Part two of a five part series from the team behind the Headache cold water surf film. Drift has exclusive access to the crew and riders as they head their way from one big icy swell to another – taking in Scotland, Germany, Iceland, Denmark and Helgoland…
With energy drink infested thoughts, listening to a weird radio play, I am chasing down the autobahn at a 130km/h. Just three hours ago I was reading Felix’s text message: “Would you like to go to Helgoland tomorrow?“ The last two weeks already had been perfect conditions on the Baltic Sea and another huge low pressure system was hovering above Europe. I replied instantly: “YES!“ and before I knew it I was on my way to Hamburg.
Helgoland – it sounds kind of exotic. While packing my stuff, my mind is flooded by internet fueled images of this far off land – grey seals sitting on red cliffs peaking out of the middle of the North Sea. Flawless for good wave conditions.
I’m thinking about that story of the old German emperor who traded Zanzibar for Helgoland to the Brits
I’m thinking about that story of the old German emperor who traded Zanzibar for Helgoland to the Brits as I turn into the Vereinsstraße in Hamburg. Just one night of raw sleep on the floor in a friend’s apartment after which we meet up with Jonas who is joining our expedition. Excited and nervous we gather at Central Station the next morning. The following hours are shaped by speculations about our travel destination, its surroundings, its surf and whether or not the ferry from Cuxhaven to the island is going due to the storm of our choice that was still raging in the North Sea. Just shortly before our arrival in Cuxhaven we get the news that the ferry is not happening because of the bad weather.
After a short phase of depression amongst the crew members, we start creating an alternative plan. The simple solution is to aim for the boat next day and hope that it is running. Tonight Phil is joining the crew and the next morning, we will hopefully be on route.
Everything comes off and after a stormy transfer by the ferry (layering a pale shimmer on our faces) we arrive at Helgoland’s south harbour. We rush over to catch the boat over to the Sand Dune which is separated from the main island. We are too late. No boat. To get the most of the last two hours of daylight we decide to hit the north tip of the island. Giant red cliffs cascading into the sea. Those images on the internet were real…
The blue water further in the back was turning to a reddish beach break in the front. Jonas and Finn were the first to plunge into their pseudo-seal suits while Felix, Lars and I get the cameras ready. The waves are small but both are hitting some fun ones and soon start to surf through the old submarine dock that’s in the water. There are still remains of the Nazis that used the island during World War 2 as their outpost in the North Sea. At the end of the war, the British tried to destroy the whole island by dropping 250,000 bombs of which quite a lot are still hidden in waters around the island.