The Winter Lowe Down
It has been a little while since we heard from Tom so we though it would be good to get an update… and since it has been over 2 months since settling into his Irish groove again, he wrote us a little letter, or an electronic letter otherwise know as an email, and attached some pictures (thanks to Mickey Smith)- isn’t technology great?
Being open to the full force of the Atlantic weather systems means it consists mostly of wind and rain. Lots of rain, some more wind, big waves and more rain! Haha! Not that it ever bothers me too much. Growing up in West Cornwall, you get used to the constant battering, it’s the raw nature that I love about this place. The rare moments of quiet and calm contrasted with the crazy weather is inspiring. A perfect nest while I wait for the beast Mullaghmore to awaken.
So far it’s been a hell of a season. Up until three days ago the weather patterns have been incredible sending swell after swell. I’ve lost count of the big sessions under the Cliffs of Moher (Alieens) and Rileys. But as I sit here writing this, there’s a huge low pressure over us, it’s blowing 40 knots and hasn’t stopped raining for 3 days! The season is a strange headspace to be in. Checking the weather charts every 5 hours. Waiting for conditions to line up. Mentally preparing for the 4 hour drive to Mullaghmore before paddling out into 30 feet seas.
That’s winter in Ireland, unpredictable, unreliable, but incredible when the elements align. You have to live here to score it good. No where else in the world is so unpredictable or so rewarding. A day in my life would be something like, wake up at 7am, small breakie, coffee of course, while checking over every weather map from the northern hemisphere. Then surf depending, either head out for a small wave SUP session, a longboard, or a surf, followed by the gym or spearfishing for dinner. If the elements have lined up and we are heading for an XXL day, then it’s yoga, yoga, breath training and more yoga.
The life of an XXL surfer is a pretty simple existence but it needs to be. You need to be able to drop and go when the swell comes. Sometimes we only get 24 hours notice to get to the other side of the world and we have to make that window. You can’t prepare for an XXL swell in a day, it takes years. What you can do is get your 10’6 quiver of surfboards from Lahinch to Half Moon Bay (California), sort out a place to stay, paddle out and get the wave.
I truly do love my job and feel blessed to have this opportunity. It does sound idyllic but and it is but it is not with its issues and I do get cheesed off when people tell me, “I’ve got it easy, and they wish they had the opportunities I do”. I made my opportunities happen with hard work, love and dedication.
Rant over, and my plans for the rest of the day and the rest of the season, are to check the charts, to chase swells to Mullaghmore, surf Alieens when she’s on and fingers crossed El Nino kicks in proper and I get onto a few Mavericks or Jaws sessions.