Oooooooh what an interesting few days.
Sunday I went for a splash with Richard and Satu from the ACO, down for a few days to hook up with Derek Hynd to do an little extra filming for an upcoming Jack McCoy flick. We ended up having a surf together at Winki, my surf being drastically shortened when, coming round the whitewater after barely surviving a late drop on a 4ft 'bomb', a guy blind to my presence, took off, lost it slightly as in back on his heels and struggling to regain balance (he was a good surfer, just a bad moment)... completely cleaned me up. Bleeding nose and my board was rooted, fin flapping, big gauge in rail... so relegated to the viewing platform for a bit.
That night, Derek drove the 700 miles down, and for the next 2 days, for them, it was on. I, unfortunately, had the extreme guilts, so spent that day and the next morning on the phone trying to drum up some work as I'd just paid the kids school fees, looked at the bank balance and freaked.
Fortunately I scored some work art directing a Honda shoot, so later I belted down for a quick'un in the afternoon of Tuesday to be greeted by perfect 4-6ft Bells.
I was only able to stay for a short surf but I can say that Derek is getting better and better, and Richard is is getting very very good too on the finless. I mistook him for Derek on one wave, only to have Derek catch the following one and blow my mind. Believe me finless is legit... fast, fluid, very different and it's own kind of extreme.
It is beautiful to watch.
Yesterday, booked to do the photo shoot, I headed out at 5.45 in the morning, for a two hour drive out to the west, the wind getting stronger and stronger, to a dormant volcano top location at a place called Red Rocks.
Our timing was exquisite.
Picture the Perfect Storm, a confluence of two weather systems, and we had, on our little patch of bare hill, 160kmh winds as we tried to shoot a car. First a monumental dust storm tracked in from the north, and then, as the system moved around us, the winds tracked through the north west,and through to west, bringing rain, lightening and thunder. The wind didn't abate.
Victoria and Tasmania got trashed.
One inch waves in my coffee as the wind blowing over the top sucked all the coffee out. The original storm in a teacup.
I even peed on my face. (Mmmmm.... salty!)
The drive home, it rained red mud as the water mixed with the dust storm. Galvanised iron sheets flew across the road in front of me. Powerlines down, trees uprooted. It truly was all on.
Down the coast it was flat as the system blew north (strong offshore) through most of the day... only for this morning to dawn on the biggest Bells, I'm told, since 1981. I spoke to Maurice Cole this afternoon, and he called it 10-12, maybe 15 feet on a set or two. For him to call that it was pretty damn big as he is a master of understatement.
And down at Cape Sorrell, on Tasmania's North West corner, the buoys touched 17 metres.
Attached is a bit of video of what it was like up there. We got the shot by the way.