Sunday, 19 December 2010


During one of the year's biggest swells at the Bay, Eddie took off on a nasty wave that seemed determined to kill him. Sol can still picture what happened the moment he almost lost his brother to the sea. "I remember that day. He was on the wave, it was a big one, and he wiped out. It took him right down to the bottom and rolled him across it."

After the shock of falling through the air and being slammed into the water, Eddie felt his head hit the rocky bottom. He blacked out for a moment and awoke in an underwater netherworld. Being buried under tons of churning water during a bad wipeout can feel like dying. Cut off from light and air, he looked around in a daze, wondering what had happened, where he was and which way was up. Like Odysseus in the Underworld, he felt time suddenly slow down and darkness envelop everything. Boulders the size of VW Bugs rolled around in the underwater tornado. Caught in a dreamscape between the living and the dead, he tried to escape. But like a nightmare he could not yell for help or run away as he was thrown around like a rag doll. He tried not to panic but his lungs were screaming for air, his pulse was pounding and the whitewater kept on pushing him down. For a moment, he must have wondered if his time had come. But then the ocean let him go and he swam toward the light.

From Chapter 8: Wipeout, of the excellent Eddie Would Go by Stuart Holmes Coleman. Boulders the size of VW Bugs? Think I'll put the kettle on... 


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