Yenworthy 2015 - Day 3

Dear Mrs Hawkins,

"Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how! Come on down to Putsborough with me!"

We were right! The clues in the driveway did lead these super sleuths to the correct assumption. We woke up to discover that we WERE going surfing. Some of us leapt into the air when we knew for sure.

Yet before we could do anything of the sort, we had to drag ourselves out of bed, sort out our rooms for inspection (after an unexpected spot check before breakfast rather than after breakfast as is usually the case, it became clear that we may not be quite as good as our first evening is, of course, all to do with maintaining your reputation!) We're going to work on that before tomorrow and make sure we are ready so they can't catch us out anymore. The bell rang for breakfast and we were keen to find out what Paul had on the menu today. The Cereal Bar was open for business as usual so we made our choices (some of us even decided to be a little adventurous and go for the 'half and half' combo deal. One course successfully polished off, we held out for the next. It did not disappoint! Beans on toast with the added bonus of a cup of tea for those of us who wanted it - it is becoming increasingly popular as the week goes on! We might need to install tea making facilities in Year 6 ready for Monday break time.

Our wonderful serving team cleared away our things and started to lay up for dinner while our new sandwich making team got to work on our lunches for today. Our mental maths (along with our decision-making skills first thing in the morning) are improving no end. Today we all chose our sandwiches quickly and even managed to reach the right total first time! Wahooo! One thing only our Eco Warriors for today noticed this morning was that the skies were clear and there was even a funny golden sphere in the sky... apparently it is called Sun. Even Sean and Pete couldn't believe that the weather had changed quite so much in time for us to get the best out of our day. In fact, by the time we got to the beach later, the people in the front of the minibuses had to put the sun visors down!

After our duties, we collected our expertly prepared lunches (this team went for precision rather than speed - the sandwiches were very well made, but we think Sally and Miss Manley were a little concerned we'd be having them for dinner!) and then headed to the lounge for our morning activity briefing. Pete was there, ready and waiting for us. Guess what? We can now tell you what makes a wave, how they are formed and why they travel the way they do. We can also give you advice on how to stay safe on the beach; including all of the meanings of different beach flags (Pete was quite impressed how many of us knew about this - but we guess he didn't bank on one of our topics in Year 5 being Cornwall, did he? We then saw where we were headed...Around the headland to Putsborough Sands, which is on the Atlantic coast. Waves here are much better for surfing because they don't lose their momentum by going up the Bristol Channel. Yes, we learned this in our Waves briefing too. By now, we could tell that the team were itching to get out and, quite frankly, so were we!

You can't be a proper surfer without proper kit of course. So it was back up to the kit store for us! Fully armed with boots, a wetsuit and a rash vest and already wearing our swimming kit under our clothes, we loaded everything into the minibuses and headed out for a day riding the waves. Hmmmmm. Wetsuits aren't much use in bags, so after a quick picnic on the beach, we set about trying to get everything on. This is very definitely NOT as easy as it looks. So many contortions, so many giggles, so many frustrated faces.... and that was just turning the wetsuits the right way round! After a struggle, we are very pleased to say that we won the battle. All ready to go, we had just one more piece of equipment to add to our collection - the most fashionable headgear you ever did see! Neoprene caps on, we paired up with someone about our height, picked up a board and headed down to the sand.

We had a quick surf lesson on the sand, learned the paddle technique ( yes, it does look a BIT weird paddling on sand - particularly if there are 26 of you in a horseshoe on the 6th January...we even attracted a small audience - perhaps we will be famous?! Pete then asked us to conduct an experiment. He asked our partner to give us a shove from behind (that wasn't very nice of him, was it?) and then labelled some of us "Natural Surfers" and some "Goofy Surfers". We all looked a little worried - he knew this already? We hadn't been in the water yet! How did he know if we were natural or goofy and, more to the point, it's not nice to say that! We didn't need to feel bad: We can tell you the difference between a goofy and a natural on our return (if we come back, because we'd rather stay if that's ok?). We then learned how to stand up and the importance of getting things in the right order so our feet and arms don't get tied in knots and then Pete thought we might be ready to put all our planning into action.

Time to catch some waves! In our pairs and with lots of adults around to cheer when we sailed by or to laugh like mad when we wiped out (this happened MANY times) we tried and tried and tried again! Guess what? Miss Manley, Marie and Miss Piggott all surfed too! Surfing teachers and TAs - we weren't expecting that! Some of us immediately got the hang of it and within moments were braving the standing up thing; while others took longer. One thing is certain: we ALL pushed ourselves to the limit and just kept going and going until we could barely breathe from screaming and laughing. We think it's contagious as the more we did it, the more we noticed the adults around us doing it too! When it was time to come in, we did so reluctantly but also with a huge sense of achievement - both for ourselves personally and for us as a group. We are the second school ever to have done surfing in the first week of January. We LOVED it! There was only one problem with the whole thing really. If we thought getting wetsuits on was tricky enough, you should have seen us trying to get them off again! We thought we might have to sleep in them!

Some flapjack and a hot drink was waiting for us in the minibuses and then we helped to pack the trailer and all set off home. A hot shower NEVER felt so good! As for dinner... well, tikka massala and rice followed by a huge slab of chocolate fudge cake seems the perfect way to end such a perfect day! After dinner, Sean sent us out with our Year 9 Leaders to complete the Yenworthy quiz - we are getting good at finding our way around the grounds in the dark now! This gave some of us the chance to peruse the shop and work out how best to spend that pocket money. Some of our deliberations would make us good candidates for major business deals!

Sean then let us watch the start of a DVD about two people who decided to surf... in the Arctic! We will tell you more about that tomorrow as we haven't quite finished yet. one thing is certain, we are all REALLY looking forward to bed we think we might head off now! We have another day full of adventure waiting for us tomorrow!

The only thing is, we're not happy that it is getting closer to Friday. The week is going too fast. Please can you slow it down?'s an idea.... Can we stay here? Just for a little while - another week, maybe? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaase?

Quotes of the Day:

"I know I am only allowed to go up to my belly button in the sea. But if I am wearing a wetsuit, how will I know where my belly button is?"

"I can't get my foot/arm/knee/head out!"

"I'm stuck!"


Lots of love,

Sleepy-but-oh-so-satisfied Year 6 xxxx