Diary   2010 - 3


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22 November 2010. I am on my way back to Portugal. In Sagres the temperatures are still up to 15 - 19 Deg C during the day, but the everyday sunshine seem to be over at least for a while. Wind up to 44 knots next monday.   ..   

I should be all right. Cold weather is what I do not like when camping. As far as surfing I will take an easy start and doo careful warm up.

  Tuesday 23 November 2010

Rain most of the day. I woke early. Then I did my Yoga. A small sleep again. More Yoga. Then the rain stopped and I was off to Mareta beach. I only surfed on my knees. That was quite fun. Back in the camping box again I looked knee surfing up on Youtube.

The weather is mild. 18 deg C. Water temperature about the same. However very few surfers. I only saw one. The big crowds are gone.



The Atlantic at Beliche. In the lover part of photo there is a small dot. That is the only surfer I saw all day.


Wednsday 24 November 2010


I started at Beliche exactly at low water. Just me and one local. The waves were barely surf able.. During the afternoon I went to Cordoma beach. Very good conditions there. Several surf vans in different colors and types. All with a dog or two.

I was lying on the beach stretching . Next thing two dogs are lying next to me. One had a haircut like " The last of the Mohicans" . They thought it was time for a snooze before dinner. Unfortunately I had to dissapoint them.



Surfcar. Maybee I should get some paint and give the Toledo a respray.

  Thursday 25 November 2010

I thought I would be able to surf the West coast. A Amado beach only two surfers were out. It was low water and you could see that there was a strong rib current you did not want to mess with.

Off I went to Zovial on the South coast. Here it was nice sunshine, but waves rather big. I was back to the old trick, surfing the white water. That gave me a chance to test different types of pop up. I know they say you should not use your knee as support during  the pop up, but the thing is that it makes the whole thing easier, but slower.



Zovial beach.  It is not me.


Saturday 27 November 2010
Yesterday was day off. It was raining all the time. Today was on of  the best day I have had so far on this coast. A 5 foot swell and off shore wind. I had a good time to practice my " new pop up "  . It is not quite as I showed on the video some days ago. It was freezing cold. 13 degree C and an icy wind from the North.



An old sailing ship passing by



The effect of the off shore wind. The waves are steeper without breaking


Sunday 28 November 2010
An other day with proper swell in Mareta bay. And I just continue doing my " wrong" pop up, and it works very well.


  Monday 29 November 2010

One more day at Mareta bay. Quite big waves, but a bit choppy. Some 10 surfers out. I am still using my home made pop up, and it works very well.  The sun came out during the afternoon.


Tuesday 30 November 2010
Today I had an expedition with the purpose to buy a mouse for my computer. I was looking at some beaches on the way.


  It was a day with cold wind and powerful showers. Here I am in Luz on the South coast


A surfer at Luz beach. So I moved on for some thing more quiet.



I think this would have suited me. It is just right next to the break water of Lagos marina. I will try this place an other day.



Mareta beach was also delivering some big swell.

  Wednsday 01 December 2010

It is still windy and there are many showers. However, now and again the sun is out and then the weather is quite pleasant. I have started using my winter suit with hood, boots and gloves. I was surfing Mareta beach during the afternoon. Together with 10 / 15 other surfers. After wards I went and had a menu ( 5 Euros ) in our local supermarket, then a hot shower at the camping.

  Thursday 02 December 2010

A pretty wet and cold morning. Low water is at 5 in the afternoon, so I am in no rush. 

  Friday 03 December 2010

A clear day with sun. only temperatures are still only 12 Deg C. Beliche was the most popular beach today. Especially at low water. The beach is very protected and several people were sun bathing. As for the waves, look at photo below.


  Saturday and Sunday 04 and 05 December 2010

To much wind and 3 to 4 meter waves from Southerly direction. I was looking around and found some surfers at the West coast, but most were just looking.



What are they looking at ??

This body boarder was the only one out.   More Photos

Monday 06 December 2010

Today is day off

Thursday 9 December 2010

It is almost a week since last surfing. First the waves were too big. As they started to ease I was down with stomach illness for two days. It has been raining a lot. This morning we had a mega shower, that completely flooded the tent of a newly arrived camper , who was traveling just with his backpack.

Then the sun was back and 20 deg C . A lovely day. Shorts and T shirt back on. Waves almost to small in Mareta where I went. Beliche looked better, but I found out too late.

Uncrowned at Beliche. Only during the winter.

A surf van is great if you have to make lots of miles to get to your surf spot. I like the chimney sticking up. Heating is a great thing to have to fight of the condensation and keep you comfortable.

Friday 10 December 2010

Mareta beach and the old fort of Sagres. Also known as the oldest school of navigation in the Western world . Supposing  the Portuguese sea captains were having there navigation skills honed here, before they  were send towards "  the end of the world. "

I had my own navigation problems here today trying to get the surf board working in these choppy waves.. As I
 was the only one out, I guess it was the wrong place.  Or the wrong time of the tide, because as I started to get out of the water, a few surf vans had rolled up..

14 15 16 December 2010

Marianne has been visiting. The days have been nice and sunny.  i had the surfboard out some afternoons. For a while I have not been happy with my pop up. Then I started searching the bulletin boards on internet. There I came across the exercise called squat thrust. I started doing that. Careful at first. Next I started using the good old pop up. The one that is described as swinging the legs under your body.

The difference was truly amazing. Within days after doing the squat thrust exercise I can now do a fast pop up without much effort.  Squat thrust exercise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpDRwxR6jHI  ( This exercise in in the group of advanced exercises. If you are a beginner, you need to work towards this exercises slowly, else you can do damage to yourself. )

The silversurferdude hitting some  small choppy surf in Beliche bay. Using the Squat trust supported pop up.

17 December 2010  Friday

Another day at Mareta beach with swell from Easterly direction. I did not stay as long as I wanted to , as the swell was growing and I was getting worried about getting back to the beach  through the breaking waves.

Mareta beach Friday

18 December 2010  Saturday

It was difficult to find a suitable place. I tried in Martinal, but could soon feel that the swell was too powerful for me. The forecast for the area is 3 meters for the afternoon.

Mareta looked sort of ok, but now and again some very large sets came rolling so I decided against it.

Mareta beach Saturday. There are 3 surfers in right side of lower photo


19 December 2010  Sunday

Mareta beach during the afternoon. I was surfing also, but found the waves quite big for me. Before I started here I was surfing at Martinal. A nice day with big swell, only little wind and some sun.

20 December 2010  Monday

I was up early to get to the beach before the got too strong. The waves were choppy, but I got a few short rides anyway. I think that was the last session in Portugal this year. I am flying out the 22 th.  Hopefully back here end of January.


This trip lasted 3 weeks. I had 16 surf days. The interesting thing was that I started off being carefull and having some easy pop ups. Often using my knee as support.

Later I started exercising with squat thrust, and the usual exercises as well. This helped me to get back to the proper pop up, and eventually I was surprised how good I got in a very short time.


As inspiration I place 3 photos that I can look at. The near perfect pop up.

A good time to pop up. The board is almost horizontal. That makes it more easy to do it right.

The board is now dropping. All you have to do is to stretch your legs. Your body is likely to have a bit more momentum upwards, from the pop up. The right timing of the pop up, makes it quite a lot less muscle demanding.

The wave is a nasty steep close out. It is already smoking from the top. In a split second it will plunge. There will be lots of white water and you will sink into it. Hopefully you have plenty of air in your lungs and will not panic.  Also never catch waves if you are breathless.  Just relax and drift with the wave a few seconds, then you will surface automatically.

This type of surfing is dangerous. You never quite know where that board is going when the wave is plunging on top of you. I have tried to end up riding on the edge of the board - that hurt. I have had my suit cut by the board fin.  Remember always to protect your head with your arms.

Just for the record. It is not me surfing. Merry X - mas and happy new year.

Total surf days 329