When the Coronavirus shut the whole world down in 2020, a lot of people found themselves stuck somewhere. Whether they were stuck at home or stuck in a foreign country, traveling was just not possible. Brisa Hennessy found herself isolated in a particularly perfect place, though: Namotu, Fiji.
Brisa Hennessy has what one could call a very good life. Sure, she must have issues just like the rest of us, but from an outsider’s perspective, Brisa Hennessy is living inside one of our dreams. She was born and raised in Costa Rica for the first nine years of her life. “It’s where I found my love for surfing,” she says, “and it’s kind of one of my homes.” Now, she lives part-time on Namotu Island in Fiji, which ain’t a bad place. She’s aware of just how great it is, too. “I think Namotu is one of the most special places on the planet. It’s a miracle and a mystery, really, of how diverse and how many different waves there are in just this small area. It’s pretty endless.”
She was on Namotu with her parents and a small group of locals when the Coronavirus hit, and when Cloudbreak went off, Brisa was in the right place at the right time. No tourists, and perfect Cloudbreak, is likely going to be a once in a lifetime thing, so she had no other choice but to face her fears with regards to big surf.
“Fear is uncomfortable. But I learnt [at Cloudbreak] that when you accept it’s real, it’s there, you’re willing to embrace it,” she says. “You either stay uncomfortable or you grow.”