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MyDiary   2010 - 1

 

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Friday 1 Jan 2010   ..

A storm had been blowing all night with 40 plus knot wind. Some 30.000 ton ships that have been sitting at anchor in the bay, lifted anchor yesterday and took to sea for safety.. Trees were toppled by the wind. The seaside promenades were full of debris that had been washed onto them.

I was driving up and down the coast to find a protected spot. I was just about to give up when I next to Can Pastilla marina saw some surfers. The trick was to stay very close to the pier when paddling out. There was some current there helping as well. Getting back in was no problem. The waves were powerful.

The photo is from Playa de Palma 1 Jan 2010. Lots of foam around. 
 
Saturday 2 Jan 2010.

The wind had died out overnight. The conditions were now perfect. I was paddling out to get the biggest waves and had no problems. I think I am getting used to bigger waves. The fear is slowly vanishing.
 

Friday  8 Jan 2010. Air temp 5 deg. Heavy rain. However big swell and offshore wind. Due to the bad veather I had everything for myself.
 

Saturday 9 Jan 2010. One more day with very good conditions. No other surfers around. It is still 5 Deg. C. only. However water temp is 14. So I am fine. My new O'Niel Psyco 2  6/5/3  keeps me warm. Hood and gloves as well. The gloves gives me more paddling power as well. 

The trick is to heat up the car during the drive to the beach and then change into the Neoprene inside the car. Then I bring some hot tea that I drink. In a thermo bag I have a 5 liter water bottle with hot water. After surfing I pour this inside through the neck opening.

If you want the peaks for yourself, then prepare for cold water surfing.

Sunday 10 Jan 2010: Only a small swell, but enough, and it was a sunny day . I have been surfing more than 20 days during the last month. My paddling power is getting.

Paddling power means catching more waves.
 

Wednsday 13 Jan 2010: Maybe the best day ever. 4 feet swell, no wind and sunshine.
 
Sunday 17 Jan 2010  FUERTEVENTURA

I am on my way to Corralejo on Fuerteventura ( Canary Islanda ). For many years I wanted to go there. Now I waiting in the airport. This afternoon I will be there. I booked5 days surfing with www.homegrown.es/  They work with the hotel www.corralejobeach.com/gallery.html . Weather www.windguru.com 
 

Monday 18 Jan 2010: The trip flying down here was with lot of delay. I arrived late and went straight to the surf shop to show my face. They talked about the great waves of more than 6 feet, so I was a bit worried.

As it turned out, they have two groups. Experts and beginners. I am in the beginner group - again.

We had to wait for the tide and spend some time in the surfboard factory. It turned out, that the shaper who build my board back home, used to work for homegrown here on Fuerteventura.

Eventually we got down to surfing. The spot was great. It was not the  6 feet side of the island, but a protected part of the coast South of Corralejo. I had a 9 feet 2 inch board and was catching more wave than anybody else.

Visiting the shapers workshop

Wave on the North coast. That is where the "A" team went

Corralejo water front. Lots of small bars and restaurants.

My lodging at Hotel Corralejo beach.  http://www.corralejobeach.com/gallery.html

We had a visit to Cotillo on the West Coast.. The town is very quiet in January. The beach was partly washed away from prolonged large swell. This place looked difficult for beginners this time a year. With the arrival of spring with less swell, the beach will delivered back by the smaller waves

Then we went to our usual place south from Corralejo.  Today it was more windy and a powerful break over the reef.  I still managed to get through the whitewater and had lots of fun.
 

Wednsday 20 January:  We went to Playa Blanca near the airport. Only small waves, but I learned 2 important things. First is a trick called a backside rail grap. As you take off, grap the right rail with your right hand and this way help to tilt the board. You can make a faster turn and surf the wall , or hold the board better on a steep wave.

The other thing was how to make a full turtle roll. If you are right handed, make the roll CV, right rail down. To get back up, hold right hand at the middle of the board rail, continue the roll and when the board has finished the roll you can pull yourself back on top of it. The roll to be done in one movement.

Chris was our instructor today. He is a longboarder from Malibu California. Below you can see the rail grap trick. Look at surfer from 42 sec.  I will newer be able to surf waves like this, but trying to touch, or grab the board during take off, forces you to stay low. Note, you can only use this turn to one side.

Playa Blanca, Just South of Rosario, the capital. I am using a 9 feet 2 inch plastic board. It is wide and stable, good for my 93 Kg. I am catching a lot of wave with this board.

If looks good, but seconds later the board was popping out from a heap of foam. As this surfer told me later " To day I have been drinking a lot of sea water"

If you know how to do, then it is easy. This is our instructor surfing. This is how you should stand on a surf board.
  

Friday 22 January 2010

The  last day. We went to flag beach again. I was using a different board. 8 feet 1 inch x 22 inch and a quarter x 3 inch thick. it has a pointed front and a lot of nose lift but only a little rocker. It worked very well on this fast shore break

Looking for the swell.

The board I used.

I liked it here on Fuerteventura. Sun every day. Comfortable temperature. and surf every day. Not bad for a January vacations.

Homegrown surf school did a good job and the hotel Corralejo Beach is very comfortable. I had the hotel option with half board. The rooms have a refrigerator and if you  chose self catering, a small section  can be unlocked, and I guess you find some cooking facilities here.

The photo below is from the area just North of Corralejo, called @ El Muelle @ . The quality of photo is not good, it is mainly to show the size of the waves there on an average winter day. WindGuru was reading 2 meters at Rockey Point that day

 
MALLORCA

Saturday 30 January 2010: A short sesseion near Can Pastilla. Not very good conditions, but nice sunshine.
 

Sunday 31 January 2010: Today I went to Paguera. Long time since I have been there, and it is actually a good place. Some pretty big waves, but also a lot of surfers.
I spend about an hour in the water and I was satisfied with my ability to catch the waves. Paguera was the first place I surfed a wave, lying on the belly on my inflatable surf board. It has been 3 years ago now.
 

Friday 06 February 2010: Back to Paguera for some more of this biggish South West swell.
 

Tuesday 23 February 2010:  First I was down with a cold for 1 week. Then one week with lower back pain. Today I was out for the first time. It was great. As soon I was on the board and started to paddle out, I felt great. I was studying the situation a little. You get a very good work out of every muscle and joint from paddling on a surf board. Jumping to the stand was no problem as well. No pain at all. I was well pleased with the situation.
 

Thursday 25 February 2010: I went to Paguera. There you find the biggest waves on the SW coast, but it is quite often a closeout you will surf. I realize now, that I stopped going there because the large steep waves scared me. Now it seems that I can surf any wave , or shall we say getting down the wave without crashing. Actually I think I was the one catching most wave this afternoon.


Sunday 28 Feb 2010 Fuerteventura again.

Corrallejo is a nice place. The surf school I use has a good mix of people. All ages, couples and singles. I feel at home here. There are many schools here. I use http://www.homegrown.es   They book hotel for me as well.

I had a good break through with my surfing here. I managed to look op and see where I am going. This is a must, and it have taken me to long to achieve this. I used to look down at the board. A very bad habit. Just as if looking at your shoes when you walk.

The bad habit is broken. My surfing took a quantum leap forward in a  few days.

Flag Beach

Flag Beach

Rockey Point  2, just South of Corrallejo ( my name) at low water

Packing up.

Looking for surfable waves - But they were hard to find. This is the coast near Cotillo, in strong onshore wind. Later we surfed at very good waves at Rockey Point.

Flag beach on a bigish day.

Flag beach on a bigish day.

Flag beach on a bigish day.

Large swell on Rockey point outer reef.

There are a few places where you can rent SUP boards in Correlejo. For those who like to try this. For those who already know, then you can paddle across the small bay and if conditions are right ( mostly during winter season  ) then there are suitable swell on Rockey Point.

The photo is a small group on a excoursion along the waterfront.

 

09 Mar 2010 Mallorca Alcudia . The air was 7 Deg C, it was windy. Raining a bit and getting dark. The waves were plunging close out. Not surfable, but a lot of white water. That was the situation this afternoon in Alcudia bay. There was a strong current, so I only stayed in the water 1 hour. Below 2 photos from the area.

Saturday 13 Marts: A good day on the beach. Some spring feeling in the air. The air was cold, but once sheltered, then the sun is showing power now. The photos are from Sa Marina. I was surfing further down the coast towards Alcudia.

 

Sunday 14 Marts: I was out of bed at 5 o´clock and on the road half hour later. On the North coast it was 3 deg C and rain. After some sleep in the car, weather started to improve and I had 2 hour good surfing. Then sun came out and, all of a sudden the clouds cleared and we had great spring weather.

While I celebrated the good day with a cup of cofee, I took this photo of some people enjoying the morning on the beach as well, and the Alcudia bay in the background.

 
Friday 26 Marts 2010. This afternoon I was surfing in Paguera. I was rather tired on arrival and had a power nap in the car  first.

Sun was shining . 16 Deg C  and 3 feet swell. Next week I am going to Fuerteventura again.
 

Saturday 27 Marts 2010.  I had a morning session in Paguera. Sparkling sun shine. Spring time is here.
 
Wednsday 31 Marts 2010  Fuerteventura

Day 1. Checking at Cotillo beach ( West Coast ) Photo of lifeguard station.

Day 1. We are surfing at Playa Blanca. ( East Coast )The wind is onshore and has been for several days. It was hard work to get out.

I hold the board at the front and walk out as far as I can. Then I wait for a lull. That is the time to start paddling. If a lot of whitewater is coming your way, then try to drift in the water just holding on to the board at the front, and let the waves roll over you. Just wait. Eventually there will be several smaller waves, after each other. That is the time to get onto the board and paddle further out.

This is a good way to get out if you have not yet enough muscle power and technique . It is no point to arrive at the line up  with aching muscles and general exhausted.

Web cam Fuerteventura     http://www.meteosurfcanarias.com  
Surf photos Fuerteventura  http://www.liquidshots.net

Day 2. We are leaving the first beach of the day to go to the spot called boneyards.

Day 2. An other group studying the waves.

 
Day 3. We surfed all day at Cotillo. I did not have a lot of luck at first, because it is a beach break. Not easy with a long board.

During lunch break I had some very useful instruction from our instructor. Then it was time to try again.

I was now starting to catch the waves and ended up with a surf along the wall, that impressed everyone. This is the reason I take surf classes whenever I can.

Cotillo

Cotillo

Day 4. Many days hard wind have made it a bumpy ride. This is the side of the bay where we did not go.

The other side of the beach was a lot easier and a friendly rip current would help you out.

Our small group of surfers.

Me surfing Corralejo Fuerteventura April 2010

Me surfing Corralejo Fuerteventura April 2010. We are 3 years from the start of the venture. 9 times 1 week surfschool and an estimated 400 hours total practice.

 

Friday 9 April 2010 Mallorca

It is difficult to see the size from a photo, but I had a good evening session. Several isolated peaks and walls. However I am still fighting with the take off, and the first turn. Let me see if I can get an early start tomorrow.

 
Oyambre Cantabria 24 April 2010

I am back at the Spainish North coast. here I have my own caravan placed on a camping site. I found every thing in good condition. Now everything have had the " spring cleaning" and I can head to the beach. Tomorrow I start surflessons as well.

Low water. San Vicente in the back ground.

Day 2. Only small waves, but nice weather. I was on the beach all day. First 2 hours tuition. After a short lunch break an a nap on top of the surf board I continued  for an other couple of hours.

Day 3: We are suffering from lack of swell. In desperation some are surfing right unto the beach.

Day 4:. I have some reflexes that need to be changed to perform better. This is not an easy task.

Day 5: All day on the beach. Sunshine and 20 +  deg C. Waves great. First 3 hours glossy, then some wind came. I was surfing the wall several times. Every day I get 2 hours of tuition, and I start to see good results.

This was my surf day No 249 since I started in the spring 2007.
 

Day 6: Unfortunately the weather has changed. We had some rain, and more wind as well. I was surfing rather small waves at Paraito Amarillo beach. First I had some problems to catch the small waves. Then the optimal point was checked and it was found that I should move 1 cm. forward on the board. After that, and a few more tips my instructor helped me apply the right way, then I was catching waves as never before.
Below a photo from the beach, on a different day...

Day 7, and last day. The waves were difficult. Large and breaking hard. I actually managed to surf quite a few waves, but had a few spectacular falls as well down some verrtical walls of water.

Later as the tide came up, the situation became better. I noticed a group that had quite a bit of good unbroken wave. They were sitting next to the peak, a bit out of the shoulder on the wave.

Photo: Waiting for the tide.

Along the coast you find 1 of he pilgrim routes to the cathedral in Santiago de Canpastello. The persons on the photo are on the way. Trekking along the beach with their backpacks.

The trip is over. I am on my way to the airport. On the way I am passing San Vicente where everybody are out sorfing as it is sunday and the swell is good.

 

Tuesday 04 May. Paguera Mallorca

The waves were actually quite good, but I had to get used to an other board. That took most of the time.
Wednsday 05 May. Paguera Mallorca

Only small waves, but great sunshine. I noticed that when I make the drop, I straighten my legs. Several instructors have told me to stay low. All of a sudden I managed, and it felt better. So now I am trying hard to do that every time.

Thursday 06 May. Sa Marina Mallorca
3 Feet swell. Quite clean as well. Just the situation I like. I was doing so well ,that people stopped at  the beach and looked. After my last surf training in Cantabria, I feel that I now understand  how to catch the unbroken wave, make the drop and turn along the wall.  I can give the sequence all my concentration. There is no more doubt what to do. Now it is a question to get the reflexes into the backbone.

With some patience you could get 3 feed swell, but without a long board with lot of volume you can do nothig.
Thursday 13 May. Paguera
A nice day with good size swell for me.
Sadurday 15 May. Paguera
Great swell. Sunshine, but my progress is painfully slow.
Manday 17 Maj

Back to Sa Marina. Actually to big waves. Difficult to get out through the breakers. I used eventually a rib current to get out. I had noticed the rib many times, but never never used it as I was unsure about the strength. It showed to be all right and I was quickly out where the big waves were. A couple of other surfers  saw how easy I was getting out and followed. We now had maybe 5 feet waves. Bigger than I have encountered before at this spot. Bumpy however. Eventually I got a reasonable wave back to the shore. Then back to the rib and out again.

Tuesday 18 Maj
Sa Marina, but only small waves.
Wednesday 19 May.
Sa Marina The swell is now quite big again. Clean swell as well, once I get to the outside of the shore break.
Thursday 20 May.

Sa Marina. I am still not quite familiar with the situation. The waves are a bit strange. Large with a lot of volume. Nicely peeling, but hard to get started, and if I catch a wave, it seem to run out of power.

That was 4 days straight. Lot of driving. Home after nine every day. Tomorrow I am going to give it a break, waves or no waves.

Swell at Sa Marina.  As if something is not quite right. ( Maybe my skills )

Homebound

Saturday 29 May 2010  Sa Marina.

Today I got the feeling that I could change direction of the board at my own will. Mind you, my board is 9 oot  6y inch. Not easy to turn . The point is however, that without being able to do the first turn ( top turn ) I will not be able to surf along the wave.

This is what happened. When popping up, I sort of drag the rear foot. That way I get a stance with feet wide apart. The reat foot is just infront of the fin. I tell you, that made a difference.

Untill now I have been very keen to get the board horizontal to gain speed. But the reason I am loosing speed is because I am running faster than the wave. The board with the full rail in the water can not turn. I am trying to angle, but continue straight.

With the feet more apart, I think I can shift the weight more quickly and change between turn mode with weight on the rear foot and speed mode with weight on front foot.

I was in the water 3 times and by the end of the day I was worn out.

A good video showing turning technique.  Look at 1minute 47 sec. Notice how the back foot is hardly moving forward on the board during the pop up. Then listen to the comment.
 

June 2010  Sa Marina.

Today I had an important break through. I can now make the top turn. The turn that takes me along the wall just after I do the pop up.

I do the same thing as you see on the video above at 1 minute 47 sec. That is more or less leave my rear foot very close to the fin during the pop up. This way it is very easy to turn.

Once I zoom along the wall I move a bit forward to gain speed. Or simply shift the weight to the front foot.

Seems to work every time. I am really getting speed, and I can control where I am going. What a great feeling.

 

Wednsday  02 June 2010  Sa Marina.
There is still a 3 feet clean swell. I just had to go and try again. Yes, it is true. I can turn the board and surf the wall as I please.

I have been trying to have my rear foot near, or on top of  the fin before. However i had the feeling that the board was sinking at the aft end. The reason for this, I can see now,  was that I was not surfing unbroken waves, but whitewater or the wave was starting to break.

 
Thursday  03 June 2010  Sa Marina.

2 feet swell. I gave up after half an hour and in stead celebrated  with coffee and chocolate cake. The photo below Sunshine Bar cake and the view over the surf spot.

Wednsday  09 June 2010  Paguera.

One of the best days ever. 4 to 6 feet swell. I was doing very well. When I am surfing steep waves with my 9 feet 6 inch long board, it works well if I keep a foot near the tail during the pop up. That way I can make sharp turns. If I am standing at the middle of the board I can not turn at all.. I know I have mentioned this before, but it made a turning point in my surfing, when I started to use this technique, and I feel I am advancing fast now. 

I only use above for green water surfing. Surfing white water or breaking waves I am standing near the middle of the board. There is no need to make a turn, because there is no wall to surf.

Thursday 10 June 2010  Paguera.
 
August 2010  Cartagena Spain 
I am in Cartagena, and studying the beaches. Below some photos from beaches that looks promising.

Portman is some 10 Km North from Cartagena. It is an old mining area. There is a bar in front of the beach creating a good spot

Portman

Calblanque. Is a natural area just South from La Manca. It is very popular and crowded during the summer days, especial week ends. Head for the ?Salinas?. There is a point break.. Be early or late to miss the swimmers during summer high season.

Calblanque.. The Silversurfer is getting all exited.

Calblanque.. There are several more beaches like this.

Video Clip from Calblanque. . Now let's see if we get any waves coming our way.  It is August and that is low season for Mediterranean surfing.

 

August is not the month to nlook for surf here. However an other an other decision was taken. To go to North Spain as soon as possible and later continue surfing in Sagres Portugal

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