Friday, 29 November 2013

Surfing with Sea-lions!

The past week we have had a bit of strong wind jumping, 3.4/3.7 weather cross-on at Pupuya, but still with small waves. We also went to Topocalma a couple of times hoping for great conditions only to be a little disappointed... But the forecast looks good for the next week now, fingers crossed!
We did have an amazing surf at Puertecillo the other day, which is normally a busy spot with long lefts. It was sunny, turquoise water, 3 of us out...and 2 sea-lions! They were ducking and diving between us, catching waves with us and slapping their tails! Unfortunately I only caught them on the edge of the go-pro video, despite trying! They shot around you and I couldn't guess where they would pop up next! the sea-lions in the next photos!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Surfing and Dreaming...

The past week there hasn't been much wind, or much swell. That said, for Chile the waves have still been shoulder to a little overhead on some days so I am not complaining! We have mostly been surfing at Matanzas where we live, a point break on rocks, which when bigger you can take off in front of the rocks and get a great long left into the bay, and when smaller you surf from the point of the rocks into the bay. There is a whole lot of paddling involved in Chile, due to the Humboldt current, swell direction and breaking lefts, so you almost have to continuously put in a few strokes to stay put, let alone if you catch a long wave. Sometimes its best just to come in and walk up the beach and launch again! So I am getting paddle fit at least! My surfing is improving, I had a bit of a confidence knock after going over the falls and kneeing myself in the eye, so I keep chickening out of sucky dropping waves, but a few days of small stuff has got me back into it again...I hope! I don't have a dedicated camera man unfotunately, (he is normally surfing too!) hence the photos of me not actually on a wave, but I'll try harder to get some better pics!

Waiting for waves and chilly mornings...

We had a walk round the condominium this morning. There are so many outrageous wooden houses (in this relatively rich part), mostly wooden cabins on stilts, all overlooking the sea with massive glass windows. There are still a few plots for sale here, so we found our perfect plot overlooking the sea, if we were to have any money to buy it and build a house! Dream on...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Topocalma and Pupuya I am back on the water! I had 3-4 days off with my eye as it was pretty swollen to the point I could only just see! Now it has almost gone down, still a little swelling on the cheek but fine for sailing and surfing again! I had a day with a surf at Puertecillo and another at Matanzas, but I think my confidence was low with the drop of a takeoff here (unlike most English waves), so I didn't do so well, but I am hoping to next time! We have a few more days of wind then its surfing time.

Windsurf wise, it has been really fun. I have been sailing twice a day, once at cross-on Pupuya, working on my jumping and some onshore riding, then at Matanzas for offshore riding. Today we went to Topocalma and it was about logo to mast, 3.7 weather! Well actually I was stacked on 3.7! I came in to rig a 3.4 after a while but realised I was shattered and my arms couldn't hold on anymore so I gave it a rest! Lots of the pros have arrived now so it was great to see the show from Victor, Klass, Leon, Robby, Adam and Marcillo, and also some of the Chilean locals too. Lots to learn! Here are some photos and video stills from the sessions.



Thursday, 7 November 2013

What a shiner! Not the best start to the trip!

Oh dear. Not a great start to the trip! It looks like my cheek has swallowed a plum. I have arrived in Chile after 30 hours of traveling and TAM airlines safely taking five 32+kg bags...for free! The journey went fine (as fine as it could do sleeping upright in an aeroplane chair) and we even met our friend Jackie in Santiago. We are staying in a friend's amazing house (he is joining us Tuesday), and this time we landed on our feet with a 4x4 pickup, rather than a 4x2 which we had pre-paid for last time and almost didn't turn up. All is going well and the waves are sick!

I am a keen bean and couldn't waste these lovely lefts coming through this morning while Stef had to work, so I put on my new C-Skins boots and suit and walked through the forest to go for a surf. I launched round the rocks rather than through them like you normally would as I wasn't surfing with Stef (safety first! ha ha), but it wasn't the most ideal place as the rip in Chile is horrendous in the wrong place. It wasn't bad though, you can come in further down, you just aren't in the right place for taking off all the time. I had a total of two waves before going down with the lip on the last one and somehow knee-ing myself in the face! Oh no. My cheek starts to swell straight away but it didn't seem to hurt that much...I make my way back up the hill and put the best to ice I can on it-a sealed (now opened) duty free plastic bag filled with water! So now I have a blinder of an eye, which is a little awkward as poor Stef is getting some funny looks. I remember the last time I had a black eye in Plymouth (again from surfing but not as bad), people were really awkward around me, some giving weird silences and stares and some asking straight out how I did it! So my face is pretty swollen and I think I need to wait for the swelling to go down before I sail (or it could pop?!) I hope its quick....

We went to Topocalma this afternoon so Stef could sail. Baptism of fire. It was logo to mast, super offshore, gusty and 4.2 weather! Still, he had fun.

Rescuing a starfish

The crash that ended my session. What a clumsy mistake...

Finally, here is the link to the BWA competition video that I was in last weekend, with footage from the Amateurs, Masters and ladies. The ladies are at about 4 minutes.Check it HERE!

Friday, 1 November 2013

I'm a.......C-Skins Team Rider!

As you can probably guess by the photo below, I am super stoked to be on the C-Skins team! I have had an eye on their suits and gear for a long time now as I love the quality, design, fabric and generally the ethos of the brand! I am really glad to be wearing their suits on my year away, they should keep me nice and toasty! I especially love the HDi Polypro rash vests, they are thick fleece which is ideal for when you are cold and wet! Check out their gear HERE! Now all that remains is getting some actual water shots rather than dancing round the house in a wetsuit! Bring on Chile on Monday! :)