Sunday, 9 September 2007

Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how

Listening to: Rock and Roll Music (Chuck Berry)
Reading: The American West (Dee Brown)

Yesterday was pretty damned good. I gave myself the day off, partly to recover from the fuzzy feeling in my head after a bucketload of Dark Island the previous evening, but also to enjoy the company of my wife's brother and his wife who are visiting.

Brother-in-law, having ignored advice and got stuck into the 12-year-old Highland Park, was in a poor state and we spent much of the morning stumbling around, bumping into each other, groaning pitifully.

An hour or so's dog-walking revived spirits and the appearance of the sun in the sky - a rare occurrence here recently - persuaded us that a beach outing was in order.

Wetsuits, boards and Owen the spaniel/collie cross were thrown into the back of Lennox the Land Rover Discovery and we set off for Grobust beach on the north of the island, the only beach that supports a regularly surfable wave. It's no Hawaii, or even Newquay, but it's fun and you have the place to yourself.

Well, not quite. We wriggled into wetsuits, pulled on hoods and gloves, alerted the coastguard and staggered down to the water's edge.

The wave was a bit sloppy for any serious surfing, but it's hard not to have fun in the water and the arrival of some local wildlife made it a day to remember.

We'd been in about 10 minutes when I realised there were four heads in the water - me, Mart, Kath and a grey seal keeping a close eye on us from about five or six yards.

Seals, of course, are not an uncommon sight around the island, but it's rare to come into such close contact. We carried on splashing about for half-an-hour while the seal hovered around, occasionally dipping below the surface or catching a wave.

Kath, enjoying her first time in a wetsuit, was captivated and was still in the water as Mart and I trudged back to the car.

By the time we had towelled down and I had realised I had forgotten to bring my boxers, a couple of other seals had arrived, one hauling out onto the beach. I'm sure that once I've been here a while, such encounters will be commonplace, but for now I'm happy to act like a tourist.


TG said...

Wow, don't know which is more amazing, the seal or mom in the water.

Malc said...

Oh dear! Someone's in big trouble now. Bed with no dinner for you, young Thomas.

I, like the view said...

ooh! I love surfing! and the Beach Boys! and seals! (sorry, getting carried away with the punctuation)

I used to want to go off and live in a croft on the Outer Hebrides - sadly real life got in the way

hope you're having fun

I, like the view said...

(is it really only two o'clock where you are?)(do you ever see the Northern Lights?)(what do your pigs eat?)(do you eat the pigs?)(sorry, getting carried away with curiosity now)

Malc said...

Blimey ILTV, more questions than my mother after a couple of dry sherries. Let's think. . . ignore the timezone thing - I think I'm on Samoan time. We haven't been here for the Northern Lights (Novemberish) but Northern Light is an excellent pale ale brewed by the Orkney Brewery. The pigs will eat specially made pig food (a mix of cereals). And yes, we will eat the pigs.

Malc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TG said...

Curious now, what comment did you delete.

Just heard they found more foot & mouth, hope this doesn't affect you further.

Get Well Soon Ray.

Malc said...

I messed up and put the same comment on twice.

The pigs will be able to vote by the time they get here at this rate.