Sunday, 30 September 2012

Going (south) west

I'm off to Cornwall first thing tomorrow morning. I have put my boards (the 9'2" NSP and my bodyboard, as well, for a bit of 'sponging' should the occasion arise) and ancillary items in the car, and will be catching the ferry to Southampton at the unearthly hour of 0545. The ferry arrives in Southampton at 0645 and, as I am avoiding the worst of the Monday 'rush hour' when even more idiots than usual are on the roads, I should take just over four hours to get there, with a stop for petrol if necessary, although I can't say I'm looking forward to the drive, no idea why I'm dreading it, as it is a drive I did many, many times during the 90s - but I guess that comes from seven years of living back on the Isle of Wight, where it is easy to develop a small-area mentality ('oh my god, I have to go to Freshwater? That's 18 miles away!'). I can't help thinking that if it was motorway all the way, rather than A-roads, it'd take no more than two or three hours but, all being well, I should arrive by 1100 or thereabouts, provided nothing happens. At least there are no roadworks. I sometimes wish for Star Trek-style 'beaming'!

I have two one-to-one sessions booked for Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, with ESF, although the weather forecast looks a bit crap, with blustery showers and 21 mph winds. I don't mind the rain, because I am going to get wet anyway, but could do without the surf being blown to bits by howling onshore and cross-shore winds. I contacted ESF on Friday asking what happens if Fistral beach is too windy and blown out and they told me that we'd move to the more sheltered bay; by this I assume they mean Towan, by the harbour and opposite the Reef Aquarium. If Fistral is blown out, Towan is usually surfable.

While I'm down there I am going to go and see Errant Surf about a trip abroad, as I am planning to go on a trip to Morocco or the Canary Islands, maybe in late January to avoid school holidays and half terms. They arrange trips to surf camps and offer tuition to all surfers, no matter what the level of ability. I fancy a couple of weeks away from a shitty UK winter and have never been away at this time (surprisingly for someone who hates gloomy skies and cold weather!), and good surf, warm water and good weather can improve one's surfing ability considerably. Being away during the most depressing time of year is also a bonus. Errant can also arrange flights, which is handy for lazy people like me.
Errant also do 'longboard coaching weekends' down in Newquay, run by ex-Isle of Wight resident Chris Thomson (who, like me, escaped the place but, unlike me, managed to stay away), who also owns Errant Surf; once I get good enough again to ride that tanker of mine properly, I might go on one of those.