Monday, 30 November 2009

Blue skies

but the temperatures really seem to have dropped. Had some surf reports over the weekend, about poor swell, cold water and tonnes of people. Never a good scene. It wasn't that long ago, that winter time guaranteed quiet in the water. Still, I thought a picture from of the beaches on Vancouver Island, and what they have to endure, might put things into perspective.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Storm Chase

If you missed this movie a few years back, and enjoy windsurfing in the great British winter, put it on your present list. I have a copy which I just lent out, and even though this link doesn't do the 'Storm Chase' full justice - it gives you a flavour. The section on the Danish beaches is fairly unbelievable, and the fact they even got in the water is beyond words.

Britain's Finest

Just found this on - and had to share.

Long live the King !

A good call

I had a great opportunity to visit a lesser known surf spot today, but after watching the squalls we decided the 45 minute hike in, didn't really appeal. So the friend (who shall remain nameless) made the executive call to paddle out off the rocks on the main beach. As I watched on (and glimpsed the windsurfers closer to shore (shot above)), I was amazed at his patience, waiting and waiting for a break in the sets. After an hour of standing on various rocks, taking the full force of the whitewater time and time again, I was really relieved he decided not to go in. So I guess what I really appreciated is, it doesn't matter how good you are, there are times to go and not to go. Whilst these indicators are set often by the external forces (friends/conditions/camera), it should always be you that makes the call.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


I just can't believe how windy it has been, continues to be, and is in forecast into the coming weeks. Of course you can't start wishing it away, but I know more than a few people (predominantly surfers), who are begining to get a bit hacked off with it. In the meantime, a few good locals continue to charge everyday and make sure I update the blog with at least some record of the amazing conditions. If you get a chance, buy this months Windsurf and look for the North Devon update, then try and imagine the task of condensing the November upate into just a few brief sentences. Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Gettin' High

Thanks Stuart for the shot, or to be more precise, thanks Mrs Stuart. I seemed to have missed everyone today, but was met with stories of broken boards and 4m conditions. The swell was possibly at its peak, and some of the more wisened of the fraternity described the waves outback as 'frightening'. I haven't heard anyone use that adjective here, to date.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

South South Easterly..I think ?

Apparently the torrential rain put a lot of people off today, but those who made it out; 'looked to be charging' (according to my contact on the Burrows). I am still house bound, as i ripped out a fire place yesterday and kind of blew my recovery. So if anyone has any shots, please forward as the swell looked a nice size too.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Huge Swell

Despite the shot being taken at low tide, it's a fair indication it would have been enormous. Whilst the photo doesn't do it justice, I love the Long Horns.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Still blowing...

but I don't think anyone made it out. Just a lone kiter...and that hurts me to write that. Swell forecast looks to be so huge that Saturday could prove very interesting.

Friends don't let friends..

kitesurf. Whilst I hate the term 'extreme sports' I think kitesurfing sits quite well in this category. I will let you decide if you think its a good thing or bad. I have no real desire to do it, however nailing loops on a big day will forever have my attention.
Thanks Luke for the link, who amazingly is usually involved in rescuing these guys when it all goes wrong.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Wind just won't back down until it breaks each and everyone of us. The forecast looks savage for the next few days and and it was nice to have some company (on the beach) today. Dan was cranking the loops and the sideshore Southerly looked fairly uninviting with walls of whitewater chasing down the others. Will do my best to keep the updates coming.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Support your local shaper...

but make sure you ask for a biofoam (Home Blown) blank. Just got in from a great meeting with North Devon Plus, and a new initiative to support the production of green surfboard technology. One aim is that shapers will move away from importing toxic blanks and actually start to embrace the less toxic (and non carcinogenic technology of MDI). Not only is it produced within the UK and actually stronger than traditional imported blanks, they are more resistant to pressure dents and if dinged, don't take in water. It is hoped that Chris Hines (SAS/Eden Project) and numerous others will be attending the next meeting, but even if the exercise just turns out to be a lesson in communication, its clear that we, the consumers - can make a difference.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Where the heart is

I have waited for so long to capture this view, and am so relieved to finally have a home.

Saturday, 14 November 2009


Instow was the place to sail today, if you weren't up for the drive to Daymer Bay. The main beach looked so huge and even the most seasoned of sailors were looking for alternative venues. Many thanks to Ed, for taking such a great shot.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Abbotsham Werewolf

In dark times, when I am too ill to even hit the water, its time to get creative. So as the cruelest months draw in, the birth of something of sinister is near. Yes it the second coming of Abbotsham Werewolf. This time with a slight variance of brewing technique, under the careful eye of Steve 'beer' Beer; we have included demerara sugar. Be warned this is due for go live in the early part of December and I look forward to sharing.

Moved House

No internet, just boxes and boxes everywhere. We were also facing a 4 week delay for broadband, so I plucked up courage and bought mobile broadband. Massive storms over the next 24 hours and still not sailing due to sickness, hopefully take some decent shots in the meantime.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

So the wind continues...

I continually like to check out what my old friends have been up to on Vancouver Island - so I check pretty frequently to see all the shots in and around British Columbia. Occasionally I like to post up some shots of our conditions and show that England isn't just about rain, bad teeth and no wilderness, as our North American cousins like to stereotype. The most consistent question that comes back; is how do we actually manage to sail in these onshore/cross on big day ? How do we get out etc, and I think this shot demonstrates perfectly. You grit you teeth, you power up and you jump your way out of trouble, all the way to the outside. Dan scores some North North West action on a cold and bright Sunday.

In search of fire.

Travelled to a big bonfire in South Devon, and caught up with friends and family. The wind howled, the rain poured and it truly felt like Nov 5th.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Call to arms.

Found this on 'God save the Wind' - and reckon we all need to start thinking about this.


No break in the wind here, just some serious daddy-daycare time. Winds howled last night and I wondered if the house we are moving to, will still be standing. Forecast looks set to continue, and perhaps if I pack enough boxes, I will be let out just for a few runs.

Greenough Windsurfs !

If you can't handle the retro surf track, scroll through to half way (1 min 20 secs) and listen to the words of wisdom from the legend. The man who changed surfing forever, invented the 'dolphin fin' , and experiments in glass than still leave many astounded. All this, and he windsurfs too. His words really resonate with me !

Thursday, 5 November 2009

North Westerly - Brrrrrr

6/5 suit with a hood was very nice today. Really fun bump and jump session in the mess, and Andy B kindly took a rare photo of me on the water. Great to see yet more new faces, and confirming we have over 30 sailors regularly sailing here (just never together).

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

First in flight

More of the same, and I couldn't bear sitting indoors any longer. Its been over 6 days of sickness now and I just felt I had to take the chance and see if I was up for a sail. A further group of 'work shy' (see previous comments) friends lead the charge and it was somewhere around a Force 6 with some big tidal surges due to the spring tides. Really great to get out and sail in blue skies, and see so many smiling faces. Feel so much better now.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Windsurfing lives !

Just when the winter starts to set in, and most folks are huddling behind their desks avoiding the fierce winds, there was a healthy crew on the beach today. There was also mention of a solo trip to a secret spot with potential, but in all fairness onshore isn't all bad. In fact the intrepid Weston trio had made the two hour trek just for the conditions. Which proves that you can become blase with a great beach on your door !

Still can't get in the sea, and bumped into a local ripper who had just scored the point. It looked really brooding and pretty treacherous, can't believe he surfed it on his own. Despite some strong south westerly winds in the day, the wind veered and went offshore by late afternoon and the beach (see above) started to work.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


With my head full of cold, and a fairly painful chest infection I sat (in the warmth of my car) and watched everyone out charging. The three light weight amigos made it way out back, and I could really appreciate the difference in the size of the swell. However as they tacked into position for the marching lines, the margin for error was greatly reduced by an enormous rock stack sat down wind, and the reef now fully exposed. I winced everytime someone fell in, as I knew that within seconds, they could be drifting into an extremely dangerous situation. I blasted off quite a few shots only to realise I had left the film behind. This was the only shot I managed to score as a result (of the inside) and I guess that Spot Y will remain a mystery for a little longer.