Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Just one..

wave was all it took today. The forecast was pretty much accurate with strong offshores making the the 3-5 ft wave standup pretty nicely. As a result, I think I got my first ever beach break barrel, or perhaps it was more of an over head closeout. Either way it was incredible to feel the power, not far off what you might expect at low tide Croyde. Great to see Carl in the water, and check out Dan in this months copy of Boards (as guest tester). Welcome back team Excel !

Monday, 28 December 2009

Magic Lie

Yes indeed. Magic Seaweed lured the masses with tales of three/four feet and 8 second interval. However it was more like 1ft and an interval of 90 seconds. Still it was great just to get in and work my tiny fish against the longboarders.

The return of a legend.

Hanging with an old friend today made me think of the last time he graced our shores. I have never met anyone quite as at peace with themself, and his serenity and kind heartedness remain unmatched. Come back soon Ben, you are very much missed.

Cold and Windy

North Westerly was in full swing and a great session for an hour or so. Here's a shot of MTC who was suffering from some serious numb hands.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Trail of the Lonesome Pine

New sails are set to arrive any day, and the wind and wave forecast is due to return from tomorrow. In the meantime I have been hot on the trail of attempting to classify one remaining pine at the bottom of the garden. It seems it may be the Monterey pine (first borught here in the 1830's from California), and I am going to try and search out some replacements of this magnificent tree. Apparently they love wind blown coasts and have a taste for salt air, guess they aren't alone.

Monday, 21 December 2009

The next trip.

Since I found this video on YouTube, this place has been high on the agenda for a visit. Check out the sets towards the end fo the film.

and on that same trip...

I found this old video that I put together a few years back. Thanks to Laura for the camera work.


When it just gets too cold to get in the water, I tend to drift off to places I have been before. One such place was Moledo on the West coast of Portugal and a lesser known spot to surf/wsurf. Just by chance, when I first drove past this amazing beach, it was cranking a Force 8. Three hours later, I scored my best sail of the year on a great little reef working half a kilometre offshore. Found this video to share the spot -

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Das Cribbar

Looks like the Cribbar has been acting up again, and the weather looks to be travelling up the coast. South Westerlies for Monday, hopefully a few degrees warmer too.

All mixed up

Temperatures seem to have dropped and so has the swell, wind and everything else. Feel a little bit green (with envy) as friends head off to the mountains and my wife resolutely says 'no' to Heli skiing or ANY other mountain trip. So for the forseeable, its watching the forecasts, attending interviews and generally tending to the house and kids. Many thanks to Luke for helping us to progress with our plans for the new home, and sad to say I missed organising a proper christmas send off for Steve 'the beer'. In the meantime for any of you who can be bothered to make the trek, please drop by for a sample of the christmas home brew.

PS - check out a very local chilling tale .

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Random acts of kindness

Many thanks to Matt from Columbia Beach, Vancouver Island. Last week Matt sent me an email, saying he enjoyed the pictures on the blog and wanted to send something he couldn't use in Canada. I have never met the guy before but and it all seemed very random, but true to his word, a little parcel arrived today. What a great surprise to unwrap an electric boot warmer/drier, so am waiting for the forecast to change so I can test on my wetsuit booties.
Thanks again and I will endeavour to pass on the random act !

Monday, 14 December 2009


Season of giving is near and if I had my way, I would be buying each and every friend a quiver of some of these puppies. Sadly these don't come cheap but they are the ultimate investment, and if you get the chance, see if you can get a 2009 for cheap. You won't be disappointed.
Happy sailing !

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A nice day

My hands were tied with babysitting duties and I had to construct an excuse to lure the little people to the beach. I could literally here the surf pounding, and was desperate just to snap a few shots, but I needed a good plan of attack. So, armed with a carrier bag, I suggested we go collect litter from the cliffs and make a collage (Blue Peter style). This worked perfectly, and as the two artists searched for inspiration (and cleaned the beach) I managed to score a couple shots.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Post Jordan

and still keeping the faith. Surfing is never quite so fun on your own (particularly when your wingman has flown to warmer climes) but it is a real test of commitment. Keep charging Luke.

Down Tools

Yes, thats right. The surf is on and I barely even noticed it. In fact I am so fresh out of my bout of sickness, that when Parko arrived for work this morning, we raced to the top of the tower to check out the monster swell. Shortly after this, Parko was claiming he didn't feel great : ), and was in need of some beach therapy.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The stoke

I love surfing for what it brings to people on a cold, wet and miserable day at the start of December. When words like 'interval' and 'bouy reading' ignite smiles, and distant eyes filled of hope. Today is just one such day when despite the weather, something really good is happening for those that can be bothered.

PS - It's so nice to see Lundy again. It feels like ages since we last saw this steadfast little island, and I can barely believe its still there after the storm action over the last month.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Weston imports

The Super mare crew were out charging, and they put the locals to shame. Thanks Andy for getting some shots, I was just one of the many locals missing another Ho windy day. Please comment if you know who it is - I reckon it could be Matt.

Friday, 4 December 2009


When winter draws in, the number of sailors seem to dip quite significantly. It's never quite so enticing to get out on the water in the depths of winter. However there are still those who make the effort, perhaps not looping sky high, but always charging whatever the conditions. Its these guys who aren't necessarily the youngest, but perhaps the ones with the greater stamina, and not afraid of the cold. Its these guys that often create a positive atmosphere at a spot, and will always have a smile, offer any help and even the odd mug of tea. So if there was ever a local club purely for windsurfing, and if there was ever a yearly award, this guy would be my choice for windsurfer of the year. Thanks Paul !

If it looks cold

...thats because it was. However the guys who did get out to windsurf, still weren't as covered up as the guys in Northern Spain (La Coruna), who are now sailing totally clad from head to toe in neoprene. I think this is in part due to the lack of gulf stream, and perhaps just not as burly as their northern cousins.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Have been reading through the blogs and dreaming of blue skies and thermal winds. Somehow the onslaught of winter just doesn't seem so appealing anymore, and even the smaller clean surf, just doesn't seem to entice. Hoping to reignite the flame (and my camera) later in the week, with a trip out west and a visit to the labs of Home Blown. Can't wait to see what these guys have been upto.