The Deep Winter Surf Trip
“You’re crazy!” they said.
“You’ll freeze to death!” said others.
“I’ll come with you.” Said one, although that somewhat detracts from the previous two exclamations.
But I didn’t think about the craziness, I thought about the burning inside, the pull of the ocean in my heart, and also the two days off work. Me and my two friends were going surfing, and nothing was going to stop us.
At 5:45am on Sunday morning there was a knock at my front door. This was my friends, bleary eyed but excited to embark on a six hour drive on the off chance there were some decent waves about. I quietly bumped and smashed all of the household objects I could whilst dragging my board through the house to attach it to the top of the car. We set off, staving off the tiredness with excitement, and a 5CD compilation of indie anthems.
We faced and overcame the ice plains of the M6 and watched the sun rise on a misty land of adventure and travel, only stopping occasionally for lattes from Starbuck’s. We knew it wasn’t as good as the Costa that could have been but nothing was going to stop us now. Besides we would have had to drive another seventeen miles for the Costa services and that was just far too far.
Most surf trips don’t include narrowly avoiding death and destruction, this one however was different. As we entered Devon we noticed that the surfboard, tied up with roof straps (cheap roof straps I might add), had slipped slightly and so we planned to pull over to sort it out. As soon as this idea was even formed however, the board was wrenched from the roof (I must stress they were really cheap straps, honestly, the cheapest money could buy) and sent hurtling into the air. We all stared, including the driver which is a bit reckless in truth, as the board spun and hovered above the dual carriageway. Time stopped and my heart raced (nice bit of juxtaposition there), images of death, mangled cars, and shattered surf boards flashed before my eyes. Then it came down, off the road thank God and onto the grass verge. We pulled up and sprinted (well tried to, we had been driving non-stop for a good few hours and our legs were all seized up and achey) back to the crash landing, I feared the worst.
To my amazement, my board lay there, intact and unscathed apart from a few scratches, and as an added bonus, no one had died. Thoroughly shaken, and with the surfboard now uncomfortably stowed inside the car, we set off again to search the sea for waves.
We arrived in Newquay and instantly faced the horror of driving in a seaside town (one way systems all over the place). We found our apartment and began the slow, tortuous procedure of putting on our wetsuits. What seemed like hours later, we were ready to take on the Atlantic Ocean and ride the fringes of the Earth’s super power. We grabbed our boards, and made our way down to the breaking waves, surveying the peaks to find the best place to wait and pick off the longest rides. After a couple of minutes we reached the conclusion that there were no better places to go so we just got in to face the messy rubbish that Tolcarne Bay was producing.
What followed was a heavy beat down and after two hours of being put in my place by the sea, I decided to head back and have some tea and scones (What? It was free, don’t judge me for it). The waves had won this round, and the rugby and then the football were on, so a bit of time was needed to recoup but we would return. Sadly, the same happened again.
After a bit of recovery time, we decided to head in to town to find some sustenance for tomorrow’s full day of surf. Instead we found that it was two pound a pint in Bellushi’s so our early night plans quickly deteriorated. We returned home tired, and as drunk as teenagers on school leaving night.
The next day looked promising, while we still all slept. When awake and just functioning we made our way to Watergate Bay, I won’t bitch about it but I had to walk up a massive hill while the other two went in the car, not cool. The fresh winter sea is one of the best ways to shake off a hangover and we discovered this as thousands of litres pummelled into the sea bed over and over again. We lasted a couple of hours, until all our pride and determination had ebbed away with the tide. We got out, got changed and got on our way home.
So there it is, our surf trip, full of fun and excitement, although somewhat lacking in the surf department. Would I do it again? You bet your sweet ass I would.