The heat from the day is starting to decay to a pleasant warmth.The evening air is scented by the bountiful Aloe and other succulents that populate the slopes running down into the bay. The bruised sky hints at the balmy night to come and the warm off shore winds die to the merest zephyr. The point break continues to fire fast peeling waves into the darkening bay whilst the last two surfers in the water make their way shoreward , recounting their earlier tube rides to each other.
Looks great does n’t it? Almost exotic. Why does n’t the surfing world get in it’s collective VW bus and race to here every time Magicseaweed gives its clarion call?
The trouble is Westward Ho! is nothing like the picture above. Yes, someone took this photo ( I borrowed it from MS with thanks) and in a certain light from a certain vantage point during a beefy swell it can look like this but it is sorry to say not the reality. The impression of a left point break with a lush back drop is a lie.Its smarter twin sister that faces it across the bay at Saunton is not a point break either , both charlatans. Saunton though somehow convinces the masses. The VWs throng to the place.
Westward Ho! was a seaside resort but now is really a confusion of domestic architecture that would make Jonathon Meades choke on his ironically purchased burger (from a local concession). Various recently built blocks of flats fight for the beach goers attention with the mannered charm of a horny bull in a field of fresians. The rest of the domestic morass cowers below in unenthusiastic gaudiness that befits so many broken seaside towns. The Edwardian terraces look down from the hill with wind torn melanchollic indifference at the ravages of the last 100 or so years. Meanwhile the haunted house where the town thankfully gives way to the cliffs, faces balefully out into the bay remembering last century’s sunsets.
So why mention the place?
It has tucked away; in front of an unaccommodating rocky shelf cross cut with gullies, a left point break that suits me down to the ground.I surfed it today under crystalline skies and was rewarded with tapered walls that my fish loves to swim along. Not everyone’s cup of tea but it is mine and I drink it out of a stained waxed beaker….. Westward Ho! fashion.