Big wave surfers share swells with a quizzy young whale

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - MUR­RAY WIL­LIAMS

WHEN the win­ter swell rolled into Walker Bay this week, so did a gang of some of the Cape’s best big-wave surfers.

And it was not long be­fore Her­manus pho­tog­ra­pher Dave de Beer had snapped th­ese as­ton­ish­ing pho­to­graphs, of­fered to Week­end Ar­gus.

He ex­plained: “It was around 2pm and I wan­dered down to the cliffs, as I do ev­ery day, from my stu­dio in the vil­lage. I be­gan pho­tograph­ing the surfers, who were rid­ing waves in the Bayview area, known for its huge swell in win­ter.”

The surf this week was es­ti­mated in ex­cess of 6m, ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous surf web­sites.

“The surfers were well clear of the deeper ar­eas, but the next mo­ment this young and in­quis­i­tive whale popped up amid them – al­most as if it wanted to join the boys in their fun.

“I don’t think the surfers could be­lieve their eyes, but the surf kept on rolling in and they con­tin­ued surf­ing the reef­break in the kelp bed.”

The surf spot is one of a hand­ful along the coast, which whales can­not reach nor­mally as it is too shal­low in­side the surf zone.

Sources told Week­end Ar­gus that the Bayview surf spot only starts “work­ing” when the surf is 10-foot and big­ger.

“I spoke to the boys af­ter­wards and they were all very stoked,” De Beer said. “Th­ese are guys that surf a lot – some of them rank among the best in the world – and they were all blown away by the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

PIC­TURES: DAVE DE BEER, AUTHOR,”HER­MANUS WHALES”

UP CLOSE AND PER­SONAL: The in­quis­i­tive young whale joins this surfer on a big wave at Bayview, in Walker Bay, dur­ing a ses­sion which saw some of the Western Cape’s best big-wave surfers in the wa­ter.

EYE TO EYE: A surfer close to the cu­ri­ous young whale off Her­manus.

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