Friday, December 28, 2007

Off on holidays today. Three weeks to the same place as last year. Happy New Year and thanks everyone for your interest and support over the Musica Surfica project. On air Jan 26 down here...

Happy Holidays and have a great New Year.

I'll need it ... I just paid the credit card bill... YIKES!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A very surfless couple of weeks for me ... last week because there was none, this week because of Christmas and finishing off the film.

As of tomorrow my part in the proceedings ends as the final sound mix is completed. What a year.

One of the great things about it though has been the the people I've met or come in contact with through the film, and also through this blog. My last entry tried to clear up the odd missed personality on King Island. Another who needs mentioning is Warren Pfeiffer...

Warren is, as Derek tells it, one of the greats on a mat, and he did little to discourage that opinion while on the rock. A few of the other guys took one out on occasion, with success, but it was subtlety that distanced Warren from everybody else. While most would wrench the mat into turns, or push and squeeze the sides to try and control it, Warren just seemed to lie, and fly. No obvious adjustments apart from picking lines, but you knew he was pressing, pushing, or squeezing, invisibly, a bit like dressage lying down.

My editor, Anne, married to a surfer and clearly knowledgeable, loved it every time we looked at Warren.

"He's like a big seal", and "it looks so much fun"... and indeed that again is what it's all about, that and speed.

As Warren said to me in a recent email: " doubt the quest is always for speed for without it even the turn cannot be accomplished. It is so nice to ride the fastest craft of them all"

I will say, too, that his mat of choice is the Dale Solomonson Nuematic. Amazing things, feather light, fit in your pocket practically.... add a pair of fins and you're always ready if a wave appears unexpectedly.

Think, the dutiful holiday with the family...

"No darling I won't take my board..."

Everybody happy but you, taking a romantic walk on a secluded, supposedly surfless bit of coast, warm sunny... walk 'round a little headland..

"What's that..?? Waves! Can you imagine that darling... I never expected that. Let's have a picnic...."

Dig in bag...

"Oops, I forgot the lunch... oh look what I accidentally left in my backpack. The old mat...heh heh... well... since we're here.. mind if I slip out for a couple of little...barrels?..."


"I love you sweetheart. Er, better be quick, looks like a storm brewing.."

So, one more grab... this time of Warren on a little speeder, no storms in sight.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A couple of days ago I received my much awaited copy of The Surfers Journal. This edition more anticipated than usual as I knew it had an article on the Musica Surfica event.

As expected a very Derek view of things... my first reaction was "Huh?" but on reflection the lad exists on another planet, and a very special one at that.

My view, for what it's worth as someone who saw pretty much every minute of every session from the land, is he was pretty accurate in his assessments, bar a couple of things. First, he underplayed where he was at relative to everyone else. Too modest.

Because his passion for the finless experiment runs so deep, on the modern finless he is a phenomenon. He handles the alaia well, amazingly so, but his bag, clearly, was in that world that he owns.

Richard Tognetti. I think Derek underplays his ability by rating it as average. Richard's surfing played second fiddle (did I say that?) to his violin for many years, so his level on a finless is a testimony to the extraordinary focus he possesses.

Tom Carrol, the guy's athleticism, and the focus he brings to things is what separates "us" from "them". Tom went from flailing to sailing so quickly, and as Derek said, really favoured the wooden boards.

Tom Wegener and Sage Joske ruled the alaias, however, but Derek did forgetfully neglect to mention anywhere the other Joske, the little brother, Heath. Heath is red hot, and one of the most beautiful sequences in the film is captured by Jon Frank as he sails by on the 12 ft parabolic railer.

So.. for your viewing pleasure... a nugget or two...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yesterday the swell was pretty tiny. We hunted about, Winki minimal, but a little searching found us at Guvvo's, a fun beachie in sight of Wayne Lynch's resurrected tee-pee.

Anticipating these swell conditions, I'd dragged the mal along, and took it out for a dousing, it being some 6 months since it'd last been in the drink.

While walking to the water I noticed out of the corner of my beadie a guy approaching with a self shaped alaia, a la Tom Wegener. Billy was his name, and he'd been riding it for a couple of months, and loved the play. I snapped a shot, and then, coming towards me was an old mate, Morgan.

Morgan's an artful type. I mentored him a bit when he was in uni, and we've been friends ever since. A seriously hot surfer, I swear he'd rip on a soggy noodle, but yesterday he had a rather fun looking single he'd just picked up. He'd had it shaped by Torquay legend shaper Doug Rogers, but told Doug the stickers and colour job were his to do. The label is Harmonious Monk (in homage to Thelonius, of jazz fusion fame).

Why the name, Morgs?

It seems he's working on the idea that boards are such lovely forms in themselves, it is the job of the artist who adorns them to work in compliment to them, to make them sing. Great idea, but he'll be the first to admit it ain't easy.

I do love what he's done though, and here's Morgan's board and grin.

As for the waves, I had a lot of fun, even doing a Conley again and attempting to film one with the crappy snapper. I may show that later.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

One of the great things about being involved in the Musica project is the people I've met.

One of them is Paul Joske, father of Sage, Heath and Violet, and a master shaper. His wife Jenny must have the patience of a saint, as he has his ways... which are put to great effect.

He recently made a rather wonderful surfboard out of unglassed chambered paulownia for a surfer of Victoria's deep south, Peter Fillmore. I wrote an intro for an account of the boards making, as written by Paul. Have a look on Phoresia. It's worth a peek.

And speaking of peeks, here's one now...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Another week flies by and a good one at that.

Up to Sydney (see view from plane) for some film related stuff, met with Foxtel, everyone happy, and also picked up some more music tracks... so good, but don't expect a geeetarr anywhere.

The film will launch in late January here, God knows for the rest of the world, but it's looking good and rest assured all those who've asked, we will fit in that wave if we possibly can.

Today's shots are from this mornings surf at Gunnamatta... hell rips, but great banks. I hate rip bowls, always have as I love to sit and think. Rip bowls, all you do is paddle, it was busy, but I did end up moving down the beach and the bottom shot is where I got my best waves. Unfortunately the tide was running out and the wind blowing a gale so it quickly got too low. I suspect later in the day the wind will drop away and as the tide heads back in those remaining hardy souls should score.

Oh, having finally ridden the MC on a left... it goes good, really good, when my pathetic old frame (seen in silhouette on walk back) behaves itself.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A couple of things.

I'll get the weekend waves out of the way first. Same Bat time, etc as last week, Flynns, 3-5 ft and shifty winds, but a very fun session except for a couple of dings In the borrowed MC from a guy abandoning his board with exquisitely bad timing.

As they say, shit happens, but I did say a rude word, which is not my custom, and I felt sorry for the guy afterward... he paddled that nose in the air way that said no too familiar with the water.

Still, great fun, plenty of waves, a good start to a new week. Sorry 'bout the shot. Timing is everything and I just missed the best moments because we had to leave early as Richie had to go to a party. D'oh.

The other thing..?

We received footage today, shot last week, of Derek H at J-Bay on a variety of boards. Astounding stuff. Any of those guys on the Swaylocks forums who say drive only comes from the fin will sit back a foot or two when they see this stuff. Picture a six foot plus Supertubes wave, DH on a 4'6", doing a carving, deep, long bottom turn, under the lip 360, then driving into a looooong barrel, and making it. Unfortunately that particular one we can't use as the tripod shook terribly at the worst possible moment, but there were other equally wonderful shots.

We cut some of them into the film this afternoon. Am I smiling or what?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Musica Surfica Update

In the final weeks of editing now. Last Monday the sound design guys were briefed, another labour of love, and we're heading to Sydney next Wednesday for a showing. Fingers crossed, but I'm getting happier by the day. It pays to have good help and the people helping on this project are amazing.

Yesterday I got a text from Derek Hynd, and later spoke to him. He's sending me footage, which will arrive on Monday, of him surfing 6-8' Jeff
reys Bay on the 3'6" Thing shown in an earlier post, and reprised below. I can't wait to see it.We've also got film coming from Jack McCoy of the sizey Bells we got a couple of weeks back. Luck is smiling on us. Thanks Jack.

Also, up on the Australian Chamber Orchestra blogsite is a slide show of the shoot.There are several shots of the back of my head as I conduct interviews, and one of me and my new mate Tom Carroll. God I'm pathetic.

Update 20.3.08 for those of you coming from Tom Wegener's Newsletter.

The film is finished, and has been seen on Foxtel, premiering on Australia Day. We are working on the DVD with a raft of extras, hoping to finish in about a month. God I hope so. There is a new trailer up here (March 17 entry) and if you keep coming back there'll be another trailer very soon.

Also other news of the films progress can be found as you explore Safe to Sea from late March 07 onwards. It was quite a journey.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks Tom, for thinking of me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

After a small bugger up posting hopefully this will work and no one will have noticed.

The weekend had great promise and the swell delivered, albeit with a flukey wind that really couldn't make up it's mind. In a two hour stretch it blew north, north east, south west, west, north-west and easterly. Wind strength from 2 to 20 knots. Thunderstorms loomed. Lightening in the distance. Rain. Bad jokes in the water. It had the lot.

Amongst it all, Richie and I got a few. I'm trying out a Maurice Cole 6'2" at the moment and I love it on my forehand, unconvinced on the backhand but I'm sure it's me, not the board. It's heavily concaved and accelerates like a thirsty man near a bar, so at times I resembled a spastic seagull as I flew by.

The shots are of the two breaks we surfed yesterday. Flynns, the right, a bit crowded, where I caught a great first wave, then couldn't buy one for and hour and a half. I have the terrible habit of trying to sit furthest out and across in the effort to feel like it's not so busy, which always results in a terribly low wave count, or a few bombs. Yesterday I had a bit of both, but luckily scored a couple of good ones towards the end. Then we jumped in the car and zoomed around to the left on the other side of the bay. It was starting to improve, I still had my wetty on, so jumped in and caught a few before my arms turned to jelly.

Five hours. Not bad for a couple of old farts.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

For want of something completely different to post, I rummaged 'round in an old sketchbook and found this.

A mixture of paint, masking tape, acrylic glaze and a photo copy I did of a rock I found after a surf down south, I've always liked the image but have never been sure what it was I was trying to achieve.

The rock was, and is, an oddly embryonic form, and was dubbed the Rock of Doom by a workmate as it crashed any computer it was placed near.

Expecting a big swell tomorrow so with luck expect shots.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Good God, I actually got a surf in on Sunday.

Down to the island, tiny swell but Magics was doing it's delightful thing and had a fun session at a tidy little A framed confection. Busy, but fun, and everyone seemed to get their share given the slightly inconsistent nature. Banks everywhere too, so the weekend crowds, myself included, walked away happy. Sunny, the water warming up and a lot of smiles about.

The guy on the fish is Art (I overheard he and a mate talking and I think that's what I heard), hails originally from Kauai via the Carolinas, and seemed to be enjoying himself.

G'day Art, here's your snap.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Over the years I've loved a 'bit of size', but have always fallen into the self description of perhaps stalwart survivor, or maybe 'also ran'. Saying that, I have had some pretty good waves and will tell lies about them in my dotage, may it be a long time coming.

Today, while seeing what goodies the morrow might bring, I stumbled across this thing from a surf photog called Otto on the site. This guy almost deserves a bravery medal for taking the shot.

As for the surfer, the guy has a lot of sack, and perhaps a death wish.

Ah, those were the days.

Going on the last remark it seems my old age has crept up more quickly than I thought.
I'm telling lies already.

PS: 14 Nov: Last night I saw some footage of this ... the guy in the pic made the wave! Unbelievable. It was Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania, just last week)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Today is the first anniversary of my beginning this folly. My first post (Nov 8, 2006) was a story I wrote and nearly had published about the death of a young Californian while on a boat trip near Nias.

I posted it because I'd have loved his parents to see that his happy last days were remembered and delighted in as well as his passing mourned by visitors to the remote islands where he died.

I got little response back then. Maybe one of my new readers (those precious few) saw something about it, knew him... who knows?

Have another read, those of you who have a moment. Say hello to young Tim.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The past couple of days the weather has been utter crap, with surf to match. To alleviate visitor boredom I offer the Maurice Cole finless that was used to much success down on King Island, and later at good sized Bells. I neglected to get a shot of it down there, and plenty of people had been interested in what he came up with.

Here 'tis.

The other shot is a sight that greeted me on the drive home.

The tires were secured with one piece of rope and boy I had no desire to be following that guy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Following on from the waves of last week, I came across a shot taken by local surf photog Steve Ryan. I had to share it with you so thanks to Steve and

Given that all manner of craft were ridden, including a 3'6'' thing that when on a wave looked like Derek was standing on a ball of foam, it's a conservative choice, to say the least, but nevertheless, it is still pretty. Steve's based on Victoria's west coast and his work can be seen here. It's worth a look if you want to see the glories of the bit of coast that is closest to my heart and taken by by one who's devoted much time to capturing it's shining moments.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The last couple of days have been a bit of a quiet revelation. Yesterday and today, Derek Hynd, Sage Josky have been down here to do some filming on finless boards of various persuasions, with the help of Jack McCoy and his assistant Lachie.

The waves were pretty mindless, and the surfing very different.

What this difference did was transform the lineup at Bells from reserved to chatty. Guys who might otherwise stay quiet were commenting on the guys with the strange boards..

""You should have seen this board this guy had on the beach... no fins, weird edges, no fins, it'll never work..."
...only to see said board with skinny square jawed pilot go streaking by, grinning, sideways, moments later. This continued all morning yesterday, the scene repeated today.

The boys amazed the crew, got a heap of waves, everyone enjoyed the show, a lot of questions were asked.

Someone asked Derek what the point was.

"Fun" he said, and fun he had.

All through the session though Sage ripped on his wooden boards... double overhead on a couple, streaking on a 1000 year old design.

Sitting out the back I asked how he was enjoying things...

"Pretty good Mick, but I'd love a couple on my six one."

At the end of my session as I staggered knackered from the water I saw him run down the stairs with his thruster.

A few minutes later, from the carpark I saw him absolutely destroy two 8ft waves in a way that would make Occy proud... I'm serious here... I've never seen anyone do what he did on those couple of waves.

When he came in I asked " Little bit of pent up frustration there Sage?"

He just grinned.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

No surf this weekend, but the week holds promise.

I have to share something that happened while doing the last Musica shoot. The scene was the concert held for the school kids of Bellingen, NSW.

The reason all this MS thing began originally was to provide the surfing backdrop to the concert series, and to get the reaction of the kids.

The orchestra was to play a 17 minute piece, a combination of their arrangement of Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and Paganini's Caprice 24, all choreographed to a film cut we made that was to play behind them on a big screen. Come the moment that they they were to commence playing, and as I'm preparing to enjoy the show from right up the back near the projector, I lean back, put my foot against the wall and kicked the plug out of the wall. I died a thousand deaths, and started to sweat as I saw 8 months work begin to disappear out the door.

In the end, after the orchestra played everything else they could think of, we (they) got it all going again, and managed to laugh about it afterwards, and in retrospect, I think it was better because of it, but you couldn't have made me feel more sick if you'd stuck my head in a bag of crook prawns.

The pic is part of the crowd of 500 kids, (who loved it by the way) taken after the projector went back online.

I'm gonna stop now before I kick the plug out of the wall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A couple of snaps from last week.

The first shot is from the rehearsals for the Coff's Harbour performance of Musica Surfica. How cool is it to see a 12 foot alaia on the stage of a classical music concert?

The second is a "fuzzy from up the back shot" taken during the performance. The orchestra is performing live to a choreographed edit of the footage we shot on King Island. The audience of 600 loved it and the reaction has been the same right up the coast. We're all slightly stoked to say the least.

Also up the back in the projection booth was Jack McCoy, who afterwards said it was the best surf film he'd ever seen. Not sure about that Jack but it's nice to hear it said. In truth it's very different surfing with some very different music. It changes the way you see this thing we love to do.

One thing that really helped was a stroke of genius from Derek. Together with Louis Thorn the ACO AV guy, they made a variation on an early edit I'd done, super slowing down the footage we'd shot. It was so brilliant I barely changed a thing on that section. Thanks guys... it made the show.

Typical bloody Derek. He'll steal anyone's thunder given half a chance.

To end this entry I'm going to quote him from something Richard Tognetti has read to audiences as an opener to every night of the tour. Derek wrote it quickly when pressed to explain why he chooses to ride finless. I think it is quite profound... but don't tell him I think so.

“To surf free friction, or fin free, primarily forces the surfer back to the core. It is an act of homage to thousands of years of wave riding. It’s a return to an unpredictable wild side in a sea of conservatism. It is a test of composure in delivering the upper hand to nature. Most of all though, it’s just a frontier feeling of being untethered and unguided that brings fun to the fore, and fun is the key.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just back form the North Coast shooting, and more about that later.
For now, I have to share this.

My fifteen year old Joey came along for the experience, and made me proud. Helped as a strong back with gear, lights and all that filmy stuff, and got to experience the whole thing, meeting movie stars, famous musicians and seeing how it all comes together.

He also clicked with Derek Hynd, who was there as well. One day after shooting, the two of them were on the basketball court of Bellingen High, after a performance for the kids of the town (which we filmed). Joey, who loves his basketball, was telling Derek all about Michael Jordan, and then they decided to have a jump off.

The debacle ended when Derek barely managed to touch the bottom of the backboard while Joe as hitting it with his elbow.

All the while they were laughing like drains, just having fun.

A couple of days later, Joey is trying to describe Derek to my Dad, then simply draws this, bung eye and all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today I'm off to do the final bout of filming for Musica Surfica.

A very intense few days to follow, and many heavy weeks of editing after that.
Next Saturday, after the shooting, I've been invited to the launch of Tim Baker's book, High Surf.
Richard Tognetti is one of many featured surfers of note, those surfers including Kelly S, Ross Clarke Jones, ethicist Peter Singer, MR, and many more.

It'll be an interesting evening for sure, and they've asked me to show the rough cut of the film. It'll be great to get a response from the luminaries of the life.

The forward is written by Jack Finlay, old salt, raconteur, yachtsman, boxer, and an Australian Surfing Treasure, as his tales of the sea are a delight to read, his presence in the line up always welcome, and you can discover more of Jack in his book The Wind on the Water.

So a pretty culture filled few days coming up. Wish me luck and a new post next Monday.

Oh, the shots are of Jack himself out the back in pretty shitty Bells on Sunday, and said Bells before the wind got to it too much.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A non surfing entry today.

In Japan the institution of 'National Living Treasures' provides a recognition of individuals of great cultural significance. These individuals serve as icons of what we can be, the best in all of us. Australia borrowed the idea some time ago. Richard Tognetti, of Musica Surfica fame, is one, and he was granted the honour at the ripe old age of around 32.

Another is Michael Leunig.

If you don't know of Michael, he is the most humane of men, a humorist and satirist who's cartoons, prose and verse are funny, poignant and always pointed at some gem or lump of coal embedded in the human condition. Sometimes you won't agree, some people think he's mad, but his perceptions have delighted me (mostly) for nearly 40 years.

Attached is a cartoon I clipped out years ago. I placed it near my screen to remind me what the internet can be about, the bad that comes with the good.

The first reaction I had when I saw it was "it's all about porn", but even pornography can be life affirming if it is about joy, and fun, mutual consent on all levels, and respect... Sex is part of life.

On reflection, though, Michael's cartoon spotlights for me the horrors that can come unbidden to our screens.

The other day I was sent a link, with the comment: "Check the link below for some good 'ol American justice." It also said "hold on right to the end... it's unbelievable."

It sure was. Follow this link only if you've got a strong stomach.

For me it's one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen. It features a police chase, followed by what can only be described as the murder of some poor fucker who panicked when he saw a cop car... zigged instead of zagged. The officer in question is heard, halfway through the chase, saying if he catches this guy, he's "gonna take him down"...

At no stage is the driver a real threat to the officer, he's running, that's all.

Finally ramming the fleeing car, the officer get's out and in a full combat stance, proceeds to pump bullets at the driver...and then is seen, kneeling on the bonnet, pumping some more into the driver's slumped body.

If he stuck a funnel in the guy's mouth he couldn't get more lead in.

Following up all this on the net, the police paint it as a drug dealer who tried to ram the police several times and the officer acted in self defence.

No. At no time is that officer under any real threat. He wanted blood and boy he got it.

Still, I'm not here to rant too much over his motives.

My first response was to brand him a fat redneck with a gun fetish and a tiny willy, which may or may not be true. On reflection I think it boils down to recruiting and training. When someone is trained to a level where instinct is guided by a cool head, these situations would rarely, if ever, arise.

Consider this as a comparison.

Showing an action in Afghanistan, Australian forces are seen engaging the Taliban.

Now, this could be any well trained force. I use this as an example only.

These guys are cool, aware and dispassionate. I would like to think any police force was as well trained as this. As the army is supposed to protect us as a nation, so too do the police protect us as communities and sometimes from ourselves.

The driver clearly had a problem, his reaction said as much, and a level headed cop would not have had the responses this one had.

Instead of " I'm going to take him down", imagine if it'd been followed by " to the station", for a " good talking to" or even a "quiet chat" out the back.

Sorry for attempting humour with this, but it guts me to think that even the worst of us could be subject to such summary justice, Australian, American or anywhere else.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In the article mentioned below I'm referred to as a surf nut. It was the only thing I took slight issue with in an otherwise great write up.

Why take issue? I suppose I find it a bit demeaning, preferring, perhaps, longtime surfer, old, even fading. But nut?

Still, today was a bit nutty. Winki busy as hell, but Bells, why... for awhile it was 4-5ft and just 2 guys out the back. I got some belters and not too many beltings, and had a lot of fun. Unfortunately my mate Rich did something to his back and came in early, and so snapped a couple of me with my crappy snapper.

"Micky, I can't get this thing to take it when I want it to take it."

Shutter lag is depressing....which of course means he missed the airs, hell cutties, and the deep, weaving barrel.

But then, so did I.

The other shot is Winki looking very Morning of the Earth, just before I paddled out.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Musica Surfica continues to gather momentum, with Foxtel officially joining us with some funding, and more shooting of musical performances to come mid October. Things are getting busy now, and I'm getting a little bit tense, as we're committed to delivering a product to Foxtel by the end of November.

The documentary is scheduled to show on Foxtel in Australia during December.

Then, it's up to Us Phoques, (the name of our little production company), to spread the word to the rest of the world. So some time in '08 I hope you'll get to see it. If there's anyone out there interested and with 'connections' drop us a line.

Still, things keep developing. Today, Australia's greatest paper, the Melbourne Age, gave us a full page article.

If you'd like to read it, here's a link.

And, if you'd like to see a snippet of the film again, here's another.

Oh, and incidentally, if you think the Us Phoques name is a bit trippy, it came from Phoques Bay on King Island, where we got some of our best waves. And phoque is, it seems, french for seal.

It seemed as good a name as any.

Monday, October 01, 2007

There's been a bit of swell around lately.

Saturday was my window on several fronts. Best day for swell, only day I could go, and I felt a cold coming on so thought I'd get in while I could still breathe.

Got down to a solid 6-ft with quite a bit bigger bombs.

Fortunately I'd thrown my 7'6" in and took it for a run.

Sadly, age and lack of surfs took it's toll this day.

Bells at size is a hard wave to catch. Fat, then popping, it is pretty unforgiving and it definitely didn't forgive me. After a couple of blown take offs, and a couple of too deep ones, I managed to get a belter from deep inside and it was pretty damn good, at least from my perspective. My reaction was 'this wasn't going to be half bad after all.'

Another shorter one a lttle later wasn't too bad either, my confidence rose accordingly and then began a series of absolute shellackings as I took a few late ones which included airdrops, lips in back of head, slides down the face and to top it off a fight with my board somewhere in the washing machine that removed one of my fins, and a TC FCS carbon fibre Redliner at that.. Not happy.

Went in, grabbed my 7 footer, got a couple more but really feeling knackered, then called it a day.

The pic isn't even a set.

Oh, and Geelong, my long suffering team won the Grand Final in the AFL (Australian Rules Footy) after a 44 year drought. I spoke to Maurice Cole on Saturday just after the surf and he had big screens set up at home, kegs, and I'm sure Torquay was a very happy town that night. GO CATS!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Patchies Hideout is one of my favourite stopovers when I get a moment to cruise the lineup at right.

What little tit-bit awaits from that colourful mind?

The man has a lot of energy, or an understanding wife, or too much free time on his hands, or all of the above as I have no idea how he manages to produce so much, on a near daily basis. And he gets more surfs than me.

Not hard.

A couple of weeks back I had a surf down at Cathedral Rock, and on leaving the water I was glancing around for 'photo ops'. At my feet, and pretty much staring back at me, was what I saw as Patch's work, in stone. Has he been sneaking down to the the Southern Hemi at night?

I wonder if his wife knows?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Musica Surfica Update.

Up in Sydney today for some meetings regarding Musica Surfica. A lot of work to do, but with luck it'll be on air in Australia before Christmas, so perhaps early next year for the DVD. Let's hope so.

While up there I gave Derek Hynd a call, and he was waiting at the Foxtel reception for me afterwards.

Come on Mick, I thought I'd give you a lift to the airport.

Of course, you'll have to sit in the back seat because Mack (the dog) sits next to me.

Good old Mack.

Good 'ol Derek.

Had a great chat on the way but not before he showed me his latest incarnation of a finless.

It's better in bigger waves, he says. Don't need to pump for speed so much.


At 3ft 6" I think he's giving new meaning to minimal.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yesterday I visited an old friend.

I haven't surfed "'the Schanck" as it's called for a couple of years. It's patterns just didn't fit mine, and I just... missed out.

It's an epic to surf,. About a kilometre walk in to a 300ft clamber down the cliff (about 45 degree gradient), then suit up and out... often lonely, sharky feeling and very isolated. If you fuck up here, you're in deep doo doos. In fact I remember hearing the screams of guy (years ago) as his mates helped him up the cliff. He ended up with 75 stitches from a fin in the leg. Lucky to live.

But, it is a wonderful place. The view down and from the water , same... as it ever was. I might be a teenager.

Two different breaks. The inside left, 'Head Injuries', fast, shallow, sucky and fickle. But a blast. The other "The Schanck' proper, a long sometimes fat, sometimes hollow, long walled, a sort of left hand Winki at best, flat and sluggy on the wrong tide. It looks like a cold Uluwatu on it's great days.

Yesterday, I surfed both.

The tide was on the way out.. good. It was biggish, 8ft sets, a bit of left over wind slop crossing into it, difficult takeoff, got worked a bit, got about 5 good ones, then paddled over to the main break as the tide dropped and got a screamer (150 yds)

A great, slightly odd session. Felt a bit spooked out there. Total crowd at Head At Schanck .. one other guy. He felt a bit spooked too. Still had a smile though.

Afterwards, and as some other guys turned up, I snapped a few.

Low point of the session? Did the climb down, only to realise I'd left my leggie in the car. 300ft back up, 1k back to car, 1k back 300ft back down.

I earned the surf.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday... Richie and I hit it down to a dying swell and a roaring offshore. Drove around for a bit, visited Bells for a toilet stop, drove some more, finally settling on giving Marky a call.

What's 13th like mate?

Tiny, but I'll go for a mal surf if you come 'round for a cuppa tea afterwards.

Ended up having a lovely session to ourselves on a little right, then a couple of others decided to paddle out so we ditched it. Too crowded.

As you can see it was packed.

The other two shots detail the Bell's dunny. (Oz for toilet, toilette en Francaise)

Painted by a local indigenous artist about 10 years ago (at least) it is a testimony to respect on many levels.

Respect for the original inhabitants and their lore.

Respect for the place. At its best a home away from home.

Respect for the artist. Not one piece of grafitti has ever graced it's exterior walls.

Respect for the kids who chose not to. There is hope yet.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Succumbing to the urgings of Sissyfish and Patch, I bought myself (and Joey) a Wacom tablet the other day. I've been mucking about and in a spare moment last night doodled the Fish Guy.

Then I re did him in Illustrator,just to see how he looks. Major homage to Keith Haring as it turns out but... I'm amongst friends.

Mind you, why the hell I'm succumbing to the fish frenzy I'm not sure, but they're such a pretty shape. And I did ride a 5'3" Pavel while on King Island. Now that was an experience....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Occasional visitors will be aware of my son Tom, he of the reckless nature, trouble on wheels, if fact just plain trouble most of the time. Here he is, a couple of winters back, climbing a beach wall down the coast as we sat wishing the waves were better.

As I remember, he didn't get up to much strife this day... surprisingly.

I love this shot, all exploration, sinew and stilled movement.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Got lucky yesterday.

Did a run down to the island with Richie and scored a lovely 3-4ft left with just us two out, to be joined
later by a couple of other guys. The first was a laid back character that was happy to have a chat and share the very frequent waves.

We were all kicking back and thanking the wave gods.

Then the next guy joins the 'crowd'.

He gets his first wave, hooting loudly and very, very 'up'.

'We've got a live one here' I think to myself.

Next wave he's hooting the same and as I'm paddling back after one I say to the more laid back guy that he may have been ADHD as a child. I say the same to the man himself out the back and he just laughs and says 'I think I still am".

He paddles right up to me, sticks his hand out and says 'Brett'.

"Mick" I return as we shake hands.

"G'day Micky" he roars. "Bloody great waves, ay?"

Damn right they were and we all had a fantastic, happy session, with more than enough waves to go around.

Turns out Brett was a stockman from central Victoria, and a good surf was a rare thing in life at the moment, plus I think the waves were a blessing during tough times as he was having a few relationship problems.

Lovely man, great session.

Richie and I staggered out of the waver after four and a half hours of bliss.

The pics don't do the waves justice, but they give a sense of the day.

And Rich, throwing his tired old arms up, with half the rest of the crowd behind him.