1st surf at Chiba
3am alarm last Tuesday morning and it was cold. Really bloody cold. Pick up at 4am and we have over an hours drive out to the Wada Rivermouth, Chiba. My new surfing friends (one whom also cuts my hair) collected me on time, and we loaded my board onto the trusty Honda Nbox and were off. It's still dark and traffic was light that time of day so we made good time. We arrived just before 5:30 and quickly got into our wetsuits. By this time it had heated up to a sultry 4 degC. Too cold to be surfing.
By this stage I'm having serious second thoughts and really hoping my new 5/3 wetsuit is up to par. The other guys have flash semi dry suits but me being a scrooge decided on a cheaper option. Suited up, waxed up, and down to the beach. Small swell, just a couple of feet but the water was warmer than the air so it was actually a relief to be in. Windchill cuts through though so the first hour was somewhat testing. I managed to get a couple of nice waves early which always helps. As the sun came out, so did all the other surfers so by 7:30 it was getting pretty crowded. I can only imagine how busy it gets once things start to warm up and there is a bit of decent swell about.
The last hour was actually very pleasant. Sea temp probably around 18, and with the air temp getting to around 10, it was quite comfortable. A three hour session is a long time for me though, and I was really pretty much just a spectator for the last little while. I have to admit, the quality of the local surfing was very high. She's a little bit of the wild west out there though, and nobody seems terribly concerned about dropping in. Especially on some old Gaijin that they are probably hoping to never see again. I did manage to get my share of waves though, and probably only embarrassed myself on a few occasions. My legs were shot due to being forced by my lovely wife to scale a mountain the day before, so on several occasions I blew my takeoff, doing the not so elegant swandive over the nose as I was too slow getting my feet under me. Thanks Pania.
Back at the carpark, a cold shower and the quickest change ever. Boards loaded up and the boys have a hankering for KFC. Probably the greatest post surf snack in the world. All in all a great morning, and I'm home before mid day in time for my Japanese lesson.
Lots happening over next few days. Taking off down to Izu for the weekend on the bike. Snow forecast so may be a little slippery, not to mention cold. Also starting some group Japanese lessons on Monday. That should be interesting. Will try and update with pics and commentary on how it all went next week.