Brine bro Tony sent me some shots of his daughter and her new board yesterday and I just had to post a couple as they have Stoke written all over them.
Here's what the proud dad wrote: "Today was as Picture Perfect as you could get. I have been surfing for 50 years now and I can't remember a more Perfect winter day. Courtney my eldest got a New Girls Model Robert August 8'0" for her 24th Birthday and we tried it out today at Rainbow. WOW ! Just like Perfect Waikiki No Joke."
Sometimes you gotta get down at ground level with the ants to get a good angle. But when the surf gets overhead all you're going to be seeing is a wall of whitewater unless you can get some serious height above sea level. This usually involves scampering up a cliff with the longest lens you can get your paws on. And that sort of glass requires a decent tripod if you're hands are as unsteady as mine!
It's pitch dark but I'm wide awake. The barking dog up the road and the possums returning from their nocturnal adventures penetrate my pre-dawn thoughts. I may as well get up, even though I have no idea what the time is. Hopefully dawn isn't too far away.
The mobile phone/alarm/clock/portal-to-the-universe is dead as I fire up two computers and jam the studio headphones on my my sniffly head. I spend the next 10 minutes wandering around the kitchen organising coffee in silence, not focused enough to remember to turn the music on.
Insomnia is good for something, I'm sure. I just don't know what on this chilly Tuesday. The coffee eventually percolates as a series of laid back acoustic tunes from Ali Farka Toure, Angelique Kidjo and Nirvana seep into my ears.
The Church's Under the Milky Way version from their acoustic album Momento Descuidado steps up, grabs my memory and transports me back in time to the day I shot video all day during one of Noosa's rare monster swells when the sun was out, the waves huge, the crowds insane but the rides epic. I used this song on the soundtrack during a slow mo sequence.
"Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty, Sound of their breath fades with the light. I think about the loveless fascination, Under the milky way tonight.
Wish I knew what you were looking for. Might have known what you would find.
And it's something quite peculiar, Something that's shimmering and white. Leads you here despite your destination, Under the milky way tonight."
A new low pressure system has formed off the coast. So there should be some nice swell pulsing our way on the weekend. Thank god it's Friday. The sun is back and the ground drying out enough to catch up on some yard work. Now's the time to prune back everything before the spring growth cycle kicks in next month. Or better still catch up with family and friends. Have a great weekend.
This is why I wear the red Gath helmet when shooting in the water. You gotta get real close sometimes to get the pic. Ohh and on these cold winter days it keeps my melon warm and stops ear aches when those westerly winds howl.
Caught up with a few brine brothers the other night as well as surfsista and PhD candidate Rebecca Olive, who has written a moving piece on surfing, sadness and loss for the latest version of Kurungabaasea journal. Get a copy. Be moved. Even tough old surfers have a heart. (I hope).
Thanks Bec for sharing and thanks to the rest of the BBB crew. Great to talk story with you all. Oh and thanks for the Carona and the lift Bazzmeister!
"I remember the moment when I realised my heart was breaking. When I paddled out into the crowd last summer, thinking I could escape from the fog of sadness. But it didn't work, nothing worked and I was frustrated. I remember the too bright sunlight and the too-full waves feeling like a taunt: See how good things are? See how life will go on? I remember the the way the kind words of afriend made my shoulders and tears begin to drop as I sat with her in the salt water. On that day, I stopped trying to fight anything."
excerpt from "Remembered" by Rebecca Olive Kurungabaa magazine Vol4 #1 2012
Preparing for The Commute today I was reminded of some of the wonderful older surfers I'd met over the years along the way, especially the ones like McTavish who has the enthusiasm of a grommet . And others again, invisible to the buffed and photoshopped media circus that trails the surf industry, but surfers with Stoke nonetheless. Surfers who have worked hard for 30 or more years, raised families, buried their parents and cashed in their superannuation to roll around the country in their RVs and Winnebagoes, their pop top caravans and their kombis. Living the Endless Summer dream until the Grim Reaper calls their number. For these surfers have paid their dues and now Monday means nothing more than a chance to reconnect with the sea and the country they have served. This post is for you.