Ningaloo Nectar: Waroora Station

 If you can see the shadow of the barrel on the sand bar below... then it's hollow, clear and epic. Photo: Tom Nagle

If you can see the shadow of the barrel on the sand bar below... then it's hollow, clear and epic. Photo: Tom Nagle

Tom: Ever shat in a chemical toilet? Do you even know what a chemical toilet is? Well, at Waroora Station, it’s the norm and it caught us seriously off guard. But a little bit of surf-trip-truth-bending in the name of new coastlines and the promise of pumping waves is always fun and makes for the kind of quote production that money can’t buy:

“Yeah mate... ah... we got the one where you.... ah... lift the lid and put the stuff in the thing... ya know?”

However, when you have a stretch of coast with literally thousands of grey nomads parked up in their caravans on the sand, it’s a good thing. Otherwise it would be a shit fight, quite literally!

Mad: The chemical toilet quote comes after a 40km wrong turn in the dark down a track of trailer-shattering corrugations. Our high-beams stun megafauna kangaroos mid-chew, catch clumps of spinifex filed to needle-thin points by decades of desert wind. When we reach the caretakers place, none of us get out of the car for a moment, just stare. It looks like a Mexican brothel, a late night cantina. A row of festive coloured light bulbs swing in the wind. There's the cold rattle of sand on tin. Then the caretaker emerges. 

We shit ourselves. He's monstrous, bearded, flannel-shirted. He's twice the breadth of Tom, twice as tall as Jimmy. Tom and Jimmy step out to greet him. Foxy and I listen from the car. Small talk lasts two sentences, then the caretaker growls, "So have youse gotta chemical dunny?"

"Yeah mate ..." lies Tom, and keeps spinning nonsense until the caretaker grudgingly hands us a map, and we're on our way.

 

 Where won't a Hilux take you in WA? The set up at Waroora Station after the swell dropped. Photo: Tom Nagle

Where won't a Hilux take you in WA? The set up at Waroora Station after the swell dropped. Photo: Tom Nagle

Mad: The boys reckon Stevens reminds them of a South Pacific reef pass: shallow, punchy, pristine. It isn't the easiest wave to surf; when the tide turns and pours back through the gap in the reef it's hard to stay in position. On that first day, the sets close out the channel and I end up back on the beach after twenty minutes with burning arms and a beating heart. I spend the afternoon sulking and watching the boys tuck into barrel after barrel. But over the next few days the swell drops, the undertow eases, and there are walls and head dips for all. 

 Woke up on the 2nd day, stiff as a board, still pumping, straight out there! Photo: Tom Nagle

Woke up on the 2nd day, stiff as a board, still pumping, straight out there! Photo: Tom Nagle

Tom: After 3 days of fast, bowly and relentless waves in Bahamas clear water we are once again exhausted and stoked. Realising now that we have nailed 2/3 spots, spirits rise to new levels of froth in the hope that we’ll score 3/3!

 The whole trip was non-stop Humpback aerial action. Photo: Tom Nagle

The whole trip was non-stop Humpback aerial action. Photo: Tom Nagle