Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gooood Session and a true surftrip!

(Johan) We had a really good trip saturday. My knee held up for about 2 hours, then I decided to get out of the water and snap some shots of the surf.

It was really cold, but as the photo says, "Make friends with the cold", we did.

There´s actually 6 boards in here, along with 3 guys and a lot of other stuff.. Gotta just love Citroën!

Ratty hacks a cutty on a little one.

A nice clean one peals off unridden!!!

Andrew checks out the tube as he sneaks around the section

A better indication of the size of the medium ones
Nice and clean..and COOOOOLD. 1.7 degs in the HURT to dickdive more than about 3 waves in a row!
The 'One that got away'..It was this big!!!
Andrew negotiating a little closeout section
The Photographer himself, Kojak
When we got there it was sunny and about 4 degs out..It was onshore but we saw it was building..The prognosis said that it would be onshore all day but we got lucky and about 20 mins after we paddled out the wind died completely for about 45mins and we got some really goos ones with an ever increasing swell..After johan got out the wind came onshore a little bit again but some biiiig mothers came thru ..(RAT) I duckdived under 2 waves that were solid 6 footers ozzie size..Unfortunately i was in the wrong spot and had to duck under them as i watched them break cleanly over my head..sad..but such is life..we had an unreal surf and it's the start of a really good season I'd say..Here's to Norrland..peace from the Midnight Runners.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's on again..!!!

Looks like a solid swell's on it's way on saturday...+1 deg in the water and it looks like +2 degs out.....mmmmmmmmm..who's in???

Monday, March 10, 2008

Andrew hits it ALONE!!!

Just got an email from one of our reckless crew members Andrew..Seems he did a 'Stealth Mission' yesterday all alone with some amphibious craft in the cold waters of the's his email ...hahaha
"So I went this morning to check my new spot. It was a bitch to find and the waves were worse. I ran about 1km to look around some rocks but there was no surf there either. The waves were at least 2m but there was just nothing surfable no beach just waves breaking on rocks. Then I headed to this little protected bay and thought I would take my boat out and do some real hunting but the dam boat motor wouldn't start. It started twice but died after a few seconds. I thought fuck you boat and I fought with it for at least 30 min trying to pull the hell out of the start cable. Then I dumped a lot of gas out cause I thought there was to much in the tank, maybe it was getting flooded some how. It helped a little but still it would die after a few seconds. The fuel and oil got all over me, my wet suit and every other thing in the boat. Fuck. Then I packed up and headed to our normal spot. I got there around 2pm and thought the swell would have died by then. But to my surprise it was 2m on the sets and some were way bigger than that. I believe the reports under-estimated this one. The shape was not that great but the sun was out and the water was warmer than the reports said so I wasn't cold at all and the wind was minimal. Well it wasn't glassy but it wasn't a hell wind. The point was breaking for a long ways but it was pure mush and would have sucked even on a longboard it was just way way to soft. Middles had the size but the shape wasn't that great. Sectiony, sometimes close outs, sometimes bowly with no shoulder. But hell it was surf and that's not bad. I didn't have time to check any of the new spots but hopefully next time. Seriously the water was cold but I was not colder than the last time we all went out. It is no way to cold to surf in."

That's Andrew's story...attempting to go out alone in 2 deg water with a dodgey motor..You're a legend mate...Love RAT..

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spontaneous Surfari to Norway

(Jay) The journey began with a spontaneous urge to surf.
Ratman had had enough of no surf and plotted an adventure with pure

instinct and very little thought. (Rat)." I had checked the prognosis, which looked insane and that was enough to get me on it!...I also knew that it was the only week where we were all free to go, before all the family responsibilities fell upon our group." (Jay)He called around and assembled
the crew with the idea and then told his girlfriend he was going.
She gave no resistance which was fuel to the fire. Johan was
game and they both convinced me to go. Within 3 hours, we were
on our way for a long drive and an adventure we'll never
forget. We were headed to Norway.

Photos by Jay

We headed out stoked and really looking forward to getting some
"real" surf for once. As we drove I told the guys to look
out the window at the Northern Lights which layed a moving,
green and silver curtain all around us. We thought it was a
sign that this trip would be a magical one... that is until we
drove up to an accident where a moose had been hit by a truck
and a car which had stopped behind it had been rear-ended by an unobservant
motorist. We realized at that point that we should keep an
extra good eye out for moose.

Along the way, we came across a fox and then a huge moose that
casually strolled over the highway. When we reached the
Norwegian border, we pulled over to a gas station to relieve
some of the coffee that we drank. Johan took the pilot's chair
and we were off again but now the weather had taken a turn for
the worse and we found ourselves driving in semi-blizard
conditions. Not too long into the trip Johan was faced with a
dilemma. A soccer ball chunk of ice had come loose from the
snowbank and now stood between us and the road. The only
option was to try to drive over it in hopes it would break
apart, or risk avoiding it and possibly ending up in the ditch
or embedding the car into the snowbank. When we hit it, it did
not break apart but rather wedged itself under the front end
of the car. Ratman did a little swearing but soon understood
there was nothing we could have done to avoid hitting it. We
drove a few kilometers more where we came to a cross road.
There we got out and inspected the car to see if there was any
damage done. Sure enough, a plastic cover, which had protected
the radiator had come loose and further inspection revealed
the mounts holding the radiator had broken and bent the
radiator. It wasn't a serious problem however, since there were
no leaks and the radiator was not loose. One more thing to
keep our tired eyes on.

Ratman regained control of the mission and we drove a while
before exhaustion was getting the best of him. We pulled into
a truck stop to try and sleep a couple of hours. It was -5 out
and in no time the car became cold inside. Ratman awoke after
a snore and was fit for a fight so we continued. The morning
light was a welcome friend making the drive much less
stressful and the snow had stopped falling.

As we drove into the highlands, we were in a winter wonderland
with soft snow all around us. The lightly cloudy sky created a
flat light which left no room for shadows and very little
sight of the contours in the snow. Luckily there were road
sticks marking the sides of the road which we used to feel our
way out of the highlands.

Arriving to the coast the weather got better. It was overcast
and spring was in full effect with wet, winding roads. The
views were incredible as we looked out the windows in awe.

After 10 hours we finally reached the town we were looking for
where we were to switch course and head "straight" to our
location. The roads became even more winding but we knew we
were getting close. As we headed up and down mountains and
fjords, we came to a sign that pointed us to our destination.
It wasn't long now!

We came over a mountain and looked down to what we first
thought was our destination. Good thing it wasn't since the
surf there didn't look like it was going off as we had
anticipated. Another mountain and we had arrived. A winding
road looking like a string of spaghetti dropped on the floor,
wound itself down the steep mountain and into the valley
below. We had made it!(providing we could make it down the
road which we did.)

Arriving to the destination we were greeted with open arms and
then told to "GET OUT!" by the hurricane force winds.

Photos by Jay

After we had our first surf session, we unpacked our gear and
started making dinner. We had a great spaghetti dinner
with a fresh cake made for us by our host. We then sat back
and got to know the other guys who were staying at the "surf
house". One of the guys was named Alexander. He was a low
keyed, quiet guy with a kind smile. He was going to stay there
for 2 more weeks and had been there long before we showed up.
The other guy was named Olav. He was tall, buff and had long
hair. He too was very low keyed and kind. As we sat around
chatting 3 different languages, Olav offered to show us a
video of himself to pass the time. We watch a video of some
crazy man, telemark skiing backwards. We asked if it was him
skiing and he nodded yes. He then explained how he won the
World Cup twice but that telemark skiing isn't so popular
which means he only has the medals too show for it. It's
really too bad because it is a beautiful sport.

A little while later I said good night to everyone and went to
bed. Johan was to follow later on and Ratman shortly after

Day 2, The Enlightenment:

Photos by Jay

I was awoken at 7am by our host Torkild. I jumped down from my
bunk bed and tried to wake up the Rat and Johan. Niether were
ready to get up. So I made my way down to the cellar where we
had our very own kitchen. I made myself a breakfast of Muesli
and a can of pineapples and of course, coffee. When I finished
my breakfast I went back upstairs to get the guys out of bed.
Ratman looked at his clock and sprang out of bed saying, "Is
it 8 o'clock already!?!?". I then tried to get Johan up but he
was pretty worn out from the drive there and the surf session
when we arrived. He had hurt his knee surfing and apologised
that he wasn't going to come along to surf. Both Ratman and I
pleaded and begged him but he wasn't up for it. So Ratman and
I hurried downstairs. Rat ate a quick breakfast while I got
the gear ready. Since Johan wasn't coming, we had an empty
seat in the car and asked Olav if he wanted to come along. He
agreed. We packed up the gear and we headed for an infamous

After driving the winding roads of Norway, we reached the
break. What we saw made our jaws drop. We changed into our
wetsuits and in no time were jumping into the water and
paddling out. The paddle was easy due to a channel of deep
water. Ratman caught the first wave of the day. It was a right
and double to triple overhead and smooth as silk. I headed
further down to try and score a left I had seen before we
paddled out. After waiting over 20 minutes I aborted my
search and paddled back over and caught a nice right. The
waves were hard to catch but once you got onto them they were
fast and gentle but not lacking power. They were like
skateboarding a huge quarter pipe with a really smooth
transition. Ratman and Olav were going off catching wave after
wave. After a few nice rights, I finally got a left. The
shoulders were so clean that round house cutbacks were
effortless, long and wrapping. I paddled back out and caught
another one. By this time, I was literally throwing my arms
out with my shoulders to paddle because I was so tired. I duck
dove some white wash and looked to my left and saw this seal
staring me in the eyes. I got a little freaked out and took
the next white wash in. I know they're harmless but his black
eyes really freaked me out. I was about to paddle back out
when I realized that Ratman wouldn't be surfing much longer
because we had been out quite a while. So I turned around and
took pictures for the rest of the session. The rain had come
as well so I changed into my warm, dry clothes and drove the
car up onto a bluff overlooking the waves and took sniper
shots at Olav and Ratman. Ratman is the Goofy Footer and Olav
is the Regular.

Last Day: The trip home

Photos by Jay

The third day of our journey was upon us. We had our stuff ready to go and after a pleasant breakfast, were on the road. Our intentions were to try and catch a quick surf before we committed to the road. The waves at the surf house were blown completely out. We headed off to a different spot and it wasn't that good so we just left. We had a long trip ahead of us.

Johan and Grant had come up with great idea to save time for the ride home. Instead of risking the chance of running into the same blizzard type weather we ran into in the mountains, we'd instead take the Norwegian coast back home. I didn't see the logic behind it since the GPS Johan brought along showed the shortest route was the way we came. The decision was made and we headed along the coast.

We came to a ferry crossing which we were to take in order to get home. This was to be one of many ferries and tolls we would come across. While we were waiting Grant asked a guy if the ferry accepted ATM cards. Then he told the old man where we were going and the man looked at him crazy... and said, "Why you going that way!? Go over the mountains! It's faster!" Grant insisted that the weather was less than ideal in the mountains and the old man said it would still be faster and less trouble. So Grant decided to tell the old man we were going to surf some spot Grant and Johan knew about on the other side of the bay.

We drove onto the ferry, paid the fee and arrived on the other side of the bay. We drove off and headed to a spot that Johan actually did know about from the time he was working at a fish cannery. It was to be an hour detour and the waves we saw were nothing to write home about. They broke over a shallow rock reef and it was so out of control that suiting up to catch a few just wasn't tantalizing so we turned around and continued our journey.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. The only part that really stood out was all the tolls that we had to pay. In the end, driving up "the coast" cost about 800 Norwegian Kronor which translates to about $162. Needless to say, we'll never go that way again. We'll take heed to the recommendations of the locals.

In all fairness to Grant, the idea appeared it would save us time due to weather and road conditions. It was a great alternative even if we did have to pay some tolls. However the reality was it took a little bit longer, cost us a bar of gold, but the roads were nicer. I guess the moral is: "You get what you pay for."

All in all, the trip was very memorable. I really missed my family since it was my first time being away from my 9 month old daughter and being so far away from her. The waves did not let us down but Johan's knee did. Grant's car sustained over $2000 in damage from the ice boulder we struck. The food Johan brought was very delicious and filling. The sleeping conditions in the surf house were comfortable. Every single person we met was really kind.

I want to send out our gratitude to Anne and Torkil, Olav, Alexander, Kittil and his dad, the two Polish guys who were there renovating the surf house, Otto the grocer who opened his store to us after hours and all the rest that were there and involved with us in any way. Thank you all for your hospitality and kindness in sharing those beautiful waves with us. We'll be back and we hope to see every single one of you when we return.


What Happened In Norway??

Well my fellow will soon get all the gorey details..full story coming soon..oh, by the way, it was pumpin'......mmmmmm