Tahitians are a part of the ocean and the ocean is part of Tahitians. If it’s wet, they will swim in it, surf on it, paddle over it or sail on it. In spite of threatening clouds and even a few downpours this morning, local residents were out on the water. Canoeing is a national sport. Nearly every town in the islands has a team or club and it is always possible to find someone canoeing for practice or recreation…sometimes alone, sometimes in tandem, sometimes as a team, and sometimes with outriggers. Kids learn to surf at a young age here. I met a young guy of 4 going on 5 next week who has already been surfing out there the big guys catch the gnarly surf beyond the reef. Teahupo’o is known for its waves. Every few years they get massive ones and Billabong holds a world pro surfing contest here in August. Also in August the whales migrate by here. You can see them from shore and it is possible to swim with them. Yesterday, in a downpour one young guy had a boogie board and was skimming across a puddle in the middle of the road and enjoying himself immensely to the delight of this mates who were lined up to take their turn. Today, I woke to some guys out on the lagoon between the shore and the reef paddling in their canoes. I walked down to Teahupo’o’s beach in a drizzle. There were a bunch of girls and boys surfing. They were doing quite amazing twists and turns…at least to my eyes. I took some photos of them for them. At one point while taking photos I realized that my back was wet. When I turned around to see what was causing it…this is what I met.