Cortes Bank Update
Tim Ditty, Chuck Patterson, Eric Akiskalian, Saeman Brothers T.J. and
Bryce Score Cortez Banks
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 December, 2009 : - - It is never
an easy task scoring giant and perfect Cortez Banks on any given day or year. In
fact, there have only been a handful of documented and recorded days in the past
10 years that have had successful outcomes. Swell size, wind direction and the
effort of getting there are all elements facing any committed and experienced
crew of big wave chargers that inspire to get to this secluded location which
lies 100 miles off the California coast.
Needless to say, even if you are watching the charts and the perfect storm
scenario, all of the elements that were in your favor can go to havoc in a
matter of moments. Most of the time there is only a very small window of
opportunity. For those that are on top of their weather game and are willing to
take the chance, the rewards can be huge! Don't forget, this is an area that
feels like you are in the middle of the ocean and infested with so much ocean
life, one can only imagine what lies beneath the surface while in the water.
The crew had been monitoring a massive west swell which hit Hawaii on
Christmas Day delivering waves in the range of 50' plus on the face and bigger
at Pe'ahi, aka: JAWS. Rumors were circulating of massive wipeouts and hold downs
and that a few highly experienced, well known and respected big wave hellmen
felt lucky to be alive! Knowing that giant west swells from Hawaii take two days
to hit California they knew it was going to be big along the California
coast and its outer waters but did not make the call on where to go until the
very last minute. In fact the call was made at
It is always a gamble when planning a last minute sea odyssey to Cortez but
for a few lucky soles that set sail in the early hours on December 27, 2009 and
without notice to any living sole, it turned out to be a paddle and SUP (stand
up paddle) session that will be remembered for the rest of their lives. Yes, we
said paddle and SUP session! Tim Ditty, Chuck Patterson, Eric Akiskalian, T.J.
Saeman and Bryce Saeman went to Cortez with the intent to tow some legitimate
monster size waves but when they got there it was far from monster size and they
decided to take advantage of a great opportunity and paddle/SUP the Cortez Banks
for the very first time.
It was a solid 12'-15' with a couple of larger sets but very inconsistent
through out the day.There were long lulls, thick annoying kelp, three different
peeks with a west bowl that swung super wide making it difficult to line up and
lots of current to work with. Big wave charger and towsurfer Chuck Patterson
became the first SUP surfer to take on the challenge of negotiating all the
elements that were handed to him and managed to get some great waves. For the
Seiman Brothers, both from Southern California, it was a paddle experience they
will never forget and both are stoked to have made the decision to paddle, get
some great waves and not tow. Eric also captured the moment of his friends in
the water as a photographer and did PWC assists when anyone went down.
It was a perfect day, with clean conditions and everyone came home with
plenty of stoke and great memories of the session. The entire voyage was made
possible from their good friend Tim Ditty who is the owner of the vessel named
'Chula' and it was he along with his crew A.J. the Captain and Nick the First
Mate that safely and comfortably made this stealth mission a huge success.
Published courtesy of Eric Akiskalian/Towsurfer.com.
more at the color=red>Towsurfer.com website.
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