Autumn has been greeting Ericeira with hectic waves – which means I’ve been surfing loads. These past couple of weeks, the swell remained consistent (obviously with ups and downs) and spots that only work a few handy days of the year are dumping hauntingly beautiful kegs. I’ve been lucky enough to embrace three-hour long journeys of boogieboard and, on occasions, to simply gaze some of the most hauntingly beautiful waves I’ve ever seen. The latter is lingering the most on my mind.
I’m not going to lay down all the details of what’s been going on. Let’s just say I’ve attended good sessions; okay sessions; and others where I actually went way, WAY out of my own limits. And then there were the days in which I opted to stay put and flow with the Ocean’s pacing time. That’s what happened in the previous couple of days as I breakfasted next to a friend in a semi-deserted, dusty field pointing straight to one of the most mind-bending waves in Portugal’s coastline: The Cave.
The surfing world has heard a whole lot about The Cave last week, basically because Kelly Slater went surfing it. But that’s another story. This Western Portuguese slab, discovered by boogers several years ago, is a thick, shallow right that bends on top of a sharp, rocky shelve and batters below sea-level. One of two things can happen if you are caught by its chunky lip: either you are incredibly lucky and nothing more than a heavy whirl goes on; or you go straight to the rocks and get seriously injured. That happened to guys like John John Florence in 2012 and that’s the reason only a handful of Portuguese surfers risk to drop it. On the other hand, bodyboarders split the peak most of its pumping days. Not me though. I can only mind surf it.
The view of Cave’s grotto from the cliff is indescribable. The waves roll over like on a replay motion; bubbles arise from submerged rocks and draw mutant steps on the wave’s wall; and the sound…the sound is deep, dense. It’s all dazzlingly scary, a mesmerising scenario. For every single wave, I’m always awed. And the better of all: it’s right next my home! So me and a mate came up with a new routine for our whole gang to sip up the most out of this precious piece of Atlantic: dawning with coffee and cookies while peeking this raw, natural composition.
I like to be awed, every single day. I’m surely not the only one. At least my boogie buddies dig it too, that’s why we rise with the Sun and squander miles around Ericeira looking for bowls every week. If we can’t find them goodies, then nothing is lost. The nature takes care of things and we all get to renovate our spirits. As for myself, scoring a deep barrel or beaming a monstrous, empty slab has the same effect: both stick around my memory through times.