‘Hey Jude, don’t make it bad’ So sung Paul McCartney and the Beatles. The UK, with the Southern part, in particular, saw some of the worst of the hurricane that was St Jude. My county town of Essex saw its share of devastation, why my patio furniture was blown from one end of the patio to the other!
I make light of it, of course. While we didn’t have anything approaching a ‘Michael Fish’ moment, the MET office were not taking any chances and issued plenty of severe weather warnings, many households lost electricity, trees fell, homes and businesses suffered, and there were sadly some fatalities. Thankfully Comms Express escaped unscathed, and our thoughts are with those who have suffered.
However, one St Jude news item, in particular, caught my attention.
Mainland Europe also saw its own severe weather conditions, and in particular, the coastal regions of Portugal experienced some of the biggest waves in their history.
On holiday I love splashing around with a boogie board as much as the next man; of course, pretending I’m a champion surfer. It’s all great fun as I get thrown around, resembling a piece of clothing in a washing machine I end up gasping for breath on the shore, much to the amusement of friends and family!
How I would love to have learnt to surf. It’s never too late, you cry! Believe you me, in this case, I beg to differ! But that said I do marvel at these guys and gals who throw themselves at the mercy of Mother Nature and venture out into the wilds of the sea to compete against the swell and ride again and again the white sea horses.
It is hard to believe that a person is standing on a piece of bulsar wood, okay granted technology has progressed somewhat, and nowadays they’re made of polyurethane or polystyrene foam covered with layers of fibreglass, can ride through waves of such ferocity.
It is with a sense of awe that I read that a Brazilian, one Carlos Burle, rode the world’s most significant wave. Yesterday off the coast of Nazare, a sleepy fishing village near Praia do Norte, Burle rode an estimated 100ft wave; staggering. His colleague and fellow Brazilian Maya Gabeira nearly lost her life, yet thankfully only broke an ankle.
Renowned for picking up the best of the fierce Atlantic swell, it’s a mecca for the world’s best surfers. It was in the same place on November 1st 2011 that the previous record was recorded, 78ft.
Mr Burle seems an unassuming man. He spoke to a surfing magazine about his achievement
“At one stage there was a bit of shouting and screaming. Everyone was so excited you know, and I was just shouting back at them, telling them that it’s just another big day, that everyone had to stay focused.”
“It was luck. We never know when we will be catching the wave. I still hadn’t surfed any wave and everyone had already had their rides. Maya almost died,” he told Surfer Today. “For me, it was a big adrenaline moment to get back there after what happened.”
As you know, I work surrounded by many forms of technology every day here at Comms Express yet feats like these never cease to amaze me. I love seeing how far we’ve progressed in life with technology at the vanguard, yet we have daredevils like Carlos Burle taming 100ft waves.
I’m off to grab my boogie board.