There is something very different about long period swells. On Saturday and into Sunday past we were raked by zephyr groomed lines caressing the reefs. Conditions had fallen into place in a way they rarely do. The power was a level up, with speed to burn, and Bells was beginning to look more like Indo than Vicco.
It was even arguably hollow.
And everyone knew it. The internet drums had been banging away, and it was packed. Everywhere. A couple of 'secret' spots were reeling, but alone a couple of hundred metres out just didn't feel right. to me, much as I would have liked to paddle out and explore.
So Bells it was, with dozens out, but somehow, if you knew how and where, you can find waves.
How I went is sort of irrelevant, as others in the water were providing some fine entertainment. The Gudauskas brothers were doing impossible things, Ross Clarke Jones sat waiting patiently for the two bombs he carved like an angry chef with a six foot blade, and I attempted to pull into a frothy barrel that I was completely crushed by right in front of all of the above and their water photographer Ed Sloane.
My 6'2" MC was largely behaving, but my experiment of smaller fins was not working to plan as I was sliding a little on the larger waves which puzzled me until I checked them pre surf on Sunday and saw I'd not tightened them enough. All three were flopping about in their boxes like drunks in a bar. Once tightened the problem went away, and in the slightly less perfect conditions with half the crowd my three hours was epic, exhausting fun. I ran out of arms for the first time in ages, and actually shined a late afternoon surf.
Still ten hours in the water in two days is not bad for an old coot.
The pics are snaps from the Saturday, lightly overcast skies and empty waves amidst the crowds, and there were bigger waves on offer too. This was not the best of it. True.