Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Forgot to mention we had a great early morning surf with our Californian guest last week. Both wind and swell conspired to make Westward Ho get the compliment that it so clearly deserved - 'heh, this seems just like home' - to which I couldn't help but chuckle.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Worth a thought

As the age of environmentalism continues to drive home the harsh reality; that we consume too many of the earth's resources, the proposed Atlantic Array (one of the worlds largest wind farms to be sited off Lundy) - throws up some interesting dilemmas.

Firstly most popular debate will classically fall into the Not In My Back Yard - NIMBY category, and unfortunately such argument really does little to abate the steam roller effect of such a national sponsored plan (approved by the Crown Commission).

The economist Tobin's view of Intergenerational equity (according to Wikipedia) is the closest thing to being a real thought provoker.
Basically it refers to a relationship that a particular family has on resources. 'An example is the forest-dwelling civilians in Papua New Guinea, who for generations have lived in a certain part of the forest and thus becomes their land. The adult population sell the trees for palm oil to make money. If they do so at an unsustainable level there will be no resources for their children or grandchildren in the future. The unsustainable use of resources would then lead to Intergenerational inequity'.

My concern is that by building such a large offshore power station (akin to the size of the isle of Wight) in both an AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty), Unesco Biosphere reserve and Marine conservation area, one might question whether Torridge district council should be agreeing a 1.5 gigawatt cabling through some of the countries finest coast line, and back through the villages of Abbotsham, Littleham and ultimately Alverdiscott.
(see article here from Local Press)

To date, the National Trust oppose this, yet the Local council who run AONB and the Biosphere reserve office, (according to article) have made no opposition.

Could this be that Torridge will be getting a considerable payout from the energy company, as NDDC did for the Fullabrook power plant (£120m into Council coffers). If this is the case, do you want your local council getting a payout/buy off, as it might slightly bias their view on whether to agree or not.

Hence my real concern on this, is I would rather a council that is lean and works hard to balance its books, without necessitating the selling of planning permissions. If this was a single developer, I believe this activity would be illegal ?

A completed wind farm of 418 wind turbines, could provide enough to power more than a million homes, but in terms of Carbon emissions for the build, how long will the £4.5bn spend take to recoup from its enormous environmental impact. Hopefully the UK government (who will be heavily subsidising this through our taxes) has done their sums correctly, and taken on some basic environmental economic premises such as Tobin's (Intergenerational equity).

Certainly - one thing is clear, in terms of view, future generations will never get to share the same uninterrupted landscape and horizon (pictured above) that ours and past generations have.

If you have any view or further interest; perhaps drop by when the consultation is on -
10th September
10am - 5pm
Abbotsham Village Hall, Abbotsham, Bideford, EX39 5AP

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Really nice to dust off the kit and just get out for a good hack around. Smallish swell, but super fun at the river mouth on a 5.2; great to be so windy (despite onshore) on such a sunny day.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Last 24 hours saw a range of conditions, from clean to down right blown out, and bright sun to foreboding darkness. The shot above is the brief interlude where Dan and Andy sneaked out to score literally a few waves. I like this photo, because it was the one exception to what looked like a fairly poor session. After I shot this, we went up to the corner and the wind seemed to back off long enough to deliver some perfect overhead sets. Definitely an improvement from my session moments earlier in the wind blown slop, and my walk of shame past the life guard hut.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Nothing better than a shared wave with a friend or two. Great to see the full crew this morning, and Dan was heavy on the style today pulling off the longest ride complete with 360 pirouettes. Meanwhile the new board flew pretty good, tough to be too objective as it was such a nice morning. Wind goes fully offshore tomorrow with an improving swell.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

In between grouting the new floors, sealing, sanding countertops, painting and generally sorting out a long list of chores, I snuck out to sand and finish this. Cherry resin tint 6'0 mini simmons all ready for its inaugural surf probably for tomorrow am. Results to follow, although I am hoping its possibly going to be bigger than predicted so I can score another session on the 6'1 Seedhouse.

Update - added the wonky chevrons for a bit of variance.

Friday, 19 August 2011

I love this little vid, for the beard action from Chris Del Moro and the offbeat look at design. Find your next board here - courtesy of Tom

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I set the alarm a little too early for a 5.30 am session, hoping that I would see a little sunshine this morning. But by the time I got down, there was just one other, and no sign of Team Xcel. For half an hour the waves were clean and fun, and the sunrise was stunning, making the solitary surf all the more worth while. Shortly after it all clouded over and I think it was the gloom that helped produce this picture (its raw from the camera), with the camera overcompensating with a slower shutter speed to allow for poor light. Clouds are good, but whatever happened to August sun ?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Scored a great little session this morning on the latest Seedhouse, it is a hark back to the 80's but has some clear similarities to some of the JS-Blak Box and Al Merrick Motor boat shapes. It just flew and I couldn't believe the speed, on what was clearly a fairly limp swell. Going back in later for another session.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

It was clearly time to return, when Hector exclaimed - "not another castle !"

Ten days of rural France, escaping the masses and whiling away the days thinking how much wind and swell there is going on in on our angry part of the North Atlantic. As becoming more of the norm for August, wind and swell and lots of rain forecast for the next 24hours, and it feels like a welcome return.