Human carelessness hits home – seagull entangled.

Today I’m not going to share with you my “beautiful” and “totally awesome,man” kayaking experience in Menorca…as I find myself, right now, feeling somewhat full of grief.  

We were coming to the end of our lunch break on dry land, and as we looked out to the bay, out of nowhere, like Hitchock’s movie “Birds”, the sky was swarming with seagulls, screaming at the top of their lungs. 

We noticed, after some confusion, that in the water was a seagull flapping around in the most bizarre of manners; it almost looked like a cormorant trying to dry its wings half submerged, but equally, it looked like an eagle feasting on something.  

A few minutes passed and we began to feel that this bird was not trying to, for instance,  mate another seagull in a curious aquatic display, nor was it dining on something – it was in trouble.  

I got into my boat and paddled over gently to the creature – I circled it a couple of times to try to make sense of what was going on. 

It was drowning. 

It was difficult to see why but cautious for my own safety I took a short period to analyse the situation. 

It appeared to have its beak stuck in its foot below the surface with fishing line. He would manage to get his face to the surface to take in a breath and then he would immediately be pulled under by his foot. 

I couldn’t bear it – I needed to try to cut him free. 

I gently slid my paddle under him. I thought he would be terrified and try to fight me but he didn’t. Although he was clearly exhausted for fighting for his life, he seemed to know I was trying to help him and so he flopped on to my paddle. 

I got him onto the surface of my boat but he jiggled slightly and fell back into the water. I was mortified. 

I scooped him up for a second time onto my paddle – he still let me do this and this time…I managed to keep him on my deck. 

The only problem here was that if I slid my paddle from under him, he would fall into the sea again. Fortunately, I was not far from shore at this point and the water was shallow and so Emily gently waded in and pulled us to shore. 

He had a fishing hook straight through his beak. It was attached to loads of fine fishing line wrapped around both his legs, locking them together.  He also had so much around his left leg that his foot had turned blue. 

Emily calmy held his wings whilst I got out the boat and took my kayaking rescue knife from my buoyancy aid. 

He let us work – he didn’t fight us. It felt like he looked us in the eye and said he understood we were trying to help.  

I cut the line that connected the hook in his beak to his foot so he could raise his head, and then I managed to cut the lengths of line that were wrapping his legs together so that he could stand. 

I tried to take more from his legs but he began to become distressed and so we let go. 

He was able to stand at this point but the hook still remained through his beak and wire around his feet. We had no means to get the hook out and if we did, we may have caused him even further damage. 

We hear so much about marine plastic being a massive issue and of course it is, so please be mindful about your shopping and disposal habits.  However, let’s not forget about the impact we have on marine  life through things such as fishing – in fact, any activity that if not practiced mndfully can entangle innocent creatures and lead them to an absolutely barbaric end. 

I’m unsure right now whether I should have left the bird to drown, as although his death would have been distressing… I think it may have been quicker than the inevitable lethargy, hunger, and pain that he is likely to experience due to not being able to eat due to the hook and the infection he will get from the wire around his legs…he may also get his beak caught again. 

Right now I am horrifed and this incident has been a stark reminder as to WHY I did my postgrad in wildlife conservation. 

It’s very easy to see images online through the likes of Facebook and be saturated with so much information that when you see something like a marine creature ingest something WE, HUMANS, have made, to become desensitised to it. 

I know that Emily and I won’t ever forget this. 

Meet Sid – may he gently fall asleep. 

On a slight deviation – I have just come across this petition to stop UK supermarkets selling fruit and veg in plastic packaging… will you sign it? 

Swamp monster meets Menorca 

Exactly a year ago, I embarked on a very exciting unknown adventure with a team of swash buckling companions. 

We circumnavigated Menorca by kayak unsupported. 
It was a truly unforgettable experience for many reasons (see earlier blogs and navigate to my “films” tab to kick back and watch some of the action)…however, I couldn’t get out of my head how beautiful the place is from the water. It was especially magical to unplug in such an unspoilt and tranquil place. 

I decided a mini adventure beckoned and so off we flew this week, back to the turquoise waters of Menorca. 

It has been touch and go this week as on my SUP instructor training last weekend, I ingested too much river water – most likely when doing rescues –  and ended up getting a rather unexpected and gruesome bout of D&V… I genuinely believe a river MONSTER is growing inside my belly… I am presently 6 months pregnant with all the associated belching and tummy rubbing… I can’t go through this for nothing,  there best be a bloody alien emerging from within after all of this. 

We weren’t sure if I was going to be able to make it out here, but in the end, we thought ‘sod it’ – let’s blooming go! 

We arrived yesterday and had a very relaxing time meandering the Italian-like lanes of Mahon and boat window shopping in the harbour. So far so good…no D&V rearing its ugly head… 

This morning I awoke to a peculiar feeling from within, but despite this, we went for some breakfast. On returning to the room to get into paddle kit, I began to sweat and feel like fresh hell… I suddenly felt a rumbling from within and with horrified alarm I shouted “I’ve shat myself!”. I ran straight into the bathroom to a concerned yet calm Emily…. I immediately sat on the loo to evacuate the river monster…only to look up to realise that Emily was in fact, herself, mid flow, doing a number 2 but managed to stop the flow so she could save me from going in the bath tub. Now…. if that’s not love, I don’t know what is. 

Anyway, after this hideousness, we lushed on through and headed back down to Es Grau to see our friends at Menorca en Kayak whom we sold our expeditions boats to last year. 

They very kindly agreed to lend us some boats to go for a jaunt. The plan originally was to get boats and disappear on a camping adventure for a few days but we decided, due to my state and general tiredness from travelling,  we would have a gentle training day and go off for some wild camping tomorrow. 

We had a beautiful time pootling around Es Grau bay, Emily visited her first cave and stuck her boaty beak in around Fondeadero de los Llanes…and then we headed over to a nearby island, Illa d’en Colom to find our own private beach…so we thought…

That was until, after I had just convinced Em that of COURSE it’s okay to swim and sunbathe topless as noone is around…”it’s not like they can wall here”…. a group of 17 Americans blasting loud music from their kayaks & paddle-boards rocked up, inclusive of selfie sticks. Never have I ever seen an Em move so quick to cover herself up. 

We were gutted that our quiet haven was intruded upon, and so after a quick lizard spot, we paddled over to Ses Mames Fondes and then back to Es Grau to relax for a wee while before heading back to Mahon for the night.

It’s nice to be back in my boat!

We’ve got a loose plan for the next few days where due to the wind direction, we will be heading anti clockwise from Es Grau, most likely to go up to Fornells and back. Cannot wait. 

Aqueduct Magic 

The other weekend saw one of my most magical paddling days, but in a very familiar location  – The Llangollen Canal. 

I was due to have a Board meeting with Canoe Wales on the Tuesday up in Bala and so we (my paddle companion, Emily, and I) decided we might as well have a wee holiday in North Wales. 

Up until last January, I used to live close to the canal – walking along it on a crisp sunny day was always one of my favourite things to do, and I have fond memories of paddling across the aqueduct with my dear friend Erin, bathed in sunshine and dazzled by the autumnal colours within the valley surrounding us. 
No matter the time of year, or weather conditions, the Llangollen Canal and its aqueducts are always a magical place to be.  

As I was working up north after our weekend, I didn’t want to take my lovely Venture Jura boats and keep them vulnerable to thieves on my roof rack. 

Richard Witheridge of TNR Coaching and one of our chief rescuers on our Maltese SUP trip very kindly lent us two Pyranha Fusions for a day messing about in boats. 

It was a beautiful sunny and warm spring day, March 25th…the best day of the year so far in my opinion.  
We set off from Richard’s pub and outdoors centre, The Boathouse at Chirk Marina, and pootled along the canal full of cheer, gulping in the fresh air, and fawning over lambs in the field.  

We giggled away when winding up and down a little foot bridge, ate icecreams from a delightful sweetie shop barge, and glided our way across the Llangollen Aqueduct and beyond. We lay in the sun surrounded by lambs, played fetch with our ball that bounces on water (and erm…I got it stuck in the hedgerow and had to tackle prickly shrubbery whilst balancing in my boat), ventured the deep dark tunnel, and diced with death when faced with some rather inexperienced and nervous day canal boat captains. 

All of this wonderment, topped off with a glowing red nose and an EXCEPTIONAL pie in Richard’s pub. 
Absolute bliss. 

If you would like to try paddling and want to do so in a safe and very scenic environment, get in touch with Richard through his site, where he will be sure to help you. 

Pedals not Paddles – Cold Hard Times

Since Malta, I’ve been having a battle with Malcolm.

You see, this winter, it has been really clear that even if I’m wrapped up warm, when out on the water or even simply being outside having a gentle walk, I will be absolutely badgered for the rest of the day.

I have always known temperature to have a bit of an impact on me, and indeed others with MS, but not to this degree. In fact, if you would like to learn more about temperature and MS, check out this article

In the cold, my left side has become increasingly stiff and weak, sometimes painful, and I am awash with severe lethargy.

A few weeks ago, after an hour or so of kayaking, I got home where within minutes I apparently fell asleep mid-sentence. To me, the cold is now like a sleeping pill and a tight jacket of the limbs all rolled into one.

This has impacted my desire to get paddling during these cooler months, as a few hours on the water means an afternoon and evening written off feeling drugged up, weak and floppy.

I have also noticed if I go swimming and the pool is a little chilly, despite physically swimming to keep warm, I will, without question, become very stiff and tired after that too.

I won’t lie – this has made me demotivated generally with exercise, which is THE number one thing I recommend for staying fit and healthy with MS. As such, I have put on over a stone and I can feel that my left side is noticeably weaker than my right again.

You may say…”get down the gym Jones, stay inside where it’s nice and warm”…yes, I hear you, loud and clear, but I find it so bloody boring! I need to be outside, not just for the physical benefits, but because it is the best medicine for mental health too.

This weekend, my left arm and hand felt so weak, that I flatly refused to go paddling, which really is unheard of. I just didn’t want to go anywhere near that cold water; I didn’t feel strong enough on my left side to sustain paddling for any length of time, and was frightened of feeling wiped out again. I was also, in truth, fearful for my safety on the water if something were to go wrong.

I was desperate to do something physical and outdoors,  and so after a lovely relaxing breakfast at Lew’s (my new favourite breakie place), I was taken out on a bicycle, for the first time in about 8 years, in my thermals, to go for a jaunt along the beautiful Taff Trail.

HOORAY!!!!! Despite some hilarity on the way back cycling with no resistance due to a gear mishap, and an aching rear end, this was something I could do where I didn’t need any particular strength from my left arm, and if my legs felt stiff or achy, I could always let the bike free-wheel without me pedalling for a rest.
I got to see some beautiful flowers, as well as the view of the river from another angle for mental clarity. Being by water always makes life super dooper…not that I’m not a cheery human, it’s just my soul food.

The other thing which was really noticeable, were my energy levels. Unlike paddling in the cooler weather, pedalling in these conditions did not wipe me out. I think that’s because with paddling, my lower body is relatively inactive, plus I am essentially immersed in cold water with only the boat for a barrier. With cycling, my legs are moving like billy ‘o, my heart is pounding, and I’m even getting rather sweaty due to the heat I’m producing.

I am so over the moon about it, that I aim to later this year, and I am just going to throw out into the ether a date off the top of my head – the end of September – to cycle the full length of the Taff Trail; Cardiff to Brecon which is 55 miles (88km).

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This will be a great focus for overall fitness and to build strength back into my legs…and once the weather is warmer, I will ensure I get back out on the water.

This has all affected me more than I thought it would mentally, and so I have allowed myself a period of self-pity, but now, I really need to buck up my ideas, especially as I promised a dear friend of mine whom has recently passed, that I will never give up, and will always for as long as I can, go on paddling adventures. And that, dear Reader, is what I hope to be able to do. Malcolm, can quite frankly, hop off.

Stay tuned for pedalling and paddling updates!

Jo (sephine) Bloggs Paddles 

I’ve been thinking back to the very start of my paddling journey in 2014, where the main aim was rehabilitation, to where I am now. Looking at my pictures warms my heart and when I have moments of doubt in my ability,  I simply look at my photos and I am reminded that anything is possible.

If I could capture the essence in one snap shot of these two time periods, I would struggle to believe the experiences and adventures that I have had.

I have said it many times, but I believe paddlesports to be one of the most inclusive sports available. By means of a thank you to my coach and the paddling community for welcoming me and motivating me, and to help inspire everyday people from all backgrounds and abilities to give it a go…nearly a year ago, I agreed to become Inclusion Director for the governing body, Canoe Wales.

This is of course a great responsibility and a privilege and I promise to do my best, the only way an ex Brownie and Girl Guide can do…and you know, we always keep our promises.

I have been thinking about the need for my next physical paddle challenge – this is presently something I am struggling to do, not only because of logistics but also finding expedition buddies. I definitely need to keep up the momentum of personal challenges to keep proving to myself on a mental note that I am capable of anything, but to also keep my physical condition optimum in light of MS. I am thinking warm and bigger than I have done so far, to REALLY push myself. Why warm? Because I am struggling with the cold as my legs do not like it at all I am learning – it causes my muscles to be stiff and sore.

If you have a challenge idea for me or are interested in taking part in something with me – please get in touch.

Whilst I am thinking about my next move, the next few months are all about aiming to get Jo (sephine) Bloggs in my  capacity as Canoe Wales Director, but also, as a human being who wants to have fun paddling with friends, out on the water.

The past two weekends have been lovely going out with a new aquatic companion in sea boats down Barry Dock and the River Ely…

And as I get settled in to a life in Cardiff, I hope to make more friends and get on the sea and rivers much, much more.

I’m really pleased to be making a good friend in new fellow Director, Sarah Williams, whom has a fear of open water but as she’s part of Canoe Wales, really wants to give it a try. She doesn’t really know it yet but I plan to take her out soon when it gets a little bit warmer, with a picnic of course…and now it’s in my blog,it HAS to happen!

That’s a wrap for now, but I look forward to keeping you updated on my paddling pootles.

Thank you all for your support the past 2 or so years.

Popeye Hell…

Dear Reader, I do apologise for how long it is taking me to write my blog about our Maltese SUP Project…I am an easily distracted squirrel.

So where were we? Ah yes, that’s right – I left you when having gone to snoozeville in Golden Sands, behind a stack of sun beds and in the company of MUTANT BUGS.

It is 4.24am on 4th November 2016 and I have been RUDELY awoken from my shallow slumber by a thumping, clattering and banging of something from up above, broken by an exceptionally loud and guttural Scottish male shouting something like “Is ‘at it? reit, weel i’ll see ye in a scuttle weeks”. Of course, what else should I be hearing 3579km from Glasgow.

Apparently I am now awake for the day, and what does that always mean when your body is suddenly woken up unexpectedly? The absolute urgent requirement for a wee. But there was nowhere to go…it’s a bit too light to get away with a beach wee with this man being so active and visible…and vocal…and heavy handed. It’s clearly a personal vendetta towards me. FACT.

Yes, dear Reader, I am aware that at this point, irrational thought had taken over my being but woe betide anyone messing with a sleep deprived and desperate for urination Jones.

The funny thing is, I can’t remember how or when I went for a wee to overcome said issue…but goody gum drops for me it happened to save everyone from a meltdown!

Anyway, that’s quite enough toilet talk.

For the first time we set off standing UP on our boards (hooray for us!) – all seemed calm –  we did not know, that today, was going to be the most surreal day of our trip, and quite possibly, our lives.

Due to childhood visits to Malta and having a distant memory of visiting “Popeye Village”, I felt deep within my soul the biggest urge for us to visit it as a team…and lo and behold, on looking at the map, we could seemingly access it from the water. What joy. Not that I had at all looked at this in depth prior to the trip…no…not I.

Funnily enough, childhood memories have a very interesting way of making tacky luminous roller-skate key-rings seem “like totally awesome, dude”  (ha – no, I won’t be saying that phrase out loud any time soon!)…or maybe that prized key-ring possession of mine was “amazeballs” (bringing out the classics today) as maybe it was “ironic” cool. So who knew what Popeye Village was going to be like.

Anyway, back on our boards, after a morning of playing between rocks, we were suddenly being exposed to side winds again and so we needed to plummet to our knees…and after yet another skillful “sea-wee” by George (gosh, we love our urination don’t we!), we began to creep around the corner to Popeye Village.

Popeye Village is the original set from the film made in the 1980s…do any of you remember it? I have very vague recollections of it myself.

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 Anyway, as we turned the corner, we found a very sheltered and somewhat quaint little cove with curious little coloured houses. As we drew closer, we could hear something. No, is it…no…it can’t be…”The Monster Mash”? Yes it is…and as we got closer we could then hear “Ah-ga-ga-ga-ga-ga it’s still Halloween here in Popeye Village why don’t you….” WHAT?! Is it not November 4th? What kind of madness were we paddling towards?

We found ourselves a mooring at the beach of the shallow make-believe bay (just below the bridge in the picture above), and immediately sought comfort in…REAL TOILETS….HOORAH (seriously, you cannot underestimate small pleasures such as a good toilet experience)…where not only did George and I manage to wash our hair on the sly in the sinks, but a British woman walked in and said “I’ve been in the sea, I need a wash” and promptly stripped off before our very eyes (cream buns and all!) and there we were…in the toilet in Popeye village, having a community wash.

We all decided we were STARVING, after all, we had been up from silly o’clock and so it was only natural to seek the restaurant for a healthy portion of Carbonara at 10.30am. Yummy.

Throughout our meal, we were completely amused and bewildered by Popeye’s continuous announcements, which were interspersed by “I’ll put a spell on you”, a small portion of “Bach’s Toccata and Fuge in D minor”, the Harry Potter theme tune and back to “Monster Mash”. Repeat.

Popeye Village was like a ghost town, there was hardly anyone there, and so God only knows who Popeye and his gang were talking to over and over and over and over again.

Not long before I went to Malta, I went to see Groundhog Day the musical. For my time at Popeye Village, I felt like I was living a real life version of the musical. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU COULD WORK THERE AND RETAIN YOUR SANITY…it makes me feel all pursed lipped and frustrated thinking about it.

At peak giddiness, whilst taking a mouthful of Carbonara, I became aware that something had happened to George whilst at the table. She was giggling like crazy. I was so tired and with overloaded senses from Popeye Hell that it took ages for the penny to drop. I think this was the same for Chris and Matt, because almost at exactly the same time we twigged and fell about laughing. George (as we all were) was sat at the table with her Glide PFD on (you wear it like a bum-bag, or for you American readers – “fanny pack”…that will ALWAYS make me giggle) and must have sat on the cord. When you pull the cord a CO2 canister inflates the PFD and low and behold…George was sat eating lunch with her PFD around her neck. You had to be there. It was hilarious. Promise.

And if it couldn’t get even more surreal, a witch appeared out of nowhere, came straight up to us and in the most relaxed and bored out of her skull way she said “boo”. I mean, what else can I say about that really?

We thought we would have a cheeky peruse of Popeye Hell whilst there but before I go into that, a note on the name “Popeye Hell” which seems to have developed from my finger tips on typing this blog. On reflection, I genuinely believe if hell exists, for me, it may resemble Popeye village having an extended Halloween every day for eternity.

Anyway, we were going to have a look around but Popeye’s arch nemesis Bluto approached (of course he did…ha!) and said it best we didn’t as he saw we arrived by the water and did not pay for entrance and so likely to get caught, and so that was our cue to flee the surreal land. What a nice chap he was.

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After this, the rest of the day, seemed serene in comparison.

We paddled the north side of the island where we saw a man spear fishing – he showed us his catch. They love a bit of spear fishing in Malta; if you haven’t seen it in action, it’s wonderful to watch.

We then managed to tackle the crossing past the Malta-Gozo ferry port with little discomfort (we thought it was going to be rather tricky), and then we were able to spend a bit of time standing up again and in Chris’ words “Standing up hasn’t been the norm, it’s been the reward”.

We then rested in a cheeky beach bar for a wee while (what a hard life) before finding ourselves somewhere to snooze in a closed for the season water sports centre.

And why not round off this little blog, with a relaxing and cheeky 4-minute film of our trip – inclusive of George’s inflatable misdemeanour, trombone, a shaky bottom egg, and a spear fisherman!

Wind speed and direction: F3, SSW.

Distance: 13.3km completed.

 

 

 

 

Surf’s up…or not. 

Another brief interlude before #MalteseSUPproject is wrapped up…although as a heads up – a film and a write up in SUP Mag will be on its way soon so keep your eyes peeled!

Right – let’s get back to it. 

It’s 22:11 in Fuerteventura as I start to type musings on the mobile telebob (apologies in advance for inevitable typos!) from the comfort of my bed. 

My conclusion, before I ramble on is that I am pretty sure that I have just paid a considerable amount of money to be tortured. No Dear Reader, one is not a masochist…one merely went for a surf lesson. 

Yes I know – some of you lazy beach bum holiday types (no disrespect but the idea of laying in one spot in the sun for days on end absolutely “thrills” me to my core…plus I’m far too pasty for that lark – I’d turn into an ACTUAL lobster) would find that a HORRIFIC idea anyway! 

So what went so terribly wrong I hear you cry? 

It was all set to be a jolly affair- a SCORCHER of a day and some lovely looking ocean…exactly how I wish life to look like 100% of the time. 

On being picked up by two stereotypical gorgeous surf dudes ( well, to be precise 1 dude and 1 dudette) in a funny little mini bus, within 5 minutes they did nothing but bicker. At first I thought this might be some curious sexual tension manifesting through the power of irritability but in actuality – I think they just got on each others’ tits…especially when it came to driving and directions. 

Then we ended up driving around and around and around and around the most desolate, tedious, and in the back of beyond estate, to pick up a couple who said they were waiting outside…they were clearly not outside. Long story short, we found them (all lies that they were waiting) and off we went to some mystery place…(don’t ask me where – I wasn’t paying attention) to get our SURF ON. 

We arrived at some kind of hotel and were asked to put wet-suits on. So far so good…no obvious misdemeanours; although I am told the owner of the surf school gave our bodacious tutors the “evils” as they were running late…on a side note it turns out that he’s a bit of an ogre… no, not as friendly as Shrek. 

Time to tally ho and find the beach but what’s this? No leader in sight…where are we to go? 

A Danish couple staying at the resort said there was only one way to the beach so off we trotted. Okay, “trotted” is far too a jovial and active word for this trip. Off we sighed, heaved, hobbled, and slowly started to die from the treck down a bloody great volcanic rock formed hill with incredibly wobbly steps.  

Eventually we get to the bottom absolutely exhausted from the full body work out we had just done…whilst in done up wetsuits. Vile.

We waited in anticipation for our tutor who didn’t come for AGES…to the point that the Danish couple went off to look for him. 

The next minute we hear a whistle (one is not a dog) and a wave and our casual instructor mooches up to us and basically implies that we were all the issue for the late start as we didn’t wait for our leader. I’m sorry, is a leader not supposed to LEAD and be around his pupils to guide… even in such things as walking to the beach? Apparently we went down the wrong route so now we had an epic mission transporting ourselves and our boards across a shelf of lava rock. Did I mention it was also super windy and the wind kept catching the boards? 

We then got to the beach for a short land lesson (and I mean short…I’ve sat on the toilet for longer that’s for sure) where we were all clearly knackered from the escapades prior to this that you could tell that rather than excitement – everyone had a glazed look on their face thinking “hmmm what I’d give for a cup of tea and a snuggle right now”. 

Anyway, we got in the water, “caught some waves, man” and fought the most HORRENDOUS current whilst trying to dodge all the other newbie surf God(desses) from decapitation by foam board. A note on the current – we were reliably informed after our session from a very experienced and lovely surf goddess (pro – not newbie!) that on that beach, in the past 2 months, there has been 5 rescues and 1 death because of the current. Well if that doesn’t shout suitability for SURF SCHOOL at you I don’t know what does. 

Eventually, the session came to an end which clearly wasn’t quick enough for most of us where we dreamed of relaxing immediately with a beer… but this wasn’t before climbing Mount Vesuvious. 

“Let’s go back the right way” Mr Surf God said. Off he goes, far into the distance,  without so much as picking up a board or helping an injured member with their board (or asking how they were for that matter! And on another note – no medical forms filled  out here folks!) And there we were, left to scale a very sketchy and steep hill with all our kit. 

The amount of times we had to stop to regain energy and fight the muscle burn in our arms was unreal…we were AGES hobbling and shuffling back. Every step was…and not to be dramatic…agony and like lead. Not once did anyone come to check on where we all were. 

We did, finally arrive back at the beginning…which was CERTAINLY a longer route than the original… bar-stew-ards. 

Interestingly when having a short chat with Surf Dude he said he “loves” his Jon (“Jon” is a typo for “job” but he may well love HIS “Jon” so I’m leaving it) and is a full time all year round surf instructor.  You wouldn’t have known it. His face didn’t say it, nor did his clipped and impatient instruction…and total lack awareness/care surrounding injury and/or general needs of his group.  Yes I know it’s hard to probably manage 7 people at the same time in the water but then again, maybe I’ve been spoilt by the strict and standards for watersports delivery we have in the UK…if Coach Brain or Erin were teaching I am certain it would have been an enirely different experience. 

After a mini bus jaunt back, the only way to deal with this draining jaunt was to go for a dirty Chinese meal on the strip,  sink a beer, and then, torture ourselves some more by walking up the seemingly epic hill back to the flat. 

Is surfing for me? Hmmm we have yet to see about that. I think a nice instructor in Cornwall will sort me right out.