Friday, October 4, 2013

Seasons Surrender

Summer on the west coast is a time for work, evening beers
, friends and enjoying the paradise we are blessed to call home.

Surf instructing is a hard job, hard on body and hard on mind, we worked solidly this season enjoying the ocean and the sun which actually decided to shine this summer!

Its been a great year to slow things down, and re-evaluate whats important to me, spending hours inside my head, planning, plotting and scheming about whats to come and whats already been. After many years travelling pretty much non stop its been so refreshing to just appreciate home and live here, day in - day out.

Time spent in the water teaching people to surf, something that has given me everything in my life, has been time spent well. Working with a solid crew of guys, talking about trips, memories and nights out...its been amazing...but summer is drawing to a close now and leaves are falling, swells are coming and temps are dropping.

Preparation has begun, to live life on somewhat of a frontier, to start new things, and to finish old ones as days get shorter, and we embrace the coming autumn and then winter months which lie ahead.

Home definitely is where the heart is.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ten years after

Two days ago I realized that I've been living in Ireland for ten years now.

It seems not so long ago that I was selling my worldy possessions to buy a plane ticket from Cape Town to London. I worked there for a short while and then flew over here with my brother Dave, to start a new life. One that revolved around the sea and the weather.

Old school dwelling far from anywhere
It took a year or two for us to get set up, learn the lie of the land so to speak. Its been a whirlwind of travel, waves and meeting friendly people, a blessed life that I am fortunate to lead. Its a tough place to grow roots, its cold, windy, expensive and sometimes lonely but living on the edge of the North Atlantic has a very raw feel to it. We are exposed to nature at her wildest, and I love that.

Heaving waves at the bottom of the highest sea cliffs in Europe

 Ireland is a magical place, theres still lots to discover here. Walking the coastline, or scouring the coast by ski is an amazing experience, watching castles go by, stone walls or huge mountains towering over green fields.

Post surf thaw out.

Shambles watching as I'm about to get thrashed up the rocks

Mid winter kindling harvest.

Heres to the next ten years of living life over here.
Carpe Diem..

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Busy Start

Its been a busy start to the year.

January was pretty much non stop for waves, and it seemed like everyone flew in to have a crack at Mullaghmore on one swell in particular. Guys were showing up from Hawaii and the rest of Europe all week leading up to what turned out to be a fun swell, but nothing epic.
Its funny how certain swells just get so hyped up before they even happen!

I arrived at Mullaghmore slipway to see the usual characters unhitching skis and waxing boards in the pre dawn light. I had Nic Von Rupp in tow for a few days and was pretty keen to see him get a few bombs out on the ledge.

As the swell was only just big enough for the ledge to break, everyone was undecided and kind of waiting for someone else to make a move. We decided to just get out there and see what the day would bring.

I love the anticipation of riding big waves more than the act of riding them sometimes. Theres a certain kind of joy i get from trying to keep my nerves in check, getting my equipment ready, changing into my wetsuit in the drizzle, chatting to the other guys as we all go about our business, readying ourselves for whats to come.

It spins me out, this weird little sub culture I've found myself in. Whilst most people were at home sleeping warmly in their beds, we were out there putting what we know to the test, in probably one of the most hostile environments possible. But everyone has a smile on their face, and would be doing nothing else.

We arrived out on the reef to see a flawless 15ft'er drain down the limestone ledge, such power and perfection. Without letting another go by Nic was in the water and ready to go.
He had never towed before and picked it up really quickly, as I expected. On a borrowed board he navigated some good pits, and got one or two whippings.

The swell dropped overnight and a reef up in Bundoran was pumping the next day. Again Nic got barreled off his head, and had a crazy natural affinity with the wave. It was good to watch someone find the groove first session out there.

The rest of the swell was kind of blown out, and we ended up having pints for Danilos birthday one day up in Bundoran. The boys pretty much agreed that Mullaghmore was one tough cookie to paddle surf, boils, rips, and a fast entry all adding to the technical difficulties of the place.

They also all agreed that we have some of most perfect waves they've seen scattered around Donegal Bay.

 As I sit typing this rain squalls are lashing the windows, and clouds are whistling across the gun metal grey sky. The waiting period for the Mulllaghmore Competition is dwindling down to single figures and we're all holding thumbs for a sizable storm to spin off the coast. Its back to normal again though, just the usual faces in the water and lots of quiet sessions at the end of lonely lanes.