Chris Desmond, Sam Smith, Peter Barry, Michael Court
A relaxed charter hindered by atrocious weather conditions for the first week. Only 4 of the planned 8 turned up and we left into deteriorating weather conditions and small swell. There is always a wave up here and we managed to sneak a few surfs in with the lack of crowds. Mike, at 65 years old was an inspiration. One of the original Raglan Boys. Proud as punch to tell me he first surfed the classic left in 1959. He wanted rights and got 'em for the first few days. Pete, another of the Raglan Boys, also wanted rights as was very pleased with the warm up waves on offer. He had recently sold his 60ft steel sloop and fitted quite comfortably into life aboard the Barrenjoey. Chris was back for his third time, and Sam for her second. And that was the team.
We ran from the mad West winds, sails up and a 6ft wind swell chasing us to shelter. That was when the Marlin hit, spooled the line and snapped it. "they love this weather" exclaimed Mike. It would have been a mission to slow the boat down in the horrendous conditions.
The swell hit in the middle of the Westerly Wilds. It became very difficult to find some clean surf between the 50 knot gusts. And did we mention the rain. Everything was wet. By day 7, when the sun shined and conditions improved, there were grins from ear to ear. It did not matter that we had to surf lefts. Clean bloody lefts at that. It was perfect and we were all very happy indeed.
The last day the swell picked up again. We had 6ft lefts to ourselves. It's November and the map look insane for the rest of the month. There were some sore and sunburnt bodies as we headed back to port.