Big wave surfers share swells with a quizzy young whale
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.”
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.