Beach Break Surfing

Beach breaks and reef breaks and what I have learned from surfing the sandy bottoms after months of hiatus. When I started surfing, the thought of surfing reef breaks terrified me. The first time I went to a reef break it was exactly like when I go skating – all I could see was the…

The Azores – São Miguel

Despite spending the longest amount of time on São Miguel, it is ironically the island I saw the least of. The largest of the Azorean islands, with the largest population, it is also the most popular island for tourists to visit. If I am completely honest, I do not think I gave São Miguel enough…

The Azores – São Jorge

The plane sways and lurches ominously as we prepare the decent. There is only sea visible through my window and my palms have started to sweat. I consciously try to relax my body, thinking of what the waves have taught me about futility of fighting the uncontrollable. My breathing is deliberately slow and deep, my…

Ericeira Secret Spots

I am not a fan of this notion of ‘secret spots’. To me, all a secret spot means is that it is harder for a casual visitor to find. If you tell a local that you went to a ‘secret spot’, they are likely to laugh at the concept (and probably, in your face). There…

Surf lessons when you can already surf

A friend of mine recently asked me why I take surf classes when I can already surf (his words, not mine). This is a question that I get so often, I thought I would write about it and unpick some of the reasons… Standing up isn’t surfing I have taken many many surf classes over…

Catching my First Green Wave

Before Christmas I finally surfed my first Green Wave. It was one of the scariest and most amazing things I have ever done. I hope I never stop being amazed by how it feels to go down the face of a wave “I think the ocean is winning.” I say to no one in particular,…

Making Friends – the Ultimate Game Changer

When I set out on this sabbatical, my biggest apprehension was that I would not make any friends. This is not because I am particularly unsocial or painfully shy. I can talk to people and natter away, but I do not know how to take it to the next level after. How do you ask…

Surfing in Ericeira – Beginners

As mentioned in my previous post, surfing was the predominant reason we arrived in Ericeira. It very quickly transpired however, that surfing in Ericeira was not going to be like surfing in Biarritz. In fact, for the best part of my first week, I was not sure I was going to be able to surf…

Buying your first Surfboard

5 lessons I learned when I bought my first board Buying a surfboard must be one of the most exciting things you can do. Even the simple act of browsing surfboards, touching the smooth surfaces and admiring the different designs can leave you excited and lustful.  I bought my surfboard as a treat to myself,…

Getting Started (part 2)

So, previously I wrote about getting started and made it sound like a sabbatical was granted and *poof* I was in Portugal. As with all things, the reality within the cut-to sequence was infinitely more varied and yes, stressful. The apartment packing was exactly like every apartment packing has ever been since the beginning of…