Twenty months or so after our last Saturday morning gathering we were finally able to get together, reconnect with our junior surfers and get Kids Club 2021 on the road. It was a chilly, misty morning, which may have been a disincentive to some, but those who got to the beach for the session had some peachy low-tide waves to work with and an enthusiastic bunch of coaches and parents to cheer them on. It was great to welcome back some familiar faces and equally to greet some new members and introduce them to the delights of surfing. The pictures below have a flavour of what went down on the morning.
Here is a sight you may have encountered when walking a local beach. This seal is alive but well up the beach beyond the tideline. On finding a ‘stranded’ seal you may wonder if there is anything you should do to ‘help’, or if there is someone you should contact about the animal on the beach.
Below, I have copied the information provided on the website of British Divers Marine Life Rescue – the body who respond to calls about creatures stranded or in distress around our coastline. This explains a few checks you can make visually to assess the situation from a distance, and also gives their helpline phone number if you feel you should call and alert them to the situation. Remember the advice below and put this number in your phone in case you need to make that call.
If you find a seal on a beach, watch it from a distance. Do not approach the animal. Seals regularly haul out on our coasts – it is part of their normal behaviour and, in fact, they spend more time out of the water, digesting their food and resting than in it. Therefore, finding a seal on the beach does not mean there is necessarily a problem and do not chase it into the sea as this may stop it from doing what it needs to do – rest. A healthy seal should be left alone.
Do not approach a seal, or allow children or dogs near it. Seals are wild animals and although they look cute, they will defend themselves aggressively if necessary.
After stormy weather and / or high tides, seals will haul out on beaches to rest and regain their strength. Many do not need first aid, but we will always try to find someone to check them out just in case.
However, if there is a problem, there are a number of things you may see:
- Abandoned: If you see a seal with a white, long-haired coat in the autumn/winter, or you see a small seal (less than a metre (three feet) in length) alone between June and August, then it is probably still suckling from its mother. Check the sea regularly for any sign of an adult seal.
- Thin: Signs of malnutrition include visible ribs, hips and neck and perhaps a rather baggy, wrinkled skin.
- Sick: Signs of ill health include: coughing, sneezing or noisy, rapid breathing and possibly thick mucus coming from the nose, wounds or swellings, particularly on flippers, cloudy eyes, or thick mucus around them, or possibly one eye kept closed most of the time. A seal showing little response to any disturbance going on around it (although remember they could be soundly asleep) could also be a sign of ill health.
- Entanglement: Seals are susceptible to being entangled in fishing gear and other debris. heavy commercial gear will be obvious, but monofilament nets and line is hard to see, but could be caught around the neck, flippers and body. Sometimes seals can have nasty wounds due to fishing gear and marine debris cutting into their bodies.
If you see a seal that may be abandoned, thin, ill or injured, then call for advice and assistance:
Well, at the conclusion of the season which simply didn’t happen due to Covid-19, we gathered on Christmas Day morning to remind ourselves that we are a club and that we will celebrate our togetherness in keeping the tradition going in these straightened times. A strong onshore Northerly welcomed our surfing contingent. Those dry-shod supporters at the waters’ edge were well-wrapped against the wind and in good spirits!
As always, my apologies for those participants whose image is not recorded in my pictures – mainly the score or so higher up the beach, but also maybe a surfer or two who evaded my lens. Here’s hoping we will all be back on Christmas Day 2021 with the plague firmly behind us!
Happy New Year to all saints boardriders and our supporters!
We came together for the final kids Club of the season last Saturday to celebrate another successful campaign, gauge our progress and give the Dolphins a chance to show off their competitive streak and give just one girl and one boy the chance to claim the title ‘Champion 2019″. The younger groups took to the water for a last coaching session of the summer, impressing us with their confident skills, and maybe hoping to catch the coach’s eye and claim an award too.
Meanwhile, further along the beach, the girls competition was underway, studied from the balcony of the clubhouse by our judging panel led by Minnow Green of Surfing Great Britain. The first semi final was distinguished by Senara’s bomb of a ride from a heavy take off out back right in to the beach where her big smile told us she was rightly pleased with herself!
The girls finalists grace our banner picture and they put on a great show. It was a close affair throughout and the last few minutes were a mad scramble to get that one outstanding wave that could put the event beyond doubt.
Next up, the boys final found the conditions somewhat messier as the tide dropped out and required a quick reassessment of tactics to find the best scoring waves.
Ollie stuck to the timeworn strategy of looking for the bombs from out back to nail the heat. Tim and Caz varied their attacks between the big green stuff and the inside reformed waves. Teddy had a quick look out back and decided to come inside and let his quick surfing and nimble turns do his talking.
At the final hooter we all repaired to the clubhouse to learn who had won the trophies for 2019. Surfer of the Summer, Most Improved and Most Committed were the categories for the younger groups and our chairman, Steve had the privilege of awarding them to the surfers selected by their coaches.
Minnow then took the floor to enthuse members with his report of the recent ISA World Surfing games in Japan, which will also host the inaugural Olympic surfing competition.
He then had the honour of asking the girls finalists to come back to the centre stage to receive their trophies. Last up, and thus our champion for 2019 was Eleanor! All three judges had her just a half point better than Senara in the final. Then the nervous wait was over for the boys and they could learn their result. Teddy was last to be called this time, earning a just reward for a summer spent doing little else but catching waves. Well done to all our competitors! It was a pleasure to witness the skill, endeavour and sportsmanship on display out there.
Our thanks are due to Minnow, Neil, Jack and Eve for judging the event, and to Porthmeor Beach for feeding the competitors on the day. More generally, we are indebted as always to St. Ives Surf School whose coaches lead our sessions every Saturday, to Porthmeor Beach lifeguards for their unstinting support and to Porthmeor Beach management for the nourishment and welcome we find there every time. Parents and helpers are also an invaluable resource to the club and praise is due to them too!
And I end with the welcome news that the 2019 Surfers Ball is just around the corner on 25th October. Tickets are on sale now at the clubhouse or at Tregenna Castle, price £30. Small Wonder headline this year’s entertainment, along with DJ Chewy, Tom Quirke’s jazz in the lobby, roulette and blackjack in the casino, those red carpet photos and a photo booth, the big ticket auction and, of course, a sumptuous meal into the bargain. Let’s get dressed up and come out to play!
Once again we were welcomed to a sweet September morning, as captioned to our blog last week! Seventy plus kids turned up to enjoy the fruits of this late-season swell. Today’s banner picture shows the Dolphins group and some of our coaches about to hit the water for their session – I hope you weren’t led to the site expecting to see their cetacean cousins as they don’t appear this week! There are dolphins and some surfers belonging to other fishy-named groups in our gallery below.
So we move into the final month of the Kids Club season and September brings a very surfable wave on a blustery Saturday morning. As so often this summer, conditions were favourable for our most advanced surfers, the Dolphins, and there were twenty of them checked in for the ride! Conversely, the second session saw the tide filling in rapidly and the Nemos found themselves bodyboarding in deepening water instead of the Swelly rides they might have expected. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all as evidenced below. Our banner picture today has instructor Burger resolving his choice of craft mid-ride after initial indecision. Or something like that!
Well, we are suddenly blessed with some swell, and while it brings a few problems of rips and washes for the most junior surfers on the inside, the guys out back are having their fill of some meaty waves. Here’s a flavour of the morning:
The first weekend of the school summer holiday! We can’t remember if it’s ever rained here, we have a welcoming wave at Porthmeor, all is truly sitting right in this world. There was another good turnout of eager surfers, some of whom can be seen doing their thing below. And here’s hoping that summer vibe goes on and on and…
Coach John posted an advisory on our Facebook page on Friday evening that conditions for Saturday club could be tricky with a forecast of strong onshore winds bringing choppy steep waves. Some of our youngest novices heeded the advice and gave the session a miss, but we still had over 70 kids tackling the waves on the day. The Dolphins, in particular, had a good workout and are well featured in our gallery of the day. There’s also a bonus picture showing St. Ives surfer Joe Greenaway’s new mural for Foxholes At West, just completed for the weekend. Enjoy!
It has been an on – off start to the summer season for the Kids Club as the tides have caused a few blank Saturdays in the calendar so far. Then when we did get a favourable morning, the waves were offering only a little help when we got in the water. However, there were over 80 eager beavers jumping in and making the best of the conditions. Here’s how.
Here’s hoping for bigger waves at the next session!