Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Epic swell hits St. Lucia

Today I got to see just how epic St. Lucia could get. We work up at dawn to get out of the marina and make some water. Since the hurricane the entire island has been without tap water and since we were under the impression we were going to be hauled out after the storm we finished up our water supply...bad move.

Thus we have been like wooks at a music festival since the storm hit a week and a half ago, minus the good tunes. We were in desperate need of water so we grabbed the bull by the horns and made our way out about a mile offshore to make some good ol' fresh water.

While we were going out I figured it was a perfect time to do a little fishing. Having been marina locked for the past few weeks it was certainly nice to be out at sea again and in Meercats element. 

Although it was prime time, the sun was rising, the water was clear the fish were not biting... 


I was stoked to try out the hammock my sister ever so kindly lent to me on the bow of the boat. I attached the ENO hammock to the genoa and mast. A perfect location since if you flip around cacoon style your looking through the trampoline and into the crystalline waters below. 

As the boat rocked back and forth so did I in my hammock. At times I though I was going to do a complete 360 with the momentum the hammock was generating, or break the slap strap and come face down on either the deck or the trampoline both would not be of ideal preference. 

Good thing nit her of the possibilities actually occurred and I was left enjoying the rocking of the boat. 

We knew we would be in the dock for a while having work done so we filled up the water tank until she overflowed and made our way back to the dock. Coming in I knew it would be a good day to surf even though I wouldn't be able to kite, since we were in the leeward side of the island.

Jammin' out to some 90's underground hip-hop, Mos Def, Common, Kweli and Gang Starr I got pumped up for the surf session that was to follow our arrival. While reading "A Long Strange Trip" by Dennis Mcanally...conflicting styles No Way!
The Dead are the shiznit and reading about them to hip-hop really worked. Don't believe me give it a try.

Hopping into the dinghy I made my way out of rodent bay and scoped out the conditions. 

It was going to be a special session.

Prepping the dingy I got my Vibram Fivefinger shoes, 5'8" Naish fish and hit the channel. So stoked I was practically shaking with yammage. I made my way over to Sandals an all inclusive resort where I should have gotten a cocktail but decided to hit the waves first.

Sitting on the rocks puttin' on my Vibrams I realized this was a legit swell with over head+ waves and a serious riptide, not to mention the fact that I was jumpin' in on jagged rocks... I was solo. 


Swimming out I instantly came to terms that I need to do more surfing without the kite. It is not an easy task just making it out past the break and this took me a good ten minutes having not surfed in quite a long time and especially in good waves. The waves that I had caught thus far were chest high with the occasional head high.

Alright, so here she comes, nothing but mother nature, my board and me. Let's do this! As the wave approached I began paddling my ass off with each stroke I could feel myself gaining momentum for the drop. And as I looked back to see if I was in the right place, nope I was in too deep. The feeling of having your feet come up behind you and become the wave is priceless. I became the wave and entered the washing machine.

Gaining my breath I began the arduous paddle back into the line up. The feeling of being alone in the epic force of mother nature is a glorious feeling. Aight, so now that I'm in the right spot... I guess. I knew this was show time and I had better bring my A game cuz as of now the score was:

 mother nature 1 Oli 0

I had to change this game. And with the next wave I scored it was clear I was gonna have a good day. Paddling in I catch the drop zone and plant my feet in for a ride. The rush from the initial drop in makes me look around my shoulder and realize yeah this is over my head. With a smooth bottom turn I approach the face a bit off balance I didn't manage to pull off the cutback but I knew it could be done.  Making the score:

Mother nature 1 Oli 1/2

Not too legit and to make it worse I was beat. I decided to come in and get some grub, n a brew. I paddled back to the rocks I had jumped in from and tried to think of the best way to approach the mess that was before me. 

After a few attempts and a few cuts and scrapes I managed to get myself onto the jagged edges and up to a safe place. I sat there admiring the sheer beauty of the rough sea and headed back to the meercat.

Sitting on her stern Susy asked how the waves were and I told her "Epic" with that Ged came out of his slumber and asked the same question and I replied the same and when he asked if I would want to take the dingy straight to the break, my reply was simple...

"Hell yeah!!"

And off I went on round two. This session would prove to be much more beneficial to my game. And a bit bigger. 

Susy decided to join me in the water and get a close up view of the breaking waves. It's funny I was literally there maybe an hour before alone and now the break was packed with local surfers. 

Killin' it!

I got into the line up and prepped myself mentally for a win. Watching the swell approach I decided I would go for the second one in the set. Good choice, I paddled again with all my might and looking down the face stood up on my board and rode out, bottom turn, Bam! Cutback steez into the next bottom turn where the wave lost it's force and mushed out. 

Making my way back I found Susy and she was all good so I proceeded to wait for the next opportunity to crush. That I did, this next wave was big I paddled in and hopped up on zi board flying down a perfect Caribbean wave this time it closed out but I got a sweet ride nonetheless. At this point I could feel my arms turning into green eggs and yams and decided to make my way back to the dinghy where Ged was waiting patiently. I was so stoked I'm pretty sure the stoke was seeping out of my ears. 

Looking at Susy and Ged I asked them if they were down for a happy hour celebration at Sandals, damb right they were. But being a all inclusive resort we were quickly spotted by the forces that be and the man came down asking us to please leave their precious establishment. 

Oh well. I'm here now at IGY marina at The Boardwalk enjoying my happy hour pre paid Pitons.

Hope you all enjoyed this epic session and this will certainly not be the last.



1 comment:

  1. Rodent Bay instead of Rodney... love it!!! Freud rules!!! cheers from S. in Spain