Perception is a funny thing. More curious than ha-ha. What lies ahead? Wreckage or opportunity?
A long enough drive this time. The furtherest West I’ve been since getting back here. With a dermis-ruffling Westerly gusting to force 6 or more, heading West is a good option; a dash for cover if you will. The foot down as hard as you like you become the human pinball about the buckling bends beyond Balina, through the kinks of Killala… Ahh… North Mayo!
I stood staring down from the sliage-streaked road to the sandbar below. The fellah in the giant cell further up the road was kind enough to offer his floor and I nipped in just as it began to hail. From black skies to blasting sun and then comes the cacophonous rebuttal of hailstones. Yep – this is mid-May in the West of Ireland and summer is here. Of a fashion…
Only a few heads out. The sets seemed to be overhead but bullet-train fast. Gallant attempts at paddling in were mostly fruitless as thick, blue-black anacondas of the sets whipped around the coastline sucking the kelp from the rocks, trailing plumes of sand and creamy foam behind. Too fast?
More opportunities lay not too further afield so with a few gears shifted in swift succession, another came into view at the same time as the sun. The harbour was lit up – sun and some grinding sliders alike. Overhead, or more on the sets and more heads out hurling themselves down the wind-blasted faces. Here’s not a place to get caught up in the lip. It wraps hard and kinky around the harbour but with the right lines, ohh.. with the right lines!
That inside section! Writhing with seaweed and sucking hard enough to breed the burliest of limpets down in the intertidal.
It was just a joy to catch a few snaps of someone out there winding up some solid arcs on single-fin equipment. I took my time taking in the scene and met a fellow forager and ended up down in the intertidal soon enough. ‘HEY! Scrounging for the pot?’ Shambles McGoldrick roars at me as he staggers in over the big boulders with his gorgeous single-finned Lightning-Bolt replica under-arm.
By the time I was ready to paddle out everyone had finished up and come in – great timing but such providence also brought considerable uncertainty. Your first surf in solid waves at a heavy point… where is one supposed to sit? Paddle deep, paddle hard and hope for the best. Trust in your equipment. There’s the potential for wreckage and opportunity both.