I'd often wondered about the draw of the Portuguese coast's Nazaré monster surfing waves – but had never been inquisitive enough to look further …
|Monster breaking wave at the end
of the underwater Nazaré canyon
What was it … and why were the waves so big …? well now I know – and so will you in a few hundred words!
A recent Film Society Film 'Big v Small' explained a great deal, as well as opening my eyes to how we can tame the fears inside us … under the ice in Finland.
Holding our breath for any length of time for most of us is nigh impossible … and we all have fears of some sort … perhaps mostly hidden from our friends and the outside world.
"I am a small woman - 1.56 meters tall - and not very muscular. My strength comes from the head through a lot of meditation and breathing exercises. I train at home to relax, connect with my inside and find the way to trust myself."
|The 'Oeste' Administrative
area on the coast of Portugal
Growing up on the Oeste coastline – about half-way up Portugal's coast – Joana, as many a normal kid would do, rebelled against her mother … no surfing … not in those waves … but Joana had other thoughts. Typical rebellious kid!
She looked and looked at those huge breakers, while improving her paddle-board surfing skill along the coast … at that stage: self-propelled with her surfboard.
|Tow-in Surfers shown on the waves
Monster surfing waves are found in Hawaii, off California and Nazaré, Portugal … there are other notable big wave surfing spots. These waves could only be caught using the tow-in method …
|Joana Andrade surfing a giant wave
The ups and downs of 'tow- in surfing fashion' has in the last five decades or so – opened up other areas … one of which is Nazaré – where the waves break really close to the shore … the area known as Praia do Norte (Nazaré).
Nazare's underwater canyon
There are three distinct sections … one of which I must remember to mention when I get back to my English Language post/s.
Another problem was holding one's breath should one fall out of a wave, as another huge wave would be waiting to break, with perhaps a third soon behind …
|Johanna Nordblad - under the ice
They went to Finland to help Joana Andrade hold her breath for longer, as well as overcoming her fear of being submerged … in this case under the ice for a period of time …
|Fort of Sao Miguel Arcanjo (1577)
Mind over matter … something at that level beyond my desire to attain … but the film was very intriguing and very absorbing.
The links fill in or add to the informational spaces …
Portuguese Joana Andrade - article in Surfer Today ...
Adding another link I'd forgotten about: From Cambridge University about 'cold shock' being tested for its value with various diseases". I can't seem to provide a link - but if you're interested ... please type in the sentence below and you'll be sent to the link.
Scientists in Cambridge and Berlin have used a form of gene therapy to increase levels of the so-called ‘cold shock protein’ in the brains of mice, protecting them against the potentially devastating impact of prion disease.
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