Much Ado about nothing. That would be the best way to describe the Big Wave surf competitions. Or better said, the competitions that never were. After leaving Viña del Mar, I found myself at the other end of Chile in a surf town called "Pichilemu". Punto de Lobos is a famous spot where people come all over the world to brave the massive waves. Waves known to be as high as 7 meters. Waves this size were desirable for competitions on an international level.
The organizers of the event were working with the very best technology and experts to predict when the next massive swell. Based upon the forecast, the event was given the go ahead to happen. It was scheduled for 9-5 June 4th. I got to the beach around 11:30 where a crowd from all over the world had gathered. Still no sign of waves. The announce started to get on the megaphone telling people sorry for the inconvenience but they are still waiting for decent sized waves to show up. So the crowd kept waiting and wandering around.
Finally some semi decent waves started to show around 1pm and the competition kicked off around 2pm. However, these weren't the glory waves that professional surfers, photographers, and surf fanatics travelled half way around the globe to watch. They looked to be about 3-4 meters high. The crowd still decided to have fun and enjoy the day and made what they can of it.
Now here is the ultra sick part. When I got up the very next day and looked outside there were massive waves pounding the beach. The forecasters had been right, gigantic waves were arriving, a day late. I had wanted to take my very first surfing lesson but after consultation with the hostel staff, they felt that it would be more beneficial for me to take a wine tour and instead surf tomorrow when the ocean would be less likely to toss my body around like a rag doll.
So I did exactly that. I toured some vineyards and savored some of their famed Chilean wine. I may have been able to enjoy a relaxing day but the very next day I faced the cold Chilean sea. The last thing I remember was my instructors last words telling me "No matter what happens out there, I'm at your side. Nothing will happen to you." Those words may have sounded lovely and polite on land but his words took on a whole new meaning as my breathe drew short in the cold ocean air and sea water filled my mouth.
To be continued.....