Ocean City Today
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Catching some waves during Caribbean trip

Surf Report
By Dave Dalkiewicz | May 10, 2018

(May 11, 2018) It was a surf trip to the Caribbean. Mike and I had found the time and wherewithal to take a break from the winter, head off to warmth, and hopefully waves as well.

The international airport couldn’t put us exactly where we were going but an added ferry boat ride did indeed do the trick. After tying up to the dock a quick hike up and over the hill had us in the desired vicinity.

Mister Elmo Smith had a second-floor apartment to rent which worked out just fine. Sure it was bare bones with more than enough friendly or not-so-friendly mosquitoes, depending on your view point, but after a few adjustments home sweet home it became.

Mister Smith was even kind enough to occasionally sell us a few beers from his residential first-floor refrigerator. He wasn’t bothered to break away from the dominoes game that he shared with a few local buddies.

The one surf break was famously consistent. At waist high to a bit overhead the surf was quite dependable. Early morning would typically feature calm to light offshore winds making for very clean surface conditions on the wave faces.

Even when the wind would come up later in the day it wouldn’t bother it enough to make it unsurfable. Not too bad, not too bad at all.

As content as we were to enjoy the consistency of our situation there was a jewel that we hoped to find, or more accurately, a jewel that would hopefully show itself during our brief though much appreciated stay.

The point of land that helped create this fabled jewel of a surf break could actually be seen from the line-up at the consistent, dependable break that we surfed on a daily basis.

Out in the water I’d regularly look to the east hoping to see some white water off that point of land indicating that some waves were finally beginning to show.

This routine continued for a week to 10 days or so, as the time grew short on our island foray. The final day had us both in the water trying to get in as many waves as possible when in the late afternoon it finally appeared.

White water was starting to be visible as I looked to the east, at that point of land, as had become so customary. “Mike, I’ve got to go up there and check it out!”

Mike was satisfied to keep surfing at the dependable break whereas I, on the other hand, was eager to see if the jewel was showing itself, even if the sparkle was only faint.

Leaving the water as quickly as possible I started up the road that paralleled the beach. Though the point could be seen from the water the trek by land would take some time.

In addition to the distance, a steep hill would have to be traversed in order to gain the desired destination.

To my fortune, a kind motorist stopped on the less traveled rural road and asked if I needed a ride.  Quickly I accepted, placed my board in the back of the car and hopped in.

The day was coming to an end with only a few hours of light left. The sky had become cloudy and a light misty rain had started.

Up and over the hill and down to the picturesque bay we came upon the spot I was looking for. “Dere’s no waves here, mon,” said the friendly driver.“Wait,” I replied.

Sure enough, in a few moments, a set of waves came through, looking to be about head high. Though the driver had offered a ride back to where we had met I asked to be let off.

Thanking him, I proceeded to an area near a pier, more inside the bay, that I knew to be a good place to paddle out and around the breaking waves.

This swell was definitely not the ultimate for this spot and was breaking quite close to shore along the point. Not only was the water shallow but the bottom was coral, some of it sharp.

I had heard talk of surfers leaving the water looking like hamburger and I certainly didn’t want to be one of them. All of this coupled with knowledge of a loose fin on my board made me very wary, yet still determined to manage at least a couple of waves.

Careful positioning and timing had me paddling into a few choice, good ones. There was one other guy in the water, cheering and joining in the session. He too was on it and had recently arrived, renting a house up on the hill, just waiting on the jewel of this surf break, within sight, to capture it, if and when.

After kicking out of a well negotiated steep wall of water I could hear my new acquaintance in his thick Long Island accent. “Way to go! You got a good one! This is it! This is the spot!”

Fortunately, I had enough sense to exit the water before the daylight completely waned into night, my board and I unscathed, still both in one piece.

The hike up and down the highly-angled, street-lit road, back to home base, was not at all burdensome. I was wrapped in the satisfying cocoon of a few cleanly ridden waves, in a new spot, with a tale to tell. All was right in the world in that moment in time.

— Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City.

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