National Maritime Museum Cornwall

A Day in the Life of Surfer Joe – National Maritime Museum Cornwall

‘…This cartoon is one of a series of eight drawn by Cornish professional surfer, Sam Bleakley. The series follows “A day in the life of Surfer Joe”. During his day, Joe checks the surf forecast, leaves early to catch the best waves before heading to work in a surf shop. After work he heads out again for an evening session on the water. There is also an environmental message in this series as Joe avoids the polluted beaches, and becomes depressed over the state of the local environment. The series represents a day that many keen surfers aspire to, leaving the rat race for an easier life enjoying the Cornish surf.

Sam Bleakley comes from Sennnen in the West of Cornwall and regularly surfs there still. Despite being the European longboard champion, and his career taking him all over the world, he still favours the Cornish waters. He is also a freelance journalist, writing regularly for surf publications. He is sponsored by a number of companies and, in many ways, seems to have not only achieved the aspirations set out in his cartoon series, but gone beyond them. In his own CV he writes: “Surfing is more than just a sport, it is a natural lifestyle, addictive and dictated by the ocean. The best surfers embody a dream; driven, clean living, clear thinking, modest and most importantly, happy”

Sam Bleakley’s Surfer Joe cartoons are part of the museum’s permanent collections and may be viewed by appointment…’

About Sam Bleakley

I am a freelance writer and professional surfer from Sennen, West Cornwall, in the UK. I specialise in surf exploration projects with renowned surfEXPLORE photographer John Callahan. I have undertaken groundbreaking trips to the likes of Algeria, Liberia, Kenya, Oman, South Korea, Hainan, Palawan and the Maluku Islands. Surf writing has led me to visit sixty countries. My roots, however, remain in Penwith, where I live with my family above Gwenver beach, close to Land's End, the westernmost tip of Britain - next stop Novia Scotia. I have an MA in Geography from Pembroke College, the University of Cambridge, and I am currently researching a part time PhD in Travel Writing with Falmouth University. I am the author of two illustrated surf travel books, Surfing Brilliant Corners and Surfing Tropical Beats (Alison Hodge Publisher, Penzance). I have been a multiple European and British Longboard surfing Champion, and former competitor on the ASP World Longboard Tour. I am widely published and featured in international magazines and newspapers ranging from Resurgence to Action Asia to The Cornishman, and a regular contributor to The Surfer's Path. I have studied and taught travel writing courses and guest lecture on aspects of surfing, travel, writing and geogrphy in further and higher education. I edited The Surfing Tribe: a history of surfing in Britain, and have edited Longboarding supplements and specials for Carve and Wavelength magazines. My first book, Surfing Brilliant Corners, details a decade of extreme global surf travel, illustrated by John Callahan. Surfing, jazz, geography, ecology and cultural studies mix as I journey to Mauritania, locked in political strife, where landmines litter access to some of the best waves on the planet; and Haiti, which captures my heart and makes it race as if falling in love. My second book, Surfing Tropical Beats, follows our surfEXPLORE team on a rollercoaster ride from Haiti to Gabon, through Algeria, India, Vietnam, China and back to Haiti.
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