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Heard through the grapevine [read text from Parky] that Adam got his board fixed and has also found a buyer. Leaves me feeling a little lighter on the conscience front.

Have recently got round to stripping the board of all it's old wax. About time too! Will apply new wax probably when I get west in a couple of weeks. Planning to travel as far as Cheltenham or Bristol on the 15th befoe going on to Bude the following morning. No surf locally and none in prospect either. No change there then!

Kicked off on Saturday morning [19th] with a couple of sessions in better than expected 2' and reasonably clean waves. Both Parky and me agreed later that these proved to be the key sessions for us. We both managing, following early assessments and coaching, to make progress in relaxed carefree frames of mind. For the first time ever, I found it within me to cross step up the board rather than shuffle, and get further than ever before; 5 tantalisingly close to the nose, on more than one occasion. Well happy with that I can tell you. Drop knee turns are now an option, though a lot of practice needs to be done on my part to make them smoother and more efficient.

The surf grew larger and heavier by Saturday afternoon and personally I struggled, failing to get out. At this point, the stuff of myths began, with Parky snapping a leash, and me getting an almighty working over on a larger set wave inside. Tombstone comes to mind so I was told after. But, coupled with a similar experience to begin with on Sunday morning [20th] it became clear that a good part of the problem lay with the width of my board. Glaringly obvious in hindsight, but with my short arms as well, my paddling suffers despite a reasonable technique. A bit of it for sure lies with lack of water time, but I know my fitness isn't as bad as it can sometimes look as others often leave me behind when paddling out. A switch to a narrower board and I was out no probs, barring a little fatigue. Confidence and belief restored I enjoyed the remainder of Sunday morning in as large surf as I've ever been in, managing to pick up one thumping right in the process, and a trashing next time on as well.

We ended the weekend at an unusually quiet and clean Western which proved great fun until yours truly managed not only to break a board in a totally innocuous fashion, but manage to do it to Adam's board! So innocuous was the incident that I couldn't even tell you when or how it happened. He'd kindly offered a swap of boards which I couldn't resist. He promptly started to do things with my board, that I can only aspire to, proving that the rider is as much an issue as the equipment! [Poor workman-blaming illusions on my part] Anyway, conscious of this not being my stick, I was despite every encouragement from Adam being ultra cautious. I wasn't going to risk making the wrong wave selection and getting into anything that could end in a heavy wipeout. Parky will no doubt recall that very steep set wave I got into 20 yrds too late! :o) So I managed a couple of reasonably sedate rides, before catching a longer left which I hopped out of just before the flagged section of beach. No great dramas, some white water to negotiate back out and swap boards back. Lo, it's discovered there's a crack the width of the pin tail behind the mid fin box under the leash.

From that point my heart's not in it and I get out mortified :o( Here's this guy who has helped me find a way forward with my surfing all weekend, something I know I will benefit from from now on; and I go and trash his board. B0llox. I am grateful for his re-assurances and insistance that it's just one of those things etc etc. But I've only ever had 2 boards in the 7 years I've been surfing because any more frequent changes and/or additions has not been option. As a result I tend to treat them with more care than may benefit my own progress, not so much as picking up a small ding. Sh1t happens I know. And I'll get over this in time and repay the guy one way or another. But at the moment...I need to get back in and bury a ghost, quick.

Wagons are about to roll. Looks as if there'll be waves, but of what quality remains to be seen. Local weather may determine that. Report later.

Cycling back from work just now, I had a lively exchange of texts with Parky, the upshot being that SJ has it for 2-3' on Sat & 4-6 on Sun!. Looking promising particularly as Soul, though a little more conservative at the moment concours, with clean conditions to boot. I'm starting to buzz particularly with fitness levels and body weight [down to 10-10 or 68 kgs in new money] in good shape. Could be a rocking weekend!

With the trip to Watergate Bay this weekend looming for the Longboard Clinic with Parky; prospects for a wave are in the balance. Will be a shame if we have to cancel because it turns out flat, as I wouldn't be able to do the next one on 6-7 September because of committments to Ben's kart racing. Looks 55-45 in our favour at the moment though, so will keep posted here any developments. l8r

Poor judgement on my part meant I missed out yesterday on some good surf. Frustration from Weds and disappointment on Friday lead to me opting not to trust better opinion. Cfax had had Cayton at 2-4' but messy and with local weather forecasts giving varying wind from North round to offshore, I decided to stay at home and get some more bits done to the house. Naips' text in the evening telling of solid 3-4' and clean in the run up to mid ebb, reminded me I should return to a more optimistic disposition.

So, this morning when I saw that Cayton was still 2-3' and clean, I knew it'd be worth a shout. A couple of text exchanges with Naips clinched it and by 11am I was in just before HT [11.23] in similar waist to shoulder clean waves fanned by a gentle offshore. It took me half an hour to get into any kind of rythmn, after which I began to get dialled in and catch one or two pleasant waves to get the confidence up. The lack of recent action showed though as after another hour or so the shoulders began to feel it and I was missing more than I'd prefer.

This coincided with a slight lull which gave me time to regroup at which time I noticed a nice left peak developing a little further north along the beach. The paddle over paid off and I got into a series of rides one after another. This period went on for half an hour or so after which time I made my back over to Naips and Russ who were into a consistent spell. Another good call on my part as this lead to a purple patch of my own where I seemed to get into everything I went for. I'd draw short of calling this an epic session for me though, if only for my lack of 'match fitness' and mainly patchy form with wave selection etc. However, this was just what the doctor ordered, and crucial to get me back into the right frame of mind in readiness for my weekend west in a fortnight.

Wisely I think, Brox has opted not to make the 3 hour trek this way tomorrow and concentrate on renovating his vee dub bus. I'm in two minds, but despite some positive forecasts I'm not convinced. Will see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow, whatever time that may be. Good to chat with him again though. Hopefully we'll meet up down west later this summer. Become a bit of a tradition over the last 3 years, and is always a pleasure.

Almost forgot. Parky has fowarded confirmation of our Longboard 'Clinic' at Watergate in a fortnight. Let's hope there's some swell then and there. Doesn't matter if it's not as good as the epic stuff the south west had last w/e; I can live with a nice gentle waist high wave. It has to be better than what the east has thrown up of late. 'Thrown up' being the key words!

Trekked over to the coast this morning to catch the early push. Needn't have bothered. Everything was in place except the swell. Skeg was a dead loss, so headed straight on to Huttoft which wasn't any better. I hung around for a bit to see if it improved any towards HT [9.40am] but if anything the breeze picked up a little and messed up even the ankle slapping shore dump! I know it doesn't help that the tides are pretty high at the moment as this can increase the longshore rip. But even so..... :o( Looks as if I'll have to advise Brox not to make what appears to be a wasted journey tomorrow which is a shame.

Just received a mail from Brox. After way too long, he may come up for some East Coast action over the weekend. Hope so, it'll be good to see him and the crew again.

OK, so I managed to get in yesterday evening for a short half hour session, and at a new spot for me; Sandilands. But....

......I couldn't help feeling as I drove home, that I have lost the level of enthusiasm a surfer requires to practice his/her chosen past-time along this stretch of coast. I know why it is of course, it's a two fold 'problem'. Firstly since the end of 2001-Feb 02, water time there has been lacking severely. And secondly our rejuvenated plans to get sold up and move west have, since Easter, built up momentum. The Lincs coast just doesn't compete anymore. [If indeed it ever did!]

That said, I shall keep taking every available opportunity to get in there; pride if nothing else to get back into a rythmn and have some waves will force the issue. I know there's a confidence thing in the background too. Maybe sometime tomorrow or over the weekend I can get a handle on it again. Yesterday evening I didn't though. Sandilands just didn't do it for me. Paddled out, bobbed around a bit, paddled against the longshore rip, no waves scored, messy, lumpy, got out :o( Should have followed my instincts when I got there and carried on to Huttoft, where Naips + co were. Looked a little more do-able. Later...

The weather charts suggested that the east coast could get something later in the week and maybe into the weekend. Seems that it may be changing for the better with swell arriving sooner and for longer. Naips texted this morning reporting 3-4' at Sandilands if a little messy because of the wind. Soul's forecast suggests a lull tomorrow before swell increases Friday onwards. Could be the best we've had since Boxing Day 2001!

That wind has dropped a little and with work committments cancelled I'm just getting things together as I type, with more than a weather eye on getting in this evening. Will report back later, though if I don't get in later, it seems a given that I will more than once before the w/e is out. 'Bout time too as I've not surfed here in the east since mid Nov! Laters Folks....