Sunday, 31 May 2009

Summer swell

After a beautiful sunrise, I drove up to the point, and caught this view between some buildings. It didn't take long to head home, grab a borrowed board (new one arrives shortly), and head out for a perfect day.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Just heard this song after a long time and had to post it.

Caught on the inside

Have been land locked at the inlaws, with only the occasional check of the surf via However, in retrospect probably not the best idea as it was driving me crazy. So after a seven hour journey home, we finally made the beach and it was the perfect salve to a crap day. Before I paddled out, I caught this shot of Justin appearing to be shadow boxing on the wave.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

After May long weekend

After the some great conditions over the weekend, the wind is back on for the next couple of days. Got out for some really chilled sailing today, pretty solid Force 5, and had a great summer session.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

The Ho! down.

An update on last night's debacle to follow. Surf reached a pleasant 3ft today, and blue skies made it just perfect.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Squaring the circle.

Just got back from my favourite shop in Braunton (Loose-fit) , and dropped in to pick up a copy of their magazine; Parochia. Inside they had an article on an old classmate of mine; originally from Japan but schooled on Vancouver Island, Takuji Masuda. Tak has gone on to great things all over the world, but recently put together a fascinating biography of Bunker Spreckels. To say it's a great story is a massive understatement, and it tells of a time when decadence was celebrated and excess was without limits.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Found this great little site about a guy dedicating his blog to learning to forward.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Matt's Kitchen

I have been a little absorbed with finding a home of late, but I helped a friend today who is busy rennovating his house, and it helped put things into perspective. We ripped out his kitchen to make way for what looks to be a beautiful space, and the final touches to completing a stunning home. However, I had forgotten about all the hassle you go through, to get there. Wrangling with trades, getting over charged by suppliers and generally cleaning up after everyone, not to mention the whole family guilt thing. So, as I kick back tonight and relax after ripping someone elses kitchen to pieces, I can honestly say I have no desire to own or maintain a home right now. We might be renting and worried whether property is going up, down, or sideways, but we really don't have to lift a finger here, or worry about maintaining it. Hence we can just enjoy life from day to day, and if its flat, without wind, or even raining, we can still just hang on the beach.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The 'Dawnie'

In the words of Trev 'Toes' Lumley this morning was cleanish and perfect for a 'dawnie'. Unfortunately at 5am this morning, Hector had the same thought, but his idea was to have a back to back session of Peppa Pig followed by the Bobinogs. By 6.30am we struck a deal and I was released from the early morning shift, paddling out to cleanish 2-3 ft. Of course what Trev 'Toes' Lumley negated to point out was that it would be very grey, cold and generally miserable if you could be bothered to get up, and if you slept in you might be enjoying blue skies and sun now.

Monday, 18 May 2009

The unknown soldier

Spoke to Steve around lunch time, and it seemed like we had a little crew heading out for some more south westerly action. Swell had eased a little, although it still wasn't that tempting. The only reason to head out back beyond the crumbling breaks was that you were too scared to gybe on the faces ! Fortunately we still had some decent wind, and I think Paul and Steve caught the best of the wind on their smaller sails. By the time Dan, Carl, Andy and I hit the water it was just about a Force 5, a little underpowered although can't complain when its blue skies and sunny. Besides it was nice to watch the kiters get there smug grins back, as they were probably getting the best of it. Before I managed to get out on the water (Hector and Rosa sitting till 4), I got some shots of this guy; the 'unknown soldier' from Hartland getting some nice rides.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

More from the South West

After a relaxing lunch combined with a couple pints of Doom Bar, I think I was a little too sedated to get the best out of today. Rigged my 5.2, got to the waters edge only to realise everyone else was on 4.5. Still getting to grips with this wind direction, but it was a great little workout (if somewhat short) and some nice ramps for gybing and jumping. Fortunately Ed and Dan were out and getting the best of it, so thankfully we have some decent shots ! Apologies to Ed for missing his Vulcan and various other moves - see you on the water tomorrow (4pm onwards)

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Windy Weekend.

This week has seen such a range of conditions, and I must say I was literally amazed at the cross off conditions at the start of it. However there is nothing like some real anger winds, and today was as about as gnarly as it gets(in summer). Winds were gusting almost to a Force 8, which even for England is a little unusual in mid May. On that note, today was not to be my day, and when I first turned up it was great to see so many guys out charging. By the time I returned, both Tim and Ed were still out and Ed was getting out past some monster sets. Tim true to his Weston roots was laying down the loops in between squalls. I of course will be atoning for my poor performance (being flattened by the squalls and then left floundering when the wind dropped back to a timid Force 4/5), and hope to see you tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Trouble at the beach.

I just had to write this down, as it really made me smile tonight. After a rather flat couple of days, the swell has started to build with some medium size sets pushing through. I ran down to the beach to catch some left handers before last light, and it felt great to get out on the Fish. My confidence has really improved in the water, so I had a nice buzz walking home.

As I crossed the road to walk out of the burrows, my smile quickly faded. I noticed some old people looking hassled. A small group of 'yoofs' were sampling the local mead and were being pretty obnoxious. The old timers shuffled past, and it looked like a classic Daily Mail moment - 'Drunken teens torment OAP's.' As the kids rolled on through I could see them making a beeline for me, and I just stared ahead. Expecting the worst and waiting for a tyrade to unfold the kids simply parted and the ring leader clenched his fist, beat his chest and cocked his head toward me. It was both the most ridiculous 'Lord of the Flies' moment' but so very poignant. I tried not to smile, and kept on looking ahead. Suffice to say I didn't repay the mark of respect, but was strangely bemused that at least the kids have respect for something here.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Knackered !

Yesterday has caught up with me - and a solid day of the hobbit-sitting has finished me off. The best I could manage was to crawl off the sofa and catch this sunset. Forecast looks good all week for swell and light offshores. This could impact my job hunting.

Ps - I love Westward !!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Punta san Westward

In the immortal words of my dear friend Michel - 'training is the clue'. As a homage, I hit the beach for an early morning run, then went swimming with Hector over lunch, and by the time I was due to start job hunting - I got the text.

'Strong cross-off , short brd 5m'

The winds were howling and the skies without cloud, making temperatures (just about) comfortable for a shorty. I wasn't quite sure what to expect on this direction, and despite limited swell forecast; the potential was amazing. Even without any real swell we still had a small wave to chase down the line. In the end we sailed for too long, my eyes are bloodshot from too much wind and sun, and apologies to Laura (and various employers) for losing all track of time. Tomorrows forecast looks more of the same, and I can't remember when I had so much fun.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Dawn Patrol

First light and I couldn't wait to sail, absolutely no one down at the Burrows and a squall ripped through gusting over 30 knots. By some strange coincidence my new board arrived in the post (see photo) - hence clearance was granted to sail.

Conditions were perfect and the board felt like an old friend (probably because I used to own its predecessor). The RRD Wave Cult 80 is the perfect Westward board. It handled the onshore really easily and was very precise on jumping. It still felt throw around and albeit a little bit looser on the wave. Thanks RRD for all your support this board really should be the staple in a lot of peoples' quivers.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Perfect sunset.

Sunsets at our quiet little hideaway(view from the backdoor), and still homeless and desperately looking for that special place to call home. Forecast is just perfect tomorrow, and will hopefully get some more pictures up between the house hunting. Long range forecast is suggesting offshore, so stand by for a return of the surf.
PS - Thanks to the kind folks of RRD, a new care package arrived today.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Bye bye Twin Fin....

Like a break-up of a relationship just about to blossom, it is with regret that I say goodbye to the Twin fin. Rob has promised to take good care of her and treat her to down the line wave conditions in Donnegal. The wave fin has been a total blast, the 'Laura Ashley' of modern day windsurfing graphics leaves me with a sadness. However, its a bit like having a big dog in a small apartment, and it was not fair to subject this beauty to full-on onshore. It was great to jump, and just amazing in the waves, but I am not so sure its intended use is Westward Ho !

Enjoy this little beauty - Jem Hall is going to kill me !

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

May 5th

Westerly is in full swing, and I really need my RRD Wave Cult (80litre) for the onshore. Winds were a little gusty between the sets, and by the time the twin fin was fired - the camera battery died. Here are some shots before things really got going.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Sacrificial Lamb

I have finally realised what caused the wind drought over the past weeks(feels like months). A lack of ritual has been evident and it was only by sheer luck that the curse was lifted. Like some dark pagan ceremony, I slung the freshly slain lamb onto the altar (BBQ actually). Literally as the flesh burned - the clouds seemed to scud across the sky and something very dark lingered on the horizon. Winds notched up to just about Force 5 and despite the pictures (usual excuse, but thanks Matt for holding the camera!) the wave out back was big. Thank you to whoever you are for making my weekend !

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Another year older !

True to form, May 2nd always delivers either swell or wind. This has been the case for as long as I can remember but sadly both came at the same time. Just enough wind to spoil the 3-5ft swell, but not enough wind to get out for a windsurf. Instead Hector and Rosa cheered me on from the beach. Wind has been 'iffy' all week, and the Westerly looks set to hang around and no doubt tempt me to get the kite flying. Kitesurf - yes the dark side. A good alternative to windsurfing but never a replacement ! Those of you thinking of travelling to the North coast this week, better either pack your big sails, or pick a different week to visit. Hope to see you out there...