I love those days when low tide is early in the morning. Just before sunrise is perfect so I can get an hour or two of classic waves with only a few like minded individuals for company before the hordes arrive.
There is a problem though. If I get up at 5.30am and have a quick bowl of Weetbix and a cup of tea before hitting the road for N Devon, about an hour or so later something moves inside me, and I’m not talking about my tape worm. I get the shits when I’m excited or nervous – it is a fact of life that I have had to adapt to.
The problem is that this ‘movement’ usually happens when I’m still driving and a good half an hour from reliably unlocked bogs at Wooly, Croyde or that pretty rivermouth village. It isn’t just the dull ache that can be ignored for a while – it is a throbbing, cramping pain that consumes my being and has me feverishly looking for lay-bys, searching for quiet gaps in the trees. Not many of either of those on the A361 between Barnstable and Braunton. I’m Ok if I make Braunton and those nice comfy bogs behind the pub. But if I’m running a bit late I hit the school traffic and those queues on the high street – so near and yet so close, kids at the bus stop wondering why I’m gurning and grimacing like a loon.
I haven’t actually soiled my car seat yet, but it has been close a few times. The problems don’t end there. Even if there is no urge whatsoever, the smell of neoprene seems to trigger something. Has this ever happened to you? Surf is cranking, you get completely suited up; wetsuit, boots, gloves, the works; then half way down the steps to the beach and oops – you have to make the walk of shame all the way back to the facilities.
It has to be done though – or surfing Shit Pipe could take on a whole new meaning…
Happy Christmas everyone!