Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cape Town -- Final Days

We arrived in CT without a hitch --- the storm passed and the offshores returned, allowing us to get in the water one last time before boarding our flight from Cape Town to San Francisco via London, a 30 hour travel marathon.

The Journey Home --- Road Trippin'

Our journey home began with a quaint 8 hour drive from J Bay to Capetown. We encountered a radical rainstorm at sundown on the eve of our departure, so we took refuge in the small coastal hamlet of Wilderness. We saw raging seas just before dark, and anxiety set in immediately --- did we leave J Bay a day too soon?!

Bye for Now, J Bay

Well, like the old saying goes, "All good things must come to an end." After nearly 2 months at Jeffrey's, Moni and I bade our farewells: to our friends, to the sunrises and sunsets, to the surf-checks from the Supers deck, to Woolie, to the aloes, and to the endless walls of joy. So long J Bay, we'll be back (boo hoo, sniff, sniff).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

AVG from the water

Of course, the days we dream of, read about, hear about, and lose sleep over, are the sunny, beautiful, perfect point break days, days such as this one captured by Cape Town photo maestro, Allan Van Gysen.

Flat Day Fun -- Part II

Other flat days were spent in the tidepools, looking for octopus and other sea creatures. The waves at Supertubes break over a submerged lava shelf. On flat days at low tide, much of this lava shelf is visible. This shelf is not only responsible for Supers’ endlessly steep walls; it also makes for amazing natural aquariums that host all kinds of sea life including the unsuspecting sleeper set that occasionally rolls through unannounced.

Flat Day Fun -- Part I

What many people fail to realize is that Jeffrey's Bay is tucked deep inside of a bay. It sounds obvious, but the surf media has a tendency of making surf spots larger than life. Many people imagine that J Bay is graced with double overhead walls and offshore winds nearly every day. The reality is that Supers does not break every day, even during the winter. The other reality is that J Bay is surrounded by the African wilderness. On one flat day, Moni and I decided to take a ride through the dunefields located in the innermost depths of the body of water called Jeffrey's Bay.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

When water and sand collide

When the big swells hit J Bay, waves washed up onto the sand dunes at high tide, and the retreating water took buckets of sand back with it into the lineup. The result --- numerous super shallow, sandy sections scattered from the top of the Supertubes lineup all the way down to the base of the point.

Here is an image of what you get when you mix a shallow sandbar with a good swell, coupled with a talented and fearless water photographer, and finally sprinkled on top with one of the best tube riders on earth: a tiny miracle, captured for our enjoyment, courteousy of the Indian Ocean, Allan Van Gysen, and Mr. Kelly Slater. Photo courtesy of AvG via ZigZag via Deon.

And here is the beast that made this moment possible.

Friday, October 5, 2007

When the surf finally dropped....

Well, after the series of storms made their way past the tip of Africa, the waves calmed down, affording us the opportunity to visit some of our favorite places close by before packing up and heading on to Cape Town. Stuey and Helen decided to load up the cooler, the kids, Moni, and me, and launch the boat to watch the sunset from the dunes behind J Bay.

Being a good South African, Stuey is handy with an open fire, a fishing rod, a bottle opener, an outboard and attached skiff, and various other "man-tasks." Hels and Moni, on the other hand, just sit back and look pretty and let the boys be boys.

We landed at the base of a giant sand dune, where Moni and Lolo raced to the top to watch the sunset.

Surfing with Friends

One of life's joys is sharing good waves with friends. Here are images of some of our pals whom we surfed with, who inspired us, and with whom we love to share the ocean.

Our legendary host and good friend Stuey, one of J Bay's hardest chargers and a stylish goofyfooter (below).

The Wolfman, a J Bay local since the early '80's and one of the spots primary enforcers. Respect this man; he has shed blood and sweat to protect this wave.

Some guy with gloves named Kelly, enjoying a moment of effortless glide.

Deon, local artist, friendly neighbor, closet gardener/chef/yogi/karate expert.

Unknown sap lucks into one of the best waves I've ever seen -- look at the lip line!

True pointbreak gliders.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hand Jive

Deon is a good friend of ours who lives just across the street from Supertubes. He's a good man and it shows -- lovely wife, happy-go-lucky dog who can also guard the house when he needs to, nice home with garden, steady work as a land surveyor, nice car, great friends, and a budding quiver. He also is one of J Bay's best tube riders. He sent me these shots in two installments -- the water photos are from Cape Town's AvG, who swam at Impossibles for hours on the biggest days; Pete Frieden took the beach shots a month later.

We are always our own harshest critics when it comes to judging photos of ourselves surfing. Here is what Deon has to say about the Frieden photos:

"Here are some shots that Frieden got of me on the Green Mamba out for a Sunday drive. Not the greatest shots, but anyway... More bottom than turn - a little embarrASSed to send them - hope Moni doesn't think any less of me.

The board looks really small? What is of more concern is my decidedly Elko hand jive that I have not only in these shots but also in the cuttie shot that AVG got of me. Anyway - could be worse - could be doing the "Sideshow Bob" thing....

Classic Deon.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Kit's RICH Fish

Of the various boards we brought, my all-time favorite -- and the board that seemed to work the best -- was my 5'9" Pavel Speed Dialer. High lines, bottom turns, speed runs, tubes, and the odd cutback or carve, this board did it all. Thanks, Rich, for more magical moments birthed from your planer.