Posted by: smithdavid | November 10, 2013

Last Day

I sit on the wall that forms the edge of Muizenburg car park, look out towards the surf. Then wind is blowing into my face. On-shore. There is a lot of white water out there, I will not be surfing clean, glassy waves. But it’s my last surf of the holiday and who knows when I will surf again?

I send the text out to dark London, it’s Em’s birthday and I’m going to get back two days too late for the party. Hopefully some of the atmosphere of this warm, peaceful scene will move through the network, penetrate the UK gloom. Her message comes back, smiley faces as always, perhaps it’s worked.

I put the 8’2” down on the Muizenburg sand, take my wetsuit out the bag. Now Trev is beside me, taking photos with his phone, phoning his brother Chris, asking what time I think the surf shop will open. Today is his first surf lesson.

I change and then paddle out, steering my mind away from the fact the conditions aren’t great and that it’s my last day home for a while. When I get out a way I sit on the board. As usual with Muizenburg, it’s a long, long paddle to get out back and by the looks of things, it’s not spectacular out there.

I settle for a few re-formed waves. There are some which give me a drop, allow me to get ahead of the shoulder, ride the clear water.

ev, back from the search...

ev, back from the search…

It’s not a long session and for once I listen to my body – it’s aching and weary of so many days of surfing on the trot. I take a wave almost all the way in. Then I see the tall grey figure of Trev. He’s in waist deep, there’s an instructor with him. The instructor is a black guy, I recognize him from my epic session yesterday, he was the one who rode what was probably the wave of the day.

‘They’ve given you the QE 2, I see,’ I say to Trev, eyeing the 10’ board beside him. ‘Given your height, fella, it’s probably the right board…’ I add.

The instructor sets him up on a rush of whitewater, I paddle for it too. It’s not much of a wave but at least we’re riding it together.

two going in for a sunset surf, ev and i are jealous...

two going in for a sunset surf, ev and i are jealous…

Later I meet EV at his flat in Camp’s Bay. We walk down to Clifton, we have a few Windhoeks with us and we’re looking for some friends who are meeting on one of the Clifton Beaches for sundowners.

We don’t find EV’s friends but that’s okay, the sea and the golden light of the waning sun and the beer and the warmth of friendship are more than enough. We talk about the one girl who got away from him. I tell him that one day I’ll write a book about all the beautiful, fragile girls he’s been out with. It’ll be called Birds with Broken Wings. We laugh hard and the sun drops lower. We talk of all my foolishness with women, we laugh more.

Two guys walk by with boards, they’re heading north to Clifton 1. We don’t have to say anything, we both know the other is jealous of those two (especially me who will soon be in the cold and dark), we’d love to be going in for a surf right now.

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