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October 12, 2007

By Devon Barker

Dear Friends,
Spain is very different from the USA. One thing that is different, but very neat, is the school bus. I have attached a picture with some students getting off the bus by our flat. I think the kids back home would enjoy the comfy ride.

Everything is labeled in Spanish and Basque but you hear many more languages when you are out walking. There are a lot of French and Italian speakers with a few English speakers as well. At the Billabong Pro there was a lot of English being spoken as the announcer spoke in English when Kelly Slater was going. I was right on the beach watching him rip up the waves I will compete on next week. When he finished his heat a large crowd met him at the water’s edge. He is very popular.

I did dawn patrol this morning but I renamed it dark patrol, as you will see from the photos. There are so many surfers in the water as the sun comes up that you have to go out early. Erik and I were in the water for about 30 minutes this morning when three elementary students joined us. It is a Saint’s holiday today so they were out of school. I was impressed with their dawn patrol morning.

The beach dump, or break, was not as heavy today but it was still hard. You have to sit and wait in only a couple inches of water to make sure you are not pulled out into the thick break while you are waiting. I timed it well this morning, or I thought so, until I realized I was not going to make it up and over the last wave before it broke. I turned upside down; I call it turn turtle, as all you can see is the shell of my kayak, as this usually helps you not to get slammed by the wave. I got tumbled, yanked, and rolled up with my paddle on the beach. I was back to the beginning.

Boat check in is on the 19th. I am getting really excited to compete. The individual competition is first for both High Performance and for International Class. I am competing in both of those classes. Then the team competition begins.

I love my new digital camera. It is waterproof so I will try to get some more photos soon. Special hello to my 6th gr. students in New Meadows, Idaho. Study hard and I will surf hard.

Cheers from the Basque Land,


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Billabong Pro scoreboard

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Dark Patrol in AM

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Erik going left

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Home in Idaho

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Home in Spain

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Morning light

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School bus in Spain