Drop everything and go for it… Tsoukalia calling
There are some wave places in a windsurfer’s life that even though there are not what you would typically describe as glassy/hollow/offshore whatever, you end up being in love with. Tsoukalia beach in Paros island is one of these. This place is to me like an early school love, probably cause I did my first steps in waves there a long time ago. When Stratis called me inviting me to join him on his short trip to Paros I was sad, I could’n make it. The only thing I asked him is to document his stay there so I could share it with you as well through this blog.
July 2012. Athens is boiling in the heatwave. For the past 2 months together with some friends we have been checking daily the windguru forecast for the most famous surf-island in Greece – Paros. Our goal: to repeat last years’ very successful 3day trip. But as weekends come and go, no reliable forecast seems to appear. As we are now in mid-July it looks like we won’t make it this year. Suddenly a promising forecast appears – but it is for mid-week only. We decide to drop everything and go for it – but unfortunately not everyone can join.
One day later we are at the beach at Tsoukalia watching the sea and drinking our coffee, having woken up at 5 in the morning to catch the ferry. Unfortunately, the first day of the trip does not deliver and we only manage to go out in our 4.7s for about an hour or so and small waves – and to make things worse we hear that in Athens it was 4.0 weather! Doubt starts to creep in – was it a mistake coming here? We drown our doubt in excellent seafood spaghetti and lots of wine. We fall asleep convinced that there will be wind and waves the next day.
Wednesday July 18th– 7 am. I wake up from the wind rattling the windows. It’s way too early but I can barely control my excitement. I go downstairs to have breakfast and come across Nicolas who, having slept on the beach on his boardbag, is now crawling towards his bed.
As the day moves on the wind builds up. At first we go out in our 4.7s, after an hour or so we change down to 4.2s, and by midday it happens – the wind is now for 3.7s, but, most importantly, nice waves start to come in – and it’s cross-shore! Everyone starts busting moves – forwards, backies, aerials , gu screws.. Our big smiles and shouts in the water tell the whole story!
In the afternoon, while we cool down with ice-cold beers, we realize that tonight we are leaving for Athens. We quickly agree that this is not acceptable. We make some phone calls and inform that we will be staying one more day. We change tickets. Over dinner the conversation is full with excitement about the conditions and our plans for the next day.
Thursday July 19th – Despite being tired from yesterday, I again wake up very early in the morning. When I hit downstairs for breakfast I can see that the waves are already perfect, even though the wind is not there yet. Nicolas, always in a hurry, goes in first before he even had coffee. The rest of us check the conditions over breakfast. After a while we can’t wait anymore and go out. Though not as good as yesterday we fully enjoy it.
When the wind drops down we go out and start packing – our ferry is leaving in 1½ hours and we still have all our gear fresh off the water. Once we’re done packing it’s time for one last beer and off we go. Luckily the ferry is a bit late leaving us with enough time to enjoy the best and biggest burgers in Paros.
Friday July 20th – time 02:30 am. I enter home. Tomorrow I have to be at work and I have to wake up in just 5 hours, but the excitement of 3 days full of wind and waves hasn’t worn off yet and won’t let me sleep – nor will the big smile seemingly permanently stuck in my face..
Till next time. (Dedicated to those who couldn’t make it).
In case you decide to vist Tsoukalia Paros, then you’ll have to ask for Yotas appartments. There are just on the beach at the main break, and as a plus you’ll experience some homemade dishes on her restaurant below!