Surfing The Swellies

It was always going to be an early start but four a.m. felt more like the middle of the night; still, with a big tide, being two days past the biggest equinoctial Sp tide of 2011 (10.21m Liverpool) and the chance of some good sport in the Menai Strait, it seemed worth the effort.
Sunrise over the Menai Bridge at low water. In fact an early, or equally late start will usually be required if your intention is to surf the wave that forms off the south bank of the strait, mid way between Britannia Bridge and the Menai Bridge, such is the way of the tides.
Waiting for the wave to form, the flood tide already moving quickly up the strait.
Chris gets an early surf... does Tim, before being spat off the wave into the confused and powerful water behind.
Dropping onto the front wave, before I too carve off left only to have the stern sucked down into a small whirlpool which span me through 360 degrees before I could ferry across the channel back to the eddy.
Talking tactics...
...before Chris gets a long and impressive ride on the clean leading waves.
Barry carving it up in good style; well he is a local. To be fair, I think the rest of us were all surprised at how hard it was to stay in the 'sweet spot' - a helpful tip from Barry: taking a transit and lining up the headland of the south bank and the middle pillar of Britannia bridge allowed you to drop back onto the wave in just the right spot without taking any backward glances, making it much easier to keep the bow at the right angle and maintain the speed necessary to catch the glassy front wave.
We finished the morning on the wave that forms beneath the cardinal mark on Swellies Rock, much easier to surf but less impressive than the main affair.
We had already enjoyed a full morning, but with the best part of the day remaining and the whole of the ebb tide still to run, the only sensible thing to do was head across to Soldier's Point and see what was happening at North Stack...


gnarlydog said…
I am so envious of your great conditions, minus the weather of course :-).
I have to content myself with a piddle little tidal run that has a chance to form a wave only if the wind is blowing the opposite way. The best we can come up to a tidal race Downunder:
Will Herman said…
Ah yes - the weather...Twenty something degrees last wkd - hailing today.

Your 'little run' looks fun...