December 24, 2012

Quiksilver Waterman Tackle Cortes Bank

Cortes Banks Big-Wave Paddle session with Quiksilver Waterman Mark Healey, Jamie Mitchell and Peter Mel. The swell hit the forecast maps a week ago. The wheels start turning, where to go? Nelscott Reef, Mavericks or Todos Santos? After much deliberation between the three men. Cortes Bank was the call. Winds were forecast to be light out of the west and the swell would be 20-25ft. Everyone came together Friday morning at Dana Point Harbor. Rob Brown, with his sturdy boat and experience, was to be the captain for the two day journey. Arrival on the bank at 2pm. Swell was just starting to break on the reef 100 miles out to sea.

The first session started with the boys figuring out the reef. Finding bearings, line-ups and swell speed. By the evening Mark and Jamie picked of a few gems and called it an evening. Discussion that evening were about safety and what can be done better. We scrambled for the most comfortable spots on the boat and hit the decks. Sleep was spotty, but everyone snuck in enough shut eye for the next surf.

Sunday morning was similar in size, with conditions improving. At 8am surf number two hit the water. With a bit more knowledge of the conditions and line-up. The boys had more success finding waves. The sun came out the the ocean smoothed. What an epic adventure.

Jamie Mitchell found the energy in the afternoon to take out his new SUP. With that, he caught some of the biggest waves of the trip. Check the photos below for some of the highlights.