Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine and Robbie Hickman.

When leading nature tours, you’re always up against the elements. The key to maximizing the fun factor when conditions aren’t ideal is the ability to adapt.

When Shaun and Sept. 15′s False Cape Surf, Yoga & Massage Retreat arrived at the remote beach that morning, it looked like another perfect beach day awaited… Until the wind began howling out of the north-northeast shortly thereafter, kicking up a mean sideshore current.

This called for quick decision-making that would either make or break the retreat. Shaun, knowing the geographic setup of the park well, knew that the only shot for an enjoyable time would be to pack up the beach setup and relocate to the Back Bay side of the barrier spit at the Barbour Hill boat landing. There, the northeasterly breeze blew offshore and was deadened significantly by the maritime forest that lines its shores.

The result was a perfect canvas for standup paddleboarding in the remote surroundings seven miles south of Sandbridge. After the surfers took a couple of drifts in the challenging conditions in the ocean, the entire crew settled in at Barbour Hill for an afternoon of paddling, sun-soaking and relaxation in the pristine environement.

The change-of-plans actually proved to be the perfect precursor to our next trip to False Cape State Park on Sept. 29, which is centered around SUPing in Back Bay at Barbour Hill. The retreat will offer the same yoga, massage and lunch options as our previous False Cape trips. 


To view an extended photo gallery of the retreat, visit photographer Robbie Hickman’s website by clicking here.

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