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Friday March 2 2007 05:18:34 AM
Wind Strength: Strong
Nb waves ridden: Not many!
Length of the surf session: 60 min
Surfboard ridden: Longboard
Waves height: 1m-1.2m / 3ft-4ft
Mid winter East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Cold gray morning with low dark clouds that promised rain or worse as we drove from Christchurch over the hills to Taylor's Mistake which is located between Whitewash Head and Penguin Point. Even the apple orchards by the side of the wet narrow country road looked bleak and devoid of color.
(The name is said to have been given when Captain Taylor of the US ship Vulga mistook the bay for the entrance to Lyttelton Harbour. Though more likely it was mistaken as the entrance to Sumner Bay. The Maori name is Te Onepoto, which probably refers to the short strip of sand beach with ground up shells.)
As we cleared a rise we could see the large rocky bay below. Wind was stiff cross-shore and lumpy shifting peaks rolled in from the South Polar Ocean. By the time we hit the cold wet sand snow flurries stung our cheeks. Back in the day the only wet suit was a simple zip up bare arm vest so thus clad we paddled out by the northerly point. The water felt warm even thought it was a chilly 48F compared to the air, which with the wind chill factor was probably 28F!
Waiting for sets you jumped off your board and immersed your body up to your nose ... it was so cold that the old paraffin wax on our boards froze solid and became as slippery as blue ice. My buddy took off on a big peak hit the bottom, turned and started to walk when his feet slipped out from under him and he caught a nut cracker rail sandwich. As we helped him from the water we were all turning blue our hands and feet totally numb as we crunched through the now snow covered sand. Huddled close in the car and shivering uncontrollably even with the heater going full blast we drove back to town in what was now a full scale bloody blizzard!
Most miserable surfing experience of my life!.
Created: Tuesday February 27 2007 05:30:01 AM
Modified: Thursday June 7 2007 09:19:21 PM