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 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…

The Azores – Terceira

The Azores has been on my list of places to see for a long time. I no longer remember how I first heard of them, but my imagination was immediately captivated. When my partner’s work sent him to São Miguel for a week, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do some exploration…

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,…

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…

Ericeira – A low season love affair

Ah, Ericeira. Cobbled streets winding through blue and white houses, where surfers rub shoulders with fishermen and the atmosphere is generally mellow. I arrived in Ericeira at the beginning of November when the town is particularly sleepy and easy going. As with Biarritz, the town had been picked because of its surfing potential; Ericeira is…

Arriving in Portugal

France was an amazing first port of call on our sabbatical adventure. I would not have changed it for all the world, but as the weather started to change, and the days got shorter, we both felt the time to fly south for the winter was upon us. While we had loved our time in…

Getting Started

“We have talked to HR, but they say it is not the time to be offering sabbaticals, they cannot guarantee you your job in one year’s time” The words came from my brutally honest and extremely supportive manager. The month is July, the year 2018 and I am sitting with my Head of Section and…