My first post so here goes…..
I glanced at the iconic WOTD photo on 04/03/2019 (‘Driving in to a fresh new week’ by Andrew Shield) and thought that looks great, been there done that, move on. However for some reason I stopped and stared into it and before you could say ‘get back to work’ my mind had gone to that place and the memory bank kicked into life.
The images come back…..dust, white metal and gravel roads / tracks, errant emus, the sound of the wind in the mallee and casuarina trees, blue water, purple water, off shore winds, no swell, too much swell, heat, huge dolphins, march flies and the odd big brown snake. After the long drive in dropping down a gear to take the right angle corner by the shop and then up the hill to where the photo was taken. Always had so much anticipation and dare I say apprehension at times as the crest approached.
Looking back I didn’t surf that break too often as we were generally at other ones that worked in similar conditions so won’t be making any claims about this one or anywhere else for that matter, but one particular session does come to mind if you allow me the indulgence…..
An Easter weekend around the mid 80s and old mate (R.I.P.) and I were doing our thing camping out of the car. Plenty of swell but wind too strong and somewhat side shore. We figured it would sort itself out early afternoon so kept a low profile loitering around the area and avoiding the siren call of the peace pipe. As if according to our plan the swell held, the wind backed off enough and swung around to the right quarter. With a true offshore on it the wave got to its full height and was bigger than we both expected but hell, that’s what we had been waiting for and we had it to ourselves. I do remember a bit of a tremor in my hand as I waxed up and then it was time to go.
With heart rates up we were over the reef and out the back. Much water movement and big boils (?) from memory. White water on cliffs and islands. It took a little while but we picked up a few. Seemed like never ending drops and drawn out bottom turns with a just manageable wind blowing up the face and high speed chattering under the board. Off the bottom and turn into the express lane for the run to the end. Airborne pull outs before the reef. Yelling and laughing like idiots we managed a few good ones each plus the odd mishap though can’t remember the details of those (ha ha).
At this point one of us happened to look at the cliff top and there was maybe 20 people up there watching, what a freak out. Before long some of the ‘crowd’ descended and the spell got broken. We had a couple more and headed in well satisfied and then off to our bolt hole in the bush for food and refreshments.
I don’t think I’ve gilded the lily here and generally don’t live in the past so odd that all this has come out, let alone posted. It must be that place. Never take anything for granted and care for what you are given.
Thanks to Andrew and Swellnet for the photo but turns out I’ve got my own film and soundtrack.