The weekend started on Thursday night. A friend rang to say that he had spotted the decaying hurricane, Rafael, on the evening weather map and should we go to Ireland on a trip to hunt down the swell and warm offshore winds? MSW suggested that the swell would last two and a half days. I was up for it but the only trouble was that we had to organise our lives, buy ferry tickets and drive to Pembroke Dock within 24 hours. In the event family arrangements won out. Oh well, we can do it later in the season. The weather map though got me thinking, there really were going to be some quality waves in a few days time.
Saturday dawned with powder blue skies, golden autumnal sunshine and the rustle of gentle off shore winds. No swell.Angie suggested a trip to Ilfracombe to inspect the latest controversial effigy created by a certain dotty artist that lives close by. We spotted Verity as we walked from the park (which has a great ‘bomb’ around skate park) and reached the harbour side. She stands erect at the end of the harbour with a broad sword thrust into the sky punctuating her 20 meters of verticality. The lady has a presence. Up close the bronze body is full of symbolism, scales (of justice?) are clutched behind her shapely backside and the sword (of truth?) is vigorously thrust skyward. She is heavily pregnant and naked for all the world to see. In fact she is divested in extremis. The dotty one has removed the skin from one side of her youthful body to reveal her internal organs, musculature and womb complete with foetus. Later on, in the dotty one’s chi chi restaurant which we visited last year, we pushed around some fairly feeble ideas on the meaning of all this symbolism. We came to no conclusion that is worth writing down (That is the purpose, you dope:Ed). The food had improved since our last visit and so I think has Ilfracombe.
The afternoon saw me do a fairly rapid 40 mile cycle around the environs of Exmoor. I foolishly promised to get fit by training for the Exmoor Beast a few months ago. Hopefully next Sunday my regular trips on the road will pay off.
Sunday dawned with the arrival of the by now fabled swell. I took myself down to Abbotsham Cliffs (see 21/10).The swell swept towards the rocky berms with a purpose not seen for many, many months. I paddled out to the left and enjoyed a few critical drops and one hold down that will stay with me for a while. I left tired but fulfilled.
This afternoon I took a dip at Wetward Ho! point. A smidgeon of fatigue had crept in at this stage, but overall I had a hugely enjoyable two hours of overhead point surf. Hopefully the swell will favour us tomorrow also.
We are having more words with the staff photographer. I would like to apologise for the continued low standard of work.