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Monday, 06 July 2020
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More crazy July

10ft at 10 seconds on the East coast with wind and sun in July is definitely a weird one (and remember that 5ft at 10 up here is like 10ft at 12 in cornwall). Secret spots that only light up twice a year on big Northerly storms coming to life and tempting pro surfers up from Newquay AND going home with sunburn.... WTF!

To be honest, we had such a skunking conditions wise that I'm surprised Phil and Dave are still talking to me, thinking about it, maybe their mobile reception on the way home wasn't so bad :O
In my defence, I did say 'If you want to go windsurfing for 2 days, go to Fraisethorpe. If you want to drive round for 2 days on the off chance of scoring something better, I'm going Northumberland..'

I've been up there a few times now, so I had the tag of supposedly knowing the spots, but Northumberland doesn't give up her secrets easily. There's so many reefs and beaches, that it's hard to know where to start, and they're all tide dependant and a bit fickle. To check a bay properly can take 40mins (you always need to wait for a set which could be 20minutes..), do 8 spots and there's the day gone, and you can still miss the hidden gems.
Luckily we had three teams. Phill and Dave Horrocks, Izzy and me, and George Bevan and his Dad along for some bodyboarding. We drove all the way from Newcastle (well Bangor and Leicester originally) taking it in turns to check every spot along the way, all getting the thumbs down, and ended up in Scotland (well I did anyway, with a quick check of Burnmouth and Coldingham)


Whitburn Reefs



Whitburn perhaps looked the best, but that was a long way back. Phill and Dave had felt Boulmer to be the best, so that's where we headed. We really were over all the driving and just wanted to get in the water. Fortunately this looked pretty epic...


Windy 5.0 weather, logo high waves, a point break and sunshine!
and a horrendous 10knot drift....


We didn't make it out. If we had, we'd have been 2 miles down the coast anyway. B*gger.

We figured the final plan of attack was to get out the wind in a sheltered bay and go surfing, so we headed round to Alnmouth. It was a fun evening, overhead peelers, light offshore, surfed and SUP'd 'til dark. I now have a new found respect for SUP. I tried it on the pond and found it stupidly easy and boring, but on the sea in a swell on a small board.. rediculously difficult. I'll stick to surfing thanks!

B&B and a curry and that was it for Saturday.


We were due for the swell to peak at a proper 10ft and to coincide with the best wind in the morning, we were tempted to bail and head back for Fraisethorpe (where Timo had driven to from Poole leaving at 2am!! waking us up at 8am to tell us the eyeball..) But we decided to stick it out and take our chances (the wind was due to drop by 1pm anyway and it was already pretty light when we woke)

We decided our best chance for a sail without driving was at Beadn*ll Bay, and it looked pretty epic. 5.0 or 5.3 was the dilema, we went 5.3 and still neither of us got going as the wind rapidly disappeared. George meanwhile was out at a shallow reef scoring empty waves on his bodyboard. I gave up on the sailing and went in to join him, followed by Phill on his SUP (which was pretty crazy as the wave was jacking up and breaking onto a rock shelf and about 2ft deep).

Goerge scores whilst Phill and I wobble out back.

Things started to shape up as it got shallower and hollower, the waves got longer and bigger. We had Dave set up with the camera on the point and that's when both the batteries ran out. I caught my wave of the day and thought we were scoring an absolute epic to ourselves. 10 minutes later (about the time it takes to chuck a wetsuit on and wax your board) and we're joined by 3 locals and 2 Pro's (Johnny Fry*r and Oli Ad*ms) to suddenly make this the busiest day in Northumberland ever. I'm a total BELL for not charging the batteries, or getting out the GoPro 'cos the action was sick with barrels and airs from two of Britains best surfers (JF was champ 2 yrs back). The dropping swell and tide meant it didn't last forever, so we were on the search again.

Nothing really looked that great. The swell was rapidly disappearing as it often does on the East coast and it seemed like we were now getting bit of a seabreeze due to the scorching sunshine -not windsurf wind but enough of an onshore to blow the surf out everywhere..


But I'm sure glad we had a good snoop round.

rubbish pic from iphone.

And this one too.


So not such a bad weekend afterall. As always the drive round and hiking was worth it, and although we didn't score any windsurfing this time, we now know for next time. Just as I'd almost written off Northumberland for never delivering and being too temperamental, we're thrown a bone or two.

Moo Custom
Hot Sails Maui
K4 Fins





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