Monday, February 3, 2014

A lot of waiting around

As a non-surfer I have never quite understood Peter when he drives up to the beach, gets out the car then watches the waves for 20 mins, what is he watching for?  He tells me it's the shape of the wave, where it's breaking, the consistency of the swell....blah blah blah.  Watch a group of surfers watching the waves anywhere, I think they are waiting for someone to make the decision to 'go in', that way they can see how good it is and decide whether or not to bother.   Get a group together and they can talk each other into or out of it, but that seems to take a good 20 mins.....these days, I take a book and stay in the car until the decision is made about staying or driving another 10 mins down the bay to the next spot and doing the standing all over again!

But for Garrett McNamara the big wave surfer it is a whole other ball game, well it's still surfing, but you get my drift.   For McNamara it is life and death as he decides to ride one of the biggest waves in the world at Nazere.  Making the decision to go in could win the surfer thousands of dollars, it could kill them, it could be the greatest moment of their lives or the end of it.   And on top of that, the water is bloody cold!

 A dawn call at Zon North Canyon where McNamara was scheduled to go in.   We got there and waited, we stood watching the waves, watching the people far out in the distance on the jet skis watching the waves.

There were hundreds of us lining the cliff front at Nazere, watching, waiting and waiting until someone went for it - Andrew Cotton took a risk and surfed this enormous wave.  Amazing, mad, brilliant.

Then we waited, we watched, waited for the next person to dare to surf these massive waves.

I went to get a coffee.

Yeh, I know, life and death, a bad decision could kill you, I'll never understand the complexities of this,  but come on, get on with it!

Then they did get on with it, we had a flurry of activity as they tried to surf these monsters.   No one quite managed it again, but the show was spectacular, from the surfers and from mother nature who sent us this storm and the massive swell - stunning and well worth the wait.

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