I’m back from a surf trip to Cornwall – England’s South Westerly big toe that sticks out into the Atlantic, pointing across at America. And it just so happened that I arrived there at the same time as the tail winds from Huricane Katia, which meant that when I caught my first sight of the ocean, it looked something like this:
My surf buddy, Anna, had called me up as I drove south to give me the news that the surf report was offering us 15 foot, “double overhead” waves along the stretch of coast we were headed to. And as we stood on the cliff tops and looked down, I started to get a sense for just how big Atlantic waves can be, even on our normally mild, easy-going British Isles.
What she hadn’t mentioned was that the BBC had just run a story about a body boarder getting stuck on a rock, not far from where we were planning to surf. And that the RNLI (our amazing volunteer life guard service here in the UK) were telling people to keep clear of the sea.
But fear not, this intrepid Seamonster reporter had no intention of getting busted apart by 15 foot waves, even in the name of getting-to-know-the-ocean. So, we stayed high and dry for a few days, playing with kites on the beach (hopefully my first step towards kite surfing – at least I didn’t suck on land). Until eventually the wind started to let up and we could actually stand holding our boards and get ourselves down the beach to the waves. It was still pretty huge and scary and I got a good pounding. But my surfing improved and I fell in love just a little bit more with the ocean – even when it’s in a bad mood.