Mentro 21. No hero’s welcome, just a cold car park and small dog. Caswell, Gower November 2015.

DimExcuses Caswell

So I did it, completed my #Mentro21 challenge to surf 21 times this year. I was cutting it close though. We have been enjoying an unseasonably mild autumn, but this week saw a sudden change to the cold air that we should have been having. Overnight temperatures reaching freezing and not seeing anywhere near double figures in the day.

Low sun surf

The sea is still a forgiving twelve degrees Celsius. So mindful of that I still needed that twenty first surf and the water, weather is only going to get colder and the days shorter, I headed to Caswell Bay, Gower to finish the challenge.

Sharon and Molly

My girlfriend Sharon came along and took most of these photos, you can follow her on twitter @WarmSand1. Of course Molly our french bulldog was with us too, and she followed me straight into the sea with her friend here. The low autumn sun was spectacular but a real pain for photos and looking out to sea for waves.

Molly DimExcuses Caswell

The water really wasn’t that cold, it is the air that is now a problem. The bright sun helped but only brought the air to a whole seven degrees.

Caswell Gower

Molly was still quite happy in the water, having a bit of a paddle.

Molly Caswell

But she soon got pretty cold.

Molly Apres Surf

Heading back to the van for a rub down and a fleece blanket wrap.

Molly French Bulldog

I still had a few waves to catch.

DimExcuses Caswell

The last in the water.

Last One Out

So there it is the completion of my #Mentro21 project. No fanfare, no hero’s welcome, just me, Sharon, a small dog, a big van and a cold car park. At that is generally how it is surfing in Wales. ┬áBut it will soon be spring and we will be doing it all over again. I have come a long way from Mentro 1, way back in April. But then again the sea wasn’t that cold today, could I get in again this year? Cold water surfing, DimExcuses.

StormWatch, Langland Bay Going Off, 7th November 2015

Langland Surf

The winter weather may not be here yet, but the winter swells certainly are. Molly and I were in full on StormWatch mode today heading to Langland Bay, Gower to see a full line up scramble for some seriously pumping surf on the rising tide.

Molly Langland

Molly was straight in the waves, she is such a surf bulldog.

Surf Bulldog

It was a day for short boards, fast and steep. With the winter temperatures still not here there were some summer wetsuits and bare feet in the crowded line up.

Surf Langland

The surf was really peaking with some tall faces testings all the short boarders.

High Tide Langland

We had a great view on the high tide.

Surfer Langland Gower

Some surfers were really charging the heavy swell.

Surf Gower

The waves on their own were worth watching, fantastic curling faces.

Autumn Surf Gower

This autumn in Gower has been fantastic.

Warm Autumn Surf

It is not cold at all yet with air temperatures never leaving double figures.

Surfing Waves Langland Gower

Molly was watching all the riders, and casting a wise experienced eye over the crashing shore break.

Gower French Bulldog Molly

Even though it was a scramble, if you were the right place you could get a cracking ride. Plenty of wave face to carve.

DimExcuses Langland

…but then you had to get back out again.

DimExcuses Surf

Molly needs to get her paws in the water and face in the waves when she is on StormWatch.

DimExcusesSurf Bulldog

What a great afternoon of pumping surf at Langland Bay, Gower. This autumn is really shaping up into a year to remember. With winter just around the corner you can be assured that Molly and I are back on StormWatch, out and about checking on all those Gower winter waves for you, DimExcuses.

Mentro 20. Surfing All Saints Day, Rhossili Bay, Gower 1st November 2015.

Surfing All Saints Day

It is the 1st November already, All Saints Day, or as it used to be known All Hallows Day. Which is why it is preceded by All Hallows Eve, or as it is called now Halloween. Well it is here and El Nino has let Gower have some unseasonable sun and warm weather.

Rhossili Bay 1st November

With water temperatures still cool rather than cold I headed for Rhossili Bay, Gower and the first of the winter swells.

Misty Rhossili

As well as the unusual weather we also had an unusual south easterly wind, which means offshore winds and clean blue lines. Perfect accompaniment to that solid winter swell.

Surf Rhossili

I managed to join fellow Gower surfer and South Wales surf twitterer Paul (@b_bstephens on twitter). He was getting a lot of waves in the clean conditions. We were surfing on the falling tide and the wind was increasing as we lost the cover of Rhossili headland.

Low tide Rhossili Bay, Gower

The sun had brought the autumn tourists out and the car park was a lot busier than when I took a similar photo of my board in a previous autumn visit to Rhossili Bay, Gower.

Rhossili Bay Car Park

With the sun out and the air so warm for autumn some people were making the most of the Worms Head Hotel beer garden, and there were plenty of surfers to entertain them below.

Worms Head Hotel

The strange weather soon saw an eerie sea mist descend on the horizon. Unusual autumn conditions indeed.

Sea Mist Rhossili Gower

Great weather, great surf and the winter chill is still staying away. El Nino is growing on me.

Gower Surfing

So this was Mentro 20 in my #Mentro21 challenge to surf 21 times this year. Just one more surf to go, DimExcuses.