This update came to us before the earthquake. When the terrifying reports came in about the destruction in Chile, it was many days before we heard from Pat and found out that he and his family were unharmed. Now that we know they are OK, we are excited to share with you some of Pat’s experiences, (and some amazing surf shots) that he sent to us. Enjoy!
Ben & Steve
From Pat’s email:
My first week in Chile and I am reminded of what can make surfing here so interesting. The thing is that any given day one can’t be sure of what sort of wave they might encounter. Swells can rise and fall in a matter of hours, or a thick wall of fog and cloud can turn into skin searing sun in a matter of minutes.
Swells. Swells seem to arrive for no discernible reason and with out fanfare. There is no weather that can be attributed to a coming swell like a nor’easter, or a media circus hurricane. Even on the west coast where swells arrive similarly there is a surf culture so pervasive, and so well informed that the guy pumping your gas in Temecula is likely to know about any serious swell at least four days out.
No, in Chile it is usually much more a matter of showing up to surf and then realizing that it is eight to ten feet. Woops, and all I brought with me is my fish. and that’s how it will get you because the night before, or maybe earlier that day when you checked it was a lazy two to three feet. And as I said, the waves do this with such frequency that it happens without comment.
So having been in Chile for about a week I had had a couple of sessions, but most of my time was spent cleaning out our house, and putting sunscreen on the kids. A knee injury in November meant that I had only surfed about three times in the two months before getting here so I felt pretty out of shape. I commented on this one evening after my second session to my friend Elvis and he suggested that I should just surf on my big board for a few days.
So the next day a couple of hours before dark Elvis calls me and says the waves look fun at punta de lobos. Before I can get anymore info on what fun is he says “just come on It looks fun. I’ll see you out there.” and hangs up. Late in the day and a bit worn out from chasing the kids around I decided to follow Elvis’s advice and take my 7’6”.
Standing on the small island just off the headland that serves as the jumping off point I got a shock when a set hit and I had to climb up one of the morros to avoid getting washed off. It wasn’t just that the waves were a bit bigger than I had thought, but it was also dead high tide. Full force set waves were breaking on top of the jumping off point.
After timing two sets with a seagull squawking at me because I had climbed up next to her nest I make a dash across the slippery rock and jumped. I felt gook about my timing, at least I was able to clear the rocky island before getting cleaned by a three wave set.
In the water I shared the lineup with Elvis, his friend Samir, and one other local, getting a handful of waves before the sun began to set. Back on the point after surfing I found out another friend Carlos had shot some pictures with his compact digital.
Here are a few shots of a last minute sunset surf session.
Foto 1: Timing the sets
Foto 3: Making the jump
Foto 4: This is the same jump off spot with a set hitting. Notice the same rock in the foreground that the guys in the previous foto were paddling in front of.
Foto 5: Elvis
Foto 6: Samir
Foto 7: Elvis not making the section
Foto 8: The food on offer while hanging on the point
Foto 9: Our Photographer taking a snack break between sets
Foto 10: Me paddling for a wave
Foto 11: Me droping in
Foto 12: The last wave on a day like this is always fun as there’s no reason not to milk the wave down the point to the next section. This is me riding around the first corner of the point on my way in.
Hope you enjoyed the story and the photos.
Check back to pitsurf.com for more (hopefully, soon!)