Figueira to Sintra 

We’re leaving the surf and yoga behind for a few days of real tourism (castles, churches) in Sintra. Leaving on a high note after a beautiful dawn session for Coco, William, Alex and me. Waves were small and disorganized but kept us on our toes and one set managed to knock us all for a loop. Major kudos to Coco for getting back on her board and paddling back out after a thorough rinsing in the impact zone that would have sent many a reasonable surfer home for breakfast. Alex and William had good mornings as well. Hard not to do when watching a sunrise like that. Kudos also go to me for nailing my first wave of the morning. I got a clear, long, look down the line and momentarily may have looked like I knew what I was doing. I’m doing my best to flash back to that moment of calm and clarity as Phoebe has her millionth ipad-inspired meltdown of the trip on our train to Lisbon.

Four-year-olds, personal electronics, calm and clarity. Four concepts whose relationships to one another have proven far more complicated than Alex and I expected before we set out. To be sure, an iPad in the hands of Phoebe buys us moments of peace and quiet. Just like we planned.  It also buys us the headaches of constantly negotiating her screen time and the not-so-age-appropriate you tubes to which she gravitates. So, not only have we managed to expose her to the many Moorish elements of Iberian architecture, but also lots of Dance Moms. And the early video catalog of Britney Spears. And several viewings of the original Point Break. That last part is actually a very good thing, of course.

Here they are, having good clean fun at a beach playground in Figueira. Phoebe called it The Most Dangerous Playground, since the slide was “super fast.”

We are all very lucky to be here, doing this. Onward to Sintra!


When It’s Too Foggy To Surf

Filipe takes us to the local fish market.

Then he drags us off…

…to the beach.

There, he makes us run up humongous sand dunes.

After that, we have to roll back down the dunes again.

Filipe says, “it’s good for you.”

Then Phoebe does some cartwheels in the sand.

And once that’s done we all get to have ice cream. Or a beer…

Later, the sun comes out and we all surf. It is marvelous.

Our new friend, Laura, from the Netherlands, who is a beautiful photographer, swam into the waves with her camera and took pictures of us. She’ll send them soon and we’ll share.


More On Method 

Filipe and his methods continue to grow on us.  He’s an absolute stickler for safety.  Yesterday we practiced buddy rescue techniques in the shallow water.

(Phoebe, our surf cheerleader, ate Nutella sandwiches during the safety lessons.)

Once you know how to stay safe, you feel much more comfortable following another Felipe principle: the only waves worth riding are “those that scare you at least a little.” We tried that yesterday too.  Whoa.  (Sorry no pics of that, refer to the anti Go Pro policy.)