Ice blue barrels on a windblown island - photos
On Sunday night Harry Bryant, Jackson Baker, Joe van Dijk, and photographer Ed Sloane took off from Barwon Heads airstrip, their duel prop Cessna turned hard right after takeoff and pointed its nose due south.
Swellnet, Ed, and Rip Curl planned the trip late last week when it became clear a Southern Ocean storm would deliver the largest swell of the season to Victoria and Tasmania. Wave heights in excess of 20 feet were registering on the charts as the swell aligned itself and took aim at Australia's exposed south-east coast.
While planning for the trip, wave heights weren't the only numbers the crew paid attention to. They couldn't ignore the temperature, they couldn't ignore the wind...
Just before dark the Cessna came in sideways on the small island airstrip, a 90 km/h crosswind making it a white knuckle ride for pilot and punters.
Then on Monday, they awoke to the coldest day on the island in living memory. Snow fell to the high tide mark, the wind chill temperature was -7.4 at sunrise, and it didn't get above zero till well after midday.
Oh but the waves! Turning their back on the maelstrom they headed east to where 20 feet of groundswell transformed into attenuated vectors of perfection breaking back into the now-offshore wind. A kilometre of teepees! And the lads enjoyed ice blue barrels for as long as their extremities would allow.
Click the pics for a full screen gallery, and stay tuned for more photos on Swellnet.