checking out all the shots.
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