Waves, at last! And what a great session! It's been flatter than the Serpentine for the last fortnight. I've spent my time in Sandsend, watching dogs try to catch cormorants.
And ducks try to cadge fish.
But finally, yesterday afternoon, there was the first hint of something pushing in from the North. The forecast said it wasn't due to materialise until this afternoon, but I woke to the sound of activity: two local surfers getting their boards ready. I peered at them in my pyjamas. Surely they weren't going out? I got up to investigate. There was what looked like a small wave, peeling round the headland onto the reef.But once they got there, I could see it was not one of the dribblers that have been trickling into the bay for the last week but a clean, head high reef wave, peeling nicely into the bay. I didn't need to think about it twice.
And it was fabulous! After falling off a couple (too early, too late, too old), I finally got the timing right and caught a couple of fantastic rides - long, powerful, clean. I've seen the photos of Yorkshire waves, but hadn't seen much evidence of it. This was it.
The first one was good, the second was sublime! A little overhead, it rolled on and on, heading for the cliffs, keeping its power the whole way, with a clean face that made it easy to link top turns and bottom turns. It seemed to go on and on, pretty much forever. At least that's how it felt. In the back of your mind you're thinking about the cliffs ahead, but the surf wasn't reaching them, and I kicked out well ahead, a good 200 metres from where I had started. With that "what a great ride" grin all over my face. The best left hand wave I've surfed since Lagide, in Peniche. The longest, cleanest, best-surfed wave of the trip. Sublime.
It's a long paddle back to the peak, though, especially when it's this cold. And this cold is pretty cold.
I fell off my next wave, and the one after that petered out quite quickly. The two local lads got out and I made the fatal error of staying in for a last ride. But the tide was getting too high, and the backwash from the cliffs was stopping the waves from forming properly. No matter - time to head back to the van for breakfast. A very happy surfer.