I can't help think that the parting statement at the end of the log entry dated 3rd January was a little premature ... "All in all a good start surf wise to the 2005" Yeah right! Here I am 134 days later, and only now can I report on some personal wave action. Not unsurprisingly after such a long lay off, I was extremely rusty in every department. It didn't help either that conditions weren't really up to the mark, nor after recent events, was my confidence high to begin with. However, and as ever at such times; by the time I called it a day, it had been worth it if only to shake some of the 'cobwebs' out,and try and get the mood going again.
A check first thing on the Skeggy webcam confirmed the likelihood of there being a wave to be had, but there was some concern over whether the localised breeze at the coast would spoil things. Online indicators had it light and N-NW with the possibility later of it veering N-NE though still light. The local TV forecast the previous evening had even suggested it going full on E and onshore! But there was no turning back now, after such a long lay-off I at least just had to get in. Suz decided to tag along for the ride, and so just after 9am we set off for Sandilands.
As feared, the scene on arrival wasn't brilliant. The breeze wasn't as forecast that strong, but it was persistent and as cross-shore as you wouldn't want. The was some swell though, easily 2-3' with the occasional larger set; but as you can imagine it was being messed up some. By this time [10.15] it was around the mid flood mark with HT around 13.25. We watched for a while for any encouraging signs, and also awaiting Naips' arrival. I wasn't convinced though, and after a quick telephone conversation with him, opted to move a little further south down the coast to Moggs Eye.
There we found a slightly cleaner wave but the longshore-rip looked a bit mean, which would make paddling out fun. It did and I felt it. Naips didn't fare much better though he did manage a couple of rides during our short 20-30 minute session after getting in; two more than I even looked like getting! This was enough to convince us to move on again and see if we could find a bit more shelter from this annoying breeze. Chapel Point looked gutless but North Shore at Skeg held a lot more promise albeit with smaller but much cleaner waves. Skeg therefore got the nod.
Being only just over an hour until HT, there was the risk that what there was could drop pretty soon after we got in there. With such a small tide due though, it might just hold. Happily it did, though I can't confess to being able to make much use of this fact. All timing and technique was missing from my game, and it was some time before I even began to feel as if I was getting anywhere. Paddling at times was weak and ineffective though this did visibly improve on the rare occasion I snagged any kind of ride. Gradually though, I did make some progress, and after one or two aborted attempts and/or shortlived rides, I at last found some kind of rhythm. The quality was still lacking, and my own self belief was well below par, but at least I didn't embarrass myself too much in front of a by now quite large group of spectators on the beach. Perhaps not coincidently this occurred at a period when the breeze dropped off quite noticeably and the best conditions of the day could be enjoyed.
Just after 2pm I decided to get out before risking overdoing it. I'd figured allowing that to happen might just set the 'Comeback', back as it were. Despite everything, I could at least honestly say that I'd had worse surfs on better days, and better ones on worse days too. No illusions though, I have to make a conscious effort to get my mind in the right gear and put all the problems of late behind me if I am to get back to a level of performance that I feel happy with.