There is nothing quite like the shuddering crump of a huge wave detonating against the German sea wall at St Ouen’s. The ground shakes beneath you, the sound is as deep as it is possible to get and still be audible, and the explosion of water upwards is thrilling. I arrived at El Tico on Wednesday morning – the highest high tide of the sequence – walked past the surf shop, and almost immediately one of those juddering impacts caught me off guard. Spray sheeted up all along the wall, sometimes rifling down in a long sequence.
With an offshore wind you could stand pretty well right up to the railings without risk of getting wet. Only where steps provided a break in the wall did the sea come crashing over onto the top.
As always the rebounding waves were almost as impressive as the waves coming over the top; with the sea wall designed to keep out an invasion rather than to dissipate the energy of the incoming waves, the backwash collides with the next incoming wave to create spectacular eruptions just offshore.
And then by low tide, the waves had gone completely and the sea was as calm as you ever see it. I went down to Grosse Tête, and it was just magical.