Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Friday 2nd May

After a leisurely morning in the garden Surfer Dave took me surfing on Sunshine Beach. He scanned the horizon for somewhere suitable to take a surfing numpty like myself, ie. where the surf was friendly and where we wouldn't be in anyone elses' way. We'd borrowed a board from one of Dave's mates and it became quickly apparent that it was an experts board, so perfect for me then. I caught a bit of white wash then progressed onto catching waves that were just breaking. There was a strong rip along the beach. I got smashed pretty hard for a good couple of hours, one of the waves proper dumped me onto my head and shoulder and finally I had a surf wound, a grazed shoulder, get in! The waves were big and 'heavy' for a novice and I just kept getting dumped. I barely made it onto the board and found it difficult to power myself out through the breaking waves to a quiet spot where the waves form, known as 'out the back'. The pro's make paddling on a board easy but there's a lot of technique invoved - using muscles that the gym doesn't really touch. Dave taught me to duck-dive which involves shoving the nose of your board down as an unbroken wave comes towards you to and then ducking into the base of the wave. He said my technique was abominable afterwards! Running low on energy and not knowing it I found myself way 'out the back', and after a brief chit-chat on the finer points of nailing a big wave Dave said we were being pulled out to sea in a rip. Error. Panic levels notched up from 1 (for the sharks) to 2.5 as the human figures on the beach began to look more and more ant-like by the second. Dave informed me afterwards that he was bricking it a bit having such a noddy way out in the South Pacific on a board with no energy and no skill to get back in. No worries I thought, let's paddle back in led down on the boards. After about two minutes my arms were absolutely knackered and all but refused to paddle anymore. This was not good. Dave, who is the most laidback dude in the world told me I *had* to paddle or we'd end up in Figi. My arms and upper body were knackered from the previous couple of hours of paddling and generally getting smashed and my ribs and stomach were pretty raw as the hardened wax on the board had gradually been eating away at my abs of steel, so every stroke was painful and labour intensive. Now I know how people feel when I take 'em on a bike ride when they are not used to it. They want to do it but just can't. So my mind was willing but the body weak and so Dave came to my rescue and talked me through the situation and we paddled together, with Dave pushing my board onto forming waves from time to time. I was glad to get back into the smash-zone of the breaking waves and finally we were within reach of the beach. A lesson learned for the Shandy: always keep an eye out for sneaky rips taking you out to sea and learn when enough is enough, don't go out the back if you are tired. I was thankful for Dave helping me in, without him it would have been an helicopter job, or worse.

We drove back to Neils and headed, the three of us (Neil, Dave and me), to the local golf course which has 27 holes, all of which are par threes. We played the middle nine holes, I beat the other two pretty convincingly racking up twice the number of points as the next nearest competitor. The golf carts are great, they have little stubbie holders on 'em so we bought a few VBs and cracked on. Twas great just to be able to show up and play with no airs and graces.

Tonight was Big Tone night, I met the Manchester born all-Australian hero at the Eumundi hotel where we had a couple of jars and a meal then rocked on back to Tony's and discussed all sorts of things whilst watching rugby, Riddick and finally IPL. We were both cream-crackered and so a quiet night in was the order of the day.

No comments: