5 November 2014

Back from Croyde after a very smooth drive home, fireworks going off in towns along the A361, M5, A303 and A34. Good to drive my car proper distances, 350 miles in all. R was marking history papers on and off and we had good music playing. The miles fell away and nearly three hours before we first stopped, near Andover. The 2003 Bora tdi got 55 mpg at national speed limits.

Found my joy of surfing once again when I bought a bodyboard. Before that, when playing on the inside, shooting along the waves without standing, things are quicker there, more vital, the water inches from the face. So after a couple of years deliberating (am I giving up?) I bought a new board, a grey topped yellow Science Mini Rig, not so mini at 42.5 cm. from Tiki in Braunton. Viper fins were the ones that fitted me best. Tiki leash (free) and socks for now. Strange to see a screwdriver piercing the soft flesh of a brand new ride. Also got a Tiki travel bag which they gave a big discount on. Sorted.

Back at the break soon after and it was a world of difference. No longer caught inside Croyde’s relentless white walls, a few rudimentary duck dives, some strong kicking and there I was out back on a five foot day, surprising R with my presence.

I had to wait around a bit for some fin cramp to release, helped by slipping them off and back on, and then I was in action. The steep faces of the waves no longer daunting, a few quick kicks and I was scooting diagonally down at great speed, surprised again to be skimming over the surface rather than part immersed in a boiling cauldron of white. Instinctively I leaned into the face instead of flying too far in front. Then, having too much fun, I forgot to let go to get back behind the wave, and pushed into the shallows, carried so fast, almost sideways.

On that one wave the surf trip was transformed. I flopped about in the small waves a silly grin on my face and belly giggling. More! It was toward sunset at the end of our Tuesday/Wednesday weekend though, so only time for a few more fast ones, but content to leave it there, the spark reignited, the bug recaught. It felt good on that Mike Stewart board, submerged in the mighty ocean, the end of the day glow between Lundy and Hartland.

I’ve heard of skiing to your door but this was surfing to our door, the high tide only meters from the steps to the Atlantic apartment. When not surfing we’d enjoyed the direct views across the beach, the famous Croyde Bay. We also had a front row seat to the annual removal of the lifeguard hut:

Croyde Lifeguard hut dismantled

And of course after each session the hot tub and sauna! Such a treat to be able to warm the body through to the bones and relax in that post surf glow, soon to be joined by friends. We can’t afford the flats high season but in the off-season there’s no place better. Ridiculous views from that jacuzzi, world class.

So the Science is rinsed, the wetsuit washed and dripping dripping into the bath, and my body feels good after the all over workout that is surfing. I’ll be keeping my magic carpet board for the smaller days but I now feel like a bodyboarder.

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