Got this classic story from Julian Pledger about nearly getting arrested for surfing Hummies back in the day:
"Looking at those old shots of Humewood reminded me of the time we were surfing some real storm stuff and the beach manager called the flying squad to get us out the water!
This was after the loudspeaker effort had fallen on deaf ears. It was mid winter, raining with not a soul on the beach and we had these real boere policeman running into the water trying to grab us at the end of every wave(guns and all)!
The cable was still attached, running from the pylons across to the small breakwater and you had to watch out that your head was not taken off by it as you surfed past. One of the locals pointed at the No Surfing sign and asked me what the sign meant, I told him I did not know!
He kindly pointed out that it was to warn us to watch out for the cable! To avoid being arrested we surfed till dark and paddled in where the Shark Rock pier is today. My car was parked at the back of Humewood and I had two flat tyres - the beach manager really hated us! No sweat, I drove the car into the army camp behind Humewood and pumped the tyres up........now THOSE were the days!"
Nice one Julian!
John and I also nearly got arrested, must be about 6 years ago at least. Also surfing with no-one on the beach and had ignored the calls to come in. Next thing a police van screams up onto the grass, and this cop runs down onto the beach to wave us out! I was so mad that they would waste a policesman's time with suck kak, that I paddled straight in to tell him he should rather be trying to catch rapists and murderers than harrassing surfers! I made an appointment to see the beach manager the next day, to discuss why we weren't allowed to surf even if no bathers were around. It started the long discussion process which finally culminated in us being given permission to surf there if there was no-one swimming.
The deal is now that if they raise that yellow flag with the black circle on it, and hoot the horn/blow their whistles to get us out, then we have to bail.
The lifey's are pretty tolerant at letting us continue to surf if peeps are just wading in the shallows - but then use some common sense ou's, and don't ride the wave right to the end and finish off with a closeout manouveur right into the bathers - that's plain dumb - and of course we'll all then get chased out the water. And you'll be amazed at how many ou's do this! And then moan when we get called out. Rather just pull off the wave before the shallows, and at least we'll be able to keep surfing!
And if the lifey's call us out and there isn't even a swimmer in sight, it's normally for a good reason. This happened recently, and turns out they were about to have an inspector come to review their Blue Flag status...which means no surfers allowed. So they not just being arsey, they saving their ass!
Hummies is one of our best waves by far, so let's co-operate with the lifegaurds, and make sure we're allowed to keep surfing there. As if they have too much hassle with guys not coming in when they're called in, then they'll just ban surfing outright. Kak idea!
Photo's by Malcolm Turner