‘Opening my laptop, my face becomes illuminated by a bluish halo of LED light. My eyes groggily adjust to the contrast between the starkly artificial light and the hesitant dawn struggling to break free of the south-eastern horizon from my house overlooking Mounts Bay in West Cornwall.
One click of the bookmark and I am there. Diligently scanning two columns of a table that reads at hourly intervals back to the 1960s. I don’t need to read between the lines. Wave height and wave periods begin to talk to me. An upward trajectory that is anything but fake news.
I know we are on.
Despite possessing a mind that isn’t particularly scientifically inclined, I understand that the hard facts of the buoy readings don’t lie. They don’t flock together in packs like us, they don’t rely on your board choice, your fitness or even your timings. They just are. Wave height and wave period. Every hour. Ad infinitum.
For many surfers situated in the southwest of the U.K, the process I have described here will form part of their amateur meteorological efforts to forecast and ascertain conditions at their local beach. Most will rely on the specific wave-buoy readings of the Seven Stones ‘lightship’ situated 15 miles to the WNW of Lands End; open to the full westerly exposure of the Atlantic from the north to the south. In its own way the Seven Stones lightship and associated wave height readings have become a metronome to many a Cornish surfing life. Charting the rise and fall of every bump of ocean that journeys it way across the Atlantic to this little corner of world we call home.’