As soon as the snow started to fall on sat 4th Feb, it was time for Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey and his 6 Adventurer’s, Tim, Paul, Ken, Brendan, Steve and Guy, to travel way south to the Desert Oasis of Dakhla, Morocco. Amidst the chaos of flights being cancelled and the snow on the roads we made it safely out of the UK on Sunday and into Casablanca in time for a trip down town to the Mosque and a bite to eat. Arriving into Dakhla at night we went straight to Ocean Vagabond and had our first taste of the great food we were set to enjoy for the rest of the week.
Monday dawned a tad chilly with easterly winds of around 25-35 mph which meant we stayed on the lagoon and looked at technique of controlling gusts and staying upwind. Evening theory followed before an amazing fish supper.
Tuesday was a bit more like what we were expecting. A chilly start soon warmed up with much more constant northerly winds blowing down the lagoon. We worked on surfboard technique and carves on 9m kites. We finished the morning with a follow my leader session which looked great to all who were watching as the 7 of us carved our way down the lagoon for 2kms before riding back upwind in a long line. For the afternoon we went to the wave spot of Oum Laboiur, which was breaking perfectly in the 2-3 foot range with sideshore winds perfect for our 9s. As the afternoon went on the waves started picking up and got a bit much for some of the less experienced, leading to a couple of rescues while the 2 more experienced wave riders were having a ball!
Wednesday was another wave day with Tim and me sneaking off for a morning surf at the secret cliff spot, followed by a cracking afternoon kite wave session at Oum Laboiur with Steve and Tim who were really looking at concentrating on the wave side. We looked at riding technique, including fading and using the waves to get upwind and scoring some great rides, sharing the spot with only 3 other windsurfers. Meanwhile back at the lagoon, the others put to practise all they had learnt the day before. We finished the day with an evening theory session, looking at waves, tides and weather systems before yet another fantastic meal.
Thursday was another day for all. Looking at toeside riding and pops for the 3 freeriders. Tacks and gybes for the 3 surfboarders on the lagoon in the morning along with self launching and landing. We then went back to the wave spot for the last bit of the remaining swell with all 3 wave heads, having some great rides and learning lots about surfing right handers with a kite.
Friday was a pretty calm in the morning, leading the guys to rig their 12s, but by the time we had finished the demos, it was howling 30knts + and everyone had to change down to their smallest kites. We looked at pop, jumps, carves and backrolls, with everyone getting air, some for the first time! The evening video feedback was full of screams, laughs and excitement as all were telling the tales of the day, and able to see themselves doing it all on camera.
Saturday was the last full day on the water. We moved on from Friday by looking at bigger jumps, frontrolls, and transitions. The afternoon was time for a photoshoot and encouraged everyone to put their new found skills to the test. A few aches and pains from the day were washed down that evening with a few drinks and laughs.
Sunday and with the flight time in the evening we had a full day to chill out or kite if we wanted. As the wind was light 12m weather most didn’t bother and instead got the sand out of their kit. At lunch we discussed any further topics and in the afternoon, I ran through some detailed rescue scenarios, which everyone found very interesting and useful, although I hope they will never have to use them!
All in all everyone had a great week, learnt lots and stayed healthy as we hardly drank any alcohol and ate amazingly healthy food thanks to the cooks at Ocean Vagabond. All the guys tried out the new range of North surfboards with the Whip being the favourite, closely followed by the X surf strapless and the Nugget being called a bar of soap (although it’s my fave for flat water!).
Big thanks to everyone for coming and making it a great week along with the amazing feedback.
Special mention goes to Paul for pushing the hardest! Movie of the trip coming soon.
Thanks to Sportif for organising the trip, Sebastian and all the crew at Ocean Vagabond for the amazing food and rooms, Jason and the Skyriders Team for the occaisional rescues on the lagoon, North Kiteboarding for the demo boards and T-shirts and Splashography for the logo.
Our next Adventure is an Improver camp in Safaga, Egypt in march, then a Wave Epic in Mauritius start of September. Spring Gwithian wave clinic is Saturday 24thMarch.
Full details on the website www.pastyadventures.co.uk
I would also like to thanks my sponsors-
North kiteboarding, Resin8 surfboards, West wetsuits, Freeriders, Wiley X & FCS
Cheers and see you on the water soon.