I love a little adventure, and yesterday it was exhausting fun as the back end of one of the bigger swells to hit our coast recently did its thing up and down the beaches and reefs of Vicco.
Saturday was absolutely massive with Maurice Cole telling me, as I drove down yesterday, that it was as relentless as he has ever seen it, and ten to twelve feet, with maybe fifteen foot sets.
Now Maurice is one of the great under callers (in my opinion) so I knew it was effing big and I was due for a bit of the same when I arrived.
The swell? Well if it'd dropped it must have been HUUUUUGE on Saturday as big lines thumped down and after a quick piccie to record the action, one only as the camera battery pooped out, and the pic is NOT a set, I suited up and tried to figure a way out.
The tide being lowish made it doubly hard as Bells when big is murder to get out, as it's all about timing, luck and stamina.
So around to Southside and try to go 'round it. After rock hopping my way under the cliff, all I could see where huge close outs sending spray high in the air 100 metres or so outside, where there used to be a channel.
So back to Centreside, and an attempt to push through.
Within a few minutes of a horribly mistimed paddle, I found myself in front of a closing wall and already just 25 metres the Bells side of the Winki Button.
I don't normally throw my board, but I was shagged and also I didn't want to be pushed back too far, so I ditched and dove, hoping to save ground and break through, only to feel that depressing pop as my leggie gave way and I was left drifting towards the dry sucking horrors thumping onto the Button ledge.
Oh dear, I thought. This is not good.
So I pushed seawards and went with the rip, letting the drift take me past the nasty bit and I swam in to Winki, and the walk of shame back up the steps... and back down to Bells, where thankfully some kind soul had propped my board nose first in the sand.
Back to the car to change leggies, and there I discover four other guys who've abandoned any further attempts of getting out the back.
I refused to let it beat me, as I've never been pushed back before and that was my first swim in at Winki.
Next time round I got lucky and found a gap, and soon sat waaaay out the back, so far out that the spray off the backs of the waves at times made it hard to see the shore.
The crowd wasn't many at all, for obvious reasons, and for the next three and half hours it was fun and games, with a wave count of a couple of waves an hour as I tried to find a groove in and get a clean entry.
It's so nice out there on these days, the guys chat and laugh, hoot each other in and the only thing missing is a nice cup of tea.
The pics, the shot I took, and a tighter crop, just for detail's sake.
PS: My God the snooze on the beanbag that afternoon was a doozy.