We've just finished a great week in Essaouira, check out the story here!
Wind, waves, camels, tagines, couscous, cool Riads, canoeing trips and Medina massages - It has to be Essaouira!
Our mission for the week was an "Introduction To Waves" and Essaouira provides the perfect environment to dip your fin into the wave scene. Large, safe sandy beach, cross-shore wind (starboard tack/from the right) and even if you were to break something, you'd be swept back into shore. It's pretty common to get waist to shoulder high waves and if Moulay is tough and hard to master, Essaouira is 'comfy pillows'!
We had great conditions, with 4.2-4.7m weather for half the trip and then a mix of marginal days with some WindSUPing to develop the wave skills. We covered, getting out through a shorebreak and 'threatening' waves. We also went through understanding wave formation, selecting waves, hovering, catching and riding on the best/easiest part of a wave. Once we started catching a few waves we introduced the concepts of front and back-side wave riding.
Most windsurfers comment how surprised they are that they can quickly learn to cope with beachbreaks, waves and what was previously intimidating conditions or situations. Everyone worked really well and now feel's far more confident and tuned up to venture into the wave the environoment with more confidence, belief and the requisite skills to develop their wave sailing even further.
The good thing about Essaouira is that if you do get a light wind morning, there's loads to do with canoeing, quad biking, horse riding, SUPing or chilling in the Ocean Vagabond Café. So, as ever, we had a really great time both on and off the water with loads of banter and regular adventures into town to eat at some secret restaurants!
Everyone did really well and improved their level in the waves and we certainly made the best of the conditions and our time in Essaouira. Along with the wave sailing skills there were a few notable performances came from - Tony who uphauled a short board in 3.7 weather! Rom, who got 'wave of the day' on a couple of occasions. Dave, for getting his stance and control 'more how he likes it'. Hakan, who really started to get into the grove on the waves – keep going we'll get you there! 'Flat water' David, who seemed to effortlessly master white water for the first time and loved it. Big Simon for working so hard to get out through some over head sets, catching his first waves and his good humour after trashing a sail and taking a trip along the bay until the rescue boat 'finally' picked him up. A Moroccan massage was the perfect antidote to get over that experience! Finally to Roy, who struggled on despite not feeling well from the beginning of the week, we wish you a speedy recovery.
Finally thanks should go to everyone at the superb Riad Zahra and Sarah and the team at Club Mistral - thank you!
Check out the photos and comments of our week in Essaouira below!