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June, 2015

On being a mermaid

By June 22, 2015 Escape
Channelling my inner Ariel  - never imagined in a million years I would be able to do this!

Channelling my inner Ariel – never imagined in a million years I would be able to do this!

I can honestly say that I never really harboured secret dreams of being a mermaid. Growing up I watched the movie Splash a few times and I remember being intrigued by the Cornish folk tale about the mermaid of Zennor (I actually thought she was real!), but as someone who hasn’t even seen Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid‘, and who isn’t a natural, confident water woman, you wouldn’t exactly describe me as one of neptune’s wannabes.

But when I found out about a course in Newquay run by Freedive UK that gives people the chance to channel their inner Ariel (or Madison), I was intrigued – just how can you swim so effortlessly underwater wearing a mermaid tail without breathing apparatus?

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Wakeboarding

By June 14, 2015 Thoughts
Gearing up for my first ever wakeboarding session

Gearing up for my first ever wakeboarding session

After trying stand up paddle boarding last year, I was eager to have a go at another landlocked water activity. So when Kelly spotted a Groupon voucher code for wakeboarding, it was the perfect opportunity to get something booked.

I didn’t know much about wakeboarding before our session and didn’t really know what to expect, other than the fact that it maybe involved a boat, was probably a bit like water skiing, and that my cousin (also a surfer) had a go and absolutely loved it.

I now know that wakeboarding developed from a combination of surfing, snowboarding and water skiing and although riders are usually towed behind a boat or personal watercraft, a cable system is another way of wakeboarding over the surface of the water. This is the set-up that Wakelake use – the first cable tow centre in the West Midlands which is handily located about 15 miles from where I live.

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The biggest life lesson from surfing

By June 14, 2015 Thoughts

It's not what you do

 

I have read a lot of articles recently about life lessons that you can learn from surfing. Each one has a different take on it and it will vary from person to person, but one thing I haven’t come across and is the biggest thing that I have found is how much you learn about yourself.

I have discovered things about myself that I didn’t know existed. It has brought elements of my personality to the surface that looking back were probably there all along, but they just needed a little encouragement along the way.

Like my love of the water – despite the fact that I was never what would you call a water baby and not even daring to dip a toe in the sea until 5 years ago.

This love has always been there and water has a very calming influence on me, whether I’m taking a walk along the canal or just floating on my back in a swimming pool. I just love being near and in the water. I can stare at the sea for hours and feel hypnotised by its beauty and raw power. I have also been known to cry at the first sight of it when arriving in Devon or Cornwall. It takes my breath away, makes me feel exhilarated and I come to life when I’m surfing and am totally immersed in the ocean.

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Meeting Andrew Cotton

By June 9, 2015 Escape, Surfer stories

Meeting big wave legend Andrew Cotton at the Saltrock BBQ in Tongwynlais

Croyde, New Year’s Day 2015.

I’m walking through the village when I see a familiar face outside Redwood surf shop. It’s the face of a surfer whose story I have been following with huge interest – a North Devon local who once had a dream to ride some of the biggest waves in the world. A guy whose face appeared in the media for his world record breaking wave attempt, and on the big screen at the Billabong XXL big wave awards in 2014.

It’s someone that I’m surprised I haven’t seen in person sooner, especially with the amount of time we have spent in his neck of the woods during the past two years.

It’s British big wave legend Andrew Cotton.

I want to speak to him and find out what motivates him to charge giant waves. But he’s deep in conversation, enjoying a coffee, and I’m just a kook who gets scared in waves over 2ft. I hesitate, hang back and then chicken out. I kick myself for the rest of the day, and the next day, and the next.

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Kindred spirits

By June 2, 2015 Surfer stories, Thoughts
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Kindred spirits :)

I started this blog to chart my surfing progress in the hope that one day, I could look back and see how far I had come, despite living over 100 miles from the sea.

I just never envisaged how many amazing people I would meet along the way and beautiful friendships that I have forged all through a shared love of surfing and blogging. It has enriched the whole experience.

I’m a bit of a social butterfly. I just love meeting people and hearing their stories so when I started surfing, I wanted to connect with other surfers and find out about their surfing journeys. It’s a way for me to reach out to those with a shared interest and stay connected to a world that has consumed me when I’m so far away from the coast.

I firmly believe that certain people come into our lives for a reason and at times when we really need them. Sometimes, these people are true kindred spirits and we wonder how and why we haven’t met them sooner, despite feeling like we have known them forever.

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