May 8 1997
I like everything about surfing. I cannot look at a ripple in water
without scrutinizing it for a face. There are standing waves that I have
seen, in flooded rivers and ocean passes that could not possibly be
survivable. They haunt my dreams. If I walk down to a protected
beach and see an eight inch high swell start to peel or go hollow, my
adrenaline surges and my heart races. It can be shore slop in the
background of a commercial, or rainwater coursing down a ditch. It
takes very little to set me on my course.
Last night the weatherman said "a high pressure region is building
off the coast, so we can expect" and I had decided to go surfing before
he finished "sunny weather for the next few days".
Spring is well entrenched here now. Driving across the Island with
the windows down I was hit by wave after wave of the sweet scent of
fruit tree blossoms. This place never goes brown in the winter, but
right now, the deep green carpet of the evergreen forests is splashed
with the brilliant lime green of new deciduous leaves. The mountains
still wear a mantle of snow. This is a beautiful place on earth to travel
through, and I'm on my way surfing......I'm stoked...... this is all good.
As I come out the last pass through the mountains, and drop down
to the coastal plain, the sunshine gives way to marine cloud and fog.
This wasn't on the satellite image. As I get to the coast and start
checking spots, every last one is small. Some are clean but I know I
will wait. I drive up to Tofino and just kick around and visit. The talk
is how great every spot was firing last night, and as one spot tuckered
out, they moved, and the next spot was firing better, and I had the best
wave of my life, and on, and on. Sometimes I wonder if the town of
Tofino is together in a conspiracy, a little joke on me..... "whenever
you see Cam, tell him how awesome it was yesterday."
I checked the spots throughout the day and heard reports from
others. Nowhere was it building, and it was starting to rain. I began to
despair, and briefly thought about driving home without getting wet.
It was getting late in the day so I made plans and hooked up with
the Ucluclet crew after they got off work. "BINGO" The waves built to
head high and cleaned up. The rain showers stopped and the sun tried
to break out. Fun, fun waves.
Surfed till I couldn't paddle any more,
went in and got the fins and camera, and knocked off two rolls of film.
There was eight or nine surfers, two Kayaks, me snapping pictures,
and we laughed and joked and hooted every time someone got up or
fell down.......... and we were caught outside of time and space,
divorced from the waking world, but not in the dream world.
nothing but the ocean and the crew. Anything on solid ground is of no
interest to me. I'm often shocked at how much time passes during a
session. I think it might have been an hour and it's been four. It is this
magical suspension from normal reality, that draws me off the edge of
the continent, and out onto the ocean again and again. And I come to
realize that there is no conspiracy, no joke at my expense. Somehow
between surfing trips, I forget how awesome an experience I have every
time I paddle out.
What a great life we get saddled with this time around.
Saturday May 10th 97
Summer crowd - Summer weather - Summer waves