Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Welcome To The North Shore", by Bill Powers

(North Shore Map/Mural Source: Shark's Cove, No. Shore Oahu. Photo, Nov. 2010.)

"So one day I am surfing Sunset with my friend Jeff (circa late 1960's). Jeff was Number 1 or 2 on the Pro Circuit at the time. Inside us was a group of 5 or 6 Aussies that were apparently new on the North Shore.

Caveat: When Sunset is Big you have a difficult time reading the outside so you watch the people outside of your position. If they start to move away from the Point, you know a set is coming. Sometimes the horizon would distort and would look like a small mountain range. You did not want to be inside!

On this particular day, all of a sudden the horizon turned dark and a mountain range appears on the outside. I start to turn to get off the Point and Jeff says, "No wait" and I follow his eyes and look back over my left shoulder at the Aussies and they were watching us as we went over the top of a swell, with the two of us acting like nothing was coming. As soon as we were out of sight in the trough, we turned and paddled away from the Point as hard as we could. The next time the Aussies could see us we were over 100 yards from where they had last seen us and we were still sprinting. Right away they knew something was coming... But It Was Too Late! At least 5 or 6 waves broke over 100 yards outside the group, putting double overhead white water right through them. They all lost their boards and the next thing you know all of their boards are getting sucked out through the Biggest Rip you ever saw. Plus the trade wind was off shore and blowing everything into the rip away from the Island. We watched as these guys go for the swim of their lives.

Later that afternoon Jeff and I are at Kammies Market getting some food when in walks the same group of Aussies. They see us and I lean over and tell Jeff and he says to tell them, "Welcome to the North Shore... and how was your swim?"

Bill Powers,
LACo OLS, Retired
Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
December 27, 2010

(© Copyright Bill Powers 2010. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.)


Many Thanks to Bill for sharing another gem of a story with all of us.


Until next time.....

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