I was up before dawn and into the water at first light to take advantage of the high tide and hopefully put enough water between me and the rocks beneath. I was wearing my booties again to ensure I had no issues getting out across any of the sharp surfaces beneath the water. The paddle out was surprisingly easy because you can paddle around the peeling section of the waves, but it was very long because the point is about 1km out to sea. After about fifteen or twenty minutes of paddling I was out into the set waves which were huge. By huge I really do mean HUGE!
A massive swell has arrived and here were only five guys out when I joined them in the line-up. Acutely aware of all the rocks that I had seen at low tide the day before, this was not a wave I wanted to get wrong. The faces on the waves were at least double overhead but seemed to be peeling beautifully to the right off the point which should favour my natural foot surfing. However as ever there was always a rogue set that would roll through from time to time. It would break much further out and if you were caught inside by the head high plus wall of white water of the first one, the rest of the set would also hit you and send you careering in towards the inside section and all the rocks that are showing proud of the water there. The result of this was everybody would hang slightly wide to the left of the peak and hope to catch one of the bigger set waves.
Like everybody else I did this and early on I very nearly bagged a beauty although as I got to my feet and realised I was pointing vertically down and the bottom was a very, very long way from the top I got caught by the lip and went straight over the falls. It wasn’t as bad as I had feared, but the whole time you are under the water you are wondering if you are just about to get clouted by the rocks that, unlike Pavones where they were akin to smooth cobblestones, are made of very sharp volcanic rock which is in lumps as big as cars and certainly will not take any prisoners!
Being honest I wasn’t enjoying myself as the sea kept exploding on rocks all around me and didn’t have the best time out there today. Although I had a few chances for waves early on in my session that I regret not taking, I actually blanked. I would keep thinking that a mountain of water was about to drop on top of me, and erring on the side of caution would keep scratching away towards the horizon to try and stay outside of the broken wave and white water, only to realise too late that I had probably been in a great spot to bag it. After I had been in the water for a couple of hours, with the tide dropping all the time, there were more and more areas of boiling water on the faces of waves where the rocks were clearly not very far below the surface. I quite like my face and my teeth the way they are and every time I would point the board down the face of the waves and see water boiling in front of me I would back off.
I hate nothing more than blanking and would usually stay out to at least catch something, but I was keen to get out before the water got so shallow that all the rocks would be in view almost guaranteeing a ding to the board or me, so got in front of one of the broken waves and belly boarded in having only got about a dozen jellyfish stings to show for my morning’s work.
However given that during the session I saw four snapped boards, one broken leash resulting in a very lovely board looking like somebody had test driven a sledgehammer on it, and one guy with a concussion in the water who had lost his board and after being rescued by his buddy was looking very pale as he clung on to the front of their board, I consider myself to have got off rather lightly. I could go back in the water here later today or tomorrow, but don’t think I will. I am not adverse to a bit of risk but I can hold my hands up and say that this break is a bit too gnarly for me.