I’d been checking the reports from Hickedua and I had a feeling that with the swell direction that was hitting that section of the west coast and would also bring up some quite good waves to Kelutra.
I’d been investigating getting an automobile for my trip to the north east and stumbled across this mini van rented by a man called Tony. I rented it and drove down to Kelutra. I gave my self a 5am start to try and hit the water just before sunrise.  I’d been unusually prepared and had water proof plasters for my ever-increasing chest wound and some earplugs so my infection wouldn’t get any worse.
As I pulled off the Gaulle road and down the narrow side streets of back-to-back huts constructed from wood, mud and sometimes even brick, I arrive at the beach. I was greeted by a very grey, gloomy mass of water, with some cracking 5 foot peeling waves on them. I couldn’t not believe my luck. They were really consistent but were quite fat. Every now and then, however, a curling peek would come through.
I drove up to the bit of reef I’d surfed before were I met the family with the daughter that they tried to palm/marry off on to me.
As I rounded the corner there were about 20 soldiers trying to dig out their truck from a morning patrol. They also greeted me with smiles. Obviously having stopped there for a bit of a break their big Bedford truck had got stuck.
I paddled out and it was the hardest paddle I’d had for ages. Wave after wave kept coming down on me. I’d realised that there were two sections to the break and I’d not even made it to the first one yet. After several debilitating duck dives I made it past the first section. With ear plugs still just about intact I was scrabbling across the water in a lull between the sets. Unusually I’d managed to work out were the spot was working and after making a few more knackering duck dives, I made it over just to where the wave was peaking. The waves were a lot bigger than I thought. They were clean and had a real kick to them, peaking up quickly and without too much paddling in required.
I caught a couple and was heading back out when I noticed that most of the Sri Lankan army had gathered on the beach and were marching up and down. Their green and brown uniforms made them seem likes rows of ants from where I was. With the sun just breaking on the horizon it was like some scene from ‘Apocalypse Now’! I managed to get a few more waves, but kept getting caught out by the second section. And on the next paddle out I lost both my earplugs. I thought this was a probably a sign. I’d had a good little paddle and it was time to come in.
I had a meeting booked with Dmaith, one of the architects I’d seen at an exhibition the other month. He’s arranged to meet at the Arts Café, one of the swankier establishments in Colombo, Bower’s old office!!
This has a gated entrance in to a little courtyard were there were lots of white 4x4s. It led on to a double doorway opening out to a tiger lily covered strip of water with black teak walk ways.
I met the architects to discuss some of the projects they had in mind for me to photograph. They had some really interesting residential work and a very interesting lake house made out of his containers. I’m waiting to hear form them to find out if they are going with my quote.