Saturday, 30 October 2010

Finally a good day surfing and another mast high day!

Two days ago we finally had really good surfing conditions for me. The waves were a lot smaller than normal (about head high instead of mast!) and it was really sunny with no wind. As it was Tom’s last day we swam to the island playing with the Go Pro, and from there realised it would be perfect for a surf! Me and Stef went, with only about 5 people on the water. It was good but the sets were quite far apart. In the evening Christian came round and we went for another surf, this time the waves were bigger, really glassy and there were only four of us! We surfed until nearly sunset and I got the longest wave I have ever caught! Finally I am enjoying surfing here! A great day was finished with another Churrasco (BBQ) with our friends.
Yesterday was another mast high, epic day here. We had to use the channel by the island to sail out as the wind was fluky and lots of timing was needed! I admit I was pretty scared to go out this time as the waves were pretty heavy and barrelling, not like the other big day. I didn’t want to break anything. But, I managed, it is all about timing and I was absolutely fine, getting some great waves! It was pretty tiring as you can ride the waves for a long time then you have to walk upwind. Through the session it got windier and the waves got choppier and my big board was too much, I should have been on 67 litre! My arms gave up in the end so we called it a day.
Here are some pictures we took in the afternoon of the others sailing after our session. It was windier and the waves were choppier and messier so I think we chose the right time to sail!

Yann Rifflet scoring two aerials:


Yann Rifflet:

Monday, 25 October 2010

Best day yet and I break my boom!

22nd October, as hoped, was amazing! Logo to mast high, cross offshore, 4.7 weather. We were woken up by an excited Tom and rigged up taking all the camera equipment to the beach. There are only really 5-6 windsurfers in Ibiraquera and half of them were out already. It’s amazing to have so much space to yourself! The morning session was big, we had lots of wave rides and a lot of timing was needed to get out without being closed out and having a big swim! After a few hours we were all pretty tired and hungry so went in for lunch and to re-charge the cameras. The afternoon session was slightly smaller and windier. A few more windsurfers had driven down from Florianopolis making the total number about 15. Still no shortage of waves to be had!
I was enjoying the session loads when I had just gybed on the outside and heard my boom crack. It had bent near the boom clamp and was half split. I managed to sail back in and just as I jumped off it split into two pieces! I guess I was really lucky it didn’t happen on a set wave or while going out because it could have split my sail! So I was pretty annoyed, it happened out of the blue and we didn’t bring a spare boom. Getting hold of a 135cm boom for my 3.4 is also pretty hard in the UK let alone out here, where the nearest place is Florianopolis 2-3 hours away! Annoyed to be missing the best day yet, kindly Lars from Kauli’s centre has lent me a boom, so I carried on sailing until I just couldn’t use my arms anymore! What a day! Tom broke his UJ and had a big walk upwind and another guy broke his mast. Other than that everyone was so happy and tired and the day finished off with an amazing meal in the local restaurant. Happy days….
The 23rd we had a surf and found out where to paddle out by the island making it a lot easier! Still lots of paddling though so not the best place for me to progress, at the moment its more paddling than wave riding! Yesterday we took a walk to the sand dunes at the end of the beach and found some amazing drop offs to soft sand which you can launch off! Go Pro came in handy there, some cool footage!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Whales and mast high cross offshore goodness!!

So I haven’t written for a while as it’s been a bit quiet on the wind front. We had a couple of amazing mast high cross off days which I stupidly missed. I somehow managed to catch a horrible cold (must have brought it with me from the UK!), so the first big day I took pictures of Tom and Stef: (See Stef’s blog Then the next day we basically got up a bit late and as soon as we touched the beach the wind died, so another day missed-gutted! We have also had a bit of surfing, but lots of paddling to contend with! And a good float and ride day the other day.
Somehow we managed to have a 2 hour conversation with a stoned fisherman on the beach who didn’t speak any English… It involved a lot of Spanish, miming and drawing pictures in the sand! And we have also met some people who speak English!! Some Swiss, Swedish and Danish guys and an Argentinean (most of which are here for the same amount of time as us!).
We had the most amazing day yesterday - whale watching followed by a Churrasco. We were taken to nearby Garopaba, which is a really beautiful sea fishing town, and taken on a boat with about 15 people. There was massive swell yesterday and you could see the swell lines rolling in on the boat, so about 5 people were seasick! We felt fine though. We drove for about an hour up the coast then we saw lots of mother and baby whales, just outside of the breaking waves. They came so close to the boat! Mostly we saw their backs and tails, then when we were about to head back, one came and breached right by us 3 times! It was amazing! They are so huge it was really unreal! So we headed back after that and all of us were so happy, they said it was quite rare to see that! After we went for a buffet lunch which was amazing after our diet of rice, pasta, eggs and potatoes! (We are trying to live cheap!). In the evening we had our first proper Brazilian BBQ with some friends and it was one of the best BBQs I have ever had! This is what I imagined Brazil to be like. 
Today, it was mast high, cross-offshore, port tack, 4-15 knots. Difficult conditions to get out in but lots of fun and lots of swimming!! Tomorrow should be smaller and windier.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Big Swell! and some surfing...

Surfing testing the Go Pro on Stef's board.

Apparently I look like supermario according to Tom and Stef!?

Starboard tack with some wind! Lots of white water...

Me bottom turning...

Me getting munched in a close out!

Forward gone wrong, thought it was a funny photo!

My low backloop attempt...(which looks like a forward?!)

Heading in...


So the last few days weren't quite what we expected... The big swell came and we were soo excited for some amazing riding but it turned out the waves were big and there was just sooo much white water! I think the southerly swell and wind don't work as well here as the northerly, which was really clean when we arrived. The southerly wind is cooler and even today, 4.7 weather, there were no windsurfers to be seen but us!-I think we are missing out on some secret spot?! We will have to find someone who speaks english and ask!! Anyway, without a car we made the most of it here. We went surfing the past two days, mainly for fitness as there was a lot of paddling! But tested the Go Pro and it worked pretty well! We have taken to putting the housing in the fridge before going out to pro-long its life before it mists up. The misting is pretty annoying...
So today was 4.7 weather for me, pretty intense and tiring as it was a long way to 'out back'! I decided on just gybing on waves on the inside as a few of them would reform. I was glad to hold on to one backloop attempt (* a little low) but was happy as the crash landing didn't hurt and I have been worrying about landing them since I did my foot! So all in all, bit of a messy, big day, but had loads of fun!
Tomorrow-offshore early morning so were getting up for a surf!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Ibiraquera-First few days...

We flew with TAM airlines, who allowed two 32kg bags to be flown per person. Amazingly, due to confusion at the airport as to whether we should be paying more or not as our bags were pretty big, a notice on our reservation meant we got 4 windsurf kit bags and a suitcase on for free! That’s never happened before! Due to having to collect our luggage at Sao Paulo and check in for the next plane within two hours, combined with the longest passport control queue ever, inevitably we missed our flight to Florianopolis. TAM put us in a hotel for 6 hours where we had food before flying to Florianopolis and meeting Moacir with his pick-up truck who had been waiting nearly 10 hours!
The journey to Ibiraquera was really slow due to huge amounts of rush hour traffic from Florianopolis. It was also pouring with rain and pitch black. We arrived 28 hours later to a tiny little village in the middle of nowhere it seemed! The language barrier meant we couldn’t really explain that we wanted to buy some food, I think the shops in the village were closed. So we decided on a rum and coke dinner!
The next day we woke up to the most beautiful place, lushious green hills, a blue shallow lagoon and perfect long sandy beach with waves, and WHALES!! On our first day we all spotted whales! The village is very small, we have yet to meet any English people so we are speaking a mixture of Spanish, English and a tiny bit of Portugese that we are learning daily! There are two shops (that we have found), not loads of food in them and all a little more pricey than we hoped. The first day was surfing, waist to head high waves and perfect blue sky.
Yesterday was 4.7 cross on port tack weather and got windier through the day. The waves were head high/over head for some, and this is the smallest swell-3 foot and 8 seconds. The next few days are saying 10 foot at 11 seconds!! Yesterday I caught so many waves and we were all stoked! It’s going to be amazing being here for 10 weeks!
Today we woke up to a massive thunderstorm and rain-it is wind switchover day! Starboard tack for the next few days with big swell!