Archives for April 2013

Day 11 – 10 days of surfing does a body good

Day 11 – 10 days of surfing does a body good

With the expectation of a dropping swell many of us welcomed the break in action.  The attendance of watching movies in the galley became stronger and the mornings at sunrise most were still sleeping(and thats going to bed at 830 or 9).  We were at an anchorage that was in a very large bay/channel.  Once the sun was up I jumped in the tin and explored a nearby reef.  Many of the reefs are somewhat dead from a cold water surge about 10 years ago reckons Martin.  This spot still has large reefs head alive and well teeming with fish.  Going into that underwater world at sunrise in the middle of nowhere quickly brings back such a strong inspiration from nature.  Without much time I snapped a few images off and then had to get back to the boat as we were off to head north and look for some swell.  Once we arrived at Sharkys it was somewhat cloudy  and overcast, not a great condition for shooting.  The waves were still fun.  I paddled out and got a few at the right while the rest of the crew surfed the right.  Once I got my fill I went in and switched my board for my camera.  I swam with my wide setup on the shallow reeling right.  The reef went shallow extremely quick and my quick response time for sets and currents wasn’t nearly as quick from the days of swimming.  I was sparred from getting any poundings!  We went in for lunch and were all pretty exhausted.  Tim put up another stellar 5 star meal and from there most of us fell asleep as we headed north from there to start the trek back north as the trip is coming to an end soon.  Today was the second day in a row I had taken a nap.  Our bodies were beaten from the constant time in the water and over load of calorie use.  I was able to catch up on some work and organizing the days of shooting.  We traveled over 5 hours north before setting in to our anchorage just before dinner.    For dinner we had a feast.  Fresh grouper that Martin speared that day along with the latest from rod and reel that Tim caught.  Lamb, chicken, salad rice and topped it off with ice cream cones for dessert.  As usual I feel asleep long before 9!

Ben Hicks

www.bocaratonphoto.com

www.benjhicks.com

www.seaturtlephotos.com

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Tuesday

Knee to thigh high south wind swell here locally in Broward county. North PBC is getting a North swell in the chest high range with good winds.

Looks like we’re getting some waves down here later this week and into the weekend. The waves models are almost hinting at offshore winds on Saturday morning but NWS is calling for east winds at 10-15.

 

I surfed up in St Lucie County yesterday and scored some fun ones. Probably real good up there today.

Day 10 – The rise and fall of swell

Day 10 – The rise and fall of swell

Last night we parked in a rough channel.  All night I felt as though I was on the verge of rolling out of my bed.  Some how I didn’t get sea sick, but Nader wasn’t so lucky.  Rocking and rolling all night!  We woke to another day of solid swell.  The wind was on it where we were all the way south so we headed north a bit to find firing sharkeys…… with another boat.  We let them surf for a couple hours and just as our guys paddled out the swell died, as forecasted.  It went from 6-8ft barrels to head high!  Mother Nature never ceases to be unpredictable!  I shot from the tin for about an hour into the dying swell and still snapped off a few bombs.  Not long after the rain started and that was the end of my session shooting from the tin.  Today I was pretty beat, possibly from getting a lot less sleep from waking up in the giant rocking chair (ie our boat).  Since the waves were getting slower and slower with the sets getting farther apart I decided to take a break.  Took a nap and felt a lot better.   The wind started to feather onshore and we were off south to find an off shore peeler.  Arriving about 2 hours before sunset we unloaded everyone into the tin and headed out to Debuts.  It was head to occasionally a foot over head and fun looking long rights.  Very inconsistent but glassy.  The comedy started as Skip and I watched the session go down on the boat as I shot.  Great rides were had and great wipeouts were documented!  Steve snapped another stick and also lost his glasses.  Bummer!  But he charged!  Just as the evening before we crammed into the boat as darkness came and ended another day in paradise.

Ben Hicks

www.bocaratonphoto.com

www.benjhicks.com

www.seaturtlephotos.com

Supported by: Dakine Photo packs

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1970’s 6’10” MTB Vintage Surfboard

For Sale is a 1970’s 6’10” MTB Vintage Surfboard.  The board is in good shape for being 30-40 years old.  The board is water tight and was fully restored recently by Bird Surfboards. It has a Double winged tail, channel hulled bottom, and coming with star system fin boxes.  This board is very unique and shows the progression of surfboard shaping in the 70’s.  The price is FIRM at $350.  If your interested call/text me at 850-322-2498.  Thanks Dave

Sunday

Knee to waist high with some bigger sets around North Broward. A little funky but there are some fun  ones to be had.

Looks like the waves are going to be big upcoast next week. It should be worth the drive if the winds cooperate.

Ben and the boys must be having a blast in Indo. Day 9 looks like the best day of Trip so far.

Day 9 – Mother Nature fist pumps

Day 9 – Mother Nature fist pumps

I wake to the chattering of large chain links moving along the metal opening on the nose of the boat.  The anchor is coming up, its 530 am and we are off to check out McFrights as we know the swell is rising  and being on it early will be our best chance at scoring.  We headed straight to McFrights but were quickly joined by another boat.  A couple of our guys paddled out but the amount of people and the amount of waves didn’t add up.  Steve snapped a board within 10 mins, one of Wes’s boards too!  Not a good feeling to snap a friends stick!  The wind was slightly (2mph) onshore and that was enough for Martin to make the call to leave.  We headed south.  In classic surf trip fashion we put in the movie Kick Ass and had a laugh along the way.  At all times we troll when cruising and occasionally catch something.  20 mins in the line starts racing out on one of the rods.  Cliff races to the back of the boat and we all go see whats on.  It turns out to be a nice Mackerel that we eat later on for dinner!  A couple hours later we rolled up to perfect heaving Sharkeys.  For almost 4 hours the boys surfed the 6ft barrels trading off wave after wave.  I shot from the tin boat for about 2 hours until the sun won and I headed in to east and surf from the Trader.  Skip and Christian had lost boards from snapped leashes and had to make the reef walk to get them.  Other than that the carnage was only in the photos.  Into hour 3 another boat, The Huey rolled up.  Martin recalled never seeing them this far south before.  He has been exploring these islands for 20+ years and reckons just now that other boats are coming this far south.  A pretty good run on your own!  Thankfully they did the right thing and waited until our guys were done surfing over an hour later.  A rare thing to witness but a wonderful thing to happen when its firing.  Unfortunate for them just as we got out the wind came onshore….lol.  Poor guys!  We escaped the onshore wind by traveling south and scoring another epic evening sesh at Debuts.  The wind was off shore and there were some 8ft sets rolling through.  I chose (with Martins recommendation) to be dropped off at the small sandbar to shoot long lens on a monopod.  It was no less than 30 yards long and 15 wide.  Maybe 3 feet high.  Just in case I brought a radio in my drybag.  I had to reef walk in waist high water with my pack on my head to get there.  Not 10 mins in a huge set fired off the reef and flooded the sandbar to nearly waist high.  Luckily I am fairly tall and just lifted my gear up high enough.  Soon after I pack my stuff away and called in the tin for a pickup.  I was out of there.  From there I shot from the tin in the channel.  Martin snapped his 8’8″ soon after and joined myself and Tim in the boat, thus the peanut gallery was formed.  Solid sets were rolling through and they were hooting everyone into the waves.  The highlight of the session was Steve digging into a solid set wave with a double rail grabbed grip and side slipping late drop into a bomb.  He made it!  Keep in mind he was on an thick 8ft fun shape.  Move of the day!  Martin quickly awarded him the heat winner!  Everyone else surfed until dark and all 12 of us crammed on the tin boat and we headed back to the Trader, already Bintangs in hand.  Hands down the best waves of the trip were surfed today and the boat was full of stoked blokes (as the aussies would say it)!

Ben Hicks

www.bocaratonphoto.com

www.benjhicks.com

www.seaturtlephotos.com

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Saturday

Knee to thigh high wind chop. Small but fun!

Ben and the boys are on day 8 scoring some good ones in Indo!

Day 8 – Barrels and the bottom of the reef!

Day 8 – Barrels and the bottom of the reef!

The morning started off pretty good for me, as everyone slept in and I paddled out to 10 straight waves to myself at Moots.  It was about chest high but glassy.  When your out there by yourself at sunrise catching wave after wave, life is pretty good.  As soon as the boys awoke I paddled back in, grabbed some breakfast and then proceeded to get some shots from the boat of the guys.  The tide was getting higher and the wave count was going down fast.  Part of the crew left to go over to McFrights in the tin.  I missed that boat over and stayed back since the majority of the guys were still where I was.  The Trader eventually lifted anchor and headed over to McFrights.  By the time I had gotten in the water that crew was done.  Shift change as Nader, Wes, Cliff, Skip and Kane paddled out.  I shot from the water as the barrels piled through the lineup.  10 mins in a 6ft set caught us all off guard and got me on the inside.  Bounced off the reef twice, both times off my back.  I had my rash guard on and didn’t get any cuts but did hit hard enough to be a bit shaken up.   On every deep breathe I felt a pinch of pain, hopefully its not a cracked rib!  We continued to shoot and get some epic moments on film for another 2 hours.  Exhausted myself and was spent from the day.  I came back aboard the Trader and shot a bit from the boat as the boys continue to get shacked.  Nader snapped a board on one of the barrels earlier and the second half was still on the reef.  Rather than leave it, Doug and I decided to venture on the beach to get it.  Getting there meant a drop off with the tin about 30 yards from the beach and a swim in.  I had my drybag backpack and camera gear in had and carried on my head as I swam in.  We both had booties on since the reef is razor sharp.  On the beach we realized there was a small tent just inside the lavish bush under the towering coconut palms.  We find out later they were there to harvest coconuts for the village across the way on another island.  Walking up the beach onto the dry reef to retrieve the snapped board we were inundated by biting flies in the 90 degree heat.  While there the wind had turned on shore and McFrights was done for the day.  We headed back after the short swim to the tin.  Martin lifted anchor and brought us across the way to ship wrecks where the wind was offshore.  The waves were a bit inconsistent.  A few paddled out but most of us were to tired for another sesh unless it was barreling.  From there we headed back to our mooring for the night in between a mangrove inlet where there were calm waters.  As usual Tim the chef brought smiles to our bellies by serving up another beast of a meal.

Ben Hicks

www.bocaratonphoto.com

www.benjhicks.com

www.seaturtlephotos.com

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TGI Friday!

Flat throughout southern South Florida. North of the Bahamas Banks looks like it’s starting to pick up that long period swell. Might be worth the drive later today or tomorrow.

Fourth Dimension performs at the Pompano Beach Seafood Festival tonight from 6pm-8pm. One of my favorite local bands!

Board Swap tomorrow at IWS. Always a GOOD time!

 

Day 7 – 8ft sets without gills.

Day 7 – 8ft sets without gills.

I was out first in the water this morning as the sun came up over the horizon and got in 10+ long left handers to myself at Moots.  Getting 5-6 turns out of each wave in the mellow but fun conditions.  Soon after I swam in an started shooting the guys as they arose from the dead.  Around mid morning a couple of us headed in the tin boat over to a nearby island where McFrights was peeling barrels.  Cliff and Christian traded off barrels by themselves while I shot from the tin boat with my 70-200 on my only working 1d Mark 3 body left.  Cliffy won the heat and nearly combed Christian.  Since we were in the tin boat about 3 miles from the Trader it was just the two of them out.  All I could think was if Nader knew what he was missing it could get ugly.  A storm started to approach from afar and we had to get out of there before the white conditions met us on the way back from the boat.  We made it back with a little evidence to prove just before the rain started hard.  While it started pouring outside we ate some lunch on our way over to the lighthouse.  It was firing.  Martin was calling it 8ft on the sets.  Solid rights barreling in the inside.  I chose to shoot from the tin for while, then the Trader and then hoped in the water with my flash housing until dark.  The housing setup plus the flash is a lot to carry in 8ft waves.  On top of that the lineup was shifty and a little unpredictable in the inside.  Shooting in the water is and adventure every time I swim out.  Add a flash to the situation and its gets that much more confusing, not just shooting photos from a technical stand point but also the shear weight of the housing.  After all though this is why I like it, bringing that much more of a problem to solve.  Just before dark I was trying to lineup with Kane on a barrel and a 4 wave 8ft set came and cleaned my clock.  I was done and another day was in the books.

Ben Hicks

www.bocaratonphoto.com

www.benjhicks.com

www.seaturtlephotos.com

Supported by: Dakine Photo packs

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