Surfing sometimes takes place in your head. Like this weekend when my good mate Nigel called up keen to go for a surf somewhere. It was Sunday, it was screaming northeast and there was only a northeast swell on the cards to play with.
Despite the facts we managed to convince ourselves that Whareakeake on the North Coast might harbour some magical dream walls. The more we thought about it the more we convinced each other that we may just be in for an epic session.
We packed the boards and babbled excitedly as we skirted the city bound for the destination in our heads. Somewhere between the stadium and Port Chalmers the rose-tint took full control and we didn't even see the flags flapping angrily at us from the northeast. No, we were excited like grommets, heading to the only place on the coast with no wind, lined up swell and sunshine. Further fueling our foolishness, a mate of ours had surfed it a few days before and the conditions were "similar", which we translated into "all-time".
Half-an-hour later we stood on a rock facing into a 20-knot onshore wind as 1-foot windslop peeled down the point and lapped around our feet. We had failed, of course. The conditions were just the way the forecast had said, but sometimes you just have to scratch that itch.
Surf trips are like that. Sometimes you score, sometimes you don't, but there is always value in the journey. With time on our side we scratched the urge to explore this cool part of the coast and walked out to Heyward Point high on the cliffs above Aramoana. It was the first time either of us had seen Aramoana Beach from this angle and it was as spectacular as it was from the water.
That's the silver lining of surf trips – getting to discover a new part of our coastline with a good mate ... and the juvenile excitement of the waves in our imagination before reality ruins the dream.
See you at the beach ...