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Open ocean swell in the 30ft range coupled with a classic low versus high pressure chart = high surf advisory and offshore winds.
Photographers Stu Gibson and Andy Chisholm were aboard to capture the moment this wave awoke. "It's the biggest, heaviest waves I've ever seen," Gibbo said. The waves were so big that by the time they broke, the four foot wind chop across the face was invisible. We saw four waves that had to be 40 to 50ft, some said two were rideable, some said one... ...None were makeable.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
The swell lines would warp around the reef then just totally bottom out into huge barrels. James Hollmer-Cross was clearly in deep deliberation with himself. The conditions were at best 50/50 for survival but the one or two close to perfect barrels we had seen had us all re-thinking what was possible. We cut out losses and steamed to Shipstern, the boys got a few but it seemed somewhat of a consolation prize.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Timmy Stevenson got his first barrel at Shippies after breaking his leg there a year ago, Gibbo and Chiz nailed some sick sunset shots and the cascade started to flow. Here's James Hollmer Cross swooping into a solid Shippies paddle wave.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Tasty arvo light at Shippies, so clean it looked like liquid ice.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Rudy Swartz slotted in a fun Stern barrel.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Shipstern Bluff -- an unmistakable headland throwing an inviting pit.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Victorian Tim Stevenson preparing to be smashed...© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
...And Tim cops an earful.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Sandy Ryan puts on the brakes.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
And now Sandy, casual as you like.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Shippies is the ugliest, most beautiful place on earth.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Sandy is in a real bad situation here.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
James Hollmer Cross tucked neatly in a perfect stern pit.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Sandy Ryan flys around the stern bowl looking for the pit.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
The jump off spot at Shippies, time it wrong and you're in serious trouble.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
James Hollmer Cross gets caught behind an arvo slab.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
This one snuck by the crew, clean as Shippies gets.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Tim Stevenson eventually found the gold he was searching for.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Yep, there it is Tim.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
"Looking at the photos now, knowing we didn't have a crack, is hard to swallow but the bar has been set."© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
The team, next time boys.© 2014 TheCollective.net.au
Kepa finds himself in a land of perpetual dancing and broad smiles.
Pick a solid swell, make the treacherous paddle, avoid the fang-like rocks on the inside, and you could score some of the longest rights of your life.
If Jack Kerouac surfed he would have chewed his beatnik leg off to get on this trip. Desert Point to Shipstern and everything in between.
Not all winter is cold, even if the country is in danger of washing away there will be surfers lapping up the storms
Those two imposters, triumph and disaster, go hand in hand in the sport of bodyboarding, especially for those hellmen who push the boundaries of what is surfable.