Today is the last meeting of the Mamas before the winter break. As the swell looks like staying over three metres, that’s going to be in the AirTT tapas bar in the village. Johanna is off to spend Christmas in winter wonderland in Northern Sweden, then to Verbier for the ski season.
Winter isn’t very long in Biarritz, but it does happen. Anyone who can gets out for a month or two round new year, that way you can miss it altogether and arrive back for spring all fresh and tanned. Snow Queens like Johanna head to the glaciers, other people bubble wrap their boardbags and take the long haul to Bali, Brazil or Australia.
The rest of just us head down to the surf shop to buy a new pair of neoprene gloves and booties. Personally I draw the line at the cagoul - if it’s that cold, I sit in the car with the heating on, getting vicarious pleasure from watching the hardcore guys getting gnarly waves and ice-cream head. We’d all love one of those new suits with battery operated heating system. I haven’t got one yet, but I have got the next best thing- Mamas top winter tip - a plastic bag to put on your car seat so you can drive home and get in a hot bath without getting changed. Take a can of Hinano Tahiti beer with you and your almost in Polynesia.
Winter is unpredictable. It can go two ways.…. some days you step outside and the Bay of Biscay is behaving
exactly as it would in a sea shanty. It’s time to batten down the hatches and break open another bottle of grog. Or chill the rosé and go down to the salt water spa in Hendaye. Then a couple of days later you wake up and it’s 20 degrees...centigrade.... in January. The waves are perfect and they’re empty. Your heart goes out to those poor jet-lagged jet-setters in Indo fighting their way through the shorebreak on Kuta beach with a thousand australian tourists.
And you think, “Oh, yes, sometimes I win!”
POSTED BY WILMA
Photo of Johanna by Felix Oppenheim