Like an omen of good fortune BP gave me the wind reading at 30+ knots and then told me he wasn't going to go out as he didn't have a small enough fin. As a bonafide living legend, with enough windsurf stories of his exploits to write a book on, I wasn't going to give him too hard a time if he didn't want to sail.
So, sheepishly I unfurled the 4.0 for what was going to be a solo session, and just after three quarters of an hour, my arms and legs had had enough. In fact, 45 mins of constant battle with winds and a large storm swell, had me wishing for the warmth of the truck, and to settle back behind the lens and film someone else. Just as I started to head in Paul and Andy arrived to pick up where I left off, what a day !
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
West north-west ensured both sides of the bay scored it today. Heard from the Sauntonians, that they were all dialled on 4.2's meanwhile we sailed on similar sizes also scoring blue skies, and much reduced swell. Just enough angle and surprisingly well groomed waves, that almost made me think; travelling away at this time of year is a real shame.
Monday, 26 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
During the darkest hours of North Devon's darkest days, there is still a light that burns bright. Matt, Paul and myself just about made it to the ridge, only to be buffeted back by the wind which had now veered north north-westerly. Temperatures had also dropped to around 6 degrees but with windchill it felt more like sub zero. So as we huddled round debating whether to go out into the 3.3 m swell reading, a vote was called and we agreed a 'no sail'.
On these rare occasions, the only comfort, was to accept Paul's generous offer of a mince pie, with a whisky chaser.
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
and Thank you ! I had the most amazing feeling today, as Laura called me at work to say a rather large parcel had arrived. Out of the blue, a large 'longboard' shaped package was delivered to the house. Tris (from Homeblown) and the gang had decided to send me a rather beautiful hand finished Tris longboard, complete with Blue stringer and high gloss. Whilst it is an incredibly generous gift, it is the thought behind it that caught me off guard, and brings a small tear to my eye. I have always enjoyed my time with Homeblown, but it makes it all the more special, when you feel like someone appreciates your effort. Its been a couple of years since we first got together, and I am so glad to say that they now provide over 80% of surf blanks to the British surf industry. Tris thanks for giving me the opportunity, I am very proud to call you friends.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Despite a ridiculous forecast, and wave heights that seemed to have knackered the bouy readings, we managed to score a pretty fun session. Ok, we were pinned to the shoreline by the onshore winds but the sun definitely brought a smile or two out. In fact the only real challenge in the balmy temps (7 degrees) was the enormous tidal surge, which was so powerful it could actually kill all your board speed. That said, a 4.5 m Ezzy and the Wave cult 75 ltr managed to do the trick.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
It's about this time of year, that I really cherish the shelter of a warm office. Getting a contract through the windy time isn't always ideal, as I seem to often miss the wind during the dark months and short days. Meanwhile for most of the crew here, its business as usual. Filling their boots in true winter style, and charging through mast high sets, seemingly a daily occurrence. Each night I return home, I skim through the emails to see what I missed, and just hope the wind stays till my next day off. However what I really struggle with, is listening to the lashing wind and driving rain. Somehow it seems to be calling me, telling me what I am missing. Last night was not really any different from the last couple weeks, but as the wind whipped round the tower, I thought the storm could finally be winning. The house perched high on a cliff , makes you appreciate how exposed the spot really is. Unfortunately giving no shelter or respite from the storm, as it tracks unimpeded off the Atlantic. Wind and rain seem to be able to find their way in to almost any crack and even our latest building project seems to have fallen prey to the torrential rains. If the house hadn't stood for so many centuries, I think the gale which attempted to raise it last night, might have succeeded.