I grew up on the coast but never learnt to surf.
The first part of that is unsurprising given that more than 80% of Australians live in coastal areas – in fact I have spent my whole life bar a few years during University living within a ‘few kays’* (as we say in Aus) of the water.
That I never learnt to surf – hmmm not sure about that. Do you always take advantage of the things that are right there on your doorstep? Probably not, mostly because you can do them any time you like, sometimes you just never do. Then, you don’t live there anymore, have other ‘important’ things occupying your life, are too old or feel that your opportunity has come and gone.
As an expat I have met many people of other nationalities enamored of the gloriously beautiful country that is my homeland. They are always keen to hear my opinion of the amazing places they visited during their trip and quite often I have to ‘fess up and say ‘I haven’t been there’. My own country and I haven’t taken advantage of all there is to see and do – which seems especially bizarre as I have now buggered off and am seeing great slabs of the rest of the world. To be fair – its quite a large country and its quicker to get to New Zealand from Sydney than it is to Perth. However, no excuses and the Aussie bucket list has built up quite a bit during our time away, the more people I meet the more places I add. One day, the grey nomads brigade** for us…..
Back to the surf.
mid-life crisis our time in Durban rolls on surf lessons were a Christmas gift from my hopeful husband, something to get me out of the house and away from our monthly broadband allocation. Sorry – can still do both!
To say I have taken to it like a duck to water would be a gross overstatement – in fact here is a recent facebook status update
That being said – I LOVE IT.
If you know anything about surfing – you will know that a 10 foot board is for super super beginners, because if you are just a beginner – you get a 9 foot board, which is what I started with. My friend D, lets call her ‘the surfing demon’ also started with a 9 foot board and after four lessons she is on a 7 foot and I am on a 10 foot one. Does that help you paint the picture?
I think actually standing up on the board for longer than say 0.2 seconds is totally over rated if you can actually lie on the board, paddle it around and not knock yourself (or others) out or split anyones head open with your enormous board while navigating the sand underneath a giant dumping wave.
Of course I am just saying that until I can stand up all the way to the beach and step off like some kind of – I don’t know – surfer.
Our ‘surfer chick’ group made up of a mix of local types and expats seeking new and exciting things seem to have become totally obsessed. We grip our phones tightly each morning and any phone call or text message is pounced upon to see if the surf is ‘right’. None of us of course really know what that means, but we drive around with our gear in the car just in case we get the call during the school run, or heaven forbid shortly after entering the supermarket or gym car park – we are ready to abandon trolleys and kettle bells on the ping of a text message and head to the beach.
We have become (in our minds) spontaneous and random – you can’t plan your day until you ‘hear’.
I might be able to get to that tomorrow, or not, it depends on the surf, can I let you know in the morning?
And then of course – dolphins.
We were surfing the other day and the dolphins were like this close (imagine arms showing distance here)
Need I go on?
I live in Durban, there are miles and miles of beaches, it is called the Dolphin Coast, so I am taking every opportunity and becoming a Surfer Girl.***
Is there an opportunity you didn’t take the first time around and have now, or wished you had? Are you a surfer girl too?
* Kilometres – isn’t it obvious?
** People who don’t dye their hair anymore and have purchased a caravan or some kind of motor home and spend their ‘golden years’ traversing the country – keeping to the northern parts of the continent particularly in the winter months to stay a little bit toasty.
*** Well, kind of, promise to update when I can legitimately claim this title and can consistently – paddle onto my own wave, stay upright for most of the time and have graduated ‘back’ to a 9 foot board. Watch this space!