It’s not Morocco, but….

Last week whilst at the Commonwealth Games I had a message from Simon telling me that he was going windsurfing in Morocco. His daughter was supposed to be going with him but wasn’t able to go so he had a spare ticket. Did I want to go? The accomodation was all paid for so the cost would only be £115 to change the name on the airline ticket and the cost of windsurf kit hire.

Essaouira in Morocco is one of the best places on Earth for windsurfing with warm African temperatures and steady Trade Winds that seem to blow at around 30 knots or more every day. The Air BnB he was staying in looked nice too. I obviously jumped at the chance, sent him the £115 to change the name on the ticket, along with some moey for parking at the airport and then started to get ready. Kit hire was going to be £250 for the week, we had some Euros hangin around so I didn’t need to sort out currency exchange. After checking luggage restrictions I was all set to go. We were supposed to be flying out today, but I’m still here!

A Spanner in the Works

Unfortunately when I tried to get travel insurance I couldn’t get the required cover due to the fact that I’m awaiting the results of some blood tests. How annoying is that, not to mention a complete waste of money! It’s made even more annoying by the fact that I only asked for the blood tests to be done so that I could be sure it was safe to stop one of the anti-clotting drugs that I’m already taking.

After my heart attack I was of course prescribed a number of different medications just like everyone else who has a heart attack in the UK. One of these was due to stop in June, 12 months after my heart attack. However, my heart attack was caused by a massive clot and was otherwise completely unexpected. I had none of the usual risk factors so clotting seemed to be something of an issue. Having looked at some family history there may even be a history of clotting in the family. So, before stopping the anti-clotting drugs I wanted to make sure it was the right thing to be doing.

I got a referral to the heamatology team at the local hospital, arranged some blood tests for hereditary clotting disorders and had the blood taken back in May. Some of these results came back but not all of them so they were repeated a few weeks ago and I’m still waiting for the results. I’ve chased them up but with no joy. It’s silly because I’m already on the medication for clotting, I just want to know if it’s safe to stop it. The insurance companies don’t see it like this though – they just see it as ‘awaiting test results for an undiagnosed condition’. They therefore won’t insure me with cover sufficient to cover anything to do with clotting issues.

I couldn’t risk going without full travel insurance. You know how it is, I could go on holiday 100 times with insurance in place and never need it, but the one time I go without it you could guarantee that I’d need a medi-plane home costing 10’s of thousands!

So, Simon had to go on his own and I’m still here in sunny Wales.

Wales Delivers

It’s not all bad though because today turned out to be not too shabby! After a decent bike ride around the Borth Loop a couple of times this moring, the wind filled in this afternoon.

And, when I say the wind filled in, it filled in properly! I of course went windsurfing which did make up for what I’d be missing out on in Morocco.

I started off with a 104ltr board and a 5.7m sail. That was quite a handful from the start but led to some super fast blasting at warp speed over the chop. Talking of the water, it’s about 21ºC here at the moment, that’s a couple of degrees warmer than the water in Morocco. I was therefore out in just a shortie wetsuit, no 3/2 full wetsuit for me (which is what I would have been wearing in Morocco. The air temperature was up around 21ºC as well which is about the same as it was in Essaouira. The wind continued to pick up too. It ending up being just as strong as it was in Essaouira.

First I pulled on some more outhaul to flatten the sail and give it slightly less power. I then got my smaller 85 litre wave board. This needs more power to get it going and is more controllable over chop and in the air. It’s also more fun, even if it isn’t quite as fast. That became too much as well so I changed down to a 5.0m sail. It’s a relatively new sail for me and was perfect. I did need to put more outhaul on this after a while as well and would have been fine with a 4.5m sail. I stuck with the 5.0m though as I couldn’t be bothered to change down and it was nice to be out testing my new kit. With only small waves it wasn’t too challenging out there so being a little over-powered wasn”t really an issue.

All in all is was just perfection, blasting over the chop, jumping off the backs of waves on the way in and chop-hopping on the way out. Just what I needed to get over the disappoinment of Morocco.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar forComment Author Stuey Gwynn says:

    Looks like normality is returning at least in the form of windsurfing! Good to see you getting so much water time!!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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