Indonesian Island Hopping w/ the Kwiecinski Sisters, Michaela Partin, and Fiona Mullen

February 14, 2017 • Photos

Starting to feel those February blues? Dreading the late onset of the 2017 winter — more snow in the last two weeks than in the last two months and Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that we’d enjoy six more weeks of winter? New Jersey’s Casey and Jessica Kwiecinski have the antidote. The twin sisters spent significant time island hopping in Indonesia last fall, meeting up with fellow Garden State adventurer Fiona Mullen and Central Florida native Michaela Partin along the way. And right now, when the sky is gray and the snow is still stuck to the ground and your 5/4/3 never actually dries in between sessions, you have to admit: these kinds of waves breaking in those kinds of waters look awful enticing. Read on for more from Casey…

bali, kwiecinski sisters, k-twins

Photo: Fiona Mullen

“Jessica and I were cruising in Bali with my cousin Ryan Donnelly for a few months this fall, and Fiona Mullen came out to visit,”Casey Kwiecinski says. “We decided to escape the hectic roads and waves and take a boat over to a different island with our friend Michaela Partin from Florida. We got there and were instantly relieved by how small this island was — we were able to walk everywhere and it was nice to hop off the bikes for a few days.”

Photo: Fiona Mullen

“The first day we paddled out had  pretty dismal surf,” Casey said. “All the locals told us, ‘You should’ve been here three hours ago, it was pumping!” and we just shook our heads and laughed, wondering how that was possible when it was waist-high and windy at the moment. So the next day we paddled out three hours earlier then the previous day, hoping to find perfect surf. Again, we got out there and it wasn’t anything special. After a few sessions of the same thing, getting skunked and having the locals say ‘You just missed it!’ we were over it. We couldn’t figure out when this wave was good. It was dead flat part of the day and super fun at other parts.”

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

“There was a dock floating right to the side of the break and one morning we met a local boat owner. He swore the waves would be good that day so there was no way we were going to miss out again. We took the boat out with a packed lunch, multiple boards, and camera gear. We posted up on this dock in the middle of the ocean at sunrise and just waited. The ocean was a lake, but we were going to wait all day if we had to. We took naps, shared laughs, swam in crystal-clear water, jumped off the dock, played card games, and just killed time. In the early afternoon, we all started to lose hope when a small wave suddenly rolled in. We sat watching it as each set got bigger. When it started to look fun, we paddled over and had the absolute best time.”

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

“We did the same thing for the next few days, posting up on this random dock and just waiting. And just like the locals said it would, it always got fun if you had the right timing. We made sure every day we didn’t miss the window of waves. We spent four full days on this dock, setting up camp and making it our home. We had water, food, waves, and good company — life never felt as simple as it did in that moment. Patience is key, and we learned that in those four days. Sometimes we get caught up in surf media, and with all the technology these days we’re so spoiled with reports. There are a ton of websites, cameras, and reports telling you when to surf and where. There’s Snapchat and Instagram all informing us when it’s good. But those four days on the dock we were on our own: no social media, no reports, no surf cams. Just our eyes and our minds. We lived simply but happily.”

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

island hop

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

Photo: Fiona Mullen

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