After dropping Virginia at the airport in Seattle, I made my way across the border into Canada, changing my mind about spending the night in Vancouver and opting take the ferry across to Vancouver Island. A decision I should have made sooner so that I could have taken the Ferry from Port Angeles on the coast of the States directly to Victoria in the south of the island, saving the trip up to Vancouver. An oversight I’ll escuse myself for as my mind was still lingering on the highs of the previous few weeks and the excitement of the chapter which was about to begin.
My first surf spot was Jordan River, a punchy point break which reminded me a little of J-Bay in South Africa. After the initial shock stepping into the cold water, I found myself enjoying just sitting out in the water once again. It had been 3 months since my last surf and I’ve watched my body wittle away at the lack of execise. Needless to say I did not last long and after a few short rides I was back in the van despratly trying to warm up. Now making use of a tealight heater which the ever ingenious Bruce from Sailworks turned me on to.
I woke up to a cold, wet world and opted to enjoy breakfast and surf tv from the comfort of the van before heading to the Cold Shoulder cafe to find some dry warmth and post a few updates. My updates were halted when a fella named Bradly stumbled in to the cafe seeking someone to help him with a flat tire. I drove him back to his truck where we spent much of the afternoon crawling around in the mud trying in vain to change the wheel. By the time we got him on his way I was wet, muddy and in need of a wash, but the light was fading fast and by the time I made it to Sombrio River the will to change into a cold, wet wetsuit had faded. Instead I made friends with some guys and shared their fire over a few beers, surf stories and photography discussions.
The morning provided some magnificent light and by the time I switched my camera for my surfboard the waves had almost doubled in size. Unfortunately the wind had also picked up making the surf look like big messy mutants of waves. The plus side of this was that there were only two other guys out and plenty of slop to choose from.
The remnants of the previous night’s storm where still lingering when I woke up in Port Renfrew, so I spent the better part of the day in the Hotel Bar sipping slowly on a porter and eating over priced but delicious onion rings. Finally I mustered up the will to go check the surf. I had just about given up on finding anything when magic happened and I found out just how much of a difference timing can make. The tide pulled out just enough and the sun broke through the clouds to provide a true magic hour before darkness put an end to the barrels.
To be continued…