MyDiary   2010 - 2


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Mallorca 26 August 2010  ..


I am preparing the car for the trip to Santander. Ferry an Sunday

  Mallorca 29 August 2010 


Seated on the Balearia fast ferry to Denia.



Sailing out from Palma de Mallorca



Camping in Zaragoza Munisipal. 5 Star camping. Especially for tent. Look at these pine trees in the back. great shadow.  The nights are cool. I had long john`s, trousers, thermal jacket and then a winterjacket to cover my head.



The pool at the camping





Monday 30 August 2010. Cantabria. Oyambre beach.
Here we are
waiting for the surf. As the tide came in, it became usable. Tomorrow it is forecast 2 meter


I missed the best part, which was the early morning session. I had a lot of wind. Still I had a couble of hours fun. Then my arm started to
ace, and I stopped for a break.
The evening session was very good. The wind had died away. It was surfing until sunset.




The good days are here. No wind and clean surf, beginner size. There are a lot of surfers around from different surf schools, but they work mainly in the whitewater.



You can hardly call the beach for crowded. It has been a nice sunny day. I was in the water some 4 hours. The surf was not fantastic, just enough to get a ride on the board .

  Friday.  Surf day No. 271


Another good day. The warm up is over, now I must try and concentrate on my first turn so I can angle down the wave.



Look at this young surfer. He just finished the pop up and is already angling down the wave. On steep waves it makes a lot of difference that you start angling at once. Dropping down a 60 degree wall of water is a lot easier at an angle.
For the first time today I felt that I started to succeed using this technique. It makes a big difference to drop down a steep wave at an angle. You have pleeeeenty  of time to do the pop up and have a look around.  ( Later I found out that angeling to early cost speed. It felt better, but the problem was that my pop up was to late. )



Another surfer from today. The swell was quite sizeable part of the day.


Sunday :
Another great day on the beach. Good waves , but steep, so I was still practicing  angeling. My fear for the steep waves have been reduced a lot after I can start down these waves at an angle. ( I later found out that my pop up was too late. Pop up first , then angle, but get speed first. )


  Today we had quite sizable waves. her is a surfer just popping up. Already angling down the wave.  ( It may not be the right way to handle all types of waves )

  This is not going to work. Paddle for the waves at a right angle. keep the  feet on top of board, and not dragging along. the side of the board.  


It seems that to be a real surfer you need a van.
Well, I went surfing twice today. Waves moderate, but nice and glossy.
 And I am getting better every day.



I managed to have 2 sessions. The weather is still sunshine and around 23 degree.
The great thing with a van like the one on photo is: You sit in the sun and look at the surfers. You go surfing. When the sun is down you drive to a nice hotel and forget you are a surfer.



Today, Friday 10 Sept, I was surfing my biggest wave ever. And I got through it just fine. I had 3 waves more, then I thought it wiser to stop, because some pretty big sets started to arrive. Later it got windy as well and the kite surfers started to turn up


  Saturday.A day with a lot of close out waves.On the photo is a surfer being hit by a closeout. If he was there on purpose is hard to tell. I had a great day. Surfing 3 times.

Sunday. Rain most of the day. During a lull, I dressed up and hit the waves. They were quite confused. Even with my new angeling skill, I was being tossed about quite a bit. Remember always to cover your head with your arms when you are separated from your board.




Some beginner surfers head for the biggest waves, thinking that they are the best. That is not so. If the shape is bad you get the result as above. You can not surf a vertical wall of water.
Further down the beach the waves were smaller, but shape was better. There I had everything for myself.

Tuesday: Waves not very big and very windy. I was trying for a few hours, but eventually gave up.

Wednsday: I took a drive along the coast and visited Salinas in Avilas.

Thursday I flew out from Oviedo airport. The surftrip over for now. I am somewhat better. My fear of steep shore break greatly reduced. The reason for that is that I have learned to angle the board right from the beginning of the drop in. You only need this at steep waves. If you angle too much you will loose the wave, so it is a bit of a trade in.

Thursday 30 September: I am back at Oyambre. My surf trip that I expect to last about 12 month has started.

The only people on the camping I see today are traveling surfers.

The beach is empty. The surf season has started.  I landed in Oviedo at noon. Then it was a 2 hr drive. 4 O clock I was in the water.

Friday 01 Octobre. I am packing the caravan for the trip to Portugal. After one and a half year on this camping it is sad to say "Good Bye" In between the preparations i was on the beach twice.


Saturday 02 Octobre: All packed up ready to go tomorrow morning.

On the beach I had a good series of photos that show the whole sequence, how to catch a wave. Wiew all.

Sunday 03 Octobre: Early morning sky. Time to move on. Wave forecast is 3 meters and rain. At 1300 hour  I reached Camping Cubillas de Santa Marta Ctra A 62 Exit 102. Right next to the highway. very easy to find.  The first 250 km done.  Surfday no 287 before departure.

Camping Las Caņadas

Monday 04 Octobre. A short drive of 240 Km and I arrive at  Camping Las Caņadas. Ctra National 630 Km 432 Baņos de Montemayor. I payed with a Camping cheque. The camping is easy to find and big parking outside. Use exit 436 from A-66 to get there. Only 4 Km from the Autovia.
I was having dinner in the restaurant. On the walls I saw posters with skiers and villages covered in snow. Then I rembered the 50 Km uphill drive and the road side  marked with 2 meter tall snow plow guides. I have camped right in the middle of a skiing resort. Better get the h... out of here.

Tuesday 05 OctobreI. I am the only one at Camping Tentudia in Monesterio ( Badajoz ) Some 120 Km from Seville. Ctra N 630 Km 727. The GPS had it all wrong. Reception is open from 0900 to 2200. Tomorrow I should get to my  destination.. This site has the most posh sanitary blocks I have ever seen. EU  it seems.

Later one more caravan came. I looked like a flamenco dancer, her guitar player and then there was a hired hand to do the driving and the pushing the caravan around.

Wednsday 06 Octobre: I thought that I would make it to Faro, but then the drive spirit took over and I arrived at Sagres Camping in the afternoon. I parked the caravan and went straight to the beach. I did not like what I saw.

It is not dirt on camera lens. It is surfers.

The view from my caravan. Through the pine trees you can see the ocean.

Thursday  07 Octobre. First day surfing in Sagres at Mareta beach. Quite a crowd. 4 or 5 surf schools. Problem is that the Atlantic side is too rough for beginners. We are in October and the North Atlantic storms are sending large swell South. So they are all hiding in the sheltered bays. In a week or two it should be less crowded I am told.

Mareta beach Sagres

During the day the wind changed to South. Here we are during  the evening session. just enough to get a short ride.

Mareta beach Sagres

Friday: Photo shows Mareta in the morning. Quite windy and it looked as rain was coming. Back to the caravan for house duty. The laundry pile is growing for some reason. Later today the wind should shift Westerly, from the present South. Then there will be packed with surfers here.

Mareta beach Sagres

Saturday: I was first on the beach - photo above. Even if the waves does not look big, they were not for beginners. It was very difficult to get through the breaking zone.

I learned a new thing today. Where you can sit on the board and lean back and push through a wave that is already breaking, on smaller waves, then don't try on biggish waves. I did, and the result was that I was pushed in front  of a pretty big breaking wave, sitting on the board. Something like riding a wild bull. The result is that I was thrown off. As swimming in foamy water is impossible, I just sank to the bottom and continued rolling along the bottom.

Eventually I got the bright idea to straighten my legs. I still had arms above and protecting the head. Surprise, I could stand up, only 1 meter of water.

For the afternoon the forecast is 5 meter waves. Even in our protected bay you feel it. Outside the bay you can see the swell moving by as small  mountains.


Swell during the afternoon

Mareta beach Sagres

Sunday: You are not alone on Mareta beach on a Sunday. Photo above. This is the last surf area where you can surf in comfort in Europe before the winter starts. When the sun is out, and that is a lot, then you can still work on your sun tan lying on the beach. Next week the swell is down. Maybee the Atlantic coast with its endless beaches wil be assesible.


Mareta beach Sagres

Monday: Mareta beach. Trainees from a surf school is catching a wave. They use boards with soft tops. Their enthusiasm is boiling over when the set is arriving.


 Bordeira beach Portugal

 Bordeira beach Portugal

Tuesday: Today I was visiting a new beach. The Atlantic is open, but the swell is quite sizeable, I think. The beach is called Bordeira, near the town of Carrapateira. So I was just looking. Photos above.
After wards I went to Amado beach, nearby. There is a large parking. A ice cream bar, a surfboard renta hut and nothing bnut wild nature as far as you can see. Photos below

Amado beach Portugal

Amado beach Portugal

A surfer is lined up to catch a wave at Amado beach. Notice the submerged rock at lower part of the photo. Photo above.

Amado beach Portugal

Today I went through the shorebreak to surf the grean waves at the outside. It could be difficult to get through the breaking zone, and I spend quite some time under the water.

Amado beach Portugal

The water is 21 Deg and the air is 23. The beach is quite busy with sun bathers.

Amado beach again. I had one ride. It was very fast. First I was accelerating down a green wave. As the wave started breaking  I just gained speed right in front of the white water. I did not know how to stop. Eventually I was getting near some other surfers and I jumped off the board. That was enough for the day. the rest of the day was used to relax.

Friday 15 October 2010

Cordoama beach Portugal

Above is Cordoma beach looking North and below the beach looking South.

Cordoama beach Portugal

I went to a beach called Cordoama. To get there you drive through Vala do Bisbo and get the only road towards the coast. Then follow the signs. The road is tarmac all the way. By the beach there is a parking and a restaurant. One of the surf schools has a board cabin there.
4 mobile homes looked as if they were spending the night there.
It was low water as I arrived, and the swell mellow. However a few large sets gave me some good rides.
And I forgot to tell that I was surfing Beliche in the morning. First time that I went there. It turned out to be very good, but best to be early, it gets crowded. Towards low water is best time I was told.


Saturday 16 October 2010

Castelejo beach Portugal

Castelejo beach Portugal

Amado beach in the morning. The swell is only 2 feet. In the afternoon I went to a new beach. It is called Castelejo. To get there you drive through Vala do Bisbo and get the only road towards the coast. Then follow the signs. The road is tarmac all the way.  There I actually found 2 good looking peaks. Unfortunately both very crowded. I had to do with part of the shoulder. However it worked well for me as well. The peaks were almost 6 feet, to much for my likening anyway. On the photo above you can see one of the peaks.

What I found out during the day was that I have being sort of suggesting that when you take you hesitate a bit before you pop up. The point is to angle the board first. That can be dangerous. Twice I was tumbled around in a breaking wave and hit by my board. You want distance, especially to your head. You want your arms free to protect your head when you fall.  When the board start down the face of the wave, you must be on your feet.

Cabo San Vicente and the light house. Europe most Sw point.

Sunday 17 October 2010. Monday , and Tuesday Atlantic coast . Wednsday off. Thursday surfing Atlantic coast.

Still surfing the Atlantic coast. Weather stay the same. Water temp is 20. Sunny every day. There are signs of autumn however. Big groups of birds gather together to prepare ther autum migration

Is this an Eagle??

Here are the rest of them.

This is Tonel beach. In Sagres. facing South West. You can see the lack of surf. The West facing beaches were still working with 3-4 feet swell.

Saturday 23 October

Today I was at Amado beach. It was crowded. I am not a fan of crowds, so after some searching and a bit of waiting for the tide to rice, I had some nice clean swell all by myself at the North end of the beach. Tomorrow morning early is a good time to go. The surfers start late at sundays.

Amado beach on a Saturday

A long boarder at the correct spot on the wave. He is looking where he wants to go, and not down at the board as most beginners, including me.

Monday 25 October
Sunday was day off. I did the laundry and had a look around. Monday morning I was at Amado beach early. There was a 5 feet lazy swell and I had some awesome surfing. Later it was getting crowded and the wind started to pick up. I went sight seeing along the coast.
The first beach I found is called Arrifana. 30 kilometres North of Amado beach. It is a very nice place. Sheltered from the wind. The swell was nice and clean, but not very big . However the surf schools had a good time. It was ideal conditions for a complete beginner. I was logging the surf cars. 1 was from  An other was Atlantic
 Unfortunately parking is limited, unless you park on top of the cliff and walk down. I managed to find parking by the beach, but we are now in the end of October.
The next beach is called Monte Clerigo Beach. It is 5 Km. North from Arrifana. It just a small settlement at the coast. The beach is facing North West and with the prevailing wind from this direction, I do not think this beach  will make it into surf history.

Arrifana Beach

Monte Clerigo beach

Tuesday 26 and Wednsday 27 October

Amado beach both days. Especially today I was feeling very good. I had the peak all by myself in the morning and did some pretty decent surfing.
After lunch I was continuing, but now I was very bad. It was high water and the break had moved close to the shore. I was simply not quick enough to get on to my feet. Something to work on. The surf is best early morning. My alarm clock is sounding 7.00 hours.

Thursday 28

Between the surf sessions, you can relax on the beach. It has been very good weather for the last 2 weeks.

Amado beach was at its best. Quite large swell, but still easy to get to the peaks.  Photo is from the biggest peak. I do not surf there  - yet.

During the day the swell was building and, and eventually I decided to stop. Actually I had a few drops, where I got at my feet at the right moment. Just when the wave stop lifting the board, and before the board has gained speed down the wave. That is when you pop up. There is a series of photos from this surfer catching the wave   Wiew all.

Saturday 30
Yesterday it was rain and wind, I took a day off.
Today I am on Mareta beach. Together with a lot of other surfers. I was working on my pop up, and it
occurred to me that the way I try to do it, and the way I actually do it, is different.  I have noticed that sometimes it feels  < just right.  So the next step is to analyze. What am I doing that feels < just right.
I think I figured it out. Now i catch the waves better than before, and most important, I have board speed.

Sunday 31 2010

The Atlantic Ocean on the West side of the Sagres head land.

Mareta Bay

On the two photos above you can see why Sagres is popular for surfing. The top is from the West side of  the head land , and the lower one is from the East side of the head land. Taken on Sunday with only a few hours difference.
I am now reasonable good in catching even steep shore break. A new problem has turned up. How do you stop. The wave is building up next to you. I am speeding along the wall. Only 3 feet of water under the board. I should not be here, because this is a plunging closeout. What to do???

Monday 1  November 2010

It is still a big swell on the West coast. I have heard that in such a situation you go to the South Coast. I headed for the nearest beach. Here I found a whole group of , mainly body boarders. The sets were up to 5 meters. They were surfing in front of a rocky point. I turned around and went to Mareta and surfed 2 feet swell, and enjoyed the sun.
Later I checked on Beliche. The surfers had a great time there.

The 3 photos above are from Zovial, 10 Km from Sagres to the East

Tuesday 2 November 2010
I was searching the beaches between Sagres and Lagos. Not enough swell. Then from Sagres North along the Atlantic coast. To much swell. I was almost giving up, then I came to think about Arrifana.
Sure enough. Swell was just right for me.  It was quite crowded, but worth the drive. I think I will be back tomorrow.

The 2 photo above, are from Arrifana

Wednsday 3 November 2010
I was sure I had it all figured out this morning, so I went straight to Arrifana.  Not a chance. Swell to big. Then I spend the rest of the day searching for my wave. But with 23 deg and sunshine, neverybody were out. Eventually I surfed a little in Mareta.

This photo shows the  famous "right" wave at Arriana.

I saw these bodyboarders at another beach. First when I later looked at the photos I saw what they were up to. They catch the wave just next to the rock, and it looks as if they count of the backwash to prevent them from hitting the rock.
Sagres has got some of the best body boarders in Portugal. Some of the places they are surfing, you only want to look at from a safe distance.


Thursdar 4 November 2010
An other day with only little surfing. Also I had to prepare for a 10 day trip to Mallorca leaving tomorrow.
The West coast os still to big. Beliche to crowded. I was visiting many beaches on the South Coast. The timing for the tide was wrong however. Luz looked good, but I was told that 1 hr before low water was the time to start.  Now it was high water
  Surf day NO 310


Mallorca, Monday 8 November 2010

South of the island we had up to 5 meter waves. At Can Pastilla it looked great with up to 6 feet clean swell. I was there early in the morning and we were only a few. I rushed into the water. Early morning and without good warm up. At the first wave, as I popped up, I got a strong lumbago.

It was just to good to leave, so I surfed just lying on the board for the next half hour. Then it was time to get home. I managed that ok, but next morning I had to roll out of bed and crawl to the bath room.

Cold packs and a physiotherapist got me back in walking shape during the morning. The rest of the week was then used for recovery, using careful stretching and easy Pilates type exercises

Monday 15: I am back in the soup. Now I do a lot of warm up before entering the water.
Returning to the car I found a window bashed and my clothes gone. An old mobile telephone as well. The important belongings I had with me in a small water tight bag under the wetsuit  That includes the electronic car keys, but I put them in a
small rubber bag first.

Tuesday I was surfing again. I need to admit that where surfing was very good exercise when i was spending hours to try and catch a small wave, it is becoming more load on the body now where I can catch waves very often and also go for bigger waves.  I guess I should look for some easy sport,  to combine with surfing.

Saturday 20 Nov 2010

There was a small swell at Can Pastilla. And 40 kite surfers. I was practicing pop up. To find a way to to it with only little jumping. I have seen in Portugal that many surf shools start out with a pop up where you place the right foot infront of the left knee. Then place right foot where the hands are and let go with the hands at the same time.

Not the fastest pop up, but I gave it a try and it is gentle to my somewhat worn skeleton.   I concentrate of angling the board down along the wave, that only takes a fraction of a second. Then I pop up. I was doing quite well actually, considering the swell was only 3 feet.

That type of pop up is however an emergency solution. You will find that the board is wobbling and you will often fall.

You need to aim to land both feet at the board at the same time, in one sweep.


I am looking for some exercises I can do, to get and maintain flexibility.


When I was looking through  videos, and others, I came across a observation. When your hamstrings ( muscle on back of your leg ) are to tight, then when you  bend forward your pelvis and lower back is being pulled out of alignment and you can end up with lower back pain.

I read many places that sitting down for extended period can give lower back pain, but never why. Sitting on a chair your legs are bend. The hamstrings go shorter and shorter. Think what 40 years of office work can do.

This is no medical advise, but is does sound right to me. Besides we have all seen these joggers standing stretching with leg up.