Great swell, shame about the camera

Alex Dick-Read

Honestly, it’s been a great swell. We get a few of these every winter, some bigger than others, some well forecast and crowded, some sneakers that leave just us locals spewing with delight.

This one was well forecast. Surfline recommended people get on a plane and get down here, and whether the crowd was taking their advice or not, it was clear everyone had heard about it. Traffic was heavy.

The winds about 500 miles N of us had hit around 85 knots a couple of days ago – over hurricane strength – and all pointing in our direction. So while this wasn’t the monster swell we had last March 17th 2008, it still had some punch to it. In fact, last night was as good as I’ve seen it since last March – sizey, clean lines roping down the point. By the time we got out at dark, the little local crew sitting on the rocks downing Red Stripes was pretty much speechless. It gets like that – you can only marvel at extreme perfection so much before you realize that marvelling is just a futile attempt to relive it, bottle it or somehow not let it slip away into the past.

Sorry about the picture quality. Two excuses: a) Just a week ago, as this swell was appearing on the forecasts, my Canon EOS 5D broke. The mirror came unattached. Apparently, it’s a known issue for 5Ds in humid climates. So about two days before the swell arrived I waved goodbye to the 5D body, sending it back up to Canon USA for repair. Duh. I had to use my (comparatively crappy) Nikon Coolpix mini digi. b) I managed to snap off a couple before I got in the water but as ever, the sets were on holiday when my camera was out. But still, hopefully you’ll get an idea of what’s been distracting many of us in the Caribbean for the last two days.

The morning started off grey, scrappy and inconsistent. An unnamed longboard gent finds a mellow one early in the day. Ant Fourie leaning into a little one in the morning. The end of the wave from inside the bay, after lunch. Walleee Nah, he didn’t make it. It was a cold front day. Cloudy, breezy, cool water – but plenty of juice.
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