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Surf Camp on Phillip Island

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Surf Camp on Phillip Island

I was very tired and hungover in the bus to the surf camp on Phillip Island. But the weather was purrrfect!! We slept in dorms of around 10 people and altogether there were about 40-50 international students there. The camp was just by the beach, and there were wild wallabies everywhere. One of the camp leaders warned us about poisonous snakes and sharks, they have the biggest population of sharks in Phillip Island in whole of Australia. She also told us that the last time they held the camp, somebody had actually woken up in the morning with a possum sleeping on him!

Then we got our wetsuits and surfboards! I was SO excited. There were 4 HOT Aussie surf coaches teaching us. Not a bad way to spend a day at all. Yes, girls, they were exactly like you imagined... Blonde, tanned and handsome :)

When I saw the waves I got so scared!!! I have BAD experiences from big waves, I nearly drowned in Bali a few years ago and these waves were twice as big! And I'm NOT a good swimmer.

At first they taught us the technique and we practiced it on the sand. And then finally we hit the waves!! And I did GOOOD. They said that the first time we won't necessarily even get to stand up on the board. But I rode a wave after another all the way to the shore. It was so much fun!!!! I think it helps that I know how to snowboard, although it's quite different, cause in surfing you need more balance and more patience :)

The surf coaches were in the water helping us out (and laughing at us). I didn't really need help, but every time they asked me if I needed a hand, I obviously said YES! :) And afterwards they were like: 'What do you mean you need help, you can surf!' And they just wouldn't believe me that it was my first time on a surfboard!! :) It was so much fun and I could have surfed all day... 

Afterwards we had dinner and went to see the famous Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Every night dozens of penguins from the water come to the beach. I thought it was a bit overrated though. Penguins were tiny and cute, but there were so many tourists, and I was so far away from the parade that I could bearly even tell the difference between a seagull and a penguin. We could see them real close up afterwards though...

When we got back from the Penguin Parade, party was on at the camp. I was knackered but I still went along with the others. We had a drinking contest, we limboed and listened to music and just mingled... Me, Heli and 2 Canadian girls had this sudden idea that we have to go to the city, so we called a taxi to take us to the city. We went to a bar, where we got free drinks from the bartender... But after Lauren, the other Canadian girl, got hit from a bottle in her head, we thought it's time to head back to the camp.

Drinking competition

So again, I didn't sleep much at all. We had to wake up early because we wanted to go and see koalas before going surfing. They said that it's a 20-minute-walk to the koala park. It was a 1-hour-walk in a massive hangover and we didn't even get to hold the koalas.

A funny fact: Those little cuddly koalas are on drugs all the time!!! They sleep 20 hours a day and eat 4 hours. And they're stoned all the time because of the eucalyptus leaves that contain the same doping ingredients as marijuana!! That's why koalas don't do anything but sleep...

On Sunday, by the time we got to the beach, the weather was chilly and windy, and the water felt ice-cold. The sign on the wall of the surf shop said that the waves were 'medium' big. They were MASSIVE. I've never seen as big waves. When I saw them, my first reaction was that there was no way in hell I would go in there, it's a suicide. I did go in the end, but it wasn't as fun as on Saturday. It was really hard to catch a good wave, either because there weren't any or then we just couldn't figure out which ones were good, I dunno. 

People were struggling and giving up. It looked pretty funny actually when people were so concentrated on catching a big wave and then they're wiped out by the waves. But I can assure you that it doesn't feel good!!! The waves were actually so hard that the other Canadian girl, Shanly, broke her board. Also, there were so many of us plus other people, that the waves were crowded and there were collisions all the time. I spent almost the entire time paddling around trying to find a gap where I could ride a wave. And, I got hit by the head from a board, and my legs, and my waist, everywhere.

So it was a bit difficult in the beginning. You're being knocked about by breaking waves, swallowing litres of sea water and tumbling under water struggling to get on the surface... But the amazing sensation you get after catching a wave and riding it all the way to the shore, it keeps pulling you back to get another one! When you go in the water you leave all your worries on the beach and when you ride a wave, the rest of the world just disappears... I'm so hooked!!

'You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity on each moment.'

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