Up the coast

Sunday 18th, September 2016

I spent the night up the coast at J’s. It’s 10am and we’ve been delaying going in the water, thinking about going for a skate but the rain kinda forces us to get in the water. His uncle just went out, there are only 2 guys out and conditions seem to only get better with the wind slowly dropping off (thank you rain!).

After a 10min paddle to the take-off zone, it’s only J, his uncle, a mate of his uncle and myself, floating in clear water above algae covered boulders. There are about 10 divers swimming around that morning, spearfishing not far from us. We walked past one who was going in when we walked down the beach, he was carrying about half a dozen good sized red morwongs on his back…I can only imagine the amount of fish blood that is currently in the water, with the overcast sky and the light rain falling down…not great.
Within minutes of us two paddling out, a set comes. J catches the first wave, his uncle catches the 2nd one, and as I look at him taking off on a beautiful clean wall, the 3rd and last wave of the set shows up. I usually like to grab a small to medium size wave at first as a warm up…but this time, no choice, it’s probably the biggest wave of the set and I’m the last one left on the peak. I still can’t quite figure out the reef and how the waves break on it but I put my head down and start paddling. It was probably the longest and best left-hander I surfed these past few months. As I cut back a 3rd time, I see J paddling back out, looking at me. It’s always a bit special when you know you’re on a good wave and your mate is looking at you “yeeewing” from the channel.

For the next hour or so, it is a rinse and repeat of the first 5 minutes out. The light wind is cleaning up any imperfection on the waves and sets keep rolling through…and it’s still only 4 of us. From a Sydney-sider perspective, it’s mind-blowing to have such good surf conditions and no one out.

It was my first surf with J’s uncle (and he got stung by a jellyfish while duck-diving a set at the same spot the day before, his face is still swollen) and after hearing so much about him, I felt privileged to be allowed to surf his break. I’ll probably forever remember the bottom turns he was doing while I was paddling back out, with his left hand skimming the surface of the wave, his winter cap on and his big jellyfish scar running along his face, looking at the section he is about to carve into.