The day the circus came to town…

WCT collage

I’ve not been a huge fan of competition surfing – excessively talented athletes floundering around in crap waves trying to impress a row of slightly tubby ‘used to be’s’ wedged into deckchairs. But things seem to be changing…

The criteria has shifted axis from ‘how many turns we can cram into this wave?’ to ‘how deep?’, ‘how commited?’, ‘how varied, imaginative and even innovative?’. So things can get pretty interesting to watch.

We pitched up at Supertubos for the quarterfinals of the WCT just as the Atlantic started to throw some evil, dredging barrels at the shore. An average man would have thought twice about walking down the beach, let alone getting in the water but the top surfers on the planet didn’t flinch at paddling out to try and tame these beasts. Unpredictable, shifting peaks with thick lips and seemingly impossible drops created the battlefield for the closing stages of the competition – boards were broken, casualties taken and the following morning in slightly less daunting conditions a new Rip Curl Search champion was crowned.

Portugal embraced these travelling celebrities and their media entourage with amazing enthusiasm. Over 18,000 people walked 4km along the sand to get to the earlier weekend rounds at a tiny beach north of town. Even the somewhat surly local surfers seemed happy to kick back and lend their waves to Kelly and Mick for a few hours…

Watching the circus come through town doesn’t make me want to risk my life in monster waves or compete against others for glory and fame but it does make me realise that there are some truly inspirational people involved in this ‘sport’ that I and so many of my friends love. They are pushing the limits of what is possible in surfing and I can’t wait to get in the water and try to push mine too.

Quote of the day from Tango – as Bede Durbridge got eaten by a double overhead monster:

“He’s rubbish.”

I remembered how to surf this week. Better than working for a cranky old hag. Yeah baby yeah…

(You can peruse a few more photos at my flickr page.)

The Mentalist…

baleal midday gazing

I can count the days I’ve spent surfing this year using the contents of my pants. This is not a good statistic.

Life has been bowling me along for months in a dusty cloud of cement and sawdust and surfing has been slipping deeper into my mind. So deep that somedays it becomes a strange daydream about a life I thought about once.

Luckily I have a friend who is a mentalist. Not a total nutter who is prone to bouts of certifiable insanity that teeters on the brink of social disorder (although on reflection he has the capability of all of this) but a controller of minds using nothing but his intellect and wisdom…

Phone rings…

DB: Hey Sharky (his pet name for me)

Me: Hey Dolphin Boy (likewise)

DB: Did you know that I’m clairvoyant and that I know what you’re doing tomorrow morning…

…enigmatic pause…

Me: Tiling the bathroom?

DB: Nope.

Me: Sanding the study ceiling?

DB: Nah.

Me: I give up.

DB: Going surfing with me at Cabadelo…

The spooky thing was… he was completely right. I did. And it was gooood….

I surfed today. Thank you kindly DB – I muchly needed that.

Fake Dalai Lama scams Twitterers…

…it’s good to know that the spiritual leaders of the world are keeping in touch with the common man. Not only does tha Dalai Lama have his own homepage but he also has a devious doppleganger Tweeting like the wind on his behalf – spreading dubiously derived wise words and fake love across the globe. Aparrently the nefarious wannabe had over 16,000 followers before the Twitter authorities saw through his evil plan.

This recent scandal in the microblogging world that is Twitter just adds to my vague scepticism even though I do dabble occasionally myself. If however, your ambition is to fill all the tiny spaces of the internet with completely useless information and inane wafflings then this will of course be most beneficial to your quest.

If you want to listen to more pap and nonsense then check out the following Twitterers…

Stephen Fry (very funny)

Tango (grrr) (exceedingly hot)

Daddy Papersurfer (prolificly idiotic)

Papersurfer (very handsome, witty and charming – allegedly)

God (omnipotent entity that created the universe – also allegedly)

I didn’t surf today. So stop asking.

Nice weather for ducks…

waterfall steps

…personally if I was a duck and it had pissed down non-stop for over a week I’d be pretty bleedin’ miserable. A light shower on an April afternoon and I’d be fluffing and preening and looking all jolly in a ducky ‘I’m quite waterproof’ way but on a freezing cold afternoon halfway up a mountain with a force 7 ramming precipitation up my lightly feathered derriere. Not likely…

Anyways – the excessive downwards water delivery has supplied excellent photographic opportunity with the overflowing river bursting over some stone steps above Lousã castle. Very pretty it was too…

More pics at my flickr page.

I didn’t surf today. Pfft.