Even England would have been proud of the rain and wind that Australia had pulled out of the bag that morning.
When I was asked to go surfing for work I thought, “that’s pretty cool”. However, at this particular moment, I am not particularly up for it. Brrr.
Thankfully, there’s nothing better than a bunch of crazy Aussies to lift the spirits.
I’ve met a few surfer types in my time and it seems that little problems like rain just bounce off them like, well, raindrops.
I’m convinced that if you chopped one of their arms off with a rusting saw in a very slow fashion, they would probably say, “don’t worry Bro, it’s all sweet as”.
For some annoying reason their positivity is infectious. If they say, “we’re going surfing and going to enjoy it”, that’s what we’ll all do.
Travelling the half-an-hour drive to Boat Harbour near Cronulla with instructors Joel and Rob and fellow surfer-girls Adriana and Bianca, I began to feel better.
Adriana, Bianca (who had formed a quick friendship based on a phobia of all things cold and wet) and I were joined by a group of gap yearers who had just arrived from the UK.
Rob proceeded to drive, Formula 1 stylee, over some pretty intimidating sand dunes. After being flung from side to side, top to bottom, of our truck the weather was no longer my primary concern. Would we even make it to the waves?
Shaken, but not stirred, we parked up and thanked the lord for both our survival, and the fact that it had stopped raining. Hallelujah!
But naughty Rob wasn’t about to cease his naughty behaviour. Oh no.
Now it was time to go on a sordid sortie around the surfboard.
Not one to shy away from the odd sexual in-your-end-oh myself, I was still amazed by his ability to make me feel awkward.
First, we stroked the sand in the manner one would stoke a woman (fingers together, no flapping). Then it was time to touch our breasts.
Rob insisted this was a necessity because of hand positioning. But we weren’t buying what he was selling. Next there was a bit of spooning on the way up to standing, and then when the practice was over, we were told to get into our rubbers – “‘cos every guy likes to wear a rubber”.
Bianca stole Rob’s not so comic crown when she retorted, “well, only some do”.
Whilst some guys may like wearing rubbers, none of us were over-keen on donning ours.
But despite a wet wetsuit, I was rip-roaringly ready to rock and roll!
Hard and Wet
The worst was over. The waves beckoned. Dragging my board to the ocean, I quickly remembered why I loved this game.
Although a wee bit rusty I still delighted in throwing myself hard down on that slippery, wet board… and then falling off. Ooooh yeah.
Standing up continued to elude me for a while so I practised different ways to fall off instead.
I was happy, but my chosen photographer Mark, not so much. He was struggling to capture that crucial photo of me upright on the board.
The pressure was on. With a glance at Mark and the camera pointed in my direction, I launched myself on a juicy-looking wave and managed to hold on for that all-important shot.
Phew. Finally there was proof I could surf (a little) and now I could focus on having fun.
Battling with the waves had never felt so good. And I felt particularly proud when the instructors stopped offering their help.
“You don’t need our help do you?”
“No, I don’t,” I replied, barely concealing my glee.
But those not as awesome as myself were given frequent pointers and pushes (onto the wave – not off the board).
The Last Laugh
After a lunch of sandwiches, crisps and biscuits we were back in the water.
My new mate Adriana and I were dogged to the very end, despite the waves becoming larger.
The sun had even started to break through the clouds and we ended our session all warm and fuzzy.
Time for the pub? Hell to the yeah.
Sipping our drinks in the sun and talking about our travels about Oz I was in jubilant spirit.
The weather had tried to dampen the experience, but failed.
Although I’m not going to lie, if the sun chooses to make an appearance next time, I won’t be doing any rain dances.
The damage & the details: full-day lessons with Waves Surf School (Freephone: 1800 851 101, www.wavessurfschool.com.au) cost $79.