You'll probably want your winter wetsuit
January 8, 2014 5:06 AM   Subscribe

Icy weather getting you down? How about a nice relaxing beach holiday? The same weather pattern bringing Antarctic temperatures to America is pushing Himalayan surf towards Europe. With storm swell battering coastlines from Portugal to Cornwall, big-wave specialists from around the world are flocking to the unlikely surf mecca of Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Apparently it's been pretty intense... "Down there was living repeatedly rabbit punched while diving in the deep!"

The "black swell" has made for an epic couple of days all over Europe. These days most big waves are accessed by towing-in with a jet ski, but some of those taking on Hercules still prefer to paddle in.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Fascinating. But what the hell does that pull quote mean?
posted by spitbull at 5:16 AM on January 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

"living" -> "like being" ?
posted by pharm at 5:22 AM on January 8, 2014

The first video in the "black swell" link is awesome. Everyone milling around waiting for the incoming tide and then it comes in through the breakwater. People are all like "Ohhh, would you look at it? Ain't it impressive like?" and then as it breaches the sea wall it's all "Oh shit" and everyone's running.
posted by three blind mice at 5:27 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I see the pull quote as representing a sort of beautiful amalgam of adrenaline, The Guarniad, mild hypothermia, and The Grauniad.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 5:41 AM on January 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Neat story, but too bad it wasn't in English.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:45 AM on January 8, 2014

And rabbits living beneath the sea. The error is in the original. I think "like being" for "living" sounds right. Seems a shame to preserve a typo in a MeFi FPP.
posted by spitbull at 5:59 AM on January 8, 2014

Mullaghmore has been attracting enthusiastic surfers for years - much like Easkey and other coastal locations in Sligo. Not sure why it's so unlikely a surf mecca, given its normal exciting range of waves, except for the fact that the Independent, much like other UK newspapers.* basically only covers Ireland when there's an IRA action/our economy tanks/or we do something involving tractors and alcohol and priests.

*I particularly judge the Guardian on these grounds, but then they only generally cover things over 100 miles from London based on the same reasoning, so perhaps not just an Ireland thing.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:11 AM on January 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

If everybody had an ocean,
From Cork to Castlerea,
Then everybody'd be surfin',
Like up Sligo way.
You'd seem 'em wearing their long johns,
Aran sweaters, too,
A bushy, bushy, blonde hairdo -
Surfin' Sligo way.

You'd catch 'em surfin' in Dublin
And out in County Meath
Kilkenny, Kells, and Killarney,
And County Laois’s Heath
All over Mountshannon
And down in Galway Bay
Everybody's gone surfin':
Surfin' Sligo way.

We'll all be planning that route;
We're gonna take the N4.
We're waxing down our surfboards,
And packin’ wooly drawers.
We'll all be gone for the winter;
We're on surfari to stay,
Tell Michael Higgins we’re comin’ -
Surfin' Sligo way.

They’d surf across Lough Lene
Right into Collinstown;
At Clara Bog they’d be carvin’,
Like on the River Laune.
All over Lough Gowna,
And up in Ballybay,
Everybody's gone surfin'
Surfin' Sligo way.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:14 AM on January 8, 2014 [7 favorites]

And rabbits living beneath the sea.

Sea bunnies! Disney will have them copyrighted before the day is out.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:15 AM on January 8, 2014

Antarctic temperatures? Oh please
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:45 AM on January 8, 2014

Antarctic temperatures?

That's a bit of exaggeration, I'm sure, but anybody who gets into water that temp is outta their mind, AFAIC. Not to mention waves that vicious.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:00 AM on January 8, 2014

Did someone say sea bunnies? (And here is the full "Seasons of the Bunnies" series)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2014

Being washed out to sea because you ignored storm warnings (or rather used them to pick where to go!) is a particularly dickish way to die. A boat full of volunteers has to go out after you and risk their lives against the remote chance you might have survived...
posted by samworm at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2014

Surfline coverage of the swell

Paddle session video, Belharra, France

Bonus Mullaghmore from earlier this season, under more ideal conditions
posted by gimli at 12:08 PM on January 8, 2014

I've surfed Northern Ireland, and I can tell you that the water there is relatively warm, due to the Gulf Stream, which brings it up from the Gulf of Mexico.
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 12:15 PM on January 8, 2014

Come to the north country where surfing takes a special type of dedication. This video is Lake Superior with air temps at -13F, windchill a balmy -30F. They've been out this past week at air temps in the low -20's.
posted by misterpatrick at 12:17 PM on January 8, 2014

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