Monday, July 8, 2013

Windward Spirits, II

We finish our stay at the hotel the next day, but explore the island looking for surf first. The spot I envisioned being the perfect playful beach break from one of my day dreams turns out to be a whomping eight foot shore pound with no escape. It's the kind that tweaks your neck, breaks your board and leaves water up your nose for a week. Danielle, Dad, Scott and I decide against surfing it all at once.

We drive our rental car around the bend hoping to find something a little more sheltered and surfable. What we cruise up to is a perfect peeling right that breaks for nearly 300 yards before it tapers off into a channel. It looks like one of the wave drawings I used to peer at over the shoulder of a surf addicted schoolmate in junior high. 

My dad and I paddle out first and Scott takes the camera while Danielle surveys the surroundings. A bus pauses at the stop right behind us and some children run a relay race in a fenced field across the narrow highway, but there is no one out in the water. The Indian Ocean is warm, but super salty. I can feel my eyes getting redder with each duck dive. I've always found tropical waters to be this way, but the scientific reasoning behind it, I couldn't tell you. Dad and I stop paddling once we arrive at the place where we think we saw the waves breaking from land. We won't know for sure, though, until they come back, which is a little daunting. 

The set arrives. It's a 5-6 and flawless. I think my jaw drops into the salt water right then as these foreign waves serenade us, but we are sitting too far in the channel and miss it. Once we adjust our positioning, I catch a wave that runs off without me as the balmy offshore winds waft the liquid salt at my eyes. 

Addressing the issue of the closeout at a point break wave like this is easy enough, though. All you have to do is move closer to the channel where the water is deeper and the waves will stay open longer. It's kind of like having a mechanical dial that allows you to adjust the intensity and speed of the waves you are riding. I love this option because I love a little control over something so unpredictable. Even still, a sneaker set catches us both off guard and I am forced into a back flip with my board clutched desperately between my fingers while duckdiving a wave I could have mistaken for a raging bull. 

And yet, I'm free from the fear and angst that treacherous reef breaks often bring. I feel ready to prove myself out in this new wild blue. These waves have a high demand. They want you to fly fast, they want you to stay low, they try to buck you off. 

I come in on my best ride of the day and takeover camera duty from Scott. The spray from his backside turns pop up unexpectedly behind the wave in front of him like the breath of a whale. He comes in and says "It was like a surf movie out there!"

Being so far from home feels like a test of everything I've learned from surfing before and maybe everything life has taught me, too. 
{the following are screen shots from some video we shot. video to come.}

1. and 2. dad
3. and 4. dev
5. danielle
6. and 7. scott

Trip tale index:


  1. Man, that water is so blue and beautiful! I love the pictures and narrative you provided--it's like listening to your thoughts:)

  2. Loving these posts from your trip. Beautifully flowing.

  3. I know absolutely nothing about surfing but when I read your posts, I feel like I'm right there with you! Love it!

  4. Wowie! I've never surfed but your posts always make me want to try it, but until that can happen I love getting to feel like I'm living vicariously through your water-loving life.


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