The anticipation of a swell in Nelson is what makes it one of the most interesting places to live as a surfer. Quite often I get " I dont understand why you love surfing so much and remain in Nelson".... or "Why dont you move down the west coast or to Kaikoura, they'v'e always got waves"...
It has lead me to the realise after residing here for just on 12 years now, that infact, sometimes the thrill of the chase is actually better than the kill itself.
Meeting at an undisclosed dairy under the cover of darkness you could almost smell the adrenalin of everyone as we proceeded to load the boat up with boards and wetties. The four of us, Skipper Mark Chamberlain, Joe Anderson, Jimmy Wright and myself, would meet up with local Blenheim surfer Mike "Ratty" Lindstrom at the boat ramp at 7am and thats when our adventure would become reality......
Punching through some confused swell for a good half n hour as we left french pass we were told some crazy story about the tides there including one of a 6metre osprey boat nearly getting its nose pulled under whilst spinning in a whirlpool and as we passed a dead seal with giant teeth-marks in its side we were all starting to feel a little clammy. As we hit the open ocean swell and with our destination in site the awkwardness was pushed aside by pure stoke as we hooted and screamed as our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow shined brightly.
As humans we have a "need to know" complex and however hard it was to leave behind pumping waves at home we broke out of the mould for a day, went exploring and had a great time with absolute solitude.
Upon return to Nelson it was evident we had "missed" a great days surfing with reports of all local breaks firing it was a case of "damned if you do, damned if you dont".
I only ever wanted what I could never really have.
A bit of a nasty flat spell over the last couple of weeks but at the same time some bitterly cold overnight temperatures have kind of made it not so hard to sleep in for that little bit longer and not have to worry about dawn surf checks or anything silly like that. Remember, its the working mans surf town !
The days are gradually getting longer, about seven minutes a week at present and if the forecast weather charts for the coming week have any say in the matter we may well possibly sneak out and under from this winter like MacGuyver sliding under an electric roller door.
A small low is forming in the Tasman and expected to push a few lines our way early week , but later on, and into weekend warrior land we see some good old fashioned Spring weather with gusty Northwesterlies set to blow and perhaps on the backside of these all is not lost for the snow bunnies out there.
You already knew this anyway because like most of us you check the 7day charts like an obsessed , compulsed froth-head.
(above): The view not many of us have the time to look from.... Cable Bay... Photo: Jimmy Wright.
Nelson college boys Finnley Meekma, Jack Malcolm and Jimmy Wright have spent the last 3 months doing a school project making a Nelson surfing documentary,,, with interviews from old surfers to young this is one not to be missed and we may even have a premiere night and boardriders gig on the big screen,,, stay tuned,
The above title may infact be a lie with a groundswell that started last Tuesday, gradually building throughout the week and culminating Thursday afternoon till Saturday morning in the solid 5ft range and slowly dissipating over the weekend. Great waves were had at Snappers all week with it really turning up the heat on the Thursday and then Friday saw some all-time Cable Bay and likewise Saturday morning with a couple of out-of towners showing up including current South Island champion Levi O'connor from Kaikoura who lit up the inside section at Cable Bay leaving a lot of folk with there jaws dropped.
(above): Backdoor Slingshot, -photo- Glen Aspin
There is a heap more photos posted to the photos page so check...... it......... out.........!!!!
Looking forwards into the crystal ball and it looks like Huey is gonna make us pay for our week of spoils so do your part and put that nose to the grindstone as we summon another swell into Nelson surf city, the working mans surf town..... but if the surfs on,,,,, you dont wanna be working !!!!