Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things Are Just Swell!

Surfing might just be the ultimate expression of freedom. It is the official sport of leisurological royalty. To become the big kahuna in my industry, you must surf. Lord knows I'm trying.

There is no surfable surf in New Brunswick, so far as I know. To become a surf god in New Brunswick, you can't ' this place'. The good news is that you can become a small g surf god if your head hits a pillow in Nova Scotia, and the grand-daddy of all Nova Scotia surf spots is Lawrencetown.

Lawrencetown is to Nova Scotia what Sunset Beach is to Oahu. It's one the best surf beaches that's available on the eastern seaboard, though there's not a lot of competition for that title. Lawrencetown is roughly a half hour east of Halifax/Dartmouth. It's not too far from Cole Harbour, ancestral home of Sir Sidney Crosby (honorary call professional hockey work??!! Puleez.).

Momentarily turning my Swatch back to June, you might remember that I purchased a surfboard from a man of 'uncouth aspect' in Lunenburg. I've been dying to use it ever since. I took my surfboard to the Magdalen Islands earlier in August but I wasn't able to find anything more than an ankle biter of a wave. Surfing is a sport of patience. You need to have the disposition of a Halley's comet chaser, because good surf doesn't happen every day. You must be able to drop everything on a moment's notice if you want to embrace the chilly North Atlantic swell.

This weekend might possibly deliver the swell of a century. Surf's up, baby!

When I say 'up', you have no idea how much I mean up. If you click on the image above, you'll get the details. If you look at the image below, you'll see that something is off the charts. It's called a wave.

The forecast swell for the Lawrencetown area on Sunday is 37 feet. That's monstrous! A swell that size can create breaking waves estimated at 49 feet, about the height of the Cambridge-Narrows bridge.

For someone with my surfing ability, the perfect wave height is about four feet. The extra 45 feet of wave is just gravy. Imagine ordering a plate of french fries that was three inches high, then getting 33 inches of gravy on top...that's Lawrencetown this Sunday.

It's Superbowel Sunday for surfers, because a lot of surfers will be filling their wetsuits if they paddle into the ocean. There are few surfers in the world who can handle waves the size that are predicted. If you want to see what surfing a wave of that size looks like, then click here. I've linked you to a one minute video showing someone surfing the world's most famous surfable big wave, called Jaws. Jaws, or Peahi as Hawaiians call it, delivers jumbo jet sized waves to Maui's north shore every two to three years roughly. When I say big, I mean in the 40 to 50 foot range. .
The beauty of Jaws is that it breaks in a predictable fashion. No one knows how the Nova Scotia coast will react to such a massive swell, because it's pretty uncommon. Word on the street...okay, word on the internet (since no one talks on the street) is that surfers from around the world may be flying in to Halifax for this swell. There's absolutely no way that I'm flying to Halifax for this, because my Scottish budget doesn't allow for it. I'll fire up my haggis wagon and motor eastbound.

Will I surf? Of course not, I'm not stoopid! I'll take my camera and document people who know what they're doing, and some who don't. If you want to follow the progression of this system from a surfer's perspective, then you should visit magicseaweed, the on-line surfer's resource. It's an amazing web site for people with my condition...edema. That's swell!

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