A moment of solitude…

According to the International World Games Association (a well known and authoritative body in all matters of Global gameyness) there are 20,000,000 surfers actively engaged in the sport of surfing on planet Earth at this moment in time. Most of them, on Tuesday lunchtime, were ‘surfing’ at Supertubos beach, just south of Peniche in Portugal (illustrated by the above, slightly filtered photograph). Of course this entirely depends on your definition of surfer but for the sake of argument let’s say (in this case) ‘everybody that has a surfboard and can paddle it out to sea’…

Being slightly allergic to the human race at the best of times, especially when it comes to oceanic experiences, I meandered up the coast just a few kilometres to find a virtually empty beach where the most disturbing moment was the passing of a small yacht. The following pattern was observed for each 24 hour period:

  • wake up
  • eat a bit
  • surf lots
  • eat lunch
  • sleep a bit
  • eat a bit
  • surf lots and lots
  • eat lots
  • drink large brandy (or three)
  • sleep a lot again

This may read as a routine of tiresome drudgery to an innocent bystander but each surf session was progressively better than the last. It culminated finally in a session on the last evening surfing perfect, glassy head high lines of swell at Almagreira (possibly the first glimpse of hurricane Earl). Just myself and a couple of friends trading waves, getting long peeling walls of water to play with until the ocean swirled into orange and blue glass and the sun finally sank into the sea.

I surfed today and the day before. And the day before that. Oh, and did I mention the day before that…? And whilst I’m on the subject did I mention that I got barrelled and had the best wave of my life…? I didn’t? Well it started like this…


  1. That sounds very nice ….. excellent. However I am very concerned that there are 20,000,000 surfers in the world though ….. who’s doing all the work? Hang on, I don’t actually know how many people there are in the world so that comment might be meaningless ……. could you work out the proportion of people in the world that are surfers? ….. as you’re so very clever …. if you’re not busy …..

    1. Well if there are approximately 6,866,400,000 people on the planet and 20 million of them surf that means that approximately 0.3 percent surf (3 in every thousand). Is that close enough for you…?

      I’m thinking that might be a vastly inflated answer. Hoping it is anyway…

  2. Eldest son asked what on earth all those people were doing and i explained they were waiting for a wave.
    “What…ALL of them?”
    “how do they work out who goes first so they dont all crash into each other?”
    “….er… they dont i dont think”
    “christ….total wipeout…excellent!! can we go?”
    I told him off for taking the lord’s name in vain and have made a mental note to include surfing in the parental booze, sex and drugs chat.

    1. Good plan. It is like Armageddon out there at times. I plan to do a whole series of photos about the days when learners should stay on the beach with pics of the carnage…

  3. We’re glad that on this mini-break you found sun, surf and solitude – brilliant! The blue seascape is great (we’re on the border with Spain and it’s arid!). More pics to publish please . . . ?

    1. Hi Clive – nice to see you the other day. There are more pics on my flickr page (click on any of the photos or the flickr link at the top of the page). Hope the farming is going well…

    1. I assume you mean the bottom pic – I think they may have liked a tad more wind as it took an hour or so to pass by. I’m guessing they weren’t in a hurry however… x

    1. Welcome Rich and thanks.
      My bottom turn is a thing of gracious beauty – like a Lopez/Frankenreiter hybrid (with an occasional hint of Benny Hill).
      Very nice boat you have there btw…

  4. It’s not easy easy doing a soul arch while patting a bald man’s head. Way to go.
    It’s not my boat – I sail it while somebody else pays all the bills. A nautical form of kinetic energy.

    1. Probably the best relationship to have with a boat, sailing somebody else’s. Confusion is fine at any point whilst in the ocean – look at my dad – he’s spent far too much time in boats. He’s very confused…

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