Posted by: smithdavid | October 27, 2013


There are only one or two cars in the car park at Surfer’s Corner, Muizenburg. Phil and I pull up and begin changing into our wetsuits. This dawn raid is no trouble for Phil, he’s awake at five every day. For me, it’s a little tougher but I’m awake now.

In the ocean there is a single paddle boarder in the mid-distance. As always with early surfs in this area the thoughts of sharks come into the consciousness. But I push those thoughts away, take the 8’2″ hire board and begin paddling out.

When I’m about halfway out back, I look to my right. There is a rainbow reaching skyward from Boyes Drive. I go over the next wave and then look again. The rainbow is still there and the first morning train lumbers towards Muizenburg Station. Golden light reflects from it’s windows, above it is the brilliant curve of the rainbow. After the next wave the rainbow is gone, one of those moments that are imprinted on the sensor of the soul, not the camera.

clean lines of muizenburg swell

clean lines of muizenburg swell

It’s easy to get out back and I let a couple of waves go while catching my breath. Now a line of swell rises and I turn and paddle. There is a flash of doubt as I recall the pounding I took at Glen Beach yesterday. But then I feel that familiar thrust of the board as the wave takes it and I pop-up instinctively. Soon I’m rushing in the clear water, the peal of the wave almost in touching distance of my right hand.

I’m given a long ride, all of it on the clean. It’s like yesterday didn’t happen at all.

When I get back out again I see that  just farther out Phil is riding a wave clean himself.

Another wave comes and the ride on it is similar to the first one. Only this time, as I’m about to jump off the wave it reforms and I accelerate as I drop down the face. The water surface becomes blurred and my heart pounds hard. When I finally come off it feels like something is bursting to come out of me, I whoop out into the atmosphere.

This time when I get out back there are four or five others there. Phil is still catching waves at will farther out.

muizenburg, early morning...

muizenburg, early morning…

I catch four or five more waves, all as good as the first. I have faith now that I don’t have to catch the first decent wave I see, I can be selective, wait till I’ve fully recovered from the paddle out.

A wave comes now and I see Phil scything down the face. It’s pitching perfectly for me to catch. I can see that our paths won’t cross if I take off now and I know Phil won’t mind anyway. So I turn and start paddling, knowing that soon I’ll make an exhilirating 4′ drop.


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