Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Saturday morning SUP

This weekend I made the most of a sunny moment in the British summer to go stand up paddle boarding (SUP). There's a new surf hire place on Branksome beach called Shaka Surf which I've passed by a few times just waiting for the right conditions to get out on the water.

Saturday morning's forecast was good all week, and when I woke up the sun was already up and shining through a cloudless Dorset sky. We zipped down to the beach just a mile away and within minutes I was out on the water as Mark relaxed on the shoreline with a book.

It was my first time paddle boarding solo, but it was an amazing feeling. The slight breeze kept me on my knees as I paddled out towards the large yellow buoys which dotted the beach. It's surprising how much of a good workout paddling is, especially for the arms and core as they fight to stabilise yourself. I was certainly working off the BBQ and beers we enjoyed the night before!

As I rounded the first buoy I glanced down, and to my surprise found that in the green water loads of large white jellyfish were swimming beneath me. Not just one or two, but a consistent stream, and enough to put me off practicing my stood-up paddling skills for fear of falling in. Jelly fish are not my friends.

Instead I decided to relax for a few minutes, and laid down flat on my board briefly closing my eyes and enjoying the gentle rocking of the ocean as a jet-ski zipped past and a vintage airplane flew above en route to the air show.

Riding the wind to the next buoy I was amazed at the number of jelly fish, all appearing out of the green sea like mysterious marshmallows and passing me by without a care in the world. Excitedly, I wondered if I might see a turtle - apparently they've been spotted off the Dorset coast, attracted by the jellyfish which they eat.

Before I knew it I was getting the signal it was nearly time to go, and I practiced my paddling in the jelly fish free safety of the shallows, before we headed home.

What a way to spend a morning!