Big Question Marks

Friday, December 5, 2008

Point Break Becomes Reality

Yesterday we got to finally live out our dreams of learning to surf!

We'd heard Coffs Harbour, about 6 hours north of Sydney (and 4 or so hours south of Brisbane) on the east coast, was a spectacular place to learn, with waves for beginners and pros alike (we could have taken a lesson down in Victoria but it always seemed too cold). The water here in Coffs is minimum 18 degrees all year-- and around 24 at this time-- and very clear, the beaches having some of the softest sand we've ever felt. It's very tropical, with lots of palms, colourful flowers, and green mountains surrounding the town-- and felt very much like we were in northern Queensland again.

Since we've arrived just before high season, our surf lesson had only five of us in it-- three "Schoolies" (kids who just graduated high school last week and were celebrating with a trip) and us. It was a bit of a windy day on Diggers Beach, so carrying the boards out to the beach was a bit of a feat-- they were massive Malibus (a type of big board easy to learn on) which seemed to double as sails. We learned the basics from our instructor Brett, who's been a surfing nut for years, taking on waves as big as 20 feet high in 'Jungle Surf Camp' in Indonesia. And it wasn't long before we were in the water, on one-foot waves which seemed plenty big to us, anyway.

By the end of the 2 1/2 hour lesson, we both had managed to stand on the boards more than a few times (though we still fall off pretty easily) and didn't lose any limbs to sharks, which Dayle though was a pretty amazing feat. (Actually, it turns out you just shouldn't surf around dawn or dusk, when it's the shark/fish feeding time. Otherwise you're all cool. And we can see why the surfers don't worry about the sharks-- there's so much to think about while catching waves, your mind is entirely elsewhere.) But our gangly office-worker arms were shaky and sore from pushing ourselves up onto the boards, our knees chafed from sand and salt, and we realized after that despite all the sunscreen we put on, we still got sunburnt in some not-so-funny places... lips, ouch! back of knees, ow! back of hands, yeow!

Nonetheless, we were already anxious for more and booked a second lesson straight away...

PS. Please rent Point Break, for further references.


Sean said...

Any sign of Bodhi?
Looks like fun guys...good, safe travels to you!

Juanderful said...

welcome to the surfers club!