The life of a surfer revolves around opposites. We pore over forecasts and swell charts looking for that perfect combination of swell and wind running up against each other. On Sunday, Pat and I woke to find a light westerly breeze brushing the tops off a romping easterly swell.
After watching a set stomp its way from the outer bar all the way through to close out the bay in town, we ruled out the beachbreaks. A quick drive down to the nearest pointbreak revealed some rather raw energy steaming down past the rocks, on both sides of the headland.
Pat cajoled me into paddling out on the back beach. Our plan was to drift around the top of the point once we were out; we weren’t so keen to have a crack at the paddle on the point side due to a heaving, dry ledge a little way along from the launching spot.
We weighed our options and started the paddle. Pat suck quite close to the plan and managed to catch a little rip out the back without too much fuss. I strayed out of the rip and copped ten minutes of sets on the head, seemingly unable to move off the bank I was trapped inside. I gave up and walked back up the headland to take some pictures. As I was hiking up the track, I saw another punter having a go at getting out on the point side. He mistimed the paddle and was getting swept steadily towards the death zone in the picture above. He was just about on the rocks when a break in the waves gave him a respite – I thought I was going to see him get beaten to a pulp!
Pat snagged a couple of lefts on the back beach and called it a session. It was a shame that the swell was just a touch too big to be working properly – the medium sized ones were tantalisingly good.
We checked a few spots on our way back north; there were some impressive looking bombs breaking just about everywhere, but we settled on a mellow afternoon session at Byron to round out the weekend.
With that – tired, salty and cheerful – we drove home, listening to JJJ’s hottest 100 countdown, wearily speculating on songs which could be placing well. For me, the best thing about the trip was what we learned about the area – next time we’ll know what sort of conditions to look for!