After watching from afar as the South West was lit up by consecutive weeks of solid swell, The North East finally awoke from its summer slumber. Sally McGee and Tom Bing, never far from the action, were on the scene to report back.
Famine to Feast
It’s been painful watching the feeds of our south western counterparts scoring back to back swells whilst it's been famine or feast here in the North East. Usually, the turn of the seasons from autumn to winter gives us a window to explore our coastline. A chance for the washing to build up at home and the cupboards to work themselves bare whilst we shirk our responsibilities to put ourselves into swells and spots that have been slumbering all summer.
This year was different, barely out of the summer suit and the habit of pulling out the log for some summery peelers, we were hit with a couple of solid storm swells. Not ones for the history books, but enough to wake up forgotten muscles and get reacquainted with the sea bed and mouthfuls of stormy sea water. Then back to nothing. Hitting refresh on the forecast, checking forecast sites you’ve never heard of in search of some fragment of hope that a solid low is going to slot into place and provide something classic, something worth the cold days and dark nights.
The later it gets, the shorter the window becomes, one good tide a day and then darkness. This swell wasn’t classic, it required some knowledge and experience and a bit of a gamble but it paid off. As the first snow of the year fell somewhere from a crisp winter sky, we fired up the van, noses pouring with the remnants of a hundred North Sea duck dives and made it back to the school gates in time to pick up our son Billy. Each evening after surfing we did our best to dry our suits and stuffed our faces with huge piles of hearty winter food, playing down the days we’ve had over the dinner table as we know Billy would have major 'fear of missing out' that he had to go to school while we chased waves.