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'Conquistadors of the Useless' Carve Issue 189

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'Behind me I can see waves wedging off down the beach and beyond. Miles into the haze more waves coming down towards me. I wonder what difference the walk makes? The same above, the same below. I walk nonetheless, past the numerous markers that me and Al have placed on the beach to mark choice sections and provide some sense of place on our frequent journeys down the stretch. A sand castle with a glass bottle perched on top, a craggy piece of driftwood where Al scored an epic bodysurf ride an afternoon ago.'

Excerpt from Al Mackinnon's and my adventures in 'Conquistadors of the Useless' featured in issue 189 of Carve Magazine. The title of the story is inspired by the mountaineering book of the same name by the great French Alpinist Lionel Terray. Those words have always spoke to me and this seemed like the perfect surfing foil, a discourse on the meaning of and search for perfection.

An honour to feature on the cover and have my words woven around Al's beautiful photography.

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The Surfers Journal 27.2 Field Notes 'A Paradise Breeze'

A true honour and joy to get a feature in the latest issue of 'The Surfers Journal'. Getting my words in the journal has been a goal of mine for a long time, so to see that dream hatch into reality is a special thing. 

The story details cyclones and roiling inequities in Fiji.

'With our escape route now closed, I hunkered down with the remaining staff as the tempest approached. I joined a band of strays on the tip of the island to meet the wind. A magenta sky bloomed in front of us. The gusts tacked north at sundown. The generator died. This was the turn of the paradise breeze, a dry equatorial gale, sinister and constant.'

 

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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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'An End and a Beginning' White Horses Magazine 23

Always a pleasure to get a run in the fine Australian surf publication 'White Horses'. This time about a journey to the end of the land at Cape Finisterre, NW Spain. Honoured to have Javier Munoz's (@pacotwo) photos accompany the finished story. 

Extract from 'An End and a Beginning':

'That evening, inspired by the mornings entertainment at the Cape, but mainly just full of verve from the quart of supermarket Rioja we had bought, we built a pyre on a deserted bay flanked by a rivermouth. We drank the wine, gathered drift wood and shouted at the wind, revelling in the freedom of an empty beach, safe free camp spot and a modest lefthander. We had journeyed to the end of the world that morning and having retraced our steps back to the crossroads, had decided to keep searching. Over the next hill, we had found a new ‘rias’ finishing and starting its journey too. In its wake, creating another wave worth surfing and another day worth living.

When we woke up, the tide had erased all the physical remains of the fire. But the hazy memory remained.'

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'Seat of Storms' Carve Magazine 183

‘Framed between pink sea thrift. A stiff easterly wind blowing your hair over your face as you look out over a well-travelled swell. A gaggle of friends sat on the sunny grass above the break, calling the chronic-iic rip bank the moment it shifts up a gear. Wrestling into your soaked 3/2 whilst trying to shove chocolate digestives into your mouth. A glorious struggle between time and tide.’
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Stoked to have my tale about West Cornwall ‘The Seat of Storms’ feature in issue 183 of Carve Magazine. Especially to see my words alongside the stellar photography of @almackinnon @warbey @tobybutlerphoto- all of whom have captured more than I could ever hope.

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White Horses 20

Stoked to have my story 'The Lights of Lewis' feature in the latest issue of the inimitable White Horses.

A trip to the Hebridean Islands back in Autumn, with my Dad and Harry. Notable for the incredible show of Northern Lights we were treated to, especially poignant after spending the afternoon at the ancient standing stones of Callanish.

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'The Headland' - Carve Magazine, Issue 176

Chuffed to get a run in the latest issue of Carve - A first hand account of surfing at the elusive 'Cribbar' a rare big wave that breaks off the headland at Newquay. It is my first piece of writing for a UK surf magazine, so for it to make a cover feature as well makes its all the more sweeter. 

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Sunny Corner Lane

Low evening light illuminates the gold flowered gorse flanking the narrow pathway along the cliff, the saccharine scent belying its hostile intentions. Shuffling side-on, with surf on my mind - I’m mindful to avoid snagging my much loved but regrettably previously snagged jacket. The ambling little lane I live on, in this far west corner of the county, slowly tapers from a road of sorts into this compacted earth path a few minutes into my journey.

After a short while I arrive on a car sized granite outcrop perched high above the bay, providing familiar grip on my bare feet as I hop over to the a finger of rock which I like to sit and check the surf from. I won’t need to sit today though. I’ve already noticed the tide inching its way through the sandbar at the base of the cliff, clearly undeterred by the stiff offshore causing the scattered peaks to throw out plumes of spindrift. The rip bowl will be good soon.

Overlooking Gwenver Beach from Escalls Cliff. The path is in the bottom of the shot.

Overlooking Gwenver Beach from Escalls Cliff. The path is in the bottom of the shot.

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