Thursday, December 3, 2009
Updated: December 4, 12:03 PM ET
A crispy clear dawn silhouetted the mountains surrounding Ensenada and Isla Todos Santos, nine miles off in the distance for the kind of morning you can only pray coincides with a swell. Especially when a highly skilled crew is assembled at the El Corral harbor to get on photographer Rob Brown's boat, which covered every major surfing continent, including Kelly Slater as an exclamation point. It really was quite a gathering.
There was Grant "Twiggy" Baker from South Africa who has well established him self as a very prominent individual in the big wave world. Mark Healey from Hawaii, one of the world's bravest and best in extreme conditions who likes doing things such as swimming with Great White Sharks. Ramon Navarro, Chile's most experienced heavy water individual. Alfy Cater from West Australia, renowned for charging some of the most highly consequential reefs in his neck of the world. Sam Lamiroy from England. California veteran, Mike Parsons, who has been called Mr. Todos over the years for his countless years out there, my brother Greg and myself, who have also logged much time over the years.
We had a crew to say the least, instant crowd we joked, and had the waves been as large as some on board were expecting, the level of big wave surfing would have been exceedingly high, especially with the champ there to really inspire.
This swell had an enormous amount of hype around it, as do many swells when they arrive as a one shot, not in a series. And especially when there has not been one in the week's prior. This was a good swell but most of the energy was directed at Northern California, which made for some good Maverick's the day before, but left only residual energy in the Southern Waters. This was apparent as we left the harbor to a placid sea surface Rob could motor full speed across, which left many wishing they had brought boards other than just the big ones. The waves were still very nice quality, in the ten to twenty five foot frontal face range with perfect conditions.
Kelly showed what can be ridden using his 5 foot 6 inch board to draw some interesting lines on these waves while others used the day to get a feel for their nine footers they hope to ride at the same locale when waves hit the forty to fifty foot range, which will likely happen. And it could be sooner than later as all eyes are on a storm forecasted to develop over the weekend and create potentially massive waves in Hawaii and California. The buzz is full volume. Just got to wait and see.