Halifax Travel Blog

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Lawrencetown beach

I had booked a surfing lesson with a local club, and headed off to meet Jules. She would give me my first ever surf instruction, for a hundred bucks with all equipment included for a 3 hour lesson. We grabbed the gear from the Surf school up the road from the beach. I had to change into my wetsuit at the school, to ensure the correct size. We then drove separately to the beach.

Driving in a wetsuit and flip flops in a strange experience, its very hot and quite restrictive, kind of like being inside a giant George Foreman. I quickly exited the Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine and helped Jules down to the beach with the ‘boards. Jules instructed me on observing the conditions of the beach and the weather, making judgements on where the bulk of other surfers are heading and how to avoid them in different scenarios.

Lawrencetown beach, again.
By drawing pictures in the sand, she explained that there are essentially three types of geological formations that cause waves to break into white water: point, beach and reef breaks. At Cove beach where we were, a small beach break provided beginners with an easy start. We did some practice ‘pop-ups’ on the beach where you spring from a lying position into the beach boys’ surfing safari stance. After a few tries I had it, and we took the boards down to the water. We paddled into the still water to the side of the ‘beach break’ waves. I say we. Jules paddled into the stills. I rolled and came up spluttering, climbed on the board again and promply slid off. Eventually I made it out to the stills. We did a few more practice rolls, during which I concluded that surfing in contact lenses is a tricky art.

After a brief interlude involving going back to the car, putting my diving mask on and paddling, huh, back again, we could then try belly boarding. Jules headed effortlessly into the white water and belly boarded back to the beach like a pro. I started to paddle towards the white water, determined to up my surf-cred by at least paddling with some style. An eon passed. still paddling my arms were like lead weights I could barely lift. I looked around and discovered I had moved backwards a few meters. Anger charged my adrenal glands and I made a final push, this time I would make it. Another Eon passed. My arms were now dissassociated entirely from my body, but were considering visiting rights every third weekend.

I think I swallowed some sea water. Just a few gallons. The bright sun forcing my eyes tight shut. At this point people normally have day dreams involving pink elephants rendered by cartoonists, to a tune better fitting on a disney family movie. Mine involved a horror at sea, where a foolish amateur attempted to paddle a surfboard. I laughed at him pathetic as he was, being shunted around by Poseidon's whims. Cold salt water lapped joyfully into my limp mouth, bringing me back to semi-conciousness.

Another brief interlude involving some rasins, cashews (salted), water (unsalted) and a bit of self reprimanding I paddled back out…

Soon I was once more exhausted, Again my arms flopped uncontrolledly in the water like a comatose jelly fish. Through some raw primal anger I plucked the energy to keep paddling, screaming for five strokes and relaxing, then another five until eventually I made it! I had moved the requisite 5 meters into the white water. After a few rolls to avoid the wash, I turned my board towards the beach and belly boarded in on two waves! It was sooo cool!! (10) With my energy and confidence freshly restored, I crashed head long into the rocky boulders, shearing off a fin from my board. Opps. Guess I won’t be going back out again just yet.


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Lawrencetown beach
Lawrencetown beach
Lawrencetown beach, again.
Lawrencetown beach, again.
photo by: frankcanfly