The surfing holiday got off to a shaky start when the captain of flight 803 announced that there was a technical fault and we’d have to turn back to Gatwick! It looked even more worrying when we were met on the tarmac by a fire crew! Turns out it was a faulty fuel indicator and we were all safe. After finding a replacement aircraft we were away….again!
M set off at the crack of dawn and was in Newquay even before I left Gatwick…the first time round! Anyway, he picked me up at the airport and we went over to check out the hire shop. In spite of losing two hours of the day, there was still enough time to put in an hour of practice ahead of the Saturday morning lesson.
Fistral beach was nowhere near as busy as I thought it would be. In my mind, it’s always packed with surfer dudes. In reality, on a cold, cold Friday in May, which might as well have been in March is was so damn cold, you can pretty much have the waves to yourself. It’s hardly Oahu or Maui after all!
It’s fair to say that first session was pretty hopeless, other than to get us acclimiatised to the water temperature and give us the impression we’d earned our Friday night beers and curry. Our mentor and surf-sensei Will met us that evening and we planned the next day’s lesson. So Saturday morning we headed off for Watergate bay and Will gave us the lecture. M and I did our exercises and practised technique. The results were not spectacular, but we did make some progress. Now a two hour lesson in the Atlantic, even in small surf, is nothing like a day at the office. Nothing at all. M and I tired quickly and I was so bushed that I dozed in the van on the way back to Newquay.
A jacuzzi, sauna and quick dip in the hotel pool revived us enough for beer followed by dinner at the Lewinnick, a cliff-top hotel on the south-side of the bay with a spectacular view looking back at Fistral. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area and peckish! Will and a friend of his joined us for a drink before the meal and it was fascinating to hear folk talk of a life and employment in the surfing business!
The final day saw us back at Fistral, but at the south end. Will’s expert advice began to really make a difference and the result is a photo of me, on the crest of a wave (so to speak)!
OK, it’s not Diamond Head, but I’m pretty pleased. I don’t think I’m going to trade in all my windsurfing gear just yet though.