Newquay surf and seals

Fistral Beach, Newquay, North Cornwall. Earlier on this day in 2007, I’d managed to launch out through clean 6-8 foot surf but (encountering steep 15-20 foot swell offshore) quickly realised that I was some distance out of my comfort zone. The problem was…now I was out there, how was I going to get back in?

I saved by bacon by working my way inshore to land at Newquay Harbour, which is tucked well away from the incoming swell, protected by Towan Head. There was still some surf here, though. I met a collection of fishing boats out back, waiting for the tide to rise enough to reduce the force of the surf break and give them a clean run at the harbour entrance. After advice from the fishermen, I decided to give it a try; whilst there was still enough surf here to keep me awake, all went to plan. On my final surf into the harbour entrance, I was joined on the wave face by a bodysurfing grey seal. I hadn’t seen that coming…

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