Thursday, 11 April 2013
Monday, 25 March 2013
Come on winter, it's April, surely I should be able to ditch some of the rubber by now?
There's been quite a bit of discussion on Twitter recently about whether the water temperatures this winter are at a record low. Whilst no-one has confirmed if it's a record, it's significantly colder than the last two years. This time last year I was a week away from not wearing mitts, I'm still wearing a hood at the moment when it's windy (and I don't usually need to wear a hood in Cornwall at all). The cold clear weather is set to change next week, but doesn't sound like it's going to get much warmer...short leg suit days still feel very far away.
Graph data & concept credit Dave @surfhog
It's the cruellest irony that the UK's best surf comes in the coldest months. Although some would say it's a blessing, thinning out the crowds in the lineup, saving the best for the truly dedicated.
Usually I love winter, to start with anyway, crisp offshore mornings, all the empty beaches; but this winter has got me down. I've felt almost oppressed by it, so ground down by the cold that it's left me with no energy for doing anything other than coming home from work in the dark exhausted to eat and go to bed. It's been hard to summon up the motivation to get in the water when it's freezing outside and the promised winter swells are few and far between, or to go take photos when the weather makes mittens essential and my shutter finger is covered in chilblains.
So I've been hibernating, of sorts. I haven't got in the water nearly enough, or taken enough photos, or kept up with the blogs I enjoy. But I have moved house (and god knows that's a mission enough even when you're not feeling run down), back to the coast in a lovely farm cottage behind the dunes of one of my favorite beaches. I get to see the sea every morning, and gradually I'm feeling myself again, even if this winter does seem to be hanging around forever.
So in the very belated tradition (see 2010, 2011, 2012) here are my resolutions / aspirations for 2013:
Surf more and push myself to progress
Remember to take an instant photo after every surf (forgotten this twice already)
Worry less about what other people think
Keep up with this blog (see above)
Fix my broken cameras and starting taking pictures again
Go to California in the Autumn
Remember that material things don't bring happiness (ie spend less, experience more!)
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Thursday, 2 August 2012
For one heavenly week, last week, we finally had some sunshine AND surf, and Cornwall reminded us just how amazing it can be. Chris made this little video before the swell came in - highlighting just how kooky two months of bad surf has made me - and I braved it in a bikini for two waves. If only it was always like this, back to wind and rain now but it was great while it lasted!
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
I finally got to ride my new (well new to me) board last night, a 9'4 Southcoast DT2. Sometimes riding a different board feels strange for a while, kind of like driving someone else's car, but I felt totally at home on it straight away. Hopefully that means I've made the right choice of board. Fingers crossed for another break in these endless onshores so I can get to know it better...
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Sometimes I think we suffer from a mass delusion in the UK that our summers are long, dry and hot. We all seem to have memories of endless sunny days, sunset barbeques on the beach, the odd day surfing in just a wetsuit top and boardshorts. Deep down we know we've just blotted out those memories of wearing winter coats in August and endless onshores, but still we approach each new summer with a curious blind optimism that THIS summer it's going to be like those golden summers of memory.
This summer is no different. The solstice has been and gone, bringing with it no more than extended daylight hours in which to watch the drizzly onshore seas and sigh with disappointment. Surely not all summers are like this? My optimism is wearing thin. The short leg wetsuit that usually doesn't get a chance to dry out between June and October is still in its bucket unworn. That small bag of charcoal we bought during an early patch of sunshine in March is still under the sink. Those bottles of waterproof sunscreen I bought back from Hawaii last year are still at the back of the bathroom cabinet. Sure there have been a few sunny days, the odd short-lived swell, but the more it rains and the south-westerly winds blow the more I find myself thinking - maybe next week...