My trip to Vanuatu was over and it was time to hop on a plane to England. I was off to get my qualifications in driving a powerboat and beach lifeguard to enable me to work as a tour guide.
I did my powerboat course in Falmouth in Cornwall. That was a lot of fun, though the weather was cool and grey.
Then it was off to Newquay to do the five day beach lifeguard course. That was one of the toughest physical activities I have undertaken in quite a while. There was a constant four foot swell to deal with, and the water was only 13 degrees, despite it being July. Each night I trudged up the 133 steps from Lusty Glaze beach to fall into my bed asleep before darkness fell.
However, I along with the other ten younger course participants managed to pass the course. The weather was still cold with the air about the same temperature as the water when the clouds covered the sun.
I had learned on the course that there are huge tides in this part of the world, with high spring tides of seven metres. Each day the difference between the high water mark and the low water mark was huge. Of course this often traps the unwary beach goer, and I quickly learnt to know where the tide was at any particular moment.
As soon as the course finished, the sun came out, and it has stayed out for the last three weeks. As the sun came out, the swell dropped, and the water warmed up to anice 16 degrees. I even managed to do a few solo swims without a wetsuit along some of the Newquay beaches. i made a point of telling the lifeguards of my plans each time for my own safety, and also to let them know of my plans. These swims were great, with the water crystal clear, with only the odd small purple jellyfish saying hi.
Just to give you an idea of the tides, the rocks in the centre of this photo are around four metres tall, and at high tide they are covered by the water.
What was really tough though was that England was winning every sporting event going. They won the mens title at Wimbledon for the first time in over 70 years ( even if he was a Scot). Then the Lions Rugby team beat Australia two test to nil ( though it took the combined efforts of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England to beat the Wallabies). I was the only Australian supporter in a pub in Newquay that day.
Then the English cricket team beat the Aussies in the first two tests of the series (at least all the Australian players were born in Australia).
And finally an Englishman won the Tour de France cycle race.
And the weather was warm and sunny for days on end.
Quite unnatural. I had been brought up to believe that England were ok at certain sports, but in the end Australia would beat them more often than not. And the UK summer is usually cloudy with the odd sunny day here and there.
As I write this I am in Brighton having caught up with the nice people at the firm I will be working with. Now Brighton is quite different to Newquay. Newquay is more of a surfing town, and is graced with lots of sandy beaches.
However, Brighton is one of those seaside resort towns that is quite close to London, and most people come here to sit by the sea. There is no sand on the beaches, with pebbles covering everything, and a famous Pier as well.
I have enjoyed my time in England. I adored Cornwall with its rugged beauty and stunning beaches.