HangoverIt is the morning after the night before and I feel rough as dogs, but have already arranged to go surfing for the first time in Australia at the crack of dawn having only got in from my Lions 1st test a matter of hours before.

Safe to say I have felt better!

Duke StatueAnother ex-pat surfer called Richard who knows my buddies is kind enough to come and collect me, as well as put up with the alcohol seeping out of every pore of my body!

After a few quick surf checks at other local beaches, he drives us to Freshwater Beach, which rather appropriately is where Duke Kahanamoku gave his first demonstration of surfing in Australia that ultimately led to the explosion of surf activity here.

This statue of the Duke has been erected here to commemorate the occasion, and he casts a watchful eye over my own efforts when I paddle out having given my board a coat of cool-to-warm water wax.

Freshwater-beachI was in no state to be attaching cameras to my board and don’t think I would want evidence of how I started the session anyway so you will have to make do with this photo I found online. It is warmer than New Zealand, but not by much and I am having a bit of a shocker when I first paddle in with the guys.

Ben and Chris are also in the water after the night in the pub, and we are joined by another Brit called Keith.

choppy-waterFreshwater is not that big a beach any the swell is far from clean. It seemed to be bouncing off the cliffs on both sides of the bay, and it was further chopped up by some currents which I never really figured out. Not the best surf session of my life but I did end up bagging a cracker with all the guys watching, which at least demonstrated that all this surfing has done me some good.

Nobody stays in for long and I had decided to get out before I got absolutely hammered on the way in. The backwash off the shore pitched me and my board into the air only to then have the wave land very badly on both. I still think it a miracle that I didn’t snap my board on my first session, but all was well as I crawled out of the ocean and went back to bed!

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