Words by Sam Haddad
I feel like I’m starring in a disaster movie set in the middle of the Atlantic. Or perhaps a 19th century adventure novel in which I’ve been shipwrecked. For all around me is high water and huge waves, which are coming at me head on with such height they cause my stomach to plummet as they pass.
I’m surprised I’m not seasick. Or scared. But I’m actually neither, not even close. In fact it’s quite the opposite: I’m buzzing from the experience.
“I’m surprised I’m not seasick. Or scared. But I’m actually neither…”
I reach forward and paddle into the oncoming swell kicking hard against the current and tide. When I next take a breath I lift my head up as the wave drops and catch sight of my guide. His neon orange rashie serving as a Belisha beacon of safety in this stormy sea, plus he helpfully stops us from going too close to the shore and getting bashed up on the rocks.
Our guide is called Pete Carr and he has an amazing 37 seasons of beach lifeguarding experience. He’s also one of the reasons why none of this is remotely worrying me, along with his back-up team, which consists of three other lifeguards on paddle-boards for our party of 9 (we were originally 11 but two dropped out after seeing the state of the sea). There’s also an actual safety boat with an engine.