Sunday, September 23, 2007

Whitstable Windsurfing

Whitstable Windsurfing

It’s Sunday, and we’re going down to my family’s house in Whitstable, down on the coast, about an hour and a half by train. There are engineering works at Victoria today so our train runs from Blackfriars, which I discover five minutes before leaving the house, so we cut it fine, but not as much as Pippi who arrives two minutes after the train leaves. Luckily, being a British train, it leaves late so we catch it! Hurrah!

Whitstable is a small fishing town out at the edge of the Thames estuary. It also occasionally hosts world powerboat championships and sailing competitions. My family actually live in Seasalter, a village around the bay to the west of Whitstable itself. It’s a beautiful spot.

As we drive slowly along the road, Dad points out my brothers who are out windsurfing at the moment.

The house

He asks when I last tried. Hmmm, been a while. Well we’ll have to change that.

So it is, after lunch and a beer, Pippi and Thuzar enjoy the big trampoline in the front whilst I’m kitted out with Lewis’ wetsuit, which is definitely a few sizes to small for me. Now tight is one thing, but severely restricting the blood flow to the head just after eating and drinking, and just before going out to do strenuous exercise in choppy and deep water, is surely not a sensible thing?!

Anyway, in we go. The wind is really gusty in shore, and blowing a gale further out. Ideal beginner conditions. After a few abortive attempts, I beach start, and get a few metres out before I’m in the water!

And I’m off..

And I’m off!

I then to Hedgy’s amazement manage to water start, but the glory is short-lived. I don’t manage much more before I’ve drifted to the end of the beach, and am starting to get extremely tired, especially in my hands.

Those who know what they’re doing

Windsurfing reaches those muscles you don’t use often, or in my case probably don’t actually have full stop. I drag the board and sail back up to our beach, before heading in for a hot shower.

Good Private Eye cover

Dinner cooked by Dad is delicious, especially pudding, which is served out in somewhat generous portions!

With some decent wine and more beer, it’s not long before we’re dozing off!

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