after school, three of my buddies and I decided to go jump The
Clam. It was the middle of winter, but with lifeguards cracking
down on jumping, this is the "safest" time of the
year to avoid being caught.
the first and last to make a jump that day. My first mistake
was not having a wet suit on...so as soon as I hit the water
I was instantly freezing. The water temp that day was about
mistake was not waiting to see how big the surf was that day.
Because surf comes in sets, you can show up down here and it
can look like a good time to jump, until the sets start coming
to get out of there quick or hypothermia could set in. I frantically
swam for the reef you have to climb up. You can see me standing
on it in this picture. (This picture was taken in the summer)
was swimming for it, I realized I wasn't hardly going anywhere,
the white caps from the stormy and turbulent ocean kept pushing
me down and I found myself only swimming up...and soon as I
hit the surface I was only pushed down again and again. After
about 3 minutes I made it to the reef and I started to climb
hit the cliff and bounced me off the wall, I landed on the reef
and was washed back into the ocean. After being dragged down
the razor sharp barnacle infested cliff, I tried again and again
but was denied. Six times I got washed back into the ocean.
I was starting to get really tired and I could feel myself trying
to fight back the feeling of the fact that I was starting to
"freak out" or go into hypothermia.
time, I was extremely tired, cold, hurt and was starting to
not think straight. I knew I was in terrible trouble. My three
friends stood on the cliff trying to coach me on when to make
another attempt, I know they felt so helpless. I swam out to
sea a little bit hoping that I could catch my breath, but my
arms were starting to give out and I could hardly kick my legs
anymore. The world started to blur and I thought for sure this
was the end.
from nowhere, this red buoy from an illegal lobster trap had
floated in and I latched on to it. I hung on to it for about
5 minutes and let the set of waves finish. After the surf had
calmed down a little bit, I knew I only had a little time to
make it to the reef, climb up the wall and get the hell out
of there. I also knew that I only had one last chance at it,
otherwise the hypothermia would take me.
signled the last wave of the set, I made the mad dash swim to
the reef and I successfully climbed up the cliff before the
next set of waves came. I was extremely lucky that day.
picture is a great view of where I was. The cliff on the left
is where you have to climb up. Now keep in mind that this picture
was taken in July...and the water is really calm now.
wintertime, when the surf hits that reef, it can spray up in
the air about 20 to 30 feet like a geyser, sometimes above where
those people are standing. The following picture is what that
reef looks like in the wintertime.
you would like to see some video of the surf
in the wintertime, check
this link out. It's AWESOME!!!