2:55 is too early to get up for a surf. Maybe if you've got an international flight to catch or a transcontinental drive to do it's acceptable, but for a regulation run down the coast it's far too early for sensible people.
Nevertheless that's what time I set the alarm before going to sleep last night .
Less than five hours of patchy sleep later the alarm sounded initiating a long line of actions that led down the South Coast of NSW. Breakfast, coffee, quick drive, car shuffle, board pack, highway. And then at the other end of the highway, a quick walk through the bush to the reef at the other side.
But before the walk began we rocked up at the carpark half-hoping we'd be the only car in sight. Not a chance! The sun wasn't yet a smudge on the horizon and I counted 12 empty cars. What's that, 20 surfers? More..?
We quickly changed and hurried over the headland...
The surf was as crowded as we expected yet not quite as large or as consistent as we hoped. Catching a wave - a solo, uninterrupted wave free of drop-ins - was no easy feat. Long lulls wiped the slate clean so when the next set approached priority and next in line meant nothing. It was a barely workable free for all. No place for manners or slow wits.
The crowd grumbled. "I've been surfing this place since I was 14-years-old and boogie boards weren't invented," said old mate resenting the invasion. While a teenage lid referred loudly to the 'Husky Boys' broadcasting his proximate local status.
Yeah, well fuck all of that. Fuck how long you've been surfing there and fuck how close you live to the wave. Real commitment is getting up at 2:55 and drinking cold coffee to surf halfway waves with a crew of thirty and more coming over the hill.
What I can't understand Stu, is why didn't you set the alarm for 3:00?
Very familiar story Stu, but never again is a long time. I've been caught many times as you describe and now I still go early, sometimes as early as you today, but never on days called on this site or elsewhere as "it will be pumping". They are the days to avoid in my book. Rather the day before or after or later in the week are generally epic. :)
I thought 3:00 would be pushing it so I gave myself just a few more minutes leeway. Clever thinking, eh? Yet I almost stuffed it right up as I originally set the alarm for 3:00 then changed the minutes back to :55 thinking the hours would change automatically. My mates would've been none too impressed waiting till 3:55 for me to get up.
That near miss had me lying in bed worried about what else I might've forgotten or overlooked.
No-one here called it pumping. In fact, I thought it was a fairly unheralded swell, perhaps because it came on the back of a pumping weekend. Also, the wind was a flukey easterly and not a classic NE needed for that joint.
But yeah, never again...till next time.
Did a similar mission 2 years ago to the same place, in the dark, Monday morning with a bigger swell opening up way more options.
Slept overnight in the carpark with no one else around thinking I was going to score it uncrowded.
Half hour before first light the first car load of teenage boogers rock up and then it was a procession from then on. Head torches fading into the bush one after the other amounted to 30 people on the rock shelf before sunup.
I could not believe the amount of people and with the swell maxing a little too big for the reef, 6-8ft, we quickly left and went a bit further down the coast to surf a fatter left hander off the end of an island.
I was nearly in on the trip this morning, but after just arriving home from 9 days gorging myself in more remote landscapes I gave it a miss.
Glad I did and I will never again think about going to this place, it's gone!
@ Stu, that's true it wasn't meant to be epic up your way but locally for me the weekend was meant to be smoking. I did my sanity saver weekend thing and got the mid-lengther out and walked a couple of kms into an okay sort of reef. Scored as many as I wanted but it wasn't epic, direction was slightly off. But today, buggered after 3 hours of constant paddling at an ole reliable reef and wave after wave. Just 2 others out!
Bit similar to Floyd on Sunday AM, all reefs pumping, got to carpark pre-dawn expecting a mosh pit of 'flounder' in the lineup already - not so. 2 guys decide not to go out @ main peak, and divert from jump-off rock to the rivermouth. Leaving me walking to the jump-off with another young bloke , quick exchange of pleasantries & good fortune for us - looks like just the 2 of us. Anyway , jump & paddle, young guy goes to middle reef leaving me to paddle into 1st 3 smokers of the session on me pat malone!!!!.Very stoked & suprised!! but got out not long after 5th wave as 'the masses' were now on it like rash on a shoreleave sailor.
Much thanks to Floyd and Singken! Word of you fellas scoring has improved my foul mood no end.
Hopefully I can repay it in kind one day.
Stu you can get it uncrowded at that wave, only at night :) but due to the winds usually changing nw or sw at night, its not always worth it. Also the sharks. I was night surfing there on morning at around 3-30 4am by myself when I paddled back out I saw a fin about 15 inches high cruising past only 6-7 metres away, hoping it was a dolphin but it didn't go down and started coming at me.
Only did it once more after that and felt so spooked I haven't night surfed there since.
It is a perfect wave for night surfing besides the wind and sharks, just as in so predictable and easy to sit in the right spot with no rip.
Had it with my brother 2 days last year around chest high no one turned up for hours (10.30am)..rare even for that size.3 came from Sydney cbd but they weren't greedy and took time paddling out, fun times surfs like that when its most often packed.
Such a gem of a setup. even the 1/2 footers are fun for a kneeboard or bodysurf through the shallow end bowl.
If I'm thinking of the right place had a nice experience with it this summer just gone. Drove down from the North Coast in January to have a look around. Drove into the spot to generally check out the area and have a walk around as I thought it'd be flat. Took the board (just incase) and the 8 month pregnant misses for a stroll through the bush at about 45 deg (remember the shoalhaven bushfires in Jan??) to find that not only was it working but it was pumping 4-5 foot and howling offshore (The 30 cars in the carpark was a bit of a give away).........It was mega low tide and there were about 30 + lids on it with about 2 standups....in about an hour i saw the standups get 1 wave each and both of them got hung up by the offshore wind and pitched. By now my spirits were low thinking there's no chance I'll be able to snavlle a couple from the 30 strong pack of boogedy boarders. All of a sudden there was a bit of a shift change (maybe the head sheep decided to go in?) and there was only 4 guys out......ended up getting about an hour of the place with like this before my flippery friends returned. All in all stoked to get to experience it
So much for never again. Stories like that will see me rolling the dice down the highway sometime in the future. It's a great wave, glad to hear you got a taste of it Staitey.
Yeah just one of those lucky days I guess. Such a magic coastline, I guess we all want what we don't have in our neck of the woods (my case reefs). I went in possibly the worst time and had a ball but would love to explore that coastline again sometime in autumn or winter.