Heya! Good morning! Nothing cures a head cold like a weekend at the beach - especially when the sky is bright blue from sun up til sun down, the surf is good and the water is (relatively) warm.
I spent this past weekend out at Ocean Beach training with the lifeguards as I will make my attempt to become one of them at the beginning of March. Training involved doing run-swim-runs (which almost killed me), swimming around and jumping off the rocks, doing practice tube rescues, first aid drills and all sorts of other fun stuff.
Aside from surfing, the most fun thing we did was take the motor off the IRB (basically a dinghy) and paddled it out in the surf. The waves were chest high and we flipped more than once trying to catch waves, which was more or less successful although not particularly graceful - but good for a laugh.
After a massive BBQ dinner we played frisbee on the beach under a fire red sunset. Not many things/events make me want to write poetry, but sometimes an epic sunset - such as this one - make me wax poetic.
Around 10 PM we realized that the senior guards had disappeared, and had to do a search and rescue mission in the bush behind the surf club. We found them with horrendous wounds (all fake, fortunately), but had to practice our first aid skills in action. It was really very sweet that they went through the effort of getting out the fake blood to make it all the more realistic.
Surf lifesaving, as the Kiwis call lifeguarding, has been one of the most cool things I have been involved with in New Zealand. Way cooler than that job I never got... and in fact I am so jobless that I have decided to go on a surf tour this week. I leave in a few hours. Unfortunately the surf forecast looks pretty weak, but we will be sure to get some sort of wave (I hope!).
I know it is kind of kooky to go on a paid surf tour instead of going it alone or whatever, but the nice thing about this tour is that they pick me up at my front door (or head of the dock), take me to the best waves in Northland, and cook and clean up after me for a week. Hence my most recent Facekook status that says: I am a salty travel surf bum slacker. And I wouldn't have it any other way.