Photo: Surfin' with giants

(Credit: ai.dan via Flickr)

It was September 2009. We arrived at dawn and climbed into our wetsuits in the brisk September air at the truck in the parking lot. Grabbing my board, I began the trek to the beach at more of a trot than a walk in anticipation of hitting the water and sliding across some waves. But, the morning was destined to be monumental, not for spectacular waves, rather for the whales in the surf break just off the beach.

Imagine the utter wonder that stopped me in my tracks as I hit the beach to see a grey or humpback, I wish I could distinguish them, expelling a plume of mist from its blowhole mere metres from the beach! As myself and several other kindred spirits hit the water on our boards to paddle out to the break, the whales relinquished the near shore waters to our antics. They didn't go far though, with three chasing each other around about fifty metres from the surf break directly in front of the beach, known as 'Chickens'.

I can't tell you much about the surf that day, other than the fact that it was small. However, sharing the break with the whales made this quintessential BC day memorable.

Little did I know at the time, we would be sharing the break with these gentle giants for the remainder of the fall. For whatever reason, they stayed on frequenting the beach at Sombrio till sometime in late November. I have not seen these goliaths since and hope one day I will once again surf with giants.

Message to Canadians: PROTECT MOTHER OCEAN!
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By Todd Clarance

Shawnigan Lake, BC

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1 Comment

Sep 30, 2012
4:51 PM

really nice piece Todd,

I saw that animal during that time as well. I think they were greys. I have since seen greys in the waves at Sombrio several times, sometimes so close to the take off that going left at Firsts was not an option … unless you wanted to make beef with a big bruddah!

too right sir, the oceans and the communities in it require our protection and respect.

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