Whale Beach has never been an easy place to go for a surf.
If the traffic on Barrenjoey Road doesn’t kill you, out-of-control sports cars and motorbikes on the Bilgola Bends most certainly will.
Then there are the locals: whether they are three years old, or 103, they have all grown up surfing these waves on a daily basis, and if you get in the way they will tell you exactly where to go. Add to that the fact that at least 10% of the crowd surfing Whale Beach on any given day are either current or former world surfing champions, and you might begin to realise that there could be a problem actually catching any wave, let alone a decent barrel.
I never lived at Whale Beach. I did live at Palm Beach, just to the north, for a few months in the early ‘90s, and also spent a wonderful year or two just to the south at Avalon. But I did manage to catch a wave or two at Whaley, a few right-handers at the south end, and a few wedging left-handers at the north end of the beach, which you can see in this picture I have just completed.
I began work on this painting a couple of years ago, and completed it in December 2016.