This autumn it's been nothing but big sessions for the Mamas.… Yesterday I had a bit of a laugh remembering the days when Christophe used to have to drag me out back by my leash, kicking and screaming in 50cm waves. We’ve tried to find the more mellow waves some weeks, but the swell has been big. And is it my imagination, or does it always double in size between ten and twelve on on Friday mornings, just when we’re in the water?
Last week was the biggest session, out in the bay of St Jean. There were two metre sets coming in and, as Johanna said on the beach, with a bit of understatement the conditions were “Not Classic.” The South wind was howling down the valleys from the Pyrenees, after a week of rain the water was brown, and dead seabirds floated around in the toxic looking floodwater.… But there were waves, for those of us who hadn’t got carried away with the excitement of the Beaujolais ball at the Madrid. Usually surfing is a perfect cure when your feeling a little hungover round the edges. But I guess the tannins in the wine had hit me hard .
I found myself wondering why, if I wasn’t sure if I could get out of bed this morning, I thought it might be a good idea to paddle a mile out into the freezing ocean for some intensive wipeout training.
The other girls got some lovely waves, and the Mamas medal for outstanding bravery goes to Marie Jouet for taking off on some monsters.
I’m claiming the wooden spoon for being so cold and weak when we got in that Johanna had to take my wetsuit off for me !
Yesterday was a bit smaller, at St Jean again. It was so beautiful I wished I had my watercolour box out there with me. There was snow on the mountains, and the sky split down the middle between bright blue and huge black stormclouds, with shafts of winter sunlight catching the spray. It was like one of those inspirational religious paintings, and it’s surprising the Mamas didn’t all come in Born Again. But again, just when I was trying to get my head around the metre sets rolling through, they seemed jump in size, leaving me thinking, if it’s a ‘nice little metre’ what is that thing crashing over the digue? Then the brouhata came in, a freaky local wind that goes from 0-60 in thirty seconds. I fell off a wave and my board went spinning straight up into the air, before crashing back down beside me. It seemed like time to paddle in if I didn’t want to break my nose or end up in Munchkin land.….
Yes it’s been a pretty amazing few weeks, not at all what we imagined when we first started down there in the mousse at Erretegia. I think if we had we might have stayed superglued to our beachtowels if we had.
So big thank-you to Johanna for getting us together, getting us out there, and teaching us to surf. Oh, and getting us out of our wetsuits when we’re too hungover to do it for ourselves!
Posted by Wilma
Photo by Wilma