Surfing Cornwall Walls with Nick Evans

Nick at Harlyn Bay-1IMG_7019

This is a photo of Nick Evans at some secret spot on the west coast of Cornwall. Well, maybe it’s a secret; but the photo Nick’s cousin, Frances, sent me (at my request, several of them) labeled it as Nick at Hamblyn Bay. Wait; I may have misspelled that name; the photo may have been mislabeled; and, anyway, I don’t live in England, and, even if I did, I’d probably miss these conditions.

Now, if I captioned the photo, it’d have to be “Nick Evans bottom turns into a Cornwall wall.”


Oh, I just checked, while adding the additional photos, and it may actually be Harlyn Bay. Hey, I have a bit of trouble pronouncing old world English. When another surfer from there, a few years ago, whipped out a map after I’d told him I get most of my surf forecasting from Magic Seaweed, which, evidently, comes from somewhere where they actually are in the same time zone as Greenwich (Green’-witch, right? No) Mean Time; I pointed to ‘Bude,’ mentioned occasionally on one of our favorite (favourite maybe, to ya’ll) PBS imports, “Doc Martin;” said, “Yeah, Bude;” and he corrected my mistake of thinking it would possibly be a one syllable word. “It’s pronounced ‘Be-ude.’ ”

Also, I should say the other photos may not be Uncle Nick, but photos taken by him. Just to clarify, though, the surfers do seem to be in position on waves I’d love to share*.

I actually almost met Nick, his obvious coolness revealed by his not donning the hood along with the gloves and booties, when he visited his niece and her husband, Morgan, at their second home high above the bay at Pulali Point in Brinnon, Washington, one of the fingers of the Hood Canal. I was there for a meeting in connection with bleaching and refinishing the place, just for informational purposes. Nick was asleep, resting after a trip up to British Columbia to surf the Canadian (still closer to England than we are) waves at Tofino. I’d pronounce it ‘Tow-Fee-No,’ correct at will.

It may be just too too obvious that I’d be very happy to have a few more eyes on from the British Isles (is it okay to call them that? It’s not like they all get along). My mother’s family came to America from Wales. My family name, Dence, dates back to middle English, first used on the Northeast side of the island, and evidently means ‘The Dane,’ and, I like to say to pretty much anyone who would still be listening, “And not in a nice way.”

Vikings, just another group wanting to conquer and rule. Or maybe they just wanted to share; as in, cruise around “Doc Martin” territory, share a few waves with Nick and his surf buddies, head down to the local pub, throw back a pint or three. “Throw back,” would that make me sound, you know, local? What if I wore a tweed coat? Forget it, I don’t even fit in here.

Disclaimer: If it suddenly gets crowded with Yanks (Yankers?) at your favourite surf spot, please don’t blame Nick Evans. Blame his Americanized niece, Frances. “Frances?” “Yes, like the country.” “Okay. Frances.”

*share- (Erwin’s definition)- to catch all the waves I can, often calling for the second or third wave in a set so others can get the first ones. As far as sharing a wave- okay if you’re WAY out in front.

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