© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_nz_raglan_01

New Zealand – Raglan – 21st November

Helen has surfed once before but Dave never has, so today was the day to find out if we would be able to actually stand up whilst surfing a wave. The weather looked half decent with no rain so we booked ourselves onto the morning lesson which would start at 8.30am at the Raglan Surfing School located at the Karioi Lodge where we spent the night in the van.

Upon meeting with Al, our Newquay UK instructor, we started with the basics on dry land. The four step technique to get us riding those waves. A short van drive to the ocean and we donned our slightly damp wetsuits in the blustery gales on the beach front. With boards in hand and a final practice on the safety of land we headed in. Dave’s first attempt with Al aiming the board in the right direction, was actually pretty good with almost a full stand! But then it was a downward spiral of massive mouth-falls of salt water and plenty of wipeouts! The waves continued to crash in and their frequency was pretty intense. Helen found the cold a bit of a battle with numb feet and shivering knees but with Al’s guidance got up a few times onto her feet and surfed. We were all wiped out on the so-called team waves, but it was again a good laugh all round. Helen was a little disappointed not to have had more confidence but alas this was the first lesson and the sun didn’t even come out to help us along.

After nearly an hour and a half we headed in-shore for cold showers and waited for our mini-bus back to our digs. We are both looking forward to hiring some boards in the future to try and replicate what we have learned. After hot showers and some mighty baked beans and spaghetti in tomato sauce (a whole can of each shared between us) on toast we set off for a return to Hamilton via Raglan town centre to get the van its 10,000km annual service and ready for further southbound travels. Our camp site for the night in Hamilton was the Glenview Club, a donation only camp site located in the car-park of the club. It’s basically a social working mans club with onsite betting, machine based gambling, bar, grass bowls and we even got some free cups of tea. For cheap camping in a van its well worth checking out.

Not many photos as it was a miserable day and as we were surfing we were pre-occupied with standing on the surf board rather than taking photos!

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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