The distance between Cape Town and George is about 400km and can easily be covered in a few hours, but my intention was to discover surf breaks and parts of the country I had missed when living in it. So from Cape Town we slunk along the coast stopping at a few spots until settling on Onrus for the night.
Surfing an unfamiliar spot is always going to be a little unsettling, surfing it alone can be downright unnerving. So with South Africa’s sharky reputation swirling in my mind I jumped off the rocks to the left of the bay, thankful for the clear water and sandy bottom around the takeoff zone. For about 45min I surfed a meager left alone pondering how good it might get on the right swell. Local knowledge is what I lacked since once the tide started to turn I was joined by a group of local body-boarders who assured me it would get better as the tide filled in but certainly not as good as it had been the day before. They knew their spot. When there was enough water to cover the rocks it was possible to go right on a faster more walled up wave which invited more and more water users to come and enjoy it. I’d tired myself out on the left and after a few short, fun rights headed in as the clouds covered the sky turning the water grey, with their mood. By the time I was out and on the opposite side of the beach the rain had set in was accompanied by an on-onshore wind making a mess of what had been a glistening blue sea less than an hour earlier and leaving me with no action shots of the first spot on my route east.
The rain pushed us on further east along the coast trying to find a spot where the wind was strong enough for me to get out on the limited gear I had with me. That spot was found at Witsands. From what I’m told it is well known for its wind and one local assured me that there were often windsurfers out in the bay like there had been the previous day. Having not sailed since leaving PSC a month earlier I eagerly rigged my 5.0 and slotted in some 16cm WALU Twin fins provided by Makani Fin Company to make the best of the onshore conditions. The wind was almost bolt on-shore, but picked up a little to ensure I was well powered, with the slightly bigger twin fin setup providing good up wind performance while remaining loose when I found myself carving down a wave. It reminded me of sailing in West Wittering, UK, except with waves and not a soul in sight. I’d also forgotten how tiring those conditions can be and was spent after little more than an hour’s sailing.
The weather continued to get gloomier and wetter as the wind dropped and the following day it deposited us back in the town of my youth, George.