June 7: Sunrise Surf

At little before 6 am we slowly packed the van and sardined together to head to Praia Malta for our sunrise surf lesson. Some of us fell asleep on each other’s shoulders while others gazed out the window at the curving coastline and the fresh surf below us.

We had the entire beach to ourselves. It was gorgeous and maybe this was the day. Maybe this was the day I would finally start surfing.

“Just one wave,” I thought to myself, “just one.”

But it was another day of complete failure.

Wipe Out. Wipe Out….Wipe Out.

I never felt like I had the right position on the board or the right timing with the waves. I kept hearing Julika call various directions to me.

“Leah! You’re too far up the board.”

“Now you’re too far back.”


“Hands off the rails!”

“Back foot! Front foot!”

Don’t paddle yet! Okay, NOW NOW NOW!”….Wipe out.


“You’re trying to get up too fast. Just relax. Let go. Once you catch the wave, breathe and meditate, then you stand up on the board,” she said. 

Jenny was also struggling and both of our confidences were plummeting together. Then we saw Angie, who had been up late having fun while Jenny and I went to bed early, catching a bunch of waves.

Me: How does she do it?
Jenny: Not a clue

This was Katrine’s second week and she was already catching waves on a hard board and looking awesome. Basically everyone else was doing an amazing job, including 8 year old Nola, except for us. 

Jenny and I slumped back towards the water.

Let's try this again.

Wipe out. Wipe out…Wipe out.

“Come on Ocean, just one!”

Wipe out. Uhhhhhh! I thought we were friends! 


Coffee Break.