So we are staying on the Island here in Baleal. Its joined to he mainland via one single road that runs across the beach. Yesterday morning due to high winds parts of the road had been completely covered with sand. Our house backs onto the cliffs so we can hear the waves pounding against the rocks at night. Its pretty cool, you don’t get that back in Milton Keynes I tell ya. I took a stroll around the island to capture some of its beauty. xx
So yesterday and today, the wind has been doing something special. Its blowing a friggin gail. I’ve found myself drinking copious amounts of coffee in cafes all around Peniche due to this horrible weather. If I do grab a coffee at home, its usually a lovely vanilla latte (predictable I know), but theres only one place that recognises the important of the luscious coffee syrup here. This cafe is situated in the middle of town though with nothing to view except the road, so I’ve been forfeiting this delicious vanilla flavouring for a much more beautiful and desirable view of the ocean. So I have grown to love coffee for what it is on its own. Amazing, I know. But we’ve done all the surf shops and you can only surf check so much when its all blown out…
Right, off to surf some wind chop.
Well its definitely not the same as any other surf trip I’ve been on! Its not easy but it can be done.
Pre baby: We used to get up before sunrise if we knew there were waves, literally up and out the door with no breakfast or checking the mirror… just full of energy and raring to score some empty open faces. After we would either make or buy some food and then settle on the beach for a post surf snooze while soaking up some Vit D. Then after a few hours it would be time to surf depending on the tides, or possibly a mooch around the local surf shops at our leisure. Home, showers, change and then out for a nice evening meal with a jug of Sangria or a bottle of the local red. It was pretty relaxing!
Post baby: Now we’re stoked if we get to sleep until 8:30am where we drag ourselves out of bed while one gets the kettle on / surf checks while the other one gets the baby up / changes nappy / feeds baby etc. If there’s waves one of us will surf while the other one looks after the baby at ‘home’ as the weathers not fantastic, and then we switch. OR if we have to drive for waves, we get the car packed up for the day; so lunches made, nappy bag packed, wetsuits, boards, towels, bucket and spade.. We take it in turns to surf while the other one plays on the beach with the baby, trying to make sure that no rocks, shells, dog poop enter his mouth; or sand in the eyes.. babies rub their eyes when tired and if like ours, doesn’t go down for a nap easily on the beach.. (all the dog poop is way too exciting) so we have lots of eye rubbing therefore sand in eyes to be avoided. You see, were at about 4pm here and no time for relaxing, but we have both managed to have a surf which is great.
Dinner time draws near and so baby needs dinner, then a bath, then a bottle. At about 7:15ish he hits the sack to leave us to cook dinner (staying in obvs, too knackered to go out anyway) and finally relax.
So there you have it, a surf trip with a baby can be done, but don’t expect it to be relaxing. What you do get out of it is some epic rides, you can totally focus your mind on surfing as you’re surfing alone. You get quality family time that you rarely get at home as weekends seem to be filled up till forever. You also get very special moments of watching your baby learn about the things you love, like trying to wax your board or yelling in excitement at the ocean. These moments are priceless so no matter how non-relaxing our surf trips have now become, we wouldn’t change them for the world.
So here are a few tips to those who are looking to brave the surf trip with a baby:
-Accept that you’ll be taking it in turns to surf and don’t be an arse and head out for a 4hr sesh
-Be super organised with what you need to keep the amount of stuff minimal. You only need one wetsuit (well unless you rip it), one towel or poncho etc..
-Be super organised with the baby stuff, plan the lunches, nappies, sun hat, sun screen etc. Always carry water and snacks in case you detour to a cafe etc.
-Accept that timings with nap times and tides hardly ever work out and that you might only be able to surf for 45mins to let the other one get a surf in.
-Stay close to the waves to make it easy – baby can nap in cot, one stays in to look after said baby while the other one runs off for a quick surf. No faff with the car.
-Accept the fact that even if you’re baby sleeps through the night 90% of the time, this may change due to different factors such as cot, sheets, light / darkness in the room etc. We take his grow bag to help with this.
-I took all nappies and wet wipes with me to avoid being stung (here its €18 for 66 nappies!), I also took a few baby food pouches as back ups in case we had trouble with the food.
-Just go with it.. many things will crop up so you gotta just crack on.