Everything was on track until 2pm today. I was about to head out the door, a final shopping list in my pocket, to stock up my car so I could drive down the coast in the morning. A short phone call changed those plans…
Noel. “Hey man, what are you up to? Not much? Yeah, the wind’s been offshore for the past couple of hours. Keen for Straddie?
I put my shopping list down, packed my gear and went to the Spit. The water in the Seaway was cool as we paddled across, a light westerly breeze smoothing the conditions. The first glimpse of waves through the trees on the other side didn’t give us much hope, but it wasn’t long before a set came and we were jogging along the beach watching spitting barrels in the afternoon gloom.
Three hours of surfing later, the sun had gone down and we were still floating in the oily grey ocean as clean waves rolled past. Three of the waves I had after sunset were up there with my best so far this year; classic, spitting Straddie barrels. I’ve not had much luck in the wave department this year, so to score on my last afternoon on the Coast was a great surprise. The only slight blemish on the afternoon was an incessant chorus of You Shook Me All Night Long in my head – a five hour jam session last night was great fun, but the riffs we belted out have been indelibly stamped on my brain ever since.
We weren’t anticipating a fun paddle back (after dark, with murky water in a rivermouth filled with frolicking baitfish and who knows what else). A stroke of luck saw a couple of guys on a jetski call out to offer us a lift – score one, human decency! Then, a nasty twist: in our haste scrambling down the rocks, Noel slid across a particularly slippery section and cut his foot badly. It looks like it’ll need stitches, but fingers crossed he’s back in the water quickly.
The best laid plans can be disrupted so easily. For me, though, trading an afternoon of preparation for an afternoon of pumping waves is something I’ll take any day of the week!