Whilst the photos show blue sky and blue water, being mid winter, the oldfartsurfers had a lot of rubber to put on. As they rubbered up the friendly cripple came up from the beach, introduced himself as Pete, and gave some friendly advice on where the best peaks were. He then peeled back his rubber hood showed the boys a wound on his forehead where it had been driven into the sand bottom. Whilst seeing Pete's bloody wound was a sobering reminder of the perils of being sucked into shore break barrel, surprisingly Pete said "the water's really warm".
"The water doesn't seem to warm to me" said the Dude as they paddled out. "Warm water in the middle of winter, must be the bang on the head made him go troppo" said Mex. More conversation than a baby shower.
Perhaps feeling guilty about what he had done to Pete's forehead, or, perhaps to protect a couple of oldfartsurfers from themselves, Huey decided to pull up stumps. All the The Dude and The Mex got was a couple of fat takeoffs then a long wait out the back for the waves that never came. Eventually, a couple of nods was all that was needed for the oldfartsurfers to agree it was time to paddle in.
The next day Mex received a message from Pete:
"not feeling great today after getting driven into the grey sand yesterday. Serve myself right for not pulling out. Luckily my neck is not too bad. The blow was more of a brutal shove than a bang... good thing my neck has flexibility or I'd be in a brace. Says a lot for palates. The wetsuit hat saved my skin from being torn, but I have a neatly shaven bald patch and some nice bruising. "
"Pulling out of a wave like that is not an option" said Mex, not even for an oldfartsurfer who could use age as an excuse to avoid a pounding." "You would live with regrets for the rest of your life, Pete had no choice but to go for it."
(Publishers note: Pete may not have gone troppo after all, the water temperature was reported to be a tropical 13.7 degC, much higher than the 1981-2005 mean of 12.5 for this time of year.)
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