S U R F T R I P

SONY DSCSo I thought I’d write up a little surf trip summary.  We only headed out to Portugal for a week this time and we took our friends with us who have a little girl (nine months older than Ethan).  We rented a three bedroom house with a view of three different breaks which was awesome as we didn’t even need to leave our pad to surf check, major bonus when the rain was hammering down sideways.  The weather sucked most of the time, a bit of rain and a lot of wind (between 15 – 30mph) as its quite late in the year, but there was plenty of swell around so we were happy.  Actually some days, the swell was too big so we had to find sheltered breaks where the swell had to wrap around a point or headland… so we did just fine.

It was great having friends with us because we had buddies to surf with.  Usually, Jon and I take it in turns while the other one looks after Ethan, and sometimes its cool to surf alone but when its busy and everyones hassling, I like to have a wingman with me.  Also they’re long boarders and no one gets in the way of a long boarder… their board is bigger and hurts when it hits you, (they also must have caught about a million waves in the eight days we were there).  Also, Ethan had a buddy to play with and they kept each other amused most of the time which was great.  They played on the beach, in the house, in the cars, watched cartoons, ate meals together… they had loads of fun 🙂

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we went to Nazare and saw Garrett McNamara and team tow-in surfing which was crazy!  I have no idea what size the waves were but Magic Sea Weed was reading 18-28ft with only 4mph winds… whatever size they actually were, they were friggin huge.  Major surf trip highlight.

The food and drink was great, we cooked up lasagnas, chillies, seafood dishes, all washed down with Portugal’s finest beer, Sagres, and local Port.  Delishhhh.  We ate once the kiddies were in bed so we could eat, drink and be merry in peace.  We even had date nights!

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The surf was good.  We were really lucky and had some really great waves.  Jon and I had one surf out in the middle of the bay – no idea what the break’s called but its always bigger there than the other ends of the beach.  You surf check it from up on the dunes so it always looks smaller than it actually is.  It looked clean and plenty of a-frames so we paddled out.  I’ve had many different experiences here because its so open, the rips are all over the place, the impact zones are horrible and the waves are powerful (well, I think so).  This time we paddled out and there was only one other guy out.  I got a couple of lush rights, nice, chunky and powerful and way over my head on the bottom turn, epic rides.  On my third wave I cocked it up and ended up straightening out so I got stuck in the lovely impact zone which seemed as wide as a football field.  After a few waves on the head, I duck dived another one, the board hit me in the face (got a nice shiner on my cheek), bent me in half backwards then my board got ripped from my hands, I had no idea which way was up.  I opened my eyes to see which way was lightest shade of green and started swimming.  I was done after even more waves on the head, and aimed my board towards the beach and clung onto it as a wall of white water hit me.  Gotta love a good beating!!  Its the oceans way of telling you not to f**k up and also to let you know she’s still boss.

Overall it was a great trip, filled with loads of food, drink, laughter, surf and sleep, we all wish we had gone for longer.  Roll on next year Portugal! 

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