Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well now I might just stay away from the old poetry given the limited response. Beware the muse lurking in the bushes.

Still, my Dad liked it.

I had a pretty interesting weekend surfwise. Lured down south by my mate Rod (visit his site listed at left) I was lucky enough to be gifted with a pretty special few days.

Rod, Hazel, Tris, Marcus and Ben live at Port Campbell, an isolated fishing hamlet famous for the Twelve Apostles, and to us folks of the surfing persuasion, waves of the mighty and fine variety. This weekend we got both.

A late run down on Saturday meant no waves then but in the morning, after a lazy start, we headed off to surf a spot that is as famous for it's entry and exit as for the wave itself. Entry, via a 10 odd foot jump into a nook in the rocks, exit via two body sized caves that you attempt to crawl into while dodging the sets. The wave is a serious double up take off followed by a fast hollow wall. Heaps of power and fun.

Unfortunately, a bit crossed up as far as swell direction goes, and hard to find the right one, but I got one screamer, really happy, and with Joey filming from the cliff top, I thought 'you bloody beauty... a good one on film.' When I looked up at the end of the ride I realised the dear boy was gazing at the break across the channel through the zoom, and when I later saw the footage, he managed to get me paddling back after the ride. Those rides he did film confirmed my opinion of myself as a doddering old fool. Young Marcus, however, was seen to rip it to bits.

Next day though,I got up early and headed out for an early surf check.

On leaving Rod's there is a spot where you can check the bombies from the road as you drive, and as I rubbernecked down the road I noticed a fair amount of action.

Checked the obvious spot when this is the case and was greeted with a raging 10-12ft right, barreling off it's nut and no one out.

One guy drives up and begins to suit up and I dive back into the car and head back to get my 'other' board, since this needs more than a six two.

Driving back I start to question my motives... is this for fun, why are you doing this, should you do this, the last time you surfed here you had a two wave hold down, busted a board the time before that, it's a kilometre swim back to shore, there's effing big sharks all along this coast... blah bah blah.


I love this wave. Being out there, the cliffs, the sheer majesty as one of these things thunders's why I surf. One or two, a couple on the head, it's such a blast.

Needless to say my answer to self was 'yes, it's for fun, I do it for fun, yes I should, and shite there's only one guy out."

So down the track, get to the jump of spot, it's low tide and about 15 ft down to the barely covered rocks.

To get in you jump when a wave comes through, then paddle like hell. It's low tide and it looks really shallow and for the first time I'm shitting myself as there's far less water that usual. comes a set wave, out I go...(and... you've got to jump between a couple of rocks, it's a bit deeper there, and fall shallow).... hit the water and bang, my hand hits a rock on the way down but only sore for a minute or two, better hand than head, and out I go.

Four hundred yard paddle around and out to the lineup.

My old friend Russ (the break's most passionate surfer... he'll be out there onshore and what he calls fifteen but it's really bloody twenty), another local, and me.

Now I was feeling a bit tentative, but the first one I got was a bloody screamer, super long fast ride, and the 8'10 felt pretty good. Naturally I thought 'this is alright!' and shortly after paddled for another, stood up early and this time the thought was 'fuck this isn't looking too flash' as I was held for a moment in the lip, but leaned into a now sheer face... hoping for the best. An absolutely killer drop, and a couple hundred yards later I pulled out, didn't really remember the ride, but I smiled as I settled on to the board in front of another mate Richard, who'd just jumped in.

As it turned out those were my two best... Typically I got eaten a couple of times on take off sliding most of the way down the face as I watched the lip arc over me, and got lucky duck diving the 8'10 (it ain't easy) through a very big wave only to find a much bigger one about to get the lot of us. No one around me and no chance to get through so I turfed the board to the side and dove, looking up to see where the lip might land. It kaboomed just land side of me, the bounce somehow missed the board so minimal pull, and we both popped up without too much drama.

A few more reasonable ones, then I started to get tired and slower, so one more, then paddled across to the bombie on the other side of the channel and in. Sat out where I thought the take off might be, only to see this huge peak heading my way.

It broke way outside, so I turned thinking I'll snag the whitewater and just head in. Keep in mind I'm about 400 metres out from the cliff line so the free ride is gratefully received. Unfortunately this white water didn't sound, or look, quite right.

It had deep blue bits in it and roared.

My first impression..."this will be interesting" was confirmed as it steamrolled me and the board, end over end, before ripping it away and backing off shortly after. So a little more humbled I dragged myself in a bit further before catching a smaller one through the the inside break, and then on to the beach.

Then the 3 k walk back to the car.

Session time... in the water at 8.30 am. Back to car at 2.30 pm..

The place is an epic from start to finish.

Next day, after taking the kids for a more manageable surf/skate on the way home, I snagged a quick splash at Winki, at the time heavily populated with sickeningly hot pros, amongst them Jordy Smith, who seemed to be trying to alleviate the drought single handedly given the amount of water he was hurling skywards.

Needless to say the density of youthful vigour reminded me of my earlier perception of myself
as a doddering old fool.

Again no pictures so here, instead, is the next trailer from Musica Surfica.


Daniel said...

Every time I watch a Musica Surfica trailer I get more excited to check it out. Great post.

Gaz said...

You had me paddling out there mate! The jump in sounds so much like spots in S.A....... and the big fish too. Sweet session.

23 Breaths said...

great clip

Gazelle said...

I'm with your Dad - I liked the poem, too.

clayfin said...

"deep blue bits" - love it! Liked the poem too, keep it coming.

ras said...

I rememeber a take off and wave like that on the big Island. Had to watch my two friends go while I stayed on the cliff and ate fingernails.

Great story Mick. You put us right there with you.

seamouse said...

You tell a good tale, that's for sure. Sounds like yet another epic session for ol' mick!

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NiegĂ  said...

Barb, if you don't surf you don't belong here (and by what you say it looks like you definitely don't surf).

Great story Mick. We all jumped off the cliff with you!


Ian said...

Hey Eusakadimate,who says who belongs anywhere?!and who cares if she doesn`t surf?Do you-really,in your mind too?then you wouldn`t make so facetious a comment...

Ian said...

evan if she is just ripping the cash and spamming the shite out of us haha.Good on yer son,up the Celts,Euskadi,Navarre!!

Nuno said...