What a great weekend it was! It does not get much better than this...

It started on Friday night, with a good few pints at the pub down the road from work with the work mates. Since I hadn't had a nice pint of Guinness in more than a month, the black stuff tasted delicious.

Buckets of water and a good nights sleep later, I was ready to enjoy my windsurfing lesson in Malahide on Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining, the wind was fairly consistent, the water was comfortably cold. I started off practising my tacks and jibes, then did a few water starts, then sailed out and back a few times. Two hours had already passed, and the wind was slowly changing from moderate to fairly strong.

I decided to switch to a 5.9 m2 sail to build up some more speed. The wind picked up even more, and I found the speed for some excellent planing! Of course, with planing comes great catapults... at least while I'm grappling with learning the art of windsurfing!

The nearly three hours of windsurfing went by very quickly. Too bad this was the last day the windsurfing school winter's closure. I chatted with the instructors, talked about some of the student gear for sale, then say goodbye till next Spring.

Good old trustworthy Fiat Brava had just enough petrol in it to take me back to the petrol station. After filling her up with unleaded and filling myself up with pizza and diet coke, I threw myself on the couch and watched the sci-fi flick "The Andromeda Strain". Enjoyed it, but wouldn't say it was great.

I thought I would have a quiet and relaxing Sunday, allowing my sore hands to recover from the bruises I got from windsurfing in strong winds. I would have spent the day comfortably hacking on presage, chatting to home, and watching TV, were it not for the fact that around 4pm I got a bit bored and decided to venture out to the beach.

And that's when it happened... while approaching Donabate beach, I saw two men in the distance. As I got closer, I noticed that they were carrying... wait a minute, what are they carrying... they are carrying surfboards! My heart started racing... when I saw the size of the waves hitting the rocks and coming all the way up the sandy beach, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm.

I raced home, installed the fins on our brand new Ron Jon surfboard bought in Cocoa Beach, Florida, less than a week ago and hooked it up on the roof of the always trusty Brafa, then raced back to the beach for an exhilaratingly intense surfing session.

The waves were massive, especially compared to waves of the last weekend, which were maybe one inch tall (read, no waves at all). But this time, they were high and seemed to offer a long ride. I paddled out into the water and soon realised that there was a very strong undertow parallel to the beach, that kept dragging me closer and closer to the rocks near the Martello tower.

I caught a wave back to shore and then put some distance between me and the rocks by walking along the beach. There was a strong wind blowing along the beach, which on several occasions nearly turned the surfboard into a kite! This must have been the reason for the very strong undertow...

I found it hard to keep paddling out and against the undertow, but I got past the breaking waves and caught a few good waves after a couple of failed attempts. Three waves in particular provided some very good and long lasting rides, taking me all the way back to the beach and giving me plenty of time to practice turns and step up and down the board.

As I gazed out at the sea before returning home, I though how awesome it was to be able to surf so close to home. After a hot shower, grub and a home-made cocktail, I enjoyed the mindlessly action packed movie "Wanted".

Good times!