Four intrepid paddlers had a very wet Sunday morning playing in the surf at Middleton. Apart from the side wind, which made conditions a bit choppy and caused us to drift away from the carpark, conditions were great, with mostly manageable waves and the occasional bit of rolling practice.
It was a nice warm sunny day, and the beach was busy with surfers and swimmers taking advantage of the good conditions. The waves were a manageable 1-meter waves, and the SE wind tended to push us along the beach, but at least did not make for steep waves.
After a warm up in the smaller surf near the beach (with a couple of worrying capsizes on my part, but at least my roll was working), we threaded our way through all the swimmers and surfers to find some bigger, cleaner waves out near the backline. We sometimes had a long wait between sets, but were rewarded with some lovely rides, with the waves dying out as they reached the deeper water of a gully rather than breaking right on top of you!
Anthony had a great time in his new boat, and couldn’t stop smiling. He must have doing ok because he had fewer capsizes than me. Simon was looking very comfortable, and even managed to show off by waving at the camera as he surfed past.
After a couple of hours of play aching muscles suggested that maybe it was time to call it quits. Unfortunately, while we had been having fun the wind had pushed us quite far down the beach, so we had a stiff paddle to get back to the launching spot. Deciding to catch one last wave back to the beach, we waited patiently for a good looking wave, and were rewarded with an excellent one, and had a good run in. This wave however was not so well behaved, and promptly broke right on top of me, tumbling me over a few times, knocking the breath out of me and wrenching the paddle out of one hand. Choosing discretion over valour, I did a wet exit and had the walk of shame back to the beach while the others watched, having made it back to the beach with their kayaks.
We retired to the nearest bakery for the customary pie and de-brief, and all agreed that it was an excellent day!