29th April 2008
I was loving my vacation. Our beach house was exactly that...50 steps down from the house onto the beach. A double story overlooking the ocean...magnificent.
My family and I were having a fabulous time. I'd been surfing every day...twice a day actually, out on the point, deep water, in the very early morning and a beach break during the day so that I could be with my family during the day on main beach, St Francis Bay, One of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Tuesday the 29th was no different...a magnificent sunny day, the ocean as blue as it could be. Swimmers, boogie boarders, paddle skiers all just having fun. My kids were on the beach, my girlfriend chatting to a surf instructor....I, was surfing the shore break.
As far as shore breaks go this one was a biggish wave that formed very quickly and if you didn't get onto it smartly you were going to get dumped.
I have been surfing since I was 12 and have studied the ocean all this time and I have great respect for the sea, I figured I could get onto this wave quick enough to make it a fun ride.
I got smacked a few times...but that comes with the teritory, I knew that and I persisted.
My final wave started building...it was forming nicely from right to left and although the take off was really steep..I went for it.
I was too late on the take off, ended up on top of the wave and "went over the falls" (got dumped)
Trouble was I got thrown head first onto a sand bank. Water immediatly started filling the channel and before I knew it I was chest deep in swirling water, the current trying to pull me back to sea.
As soon as I hit the sand bank my head exploded and I knew I had broken my neck. I mean I heard the bones break. I was instantly disoriented, felt badly nauseous and had the most excrutiating pain in my head.
What do I do now? I had a choice. Fight for my life and find a way out of the water ..... or just give up, let go and drown.
PART TWO - TOMORROW