Perfect day out in the water. Nice size swell, maybe 3-4 feet, and very light wind. I paddled out around 10am to a small crowd of surfers over near Lion Rock. It was really easy getting out, nothing like the past two days. Within half an hour about 20 more people had joined us. Very crowded. I caught some great waves and also took my fair share of falling and being thrashed around. I came in after having a wave crash on my head and send the board flying into my pelvis. Ouch. No major injury, though. But I am careful to take my cues from the ocean and it was time for a break.
Walked up to the Piha Store and had a small black (coffee) and a vegetable panini. Walked down around and through the Piha Domain camp. It looks very nice, I could definitely camp there a few nights if necessary.
Last night I got totally lost driving out to Gavin’s in Sunnyvale for dinner. He came out to rescue me at a spot near where we had met on Sunday. He cooked up some breaded fish and made a great little salad of mixed greens and tomatoes. We both had a ginger beer. Turns out Gavin worked in the film business here for three years as a "swing driver" for "Power Rangers". No unions here, so he didn’t have to be a teamster to drive the trucks. He got a bit burnt out with that and is now driving trucks for a local company, hauling containers around. Says he loves it and the hours fly by. He also still has part share in a "unit truck", which is the New Zealand term for craft services – the truck that feeds the crew. Apparently West Auckland is big for the movie business and a lot of work is coming to town soon. Maybe I can get some work here and extend the trip. Just kidding. Mostly. But I am definitely not looking to pick up work right now – I’m on vacation!
Did a second surf session after lunch. Caught a couple of my best waves of the day. There was an older gentleman with bright blue eyes doing a lot of silly tricks on the longboard – riding backwards, spinning around, sitting down. Fun to watch him surf, but I knew if he was near me, he would most likely beat me to any good wave coming through. All good and fun, though. I had enough waves to keep me busy and happy.
Came back to the lodge and had Bobbie take this dorky picture of me and the board. This board is absolutely perfect for me, I wonder if I can talk them into selling it. For those who care it is an 8’0 x 22" x 2 and 13/16" made by B. Hansel. It is uncannily the same color as my longboard back home. Even if they won’t sell it to me, the rental price is reasonable and I can surf on it as long as I amhere.