Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some things are sent to try us.

I've come over as sick as a dog. I hope it passes before I need to leave on my much awaited surf trip to the Banyaks, otherwise said trip will be dust.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Sunday jaunt amidst rain and cold turned into a special little surf today.

Well, we got down, the rain had stopped, the sun was coming out and there was plenty of swell, albeit a little inconsistent. Into the wettie, board out of bag and d'oh, no legrope. Now Bells is a long swim so I wasn't happy, but Rich coerced me to ask the girl in the camper van parked next to us if they had a loaner.

Turns out she and her boyfriend (both from Spain) were doing the grand surf tour of Oz, and had got lucky so far. He was paddling out at pretty damn good Bells and they were off to Indo for another couple of months once they did the east coast run over the next month or so.

Lucky for some. Oh to be young again.

So she found me a leash, and out I went.

Turned into a great session even though over nearly three hours I only got about 6 waves. A couple of duffed takeoffs not withstanding, I managed a 200 yard screamer from outside Rincon all the way through the bowl, and three belters from outside Bells, with lots of fun and games through to the shorey.

And, as is my predilection, I had a nice cup of tea and chat out the back with wizened surf guru, sage and writer Jack Finlay. Almost the best part of the whole surf.

To top it off my last wave wasn't half bad, finishing off with a nice reentry into the dump and prone to the beach. Got in and discovered my Spanish maiden leg rope loaner was also a pretty handy photographer and had managed to capture said reo on camera.

Joy of joys.

I then discovered, while feeling a bit full of myself, that my friend Stefan, who'd caught the wave just after mine, had scored a filthy pigdog barrel. Not bad in itself, in fact pretty fine indeed, even better when you think he's just recovered from open heart surgery and a new valve that was the result of acute endocarditis, a bacterial heart infection that nearly killed him. More power to you mate.

Anyway, I traded emails with my new friends from Spain and with luck at a date in the not too distant future I'll be able to share my good fortune.

Next week the water will be 29 degrees C and the air... about the same.
If only I didn't feel so guilty about going.

Here's hoping I snag a bit more work this week to keep the hounds at bay.

PS: The shot is just a phone snap before I paddled out... it was way better than it looked.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A week and a half since the last entry.

Bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger.

That feels better. Nothing like a bit of self flagellation to set the tone for a bit of banter. Sorry for the gap folks... and Dad. Just been a bit preoccupied.

Over the last couple of weeks, at least, I've been trying to get the extras done for the film, and make a buck. We've edited all the bits we want to put in, like Finned and Finless so that the waves that hit the cutting room floor through no fault of their own might see the light of day. As well, we've done a little feature section on Warren Pfeiffer on his mat, because everyone that sees it loves it. I thinks it might be the intriguing simplicity of the form.

Also, an extra music section to show want went down when Richard Tognetti arced up on his violectra... sort of Hendrix meets Paganini. A great fun piece.

And for the shaping boffins we've got a bit of the mid event reshaping as some new ideas, and interesting glassing techniques, were employed to advance the finless cause. On the spot R&D if you like.

With all of these I'm doing a voice over, to give some background on who, what, where and why with the spanner in the works being time.

Like the other day I'm halfway through recording one... I'm doing them quietly by myself at home (no stage nerves there) and in bursts the number one son.

"Hey Dad, whatcha doing'? Why are you talking to yourself?"

I suppose I could have said its what you do when you're old, but I was too busy swearing.

Anyway I hope to finish all that this week. I hope.

The end of next week, ie: the beginning of May, I'm off to the Banyaks for a short surf trip.

For practice, as if I needed an excuse, Joey and I headed down for a Father/Son surf today.
We scored a lovely little left/right peak, mostly by ourselves, only about three feet, but great fun, and he filmed the end of one on the phone when he came in.

Terrible quality, and the picture isn't that flash either, but with two to four guys out, it was a great little session.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A quick post to keep the meter ticking and indicate there is a pulse beneath this wizened frame.

Last weekend I took my son Joey for a surf, with me, in my protective, fatherly way, trying to find a spot that fit the bill. Not too hard, but not too easy. A wave that would help a young goofy footer on his path to better surfing.

I chose a mellow reef called the Big Left, the forecast was pretty mild in the size department and I felt it a good match. We arrived to find it way bigger than expected, bomb sets and an unusually powerful swell, but a bit messed up at the same time.

Now as a concerned dad I wanted to keep an eye out for the dear boy, and naturally, in those circumstances, my concentration was a bit off.

I got caught by more sets than a penguin with a nail in it's foot, while Joey blissfully sat inside a bit and scored wave after wave.

Then a really big set turned up and we both got blasted shorewards, he decided to throw in the towel as his shoulder popped (again) and I headed over to a nearby right, joined the ridiculous crowd, managed to get a couple of good 'uns amidst the throng, while listening to the torrents of abuse being hurled skywards by some local boof head who insisted everyone else in the water was a kook except him.

Why can't people just sit there quietly and contemplate their navels?

Attached a couple of shots retrieved from my long dead camera, circa our January trip to the South Coast.

One, of me gazing wistfully towards a flat horizon, the other, a couple of days later as my prayers were answered.. with the lovely Pink Rocks showing a bit of form.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oooooooh what an interesting few days.

Sunday I went for a splash with Richard and Satu from the ACO, down for a few days to hook up with Derek Hynd to do an little extra filming for an upcoming Jack McCoy flick. We ended up having a surf together at Winki, my surf being drastically shortened when, coming round the whitewater after barely surviving a late drop on a 4ft 'bomb', a guy blind to my presence, took off, lost it slightly as in back on his heels and struggling to regain balance (he was a good surfer, just a bad moment)... completely cleaned me up. Bleeding nose and my board was rooted, fin flapping, big gauge in rail... so relegated to the viewing platform for a bit.

That night, Derek drove the 700 miles down, and for the next 2 days, for them, it was on. I, unfortunately, had the extreme guilts, so spent that day and the next morning on the phone trying to drum up some work as I'd just paid the kids school fees, looked at the bank balance and freaked.

Fortunately I scored some work art directing a Honda shoot, so later I belted down for a quick'un in the afternoon of Tuesday to be greeted by perfect 4-6ft Bells.

I was only able to stay for a short surf but I can say that Derek is getting better and better, and Richard is is getting very very good too on the finless. I mistook him for Derek on one wave, only to have Derek catch the following one and blow my mind. Believe me finless is legit... fast, fluid, very different and it's own kind of extreme.

It is beautiful to watch.

Yesterday, booked to do the photo shoot, I headed out at 5.45 in the morning, for a two hour drive out to the west, the wind getting stronger and stronger, to a dormant volcano top location at a place called Red Rocks.

Our timing was exquisite.

Picture the Perfect Storm, a confluence of two weather systems, and we had, on our little patch of bare hill, 160kmh winds as we tried to shoot a car. First a monumental dust storm tracked in from the north, and then, as the system moved around us, the winds tracked through the north west,and through to west, bringing rain, lightening and thunder. The wind didn't abate.

Victoria and Tasmania got trashed.

One inch waves in my coffee as the wind blowing over the top sucked all the coffee out. The original storm in a teacup.

I even peed on my face. (Mmmmm.... salty!)

The drive home, it rained red mud as the water mixed with the dust storm. Galvanised iron sheets flew across the road in front of me. Powerlines down, trees uprooted. It truly was all on.

Down the coast it was flat as the system blew north (strong offshore) through most of the day... only for this morning to dawn on the biggest Bells, I'm told, since 1981. I spoke to Maurice Cole this afternoon, and he called it 10-12, maybe 15 feet on a set or two. For him to call that it was pretty damn big as he is a master of understatement.
And down at Cape Sorrell, on Tasmania's North West corner, the buoys touched 17 metres.

Attached is a bit of video of what it was like up there. We got the shot by the way.