Reflections of Taghazout October 24, 2016 11:53
"the importance of the field trip"
And you are welcome to change 'field' to a word of your choice, like 'road' trip for instance, that's a popular one, our trip was a 'surf' trip
boilers to draculas
"hey guy" said Bill the accountant, you need to leave, go do something that hits your spot, you're stuck here.
Morocco has world class waves and this group of friends was sugar coating the idea of investing in these long rights, so it was a no brainer.
We booked in advance, the whole trip was a bargain. 260e for the flights 90e for the stay another 90e for a car, just had to gather some spending money and i was in.
Surfing with friends makes the whole experience more pleasant than it already is, nevertheless, as soon as you hit the water its you and the elements, you as a whole counts your body your board and your mental state. In the other corner are the elements, the ocean the wind the rocks, and the rules of this game are the laws of physics, it's a dance of interaction, and this can get addictive as the thrills on play are as big as you can manage.
We booked with Surf Maroc located in Taghazout, a once upon fisherman's village, is now a surfer's..paradise, such cliché of a phrase, but it really is, having a car in your disposal and the right quiver you will surf even on 'flat' days.
A heavy stench of adventure was in the air way before the arrival to Casablanca where the whole group was going to assembly. Preparing to head over to Athens International airport, a carpool of two of us realised we didn't have straps to strap down our surfboards to the roof of the car. So i ripped the Mohxa Head quarters of any string or rope related objects i could find. Didn't find much, just elastic ropes with a weak little hook at the tip and a roll of elastic waist band we use on our chiller shorts... and this is what it was used to tie the boards on a roof of an old clio. The 35 min ride from down town Athens to El. Venizelos int. airport was tense, we knew deep inside us we hadn't done our best job on the roof, and a mere couple of kilometres away, our fears came to practice. We heard a few loud snappy pops and the boards departed for the air. Long story short, the board bags landed wide enough for a car-carrying truck to pass between them, it did, if was a cat i would have lost a couple of lives witnessing this, yet the only damage was a small ding on the nose in one of 5 boards traveling.
reminded us cyprus on a very funny way, after a procedure of 4 hours and a half to rent a car, lets not get into this, we headed to the capital's centre to buy new straps, ones that could handle a good road trip. Casablanca to Taghazout through marakesh the Atlas Mountains and Agadir. I have no idea why we didn't even consider landing straight to Agadir, but the great value of a great road trip has to be admitted. After more than 6 hours on the road, we arrived at the hotel we would spend the next 10 days, past midnight, so one alcohol free beer it was, and straight to bed. We only realised they were alcohol free the next day, the placebo had worked perfectly.
Home of legendary Anchor Point, and Killer Point, an epicentre of a particularly wave-infested area of the world. Just north is Boiler's and Dracula's, further up Tamri, Imsouane and a bunch of secrets or neglecteds. Down south, well its infinite, with enough gas on your tank you can reach the west sahara and the are spots everywhere.
Anchor's wouldn't do us the honours of standing up for us, we found that out checking the refreshed fore cast, but it seemed like we could score Boilers during the last days of our stay.
is a small village just north of Agadir, which is a city, and Anza is home to a beauty of a beach break which seemed as if it would deliver high quality waves no matter how flat the forecast claimed the area. This is where we surfed the first three days of our 10 day stay in West Africa. The beach break offered everything direction wise and it had two main waves, a rolling right far out the right corner of the beach and a beauty of a splitting A-frame. Surfing that A-frame we encountered Anza's only issue, localism.
Reminding how close to Agadir these waves are it seemed like the local's favourite and there is no section they believe, too big for them to be a problem to overcome, so our friend Senninha in one wave just before the drop thought he saw something way down deep but he was sure it wasn't anything until it was. An 'eeEAE' shout which definitely meant "get out of my wave you kook" tore the atmosphere. Emergency pull back procedures reacted immediately but Senninha was already getting carried away by the wave, he managed to pull himself away but the board flew down the line and hit a local bodyboarder slightly higher from his heel. Splashing water in his face, menaces in arab and mocking of any apology the angry bodyboarder was show casing how the surf board tore his wetsuit. A series of "translators" came asking for change, shaping a dialogue with phrases such as "if he spelt blood he would have to kill you" and "you have to buy him a new wetsuit now." The waves were pumping so any further dialogue was being disrupted by a set of slightly overhead, splitting frame of blue glass. Seninnha stuck around for more waves, they were worth the evil stares, later he came back in, changed into his dries and sat at the local tea house, had a cup of mint with our buddy the 'fort squatter' and it felt like a western flick..waiting for the bell to ring..the beginning of the duel. Absolutely nothing else happened, but "seninnha" had a gift pack made of a mohxa tee a pack of cigarettes and 200 dirhams (20e) with him for the rest of the trip.
The rest of the trip:
is a dirty derelict fishermen's village some 50' north of taghazout. It has "the Bay" on one side, a large slice of beach that hosts the small port on its northern tip and has an humongusly long right wave efficiently peeling its shore. Sand bottom, surreal. On the other side lays 'the cathedrals', a breath interrupting beach that puts it all in context. Between them there's reef where people collect mussels even with the sign that forbids this practice. There's also a funny figure dressed somehow formally with a large patch claiming security inspection. Trash everywhere and dirty little baby cats, around buckets of ice stacked with fresh fish, imsouane is most intense. Our buddy Alibaba not having the right board with him, decided to miss out on the tiny loooooong peelers, and his gentle soul was affected, i still blame the trash fire.
Fort squatter was cruising on his midlenght, Senninha was hogging Bob the Yeller but the conditions were a notch too small for Monsieur Er's thruster, Vapors. The waves were plenty, small with a few highly welcome exceptions, the session went on till the tide hid the break and filled the port with water. The fishermen came in and we had great fresh fish on charcoal for late lunch. We skipped surfing the cathedrals, one starts working when the other stops, but we really wanted to see Tamri.
A wild beach brake. Massive rocks formed a hill behind it. Fog and murmurs that often whales are spotted from here made it majestic in an eery way and the sandbar provided waves. We ended up going 3 days in a row there, it was growing, and finally the third day it was unrideable big, but we're gonna come back to this after mentioning Tifnit, on the way down south of Agadir.
Towards the gates of Sahara, Tifnit, The South,
Seems neater in a way, maybe the way more obvious presence of a desert near by, in particular, Tifnit covers the need for hollywood productions when in need of a Sahara-esque environment, and even its narrow alleys are full of this bright blonde sand. The water seemed healthy-full of waves. The dunes magnetised the whole crew, only Redman wasn't there, he tried french cuisine the previous night aaand his body didn't feel like it...
Without Redman onboard the crew felt like going back, it had already been lovely, pick up Red's ass and head north to Tamri for that third time, passing by and neglecting an awaking beauty, the Boilers.
Tamri that third time was blown off by its size, it was close to jet-ski assistance need to surf this sea. Massive lines of white water across the beach hid every canal-way out to the open water. Delivery boy, Senninha and Ali baba went for it, only the first two got out, Alibaba hardly ever had troubles getting out! It was senseless, there weren't any open faces, only rip currents and senseless amounts of water closing out at once. Senninha almost found a slide, took left, set up his line, crouched close to his board and let the thing swallow him alive. Delivery Boy got caught on the inside, after massive amounts of duck dives the only thing these guys got rewarded was courage points, and these points were immediately useful the day after, but before going back to Taghazout, some of the crew practiced the traditional meditation fruits nourished from these lands. Fort Squatter had adapted to the local way of driving, and this trip was rock n roll. Amateur guitar riffs and solos and a constant analysis of the sea by lead by Alibaba made them all realise that time has come for Boilerssss
The Surf Maroc crew are amazing hosts, one by one, they all surf or sing and the cook there also delivers daily and all day a complete menu to satisfy all your needs. That morning we double checked with guys from the reception who were also packing up for Boilers. It's a beautiful right hander that stands tall and opens along a huge rocky platform. The name they say, comes from a shipwreck in the sea bed that creates these boilers when the wave makes it way. One can clearly see a piece of that ship submerging near the rocks. There's a special way of going in and out of this spot and that is the keyhole. This is performance wave. Its face is pipey, shortboards respond on demand in this water and tubes are in offer as soon as it picks up on size. We could visualise all of our surfing heroes ripping this wave to bits. Monsieur Err and Fort Squatter decided that they are not ready for it and went back to La Source, another remarkable wave of the area they had something going on with. Senninha and Delivery boy got in first.
In 45' the kids already had new facemarks of a broader smile. Senninha was going up and down out of his mind until he tried to drop in late, he wouldn't make it, his body stayed back yet the board flew down the line and 'pop' the leg rope was gone, the board had gone, destination rocks, and the young man started to feel uncomfortable in that surf without his board! Delivery boy calmed him dawn, they only logical exit was through the keyhole, he just had to wait for a rest between the sets of waves. Incredibly, everything turned out fine, not a scratch, the board was rescued in time by a polite Dutch man, the leg rope was fixable and a long session carried on.
Every one out there faced a new fear, and overcame it, tasted reward, met new barriers.
Surfing has a very literal and way of micro sampling ones mental state. It exposes you. The ocean needs action, so one puts his theories into action. A field trip feels like a modern way for social maturity. And if you go armed with will of living it through, there are small humble benefits for you.
The group is still babbling over their experiences, and dam sure they wish them to all.
front rowthe hash camelthe merrick at the berrick
dedicated to all those who know how bad we want to go together in a next field trip.
Words and images iason pachos
Photos from Tamri by Alex Tsirigakis
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