Shed Men Surf CompetitionIt's taken nearly two years to get around to this, but we finally had our chance to have a go at surfing in the Indian Ocean on the weekend before Easter.

My Shed Men mates have a tradition of an annual surfing competition but the weather didn't cooperate last year.

I'd better pause and explain "Shed Men"... Every fortnight about 8-10 blokes from church get together in someone's backyard or shed for fellowship, BBQ and an occasional Bible study.  These guys have been great mates for me, and I truly look forward to our chats about the bush, growing up in Australia, old cars, etc and the occasional taste of kangaroo on the barbie.

Back to the surfing story... The weather wasn't terrific this year, but good enough.  We had waves that were from 1 to 1.5 metres (5 feet) which was just fine for us beginners.  We borrowed about a dozen boards from our stock at the college.  There were maybe 8 of us old guys and then some of the Shed Men kids also came out either to watch or to have a go themselves.  (Lanette was the only female on the beach - someone had to be there to take photos!).  One of the veterans gave us a quick 1-minute demonstration on the beach and then we headed out.

Surfing sequence - Tim & PeterI had no chance of getting up on the board.  Lanette was laughing from the start with my struggles to balance whilst just paddling out on the board.  It was still fun to get rolled in the waves and find out how long I can hold my breath, and as I was reaching exhaustion it was a thrill to ride the waves in without making an effort to get up.  I may have been sucking it in a bit to fit into my wetsuit, but at least I didn't have the gray hair of several others of us out there struggling to feel young again.

Peter was the natural.  It didn't take too long and he was getting up on his feet a few times.  No lengthy rides, but definitely some success.  Click on the photo at left to see the action sequence that starts with me and Peter and shows Peter getting up on the board.

Dane did what he could closer to the shore to show his abilities on the body board, but will need to get better at swimming before we let him out in the big surf.