“Last three days it's been going off,” says photographer Aaron Pierce about this swell pulse that filtered into the east coast of Aus this week.
Yesterday, that reached a rather stunning crescendo for the likes of Burleigh, D-Bah and beyond. “The swell really started building over the weekend but Monday was when the winds turned offshore, it was still a bit raw and a grey overcast day but come Tuesday morning -- the sun was shining and the swell was peaking with clean offshore winds for most of the day,” adds Aaron.
“I actually went to Kirra Monday at first light and as the sun was about to rise a nice set came in, only thing was there was only three guys out. I've never seen it that quiet at that hour of the morning, it was very slow but looked good. Anyway, I shot back to Burleigh, the amount of cars and people around was bonkers, it was jammed packed but luckily enough somehow I fluked a car park spot.
“When I got my first glimpse of Burleigh there must've been 200 plus people in the water, the waves were pumping but it was very overcast and dark. But yesterday, Tuesday, it was a totally different story, sun was out all day, waves were even better with some mad barrels had, it was absolutely pumping, maybe the best day for six months.
“A great few days and very overdue, a few are pretty much paddled out now, even with the crowd everyone behaved themselves and there was more than enough waves for everyone.”
Meanwhile, around the corner at Duranbah, again, only three people out; Occy, Soli Bailey and Margo (Brenden Margieson, for the uninitiated!) “You know, it could have been one foot and onshore, if I get a chance to surf with those two, I’m going to jump on it. They’re lifetime heroes. And to score at D-Bah of all places, when it’s usually so crowded,” said Soli.
“Me and Margo had been trying to line up a surf for sooo long,” says Occy. “A surf, or a game of golf, or something. But I’ve been so busy with the kids, and he’s been busy too.
“Finally we lined it up for Tuesday morning. We’d thought about going out to Tweed Bar, because D-Bah was oversized. But the Bar wasn’t really doing it. The north end of D-Bah was looking like Pipeline or something, we weren’t really into doing that, but we started putting on our wetsuits and it was looking better and better. We’re either going to kill it, or we’re going to come in with our tails between our legs.
“The best thing was that there was no-one out!” Occ recalls. “It was epic. We’d always had so many good surfs together. I’ve been thinking about Deaney a lot lately, because I’ve been surfing the Bar and that was his spot. Not today. But, yeah, epic.
“Then Soli paddled out! And being the little mongrel he is, he was pulling in under the lip, all this stuff.”
And then, it was over – all by 9am.