Saturday, November 19, 2011

Machine Guns

Wow what a day – after a fairly heavy night it was decided to get up and on the road for seven am as we were going South to a spot with the slightly worrying name of ‘Machine Guns’!

Denny had been giving us the lowdown throughout dinner.

‘Yeah it’s totally sick, a slab that you get onto by holding your leash and jumping off the rock between sets.’

He then looked at me and said

‘Can you lie down and paddle your board?’

“Why would I want to do that?’

I asked, I was getting fractionally more nervous with every description that Den used to paint the picture that was Machine Guns. Words and phrases like, Slab, Reef, Firing and f’ing mental sprinkled with timing and insane were being used liberally.

He then dropped the bomb

‘ I just think that I would just prefer if you got going and got out quickly’

The other guys in the group lept to my defence Stating that I could probably paddle just as quick on my knees or standing, it was good of them but the seed of doubt had been sown in my mind. The counter to that was that it was Friday and almost certainly our last surf of the trip. So I was going in shit or bust.

So after an early start and an hour and a half or so on the road we pulled off the main road and headed down a desert track to a cliff overlooking Machine Guns. It was exactly as Den had described. The sets were stacking up well out to sea and were being focussed over a series of reefy lava outcrops up and down the coast. Our outcrop had been named as Machine guns.

Not wanting to spend too much time thinking about it I pulled on my rash vest and Vibrams and mooched off down the cliff. To be fair getting out was fairly painless – wait for a lull pushed through and over the wash and knee paddled quickly out behind the reef.

The sets when they came through were amazing and heeding Hishan’s advice of ‘Take the last wave Steve’ I picked off the last wave of a set and paddled in to a steep drop and a rolller coaster ride down the green face before taking the high line and exiting cleanly as everything beyond shut down.

That was allright and the session that followed saw me rack up my wave count considerably. The break was mainly rights but a few lefts presented inside of me that the guys were on.

A couple of rides ended up with me holding on too long, ending up well inside in the washzone and I touched down a few times but really no great drama. If i had to go behind someone paddling out I would get caught if I cut across them I got away with it.

We all had a wave fest at machine guns and again credit to the Moroccan Surf Adventures team for once again placing us in perfect conditions and on a break all to ourselves.

As one or two decided to get out the real fun began. The wind which was virtually non existent when we paddled out had just gone slightly onshore, the swell had jumped up a bit and the tide was dropping back down the reef, all pretty small changes but together they were enough to change the character and atmosphere of the place from a benign, glassy break into something a little more grey and snarling. With the dropping tide the inside was hard enough for the guys with 6′ shortboards – my Mana was going to take some holding on to. Three tentative attempts later, one involving me bailing inside and duck diving into three feet of water and six feet of wash saw me struggle to my feet and scramble up the reef carrying my board, desperately trying to hold on against the surging back wash.

All in all a great session and an experience to remember. Can’t quite believe that the board came away unscathed from that but it did.

It’s now Saturday mid morning and everything is packed up ready to leave at three. The offer of another surf this morning was tempting but it’s great to finish with a good one under my belt.

As soon as I get a decent connection I will upload the pics – the whole guided surf camp thing has been a new experience and great fun. Imagine staying in a hosted ski chalet and you sort of get the picture. As Denny said it’s not five star but if the alternative is camping or just taking pot luck and ending up in a scruffy guest house in Taghazout this is luxury. Always plenty of food, fun, hot water and waves.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chasing waves

Quick update today got some pictures but will add them all in one go when I get back the internet is slow here.
The swell had dropped off overnight and the plan for this morning was to go South to get out of the swell shadow, however a last minute change of plans saw us drive up the coast past Boilers and on to a reefy point that broke over shallow flat rocks. A couple of the shortboarders in the party braved the descent down the cliff whilst the rest of us wnt on to Tamari Beach.

Got to say having Hishan and Rashid with us as drivers and guides has been a godsend. Driving away from where we are staying we followed the coast and it was sheer glass with hardly a ripple even Boilers was quiet. Crest the headland and there were the swell lines, not huge but waist to head high with a suprising amount of punch. Left to our own devices we probably would have fannied about and ended up not surfing at all. As it went we all gottwo sessions in on the beach. Net result totally knackered – feels great.

Day Three

The wind had dropped off and with the forecast predicting a bump up in swell we all piled into the two 4×4’s and headed north to check out mysteries and then on to the headland that looks down on Killers. With perfect lines bending around into the bay it made sense to get stuck in. Duncan Red, Mark and Jim joined me shortly after although they struggled a bit with the paddle out against the rip that kept taking them back to the beach. All in all a good session for me and to finish the day off Andru and myself paddled out into Banana beach whilst the others took the windier and bumpier option of Devils just around the corner.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moroccan Day Two

Sorry bit light on the picture front – the guys went in this morning at a very heavy and busy Devil’s rock. Thought that it might be best to sit this one out but the heeby jeebies were well and truly laid to rest in the evening session. Managed some head and a half reeling rights to keep the Stand up flag flying high.
The wind was howling offshore and the sets were stacking up proper.

Wind dropped off overnight and wewent to Croco beach clean Head high plus with some Monster closeouts. All in boardies Couple of sessions. Arms are now officially toast!

Got a lot of Naish Mana 9 love going on.