This is a classic hilarious true story that I remember. I take full responsibility for all this mayhem.
A Sandy Pigeon Caper
I’ve only surfed Sandy Bay once. It was at dusk. The waves were 5-6ft sometimes with 8ft closeout monsters. It was one of the most memorable surf sessions of my life. There were only 8 or so people out, and a pod of Dolphins were out there as well. As darkness set, we stayed in much longer than normal because the waves were glowing green with effervescence from the rich plankton in the water. We were eventually forced to leave the water when one of the other surfers wipeout and broke his leg on the reef.
hmm I think he actually broke his wrist…but who am I to remember random details?
I call this a Pigeon caper, since he has this habit of always coming up with the most random yet amazing adventures. This particular surf trip was random because he convinced me that we were going to be staying at his “aunts house” which overlooked Llandudno Beach. Since my mom was the driver from Plumstead to Llandudno she was the one that needed the most convincing – she is very over-protective that way. We were only 16/17 back then, and thus we couldn’t drive.
Beth has nothing on over-protectiveness Dave, nothing!
We reached Llandudno around 4pm. I got the distinct feeling there was something odd, when Pigeon couldn’t give an exact address, and seemed to pick a house quite randomly. My mom pulled up and parked the car in the driveway. While Tony & I unloaded the car, Ryan went to ring the doorbell. As soon as the car was unloaded, my mom realized that Pigeon’s aunt was at the door so she drove off and left us. She even waved at the woman at the door.
ha ha ha ha that was so random, saying hello to this random woman and tryign to keep her there long enough until your mom left!
That woman at the door was quite puzzled by this, and gave a rather awkward wave back. I went over to introduce myself, but the gate got slammed in Ryan’s face. “Close family” I chuckled. To which Pigeon replied – “Grab your stuff and run!”. Tony was already ahead of the curve and halfway down the road, running towards Sandy Bay (the opposite way from Llandudno beach). “What’s going on?” I asked. But Pigeon was ignoring me. “Run DD!” was all I heard from Tony up front.
ha ha ha ha
Here I was running with my surfboard under my arm as fast as I can go, with no idea what’s going on. Eventually about 10min later I caught up with the others at once I hit the Sandy Bay parking lot. Both of them were smiling at me. “What the fuck is going on?” I asked. “Well Dave I don’t have an aunt. Well not one who lives in Llandudno.” Said Pigeon with a stupid smirk on his face.
“What the hell does that mean?”
“It means I hope you brought a sleeping bag”
I took me a while to gather my thoughts. Here I was 20km away from home. No cellphone (didn’t have one back then). Having just realized that I was the sucker Pigeon and Tony had used to get to Sandy Bay. I had always refused to go anywhere near Sandy Bay. Firstly it’s a nudist beach, filled with weirdo’s. Secondly it’s a really hollow wave, and Im not half the surfer Pigeon or Tony was. And Thirdly it’s a long fucking walk from the parking lot just to the beach. Obviously I was pretty enraged once I realized the situation.
“You mean we’re sleeping on the beach?”
“Don’t be stupid, I don’t want to get raped!”
“So where the fuck are we sleeping?”
“We’re gonna hike halfway up the mountain and camp in the bushes.” Sandy Bay is pretty isolated and surrounded by a mountain overlooking the bay.
“What and how are we gonna eat?”
“I brought wors and Tony’s gonna build us a fire”
that was the dumbest and most scary part of the whole adventure, leaving Tony in charge of the fire. We were lucky we didnt starve or burn down the mountain!
Jesus what a nightmare. I contemplated just walking away right then and there. But instead I picked up my board and started along the trail to the beach. There better be some hot naked chicks lying around was all I can remember thinking.
When I got to the beach I was blown away. The waves were going off! Perfect barrels. With long open faces. I couldn’t believe it. We changed into our wetsuits on the beach, hid our stuff in some cave Pigeon knew about in the rocks, and then hit the water. One of the best surf experiences of my life. It was great right up until one of the other surfers wiped out, and the NSRI had to be called in to take him to hospital. We all got out of the water back then. All the surfers waited on the beach until the NSRI boat hit the shore. The trail from the parking lot is just too long a walk (over 5km) for an emergency like this. One of the paramedics was talking to Pigeon, who said we should get changed and make our way home quickly, coz this place got dangerous at night with the baboons.
I think baboons were the leats we should’ve been worried about that night, the gun shots were what scared the krap out of me!
Only Pigeon! So we got changed and waited for all the people to disperse before we began our climb up the mountain. About halfway up (I assumed since it was so dark I couldn’t see shit) we ditched the trail and wandered through the bush along a fairly level gradient. Eventually we found a site that was protected from the wind and set up camp. I wont lie I was very nervous of the baboons, and really didn’t want Tony to make a fire. But I was so tired and hungry, and also freezing. Surfing the Atlantic side is always cold, with 11C water always unpleasant.
The atlantic has the best waves, but its so damn cold.
But we made our fire and we cooked our wors. Best tasting wors in the world. There’s no better cook than hunger! After dinner Tony whipped out some Old Brown Sherry, and we tucked into that to knock us out. Could’ve actually done with about another 5litres of that or even moonshine since the wind picked up pretty bad, and I couldn’t stop thinking about getting mauled by a pack of baboons. I was also krapping myself worried about snakes or scorpions. It was the middle of summer and they were sure to be out.
When we woke up, the wind had switched from perfect offshore to miserable onshore. And the rain was coming in. “What now, oh divine maniac?”
“We go home?”
“I was planning on flying my magic carpet, got any other suggestions?”
Just like Pigeon. No backup plan. Always the master of “lets just see what happens”. One day his luck will end, but alas I’ve been saying that since we were in 8th grade. Thus we packed up our stuff. And hiked over the mountain into Hout Bay. From Hout Bay we hiked another 10km or so until we reached Constania nek road. This was where we stopped and decided to hitch hike. I’d honestly never done it before. Wasn’t sure Tony had either. Pigeon I’m sure had, since well he’s Pigeon.
We waited about an hour until eventually a truck stopped to pick us up. The only problem was we were riding in the back, and the driver was going to keep the truck doors closed. I wont lie, I was incredibly hesitant of climbing into the back of that truck. What if he was a smuggler, and we were gonna be smuggled out as sex slaves? Paranoid? Always! The journey itself sucked! Since we couldn’t see anything, like you normally do in a normal car, we all got pretty car sick. Constantia nek Rd must be the windiest road in the world! What probably made it worse was I needed to pee worse than ever.
Pigeon told the driver exactly where we lived and he literally dropped us about 100m from Pigeons house. Thankfully no one was around to see us jump out the back of a truck since Im sure we would’ve all gotten the beating of a lifetime.
This is how I remember Pigeon. We’ve had many crazy trips like this. From our sailing trips to Key West, to surf trips to Bali, Oktoberfest, and even the Firnge festival in Edinburgh. Pigeon has a sense of adventure and any trip with him is just plain lunacy. I hope you get better quickly mate, since the world is incredibly boring without you!
Dont worry bru, im just doing some internal remodelling. Back to normal soon. My mind is still as sharp as ever, and my tongue even sharper! ~ Pigeon