DAY 118: Squalling in the surf

27 Dec


WELL, I guess I can kiss my eyelash extensions goodbye. Any hopes of not getting too pounded in the 8am surf are quickly thwarted by the first pulverising double waves here at Lorne Bay.

Our instructor, Sam, has a zinced nose and bouncy blond curls, like he’s just walked straight off the set of Home and Away. He runs us through the art of getting to one’s feet. Easy.

On the 9ft board I slide straight off the deck in kneeling position. These are slippery little buggers, aren’t they? On the 10ft board I get to my feet but the beast swings sideways in a rip and I fall off. Repeat x 100.

The pie and giant coffee I’ve just downed aren’t sitting too good, what with all this gasping and gulping. In an hour and 20 minutes I manage to stagger to my feet for all of three seconds; and that’s debatable. At best I’m stepping on and stepping off, really.

This leaves plenty of time to: get tangled in leg rope, get smashed repeatedly in the face, get slam dunked into my board. FUCK THIS SHIT.

Forty minutes early, I wade back to shore on ice block feet and throw in the towel. Wower, wowser, wowser.

“You English are useless at everything,” Sam quips as I wrestle myself out of my wetsuit, adding darkly: “Except cricket.”

Yeah, evs. Seriously, when it’s his time of month he can tell me that. And he can try and stay upright on his board with severely diminished motor skills, too. See, not so easy is it?

Keeper? I’ll be back. Not here; too embarrassing.

I KNOW you want to see how cold my foot was.

8 Responses to “DAY 118: Squalling in the surf”

  1. Tal December 28, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I used to love the beach, but as the years progressed I became increasingly conscious of its terrifying extent. It became a (comparative) microcosm of the black depths of space, and unless I was some kind of mercury coated Marvel hero/villain, I’m not about to go surfing there either.

  2. valentish December 28, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Seems like a strange way of getting about to me. It’s taken two hot showers to stop shivering.

  3. Matt December 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    It’s not that cold, you still have some colour left in your toes. Try Scuba diving, once you’re down it’s hard to look unco and Port Philip bay has some great dive sites, the walk back from a shore dive however is a different story…

    • valentish December 28, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

      You’re kidding – one mm more and I’d be an amputee! Can you recommend any scuba companies? Or shall I just venture down myself with a disposal camera and a note telling someone where I am?

      • Matt December 29, 2010 at 12:57 am #

        It could be wore then see you still have all limbs and appendages attached 😉 A.B Ocean divers in Bentleigh East are a good lot (oceandivers.com.au) they’re a PADI dive center so it’s the most recognized qualification the world over though i’ve heard that SSI are quite good too. Pretty much anywhere you go around Melbourne will be diving from Portsea leaving from the Dive Victoria boat launch so it can be a bit of a hike to get out there..

        If you want to have a crack for this blog, your best bet may be a introduction to scuba type of dive, done on a single day and they’ll take you down in full gear under very close supervision, maybe organize it if you’re interstate somewhere north as it’s easier to dive in warmer waters and you want to enjoy the experience, not worry about your buoyancy control because you’re wearing a 6.5mm semi-dry suit and a load of lead weight. bugger me that was a long reply 😛

  4. valentish December 29, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Thorough is good – let’s not fanny around. I shall contact Ocean Divers next time I’ve got a free day to make the hike. Thanks!

  5. Matt December 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    no problem. it would be good to see if you can rope a friend in to do it with you, not a problem on the course as the instructors and Dive masters sort that out but if you finish and catch the bug (as i did) it helps if you have someone you can buddy up with who’s at a comparable or higher level than you.

    Then you can try and fit a full scuba kit on a motorcycle… It can be done but i tend to get strange looks coming down the freeway with it

  6. helen January 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    It’s my greatest fear. I am in when i get paid next!

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