Damien and I went surfing this afternoon - first time. We bought wetsuits yesterday and rented surfboards today. We went with Andrew from work, who'd done it one or two dozen times before. We went to "Mondo's Beach," which is just south of Carp and is noted to have good beginner conditions. The waves were 2-4 feet high and not too frequent. Today Andrew stood up while riding a wave for the first time, he was very excited about it. I caught about three waves and rode them to the beach, but I couldn't stand up more than on my hands and knees. That was definitely fun. The part I didn't like so much was the paddling - my arms are not in any shape to do all that paddling! I was exhausted after just a couple of minutes and took long breaks just lying on my board. Also, the salty water was way more unpleasant than I remember from swimming in the ocean as a kid. It sticks in your mouth and makes you thirsty, stings in your eyes (or maybe that was the sunscreen), and it makes you nauseous if you swallow it. Damien seemed to have trouble just lying on his board without unbalancing and falling off, so he never caught any waves. We were on big foam beginner's boards, which are supposedly easier to deal with for newbies, but talking to another coworker tonight, it sounded like the suitability of the boards might have been an obstacle.
So, D isn't excited about surfing at this point and I'm only mildly positive, but it seems like there are some other water sports we could try, now that we have wetsuits. I'm pretty interested in windsurfing actually. Damien mentioned SCUBA diving.
After getting back to Carp and showering at Andrew's house, we went to the Brew Pub (what we call the Island Brewing Company storefront - it is a little independent brewery in the middle of town that work people like go to) and there was a big event going on: it was Paul's (the founder's) birthday. You could get free refills on beer just for asking, and there was a huge buffet, possibly potluck. There was a large band playing live music (the "Brewery Boys") and Paul was on drums. We had some chocolate cake, hamburgers/hotdogs, strawberries and brie, and beer while greeting other local folks and listening to the music.