How To Get Proper Skunked

A wise young lass once told me that in order to court a princess, you need to slay a few dragons along the way. The way I look at it, the same rings true for most surf trips. You gotta pay your dues. Sure you can check the forecast, or even plan a trip around a certain swell, but there is no guarantee for waves, the tide might be shit or the onshores could be cranking.

For East Coasters, the Atlantic hurricane season is a particularly anticipated event on the calendar as it historically provides several long period swells between June and December.

You may ask, what the hell does this land-lubbing cunt know about hurricanes, or the East Coast for that matter? Well, in the 4 years I have passed in this socialist nation, Quebec that is, I have tracked and attempted to surf a handful of named storms, but one gent really stands apart from the rest. 

L`anglais, EJ and myself tripped somewhere around 1182km to meet up with Noel. Based on the track of the storm and forecasts culled from all sorts of météo media, we gambled the storm would arrive sometime Saturday and Sunday would be solid. There might be a slight chance to surf Saturday, on a protected shoreline, but were assuming Victory-At-Sea conditions.

*1st Drafted Schedule – Leave Friday after work. surf Saturday. surf Sunday. return early Monday. work 9am.

Road trip there and back: a complete blur.
Rivière-du-Loup: perennial favorite.
New Brunswick: Abundance of empty landing strips for low-radar, import-minded individuals and plastic roadside Diners that use mozzarella on fries with gravy and mistakenly call it a poutine.
Not a terrible drive at all, just not enough beef jerky options.

Arrived around 7am.
The day was a complete disaster, with the exception being that we found some prime real estate for when (if) the gales died down.
We drove and drove and didn`t get in the water.
Turns out, the storm slowed down as it reached the Canadian Maritimes and the local winds would continue well into the night.
Good thing the government depot sells Oland products.

Beer led to sleep, which was disturbed by Noel reaching mainland and a midnight wave of 25 degree humidity.
Wake up early. Power out, who gives a shit, it`s gonna be all-time.

Spot check. Messy. Spot check. Messier. Spot check. Messiest.
Seas peaked at 30 feet in the early hours.
Wind dies. Sun comes out. Horizon is cleaning up. Anticipation.
Flat tire.

Only Sunday in the entire year the Crappy Tire service centre is open on a Sunday and it was just our luck they had one tire that would fit. The kind folk repaired the tire immediately as they understood we were antsy to surf.

We raced back to the coast, way out East to a peeling head-high right hander. Two departing locals stank-eyed us as we entered the relatively empty lineup, but they didn`t wax the car. The surf was fun.

Packed it all up, hit the road and arrived home at 5:30am.

24 hours of driving…2 hours of surfing
One less Cetus relative.

Thanks to Isa for the accommodations.


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