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Surfing today!!! :)


heathber

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So today was a surfing day. The one last month got called off because a whale carcass had washed up on a beach a bit close to where the event was scheduled, and the authoraties were being nutty about possible sharks. OK so the risk of a larger shark being in the area was increased but REALLY it had gone from minimal to minimal + a tiny bit. However the local papers were being stupid about it so they cancelled our day. Not because the risk was significant but because the publicity if something went wrong would have stopped it forever. When will people accept that sharks are a part of being in the sea and mostly they prefer to leave people alone?

 

Today we were at a beach further down the coast. So I had a 2.5 hour drive there and back. And right now I'm stuffed! It was a magic day though. I had 2 times on the board, with 4 rides in each set. We had perfect weather for it. air temp about 28, with a light breeze, sunny but not too bright sand comfortably warm. water temp about 15.

 

So 8 "surfs" a little walk on a beach and 5 hours in the car has exhausted me but I'm happy exhausted and I don't really care.

 

For 5 of my 8 rides I was on my knees, for the others I was lying on my stomach. For someone like me I get on the board facing shore in knee deep water and then the crew carry/push me out to the break, then a pilot gets on the back and does the kicking/steering and the support crew form a funnel back to the beach and stand by in case they are needed. I got a serious amount of water up my nose on a few ocassions as we were backing out. And I fell off in the shallows twice at the end of a run, and had to be hauled back to my feet, but there's nothing like the joy of being in the sea, especially when I know that there are plenty of people about to not let me drown. The volunteers are amazing.

 

The surf day is organised by the Disabled Surfers Association and anyone with any sort of disability is encouraged to come along and get wet. They have volunteers to help you with changing in and out of wetsuits and they have mermaid tail suits for people who can't walk or easily get in or out of a normal wetsuit. They have beach wheelchairs and portable hoists etc. For those of us who are more mobile the volunteers help you across the sand and even though I go without a carer it doesn't matter.

 

The surf boards they use are ultra big soft learner boards about 3 meters long and not quite a meter wide.For people who need it they use water beanbags to prop them up. The surfers are all ages and so are the volunteers. They must have put at least 150 disabled people onto the water over the 5 hours that the session runs. and there would have to be about 20 volunteers for each surfer. So it's a huge exercise to run it. They do it 3-4 times each summer so hopefully I can do it again next month.
I was supposed to be going out to a film with Mum and Dad tonight but once I got home I rang them and cancelled. Maybe I'm finally learning to pace myself a little. Don't count on it though

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Sounds like a marvellous day out, it was over 40 here so glad you had a cooler day. One of Ray's cousins has a son who is a disabled surfer,  After having polio when a small child he thought it a small miracle that he could do this. His surfing friends have given him the name "Sticks".  What a difference having volunteers to help you can make.  Enjoy this wonderful day out as often as you can.

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Heather I enjoyed these pictures so much. So many happy, smiling, and determined faces. I am not near the ocean but this looks like an adventure and so worth the effort and tiredness that might follow. I am glad you got to do this and thank you for sharing!

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