Full moon turns the surfers crazy

A night pad­dle and a wave back in pro­vides plenty of thrills and mem­o­ries

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

leash and bounded off be­fore any naysay­ing could scup­per our grand plan, which was in essence an ex­cel­lent one.

Off the end of the pier I sat on the long­board, bob­bing in the wa­ter. It was so cool. The ex­pe­ri­ence, not the wind, which some how kept its dis­tance out there.

I squinted into the night. Dark shapes played tricks on my eyes. Was that a swell, or a patch of dark­ness? Look­ing to shore, the view was unique. In­stead of sandy beach, high rises and blue sky, the city bris­tled with lights, a kalei­do­scopic layer on a black can­vas.

To sea, it was hard to see. There were no hues to de­note tex­ture or de­tail. Black swells broke, turn­ing in­stantly to white foam. It was all in black and white, with noth­ing in be­tween.

The eerie and unique sen­sa­tion muf­fled the ef­fects of the wind. In the dis­tance, I could see the two fig­ures of my friends Shani and John, who had fi­nally got their act to­gether to come out.

Half an hour be­fore that, we had been sit­ting in Cool Run­nings, the reg­gae bar in Dur­ban that nes­tles among the ding re­pair­ers, the shapers, and the surf shops in a run down in­dus­trial part of town.

We were treated to a spe­cial im­promptu ses­sion by a friendly Ard Mathews, play­ing with great heart to a small mot­ley crew of maybe 30 peo­ple. He had sung his new song Ubuntu, and cov­ers by Ro­drigues. He had also plied us with shots of Jager­meis­ter. Friendly fel­low.

John said we needed to go surf­ing. Shani and I, in Dur­ban to run our surf film fes­ti­val, said, of course we should. Why not?

The full moon sat high in the sky. Through the dark soot of the night, more black shapes came and went. As one ap­proached, I turned and pad­dled and some­how, per­haps be­cause I had tri­an­gu­lated from mem­ory where the sand bar lay ac­cord­ing to the dis­tance and an­gle from the end of the pier, I caught the wave. I was up and rid­ing, glid­ing through the night to­wards the lights of the city.

That’s one for the mem­ory banks when in my rock­ing chair.

Still a few more to col­lect though. end be­low the bri­dal path switch­backs. Ap­par­ently the mat­ter is be­ing dis­cussed with Ta­ble Moun­tain National Parks. Time to get a new, and big­ger, pep­per spray. storm swell and fresh on­shores buck­ling the ocean. Muizen­berg looks fun. A solid 3’ or more with clean off­shores. To­mor­row the swell goes more west, but still packs plenty of punch, al­though it has eased off to a bit to 10’ or so. How­ever, a pity about the fresh west on­shore that keeps blow­ing.


WHITE OUT: South African surfer Jordy Smith of Dur­ban shows off his skills at the Mr Price Pro Bal­lito event at Wil­lards Beach ear­lier this month.

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