This weekend in Margaret River was unbelievable. I could write for pages about the events that transpired, but that would be unnecessary as our first night and the following morning would easily have been worthy of a trip to WA.
The best swell of the competition was expected to hit Friday. So, despite no place to stay we skipped town to roll down south Thursday arvo. I was at the wheel, while my roommate Thomas was riding shotgun, and our other roomy Loly and our friend Anna were squeezed in the back with what we later determined to be way too much luggage. We arrived just after sunset and picked up some grub at the grocer before sorting out a place to crash for the night. Unwittingly of our other companions Loly and I had been scheming to camp out on the beach, our only concern was a ranger waking us up to the tune of a hundred dollar ticket. A friend suggested a spot, where after a short trek we could hope to elude the law enforcement. The directions were to head north from the carpark and follow the trial past a headland to the perfect, hidden stretch of beach, how could we go wrong.
As we packed unpacked the car I realized I forgot my flashlight, damn this was going to get interesting. The night was bright though so we decided to go for it anyway. We’re walking down this trail; stumbling left and right, knocking into branches…you name it. After Loly practically falls on her face I’m starting to get the feeling the girls are about to lose it, then Thomas, clever as he is, starts going off about the dingo’s “vicious wild dogs that come upon people in the night and eat them alive”. I’ve already explained that it was too cold for snakes to come out at night, and that they didn’t like the beach. Everyone is on edge, the girls cuz they’re legitimately scared, and the guys cuz were scared of the girls going chicken in favor the cramped car and a probable wake up call from the ranger. We’ve almost crested the headland when something rustles in bush giving me a serious startle, and evoking screeches from the girls before a sinister chuckle emanated from the back of the group where the rock had been launched. Just then we look over the other side of the headland to find a near vertical cliff. We turned back all right, that was the last straw for the ladies nerve.
It turned out there was perfect spot on the beach just in front of the carpark, we said hell with rangers and set up camp under the stars. When I say stars, I mean the Milky Way seemed like you could reach out and touch it. I’ve seldom seen anything like it, the moon was new and the sky was lit up like a planetarium. It was Loly’s birthday; she’d being going on about how she had never seen a shooting star. Were busting her chops, going no way, just then with the corner of my eye I saw one streak across they sky. We laid back in the sand for not but five minutes before she got the best birthday present one could ask for. Soon there was a fire blazing, snags roasting on spits, and goon flowing straight from the bag. Life doesn’t get much better. The girls passed out early while Thomas and I carried on long into the night, joking and philosophizing around the dying embers…this was what we came here for.
I awoke to a car park filling up with surf vans, a stunning piece of coastline, and a beautiful glassy swell pumping over the reef. I followed some guys with boards down the path to survey the breaks. It was well over-head and clean, like nothing I had ever seen before. I just stood there on the beach, mesmerized, gazing at the peeling waves, watching the surfers in the line-up getting ride after ride. I looked on, feeling it out for a while before finally mustering up the courage throw my wetty on, grab my board, and give it a go. As I navigated tentatively over the rocky reef I had a resounding feeling this was the real shit, and I had better be ready. I reached the back lineup, feeling accomplished, and utterly relieved as the next set passed beneath me with inspiring authority.
Perched on my board waist deep in the crystal clear water I was feeling as though the morning could not get any better. Then a fin surfaced behind the lineup, and another, a dozen fins at all together, a pod of dolphins. Being the inquisitive creatures they are they turned to slalom through he lineup. As a few came my way I dove off my board and swam down to say G’day. I love my friends, but that was the best company I had all day. Who would have guessed I would be hanging out ‘down under’ with the coolest crew around.