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Porthleven

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'A Harbour Affair' Carve Magazine 185

'The winter sun dips beneath a solitary cloud. The temperature drops. I pause against the retaining wall that separates the flashy cliffside houses from the south-western approach to the harbour. The granite is warm to the touch. Leaning in, I watch a silhouetted figure paddle from behind the tight pack; finding that invisible, but ever-present west-wedge energy that is key to unlocking the peak. Rail engaged on take-off, he drives through one, then two sections. My hoot coincides with the suns re-emergence low on the horizon line. The wave now illuminated in a hue of pale straw and russet gold, begins to straighten, before turning square. On the inside ledge, the surfer bleeds off the unbridled speed and hooks into the draining inside section. The invincible summer within us will never die. '

Carve Issue 185 ' A Harbour Affair'. A pleasant (and rare) surprise to have my surfing included in one of the spreads - thanks to talented water photographer Mike Lacey for sharing a moment in this Biscay Beauty with me.

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Carve Magazine December 2016

PorthlevenCarveMag

I grew up near Callington in South East Cornwall. Like a lot of Cornish towns, Callington used to be a mining town - Nowadays it is notable for being home to the beige culinary delight that is the Ginsters Pasty and for also being about as far from the coast as is possible in this peninsula of a county.


My mates at school used to dream about being old enough to run amok through Union Street at night, chasing the saccharine buzz of Barcadi Breezers and pursuing the elusive Plymouthian maid. I also used to dream about becoming a surfer.


Intently poring over and escaping into the articles in surf magazines; listening deep as my Dad regaled stories of him and his friends surfing hollow waves like Porthleven in the West of the county and big waves like Milook in the North. We would load up the car with surf gear every weekend and when the spring started to win-the-war over the winter we would go after school too (my dad being a teacher at the time). You could find me scrapping around every lineup from Tregantle to Sennen - styling in my ill-fitting, blue and beige Gul winter suit.


It is why that when I look at this shot of myself surfing at Porthleven, back in November (shot by @amysmithphotography) featured in the latest issue of Carve Magazine I am proud to see a surfer stare back at me. The same kind of surfer that I used to read about and heard my Dad talk about.


I say this not in a ego-driven, self-congratulatory way but in rather more humble manner - the accomplished satisfaction of perseverance . It doesn’t matter where you grow up or how much natural talent you possess, it is always worth working hard for the things you are passionate about. But hey, what do I know - I’m only a surfer after all.

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Facing Angus

Porthleven is the only southwest facing fishing harbour in Cornwall, as a result it receives the occasional drubbing from the prevailing Atlantic. Last weekend, the first named storm of the winter season 'Angus' ripped up the English Channel and consequently announced its presence at the baulkheads of Porthleven Harbour. Why the personification of storms through the allocation of a name is now deemed neccessary, I'm not so sure. However I do know that when you sit out there on a piece of foam, see a growing slate-grey wall swing south into the harbour reef and put your head down - a certain magic can happen. Call it Angus or just plain good fortune.

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