Ride It Like You Stole It | Surfing
Geege Schuman stashed this in Surfing
The Nazaré wave is so big, first, because Portugal sticks farther out into the stormy North Atlantic than any other part of Europe except Ireland. And, second, because it is composed of not just one wave but two. The prevailing swells tend to march in from the north or northwest, which is why the town huddles to the south of the point. But the canyon also gathers its own swell from the west-southwest, funneling it directly toward the fort, which has somehow clung to the cliff since 1577. The canyon swells are subtler, until they hit the edge, where the depth changes suddenly from several hundred feet to about 60. When the two swells combine, they rear up into what McNamara calls a “rogue wave” that explodes, hugely and frighteningly, just off the rocks in front of the lighthouse.