5.11.07

Noel

Got my ass handed to me. What else can I say? I mean I can’t pretend that I’m something I’m not. I’m an average surfer who gets out as often as possible. And on the rare big stormy days, although I might have the strength and skill to make it out to the line-up, don’t mean I can make the drop.

Noel is come and gone. There are still people in the province without power and many old trees lost their lives. I called the buoy yesterday morning while the winds and rain were still raging. The electronic man on the receiver claimed that maximum wave height was 14 meters and the significant was 6. For those who don’t speak metric this translates to 45 and 20 feet respectively. Damn! I read on a NE weather site that these were the largest waves on record since 1984.



The photos here are from a place the can hold a big wave (sorry there’s no surfers there to prove my point {point proven?}). Yesterday was no exception. I stood on the bluff and watched it for a long time. Two guys decided to make the paddle out. They drifted 100 yards before they made it out past the impact zone. Then they had to make the hell paddle back to the shifty take off and hope that a clean-up set didn’t ruin their hard labour. These cats were good surfers –taking off on easily double overhead waves with more sections than ECON 1101.



After watching them for a while and realizing that I probably couldn’t manage it, I went up the road a ways to see what was slamin at another famous wave. The bay, which is normally too deep to show any swell, was at least a couple of feet overhead. The waves lumbered in the depths, giving you a false feeling that you could paddle in and take off like normal. But they lumbered on too long and it was impossible to paddle in unless you sat deep inside. The downside to this of course was that once the wave jacked enough to catch it you had to be on your feet like Bruce Lee and heading straight down for the big bottom turn around the section. All the while you’re paddling like hell to avoid drifting to Newfoundland.



This is getting long I know.

The only wave I tried to take off on was like an accident. I got stuck in the lip, pitched violently to the flats and submerged for what seemed like forever. We’ve all been in this situation before. You either panic or you try to think about having a coffee with your grandmother. Either way you just gotta wait it out.

So I didn’t actually ride a wave on Sunday (I heard today was good, had to work though and 4:30 sunset sucks). But I did get to experience the mother Atlantic that so few people get to know from such a close perspective as surfers do -in her heaving and drifting fits . This is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of surfing. You are submerged in nature. You bounce and flow with her movements. You cannot fight her because she is so much bigger. I'm grateful to have the physical and economic fortune to experience life in such a unique way.

9 comments:

c. said...

thanks for sharing r., your passage made me feel like i was there.
see you this weekend.

Tadeo Baldiri said...

Tremendo espectáculo del que has sido espectador de primera fila.
El sentimiento de no ser más que un afortunado grano de arena llego hasta estos lares.

ras said...

gracias primo por el comentario.

as to you my dear doctor, perhaps you'll get lucky for some nasty chop this weekend.

Gazelle said...

I love to witness the arrival of a big swell, even if it's too big to be ridden successfully. Thanks for the post and photos...

Chum said...

Great description, great photos. I feel like we are Hold Down Brothers now...

Foulweather... said...

Nice Ras, days like that are all training and experience right? Its amazing to see the ocean behave like that once in awhile even if it denies you, which is quite frequently for me in winter in the PNW.

Dub said...

Yo Ras, Tropo swell? Or one of those combo tropo NorEasters?

Musta been nice to see some size cause I know it been a lackluster year tropo wise. Otherwise would of gone back to see Mom and Dad in Rhode Island for some point break action with my cousins. One of which has done several trips up your way and says it's amazing. More points and less heads. I plan on checking it out soon.

peace-

Mick said...

Great post Ras..
The beatings are all part of the fun..

writer said...

"You either panic or you try to think about having a coffee with your grandmother."

Ha, best line while in the washing machine, ever.