Mitu Dodges Sharks at Waddell Creek California!
After spending an entire week in a near total internet blackout, at one of the most remote locations I think I have ever been to, we headed back to San Francisco and civilisation as the end of our trip drew near. Of course there will be a full feature on our trip to the SoloSports set up in Punta San Carlos, Baja California in the next issue… In the meantime though we didn’t feel like wasting a day and so we headed to Waddell Creek to check out the action.
We headed out along Route 1 with Nico as our ever present and knowledgeable guide, along the way we checked out some of the beaches and stopped off in Princeton for lunch and to check out Mavericks. While we have been incredibly lucky with the wind and waves this trip, Mavericks doesn’t break all that often and with just a few feet of swell it was all we could do to admire the landscape, harbour and great food!
We met up with Bruce Johnson and Vincent Nicholas from F-One USA in the car park at Waddell, those boys had heroically driven the lion share of the kit we had used the previous week back from Baja, with a 16 hour drive under their belts they were looking surprisingly chipper. The wind was pumping, Waddell enjoys a localised wind effect which means it is often honking down here whilst there isn’t much happening in the Bay Area. Even I was surprised to find a solid 25 knots at the beach as for most of the drive down white caps had been rarer than electric cars in Texas!
We wasted no time in getting straight onto the water, aside from yours truly who wandered off well wrapped up to find a good spot for some shots. 9-7m kites seemed to be the order of the day and the place was rammed, hardly any room in the parking lot and the water was looking just as hectic. The water is cold down here, and loaded with seals, which means there are just one or two “men in grey suits” hanging about. Mitu never fails to ask about sharks wherever he goes, which seems a little odd to me as Cabo Verde has it’s fair share, he looks genuinely concerned about them!
As it turned out both Bruce and Vincent saw a sizeable white shark whilst they were on the water, I’m guessing Mitu never spotted it as despite the frigid waters he stayed out for ages! Obviously he was enjoying the conditions and the small but punchy waves started to build as the afternoon wore on.
With the lion share of the photos done it was time to ditch the camera gear for kite gear and get out there amongst the masses. Thankfully with the clock ticking on by the sky was definitely less colourful as many riders had headed off at the end of the day meaning there was a fair chance I’d be able to scalp a few waves myself. I pumped up a 7m and headed out into the mix, the first thing I noticed was the water temperature, it was chilly to say the least!
The next thing I noticed was just how punchy the waves at Waddell are, they have some real power to them and I can only imagine on a bigger day spankings are handed out on a regular basis! I didn’t spot the great white shark that Vincent and Bruce had seen, and it was very kind of them not to mention it when I went past them onto the water, cheers guys!
As the sun started to set the wind got a little funky and we headed back to the beach refreshed and stoked to have been able to kite one of Cali’s most famous spots. The swell forecast for the next few days is looking pumping, so if you are in the area and have the time, be sure to get down there. If not then at least you can enjoy these shots we grabbed from our day at Waddell, Mitu and I really enjoyed riding there and loved the hospitality from the local crew.
A huge thanks to Bruce, Nico, Vincent, Sylvie, Ella, Zola, Courtney, Billy and Nate from Bay Area Kitesurf and F-One America, Kevin, Clark, Joey, Mark, Derek and Mike from SoloSports, Germain from Amelie Wine Bar and much love to everyone we met along the way. Full story on our Baja adventure in issue 45 of IKSURFMAG which is out in a couple of weeks!
All Photos: Rou Chater