A MASSIVE Atlantic low covering most of the ocean produced sizeable waves along Europe's coastline over the weekend.
It was a good enough forecast to entice Andrew Cotton to head back to the continent again in search of big waves.
There weren't any record-breaking monsters at Nazaré, Portugal.
But after a fair few miles of hunting there was a quality paddle session at Belharra.
It was a fairly gnarly wave 2km offshore in the Bay of Biscay, a good result and proof the North Atlantic offers some of the best big waves in the world.
At home, the last few weeks have seen an abundance of quality long-period swell hitting the coast and there has been much to celebrate for the dedicated surfers of North Devon.
Most don't get involved in comps or clubs. Whatever their level, they just want to somehow fit their life around surfing.
If you look in the car parks on a good day, from dawn to dusk you will see a parade of tradesmen, groms, skivers and white-collar professionals turn up to grab a bit of blue juice.
Keener than mustard Nick Lloyd is a popular figure in South West surfing and is always chasing good waves.
Having previously competed at national and local levels, he has taken it easy this year, only hitting the Eyeball event on the Woolacombe Wave with his son Finlay.
"I love North Devon, when the waves here are good they are world class and they've been great for a month or so now," said Nick, who is Barnstaple born and bred.
"I've been surfing all over the place, the mileage has been high, but when you score good waves it's worth it.
"I really love getting up for early-morning surfs, there is something very special about it.
"Plus, if you do the early surf you have time to spend the rest of your day with the family.
"I just love everything about surfing – the lifestyle, friends, eating when you're surfed out. I'm not a fan of the cold though."
Injuries are part of the sport and some will keep you out of the water longer than others.
"I recently put my back out quite badly surfing early one morning," said Nick. "I hadn't warmed up properly, my back muscle went into a big spasm so I couldn't walk very well for four or five days.
"(Massage from) Hands On in Braunton and my chiropractor, Julian Barker, fixed me and I was fighting fit and back in the water in no time."
What is on Nick's surfing Christmas list? "I really want a Lottery win, a new dry robe, an O'Neill wetsuit and some new surfplugs with Father Christmas on them," he said.
As for his plans for 2013, they are simple: "Surf, surf, surf."