I wish I could break this one day of waves a week cycle. God I hate being responsible.
This week's serve was again dished up at Bells, which after being a tad quiet is awakening again with a succession of reasonably good days. My pull of the slot machine delivered a mixed bag as we had five or six seasons in a day. Sun, rain, lightening, thunder, off and onshore, cold, and well... cold.
Rich and I headed down at around 7am, with the ritual our usual of restacking the boards as I pile my selection on top of his Golf, then aim for Cafe Racer, on the St Kilda foreshore.
A nice sunrise so I snap the lighthouse out the front on a flat and disconcertingly onshore bay.
Permanently and purposefully inhabited by lycra clad lads and lasses getting their caffeine hit before heading down the road, Racer is a great pre-drive pit stop. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in kevlar peddling machines out the front, it's denizens usually well heeled bike nuts with the odd Tour de France nutter turning up occasionally. Amongst the regulars are some celebrity types, Eric Bana of Black Hawk Down, the Hulk and Troy fame being one.
As for Rich and I, at least when we go in they say "surfing again today boys?". Of course they flatter us. Boys? The last part of me that deserved the boy badge flaked off years ago.
Still they do a mean strawberry jam croissant and that and the coffee keeps me happy until I get to the caffeine inspired toilet stop once I hit the beach.
Oh to be old.
Then the drive down where we catch up on life and the kids, which usually follows the route of how well his little Louis has been doing, followed by me telling of how I've just bailed Tomas out of the lockup again and that he's being allowed off his chain at home every second Thursday. On reaching the Bells car park I spot Maurice Cole and dear Jack Finlay chatting away right next to the parking spot we aimed at. We started having a laugh with them, Maurice gives me the board I rode last week and says take it out again, so I don't argue. Then I spot my mate Morgan, who's just getting out of the water. More yapping. Just as Morgan exits stage left Bruce drives up. Bruce I met in Hossegor in France back in '78 and now he runs a landscaping business in Torquay, has for years, and lives half a mile, half his luck, from Bells.
Eventually I got to paddle out.
Good waves with a rising tide, so I headed across to Rincon and managed a few long runs through the bowl before my toes froze off. I need some new booties. Naturally by the end of the session I'd achieved waist down paralysis and looked a real goose on my last wave so I started to paddled in.
To top things off a thunderstorm hit, and I sat with a rather concerned look on my face as lightening pounded across the sky above, rain... rained down on us but thankfully no bolts touched the waves to par boil us as we froze.
A catch up bacon and eggs in Torquay with another old mate who I spotted in the line up and it was back home and over the bridge to a storm shrouded Melbourne.
The bean bag was very comfy that afternoon.