As you will have seen from some of my previous posts, Clare and I upped the levels of stoke this summer. Despite working long hours during the peak season down here in Cornwall, we always managed to find the time to get in the ocean. We've had our fair share of early rises before a long ass shift or a quick power surf post-work catching the last of the day's waves before the sunset, all to wipe away the stresses of the day in an attempt to make us feel human again!
Surfing with a friend who has endless amounts of stoke, no matter what the surf is like, is really what you need to keep you sane and stoked in such a busy time of the year! Surfing with your best girl-friends can be a lifesaver! You just go out there, massive smiles on your faces, happy as can be all to be in the water amongst the clear blue, cheering each other into bombs and screaming at each other in surprise and utter joy when you realise you have actually survived those bombs!
After our failed attempts of surf photography (see previous posts), we lucked out big time when Clare's colleague, chef at Gilmore's and incredibly talented photographer Chris Hall said he was up for going for a surf and taking photos from the water. We were like "HELL YEAH CHRIS!" as this was the perfect opportunity to get a sick surf in without worrying about who's going to hold the camera whilst freezing your ass off and impatiently waiting for the other person to get bored of surfing and change over (which, surprisingly enough, never happened!)
Our first surf with Chris was at a tiny tiny evening at Penhale where Clare and I brought along our shortboards to a longboard showdown. Needless to say, we struggled to catch the tiddlers that rolled in every now and again, but Chris' shots of the girls and guys doing their thing on their longboards proved just how talented a photographer he is!
After that session, we vowed to go in together when there was actually some swell (and fun waves bigger than a foot tall) to be had!
A few weeks down the line, the wave gods eventually delivered the goods and we were graced with a sizey solid swell. Pumped with nerves and excitement we rounded the troops (myself, Clare, Matty and Alice) and made tracks for a surf at North Watergate where we met Chris in the car park.
We all had an epic surf, countless waves between all of us. Despite the fact there were quite a few others out there, we didn't let that bother us. The waves were too damn fun and besides, there were plenty of waves to go around for everyone out there.
That first session proved to be a super fun one and Chris' photos captured it all perfectly; so crisp and clear, complete with stunning Cornish cliffs and moody grey skies in the background. Seeing the photos a few days later just made me fall in love with Cornwall all over again. The contrast of the rich green water and the crumbling cliffs just epitomises the beauty of Cornwall's natural rugged beauty.
The swell stuck around for a few days, and the sun decided to show itself later on in the week. With the late evenings and 10pm sunsets going strong, we all grouped together for another incredible evening session post-work. This time Clare and I were armed and dressed in our trusty NEON shorty suits to enjoy every last drop of sunshine on our skin. It wasn't super hot, but the freedom and manoeuvrability a shorty suit gives you lets you keep on paddling for hours and hours without the restriction of all that extra neoprene.
The waves and the sunshine combined to deliver the goods! what was even more special was that this was the night before my birthday, so we really brought in the birthday treats early!
The sunset morphed into a sublime array of colours, ultimately setting the ocean and sky on fire! We danced on the surface of the water, lapping up this incredible feeling for as long as we could. We bathed in the sunlight and enjoyed some of the best waves we shared all summer.
The waves just kept on coming and so we surfed, laughed and paddled around like mad lunatics until the sun had set and the realisation that I was wearing a shorty suit settled in, or rather, the shivers from the cooling end of summer breeze settled in.
We all sat stunned as the sun set on the burning horizon, illuminating every smiling face out in the line up. It filled my heart with sheer, utter joy, warmth and a sense of belonging to this magical place I'm lucky enough to call home.
I am so grateful to Chris for capturing these incredible moments of our summer. They are moments that I fortunately, will never be able to forget and will always think back to when I remember summers in Cornwall.
Needless to say, after a change into warmer clothes in the car park, fingers and toes now suitably numb from that cool evening breeze, we made tracks for the pub for a cold crisp bev to perfectly top off an incredible evening. Also, not forgetting to bring in my birthday in style!
Here's to sharing surfs and sunsets with amazing friends, and for talented photographers such as Chris who never let us forget those incredible moments of happiness! CLINK CLINK, CHEERS CORNWALL YOU BEAUTY!