This summer I have to do a medical placement, which the medical school kindly allows us to organise ourselves, anywhere we want...
|My kit survived the journey and even snuck it on for free!|
Thanks to BWA judge Mike Archer I managed to get in contact with Jeff Albright, an orthopaedic surgeon at Advantage Orthopaedics in Portland, Oregon.
As it turns out Jeff is an absolute legend and picked me up from the airport. He very kindly let me stay at his house on the first night and in the morning he declared that we were off to the beach to go surfing! We went for a fun couple of SUP sessions and caught some crabs for dinner with Jeff's pot.
The next few days were in Portland both in clinic and at the surgical centre as well as me trying to organise a car on the side too. I was very lucky to be able to stay with Cristin, one of the physician assistants from the clinic. It seems America is literally teeming with really nice people like Cristin and Jeff who were both very patient while I got myself sorted out.
Wednesday was to be my first experience of the legendary Columbia River Gorge, I got a lift from Jeff and we dashed out to the gorge between surgeries. After an initial lack of wind it kicked in and we had a great sail at the hatchery with me sailing 4.2 and my 75. The gorge is such a weird place to sail, being in big chop with fresh water and mountains all around is just bizarre.
The next day I finally got a car sorted, 3.3L of American minivan power! Again on Jeff's recommendation I headed three hours down the coast to a place called Florence just in time for a sunset session on 4.2 with some nice shoulder to head high waves. I spent my first night in the car at a deserted horse camp, unfortunately at about half past midnight my sleep was shattered by a couple of pickup trucks driving really fast in circles in the clearing where I was parked. This was rather unsettling but after a while it became obvious that they weren't axe murderers and I wasn't in a horror film and eventually they left.
The next day I spent the morning taking a short sightseeing trip north up highway 101. I saw some sea lions and checked out some sailing and surfing spots at the same time. In the afternoon it was back to South jetty in Florence for another great wave session with slightly less wind and bigger waves than the night before. I had a great time with it perfectly cross shore and some nice logo high set waves to get stuck into. That night I invested in a pillow and did some rearranging of my minivan to turn it into a palace of luxury!
Saturday started with a surf, I was already at the beach as I slept there to avoid the scary forest dwelling pickup truck people. The waves were nice shoulder high, really chilled out with just a couple of guys on the water. In the afternoon the wind came in quite light but I wobbled out and caught a few nice ones with 5.2, the wind angle was more cross off and they were bigger than the previous two days. They were walling up seriously fast which caught me out a few times and I got totally dominated as there wasn't enough wind to outrun the sizeable explosion of whitewater. Still it was a lot of fun until the wind suddenly swung onshore and brought a thick bank of fog in with it.
The plan is to head back to Portland for Monday morning at the clinic, and then see how things pan out.
I've been here a week and I didn't realise I had done so much until I wrote it all down! Things are definitely lining up to be a great summer! Bring on the next nine weeks.