Hang Ten Atlantic

We were in England last June. It was a different kind of a trip because my kids were along this time and I wanted it to have a bit more activity than simply visiting the relatives and seeing old things. One of the things I planned was surfing. My son, Tristan, 16, was very gung ho about the whole thing so I signed him up for lessons. I know, kind of unusual thing to plan in to do in England.

As the story continues, we made the arrangements but the date was cancelled because the “waves weren’t big enough” that morning. They said check back tomorrow. So we decided to go look for something else to do instead.

We were free for the whole afternoon so I took a chance and did a search on the Garmin for castles. Up came “Lynfield Castle” that wasn’t too far away. It was only 40 or so miles, that was alright, we had all afternoon. My dad was game, and of course we were, and more of course, I was!

We drove, and drove and drove. The roads we were taken down! The hedges were so huge on some of the roads it was claustrophobic! I had terrible premonitions of other vehicles coming the other direction, but strangely one never did!

Finally after driving for a good hour we arrived in Lynfield. I pealed my fingers from the dash and got out. Lynfield was a pub, a few houses, a church and the “castle”. Which wasn’t a castle at all, it was a first century prison!

Now the surfing story begins. We headed down to the beach and stopped at the lessons place, they said the waves were good today. After Tristan got his full body wet suit on he headed out. We noticed we could tell him apart from the other surfer students because he was the only one with his shirt on backwards.

While we were hanging around the surfing shop, Allison, 10, decided that she would like to try. After much discouragement, (from me) she decided on body board surfing instead. She got into her full wet suit.

Out to the beach we went. The waves were crashing that day. The weather was very cold for those of us not in wet suits, us being my dad and I. We watched as Tristan had his lesson. He seemed to be getting pretty good form there on the beach.

After a half an hour or so of lessons they headed into the water where the “form” that had been attained on the beach turned into a bunch of scrambled arms and legs. Occasionally his head would pop up above the froth of the waves, but none the less it was not a pretty site. Tristan continued on though. Taking his board and walking out to the break, waiting for a wave, hoisting himself up effortlessly and falling. His new nickname is now “hang four”.

So after watching Tristan for 10 minutes, Allison finally decided it was her turn to try. I attached the strap of the body board and off she went crashing into the waves. She seemed to be having a hard time of it. The waves kept throwing her all over the place and the board kept hitting her in the head! This went on for a few more minutes until I got a tap on my shoulder from the life guard. He said,” The strap is supposed to attach to her ankle, not her wrist!”

We fixed it to the correct limb and it was sort of better. Allison doesn’t have much patience, especially when it’s something new she’s learning. She kept at it though.

She was supposed to stay between the two tall flags located on the beach. The only problem was she kept moving further into the flagged area designated for surfing only, not body boarding. After yelling and waving our arms a lot to get her attention didn’t do any good, I waded out up to my knees trying to get her to pay attention to the flags. Finally, the lifeguard gave up too and flipped on his lights and sirens. That got her attention. She got over to her side, flipped the body board over and it hit her in the head again. We are always on pins needles with Allison’s temper; it has been a terrible thing in the past. And today was no different. She stomped out of the water and up on the beach slamming the board down with a “Damn board”. It had to be bad, she’s only 10 and not allowed to swear! I didn’t even say anything. I was just glad I didn’t have to pick up any body board pieces!

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