A salty seadog tale – be like the fisherman…

A true story…

Sitting on the dock of the bay (isn’t that a song?) the weather beaten, leathery faced fisherman tends to his nets under a warm sun. Breeze is light with small gusts feathering incoming swells, grooming them to perfection. A handful of surfers – mostly longboarders – take their pick of the fun 2fters full well knowing there’s a change on the horizon.

The fisherman stops his repairs briefly and looks skyward, squinting in the bright rays of the sun. In the distance, an ominous cloudbank hangs low and thick. Its inbound trajectory a way off yet but there’s no doubt its destination.

A buzzing in his pocket signals a new text message. Pulling his phone out the fisherman sees a scrawl from a local surfer asking his thoughts about the imminent storm and subsequent swell.

As an old salty seadog, acutely in tune with Mother Nature’s moods, weather forecast interpretation is a common theme. Numerous surfers who know the fisherman seek his advice, appreciating the depth and breadth of his understanding. The foolhardy, meanwhile, ignore his warnings.

Quickly thumbing his reply the fisherman suggests a secluded, out of the way cove will be the go. At the same time, a rowdy bunch of out of towners raucously pass by. The fisherman overhears the excited chatter about tomorrow’s supposed ‘day of days’ in the waves. He grins, subtly shakes his head and goes back to tending his nets.

rich smith surfing in Brittany

That night the storm’s full brunt swings in with quite some ferocity. Windows rattle, gusts of wind whoosh through gaps between buildings and rain sloshes everywhere. Wave wise: it’s big. Too big for most, as well as being bolt onshore at the village’s main beach. Meanwhile, that quiet cove which only lights up during periods like this is starting to come alive.

Next morning remains blowy, although the rain has eased and some shards of sunlight are appearing intermittently. The fisherman heads to the cove to watch the action. Down on the sand, beneath the village, the rowdy bunch he spotted the day before are sheltered behind a crop of rocks looking in disbelief as 8-10fters shut down across the whole bay. The fisherman grins softly and shakes his head again…

The secret cove has a select few riders picking off reeling lefts refracting around the headland. As the swell jacks on the reef perfectly formed cylinders spin along the submerged finger of rock providing instant nourishment for the frothing crew. 

After watching for a few minutes the fisherman begins the process of getting into his rubber. Once doned his battered, but trustworthy 8′ performance sled is unsheathed and he heads to the put in. Paddling effortlessly to the peak (dry hair), he arrives, spins and takes off on one of the waves of the day. Much to the delight of the other riders who begin hooting and hollering.

Be like the fisherman…

If you enjoyed this then why not check out the following –