Saturday, November 29, 2008

I had a call today from a future fan (I hope) of Musica Surfica named Rowan, who wanted a copy of the film. Now Rowan, I knew... from a previous communication... had been having a play at making wooden boards, and had sent me a link to some shots of his latest project.

So we arranged to catch up for a coffee, I'd give him his copy of MS as long as he brought along his wooden board for me to have a squizz at.

To say I was impressed is understating. Remembering this is a first ever attempt at it, and he's produced a very nice, if a little heavy 6'4ish twin that paddles really well and works a treat. Rowan is a big guy, must be 6'1 or so, and around 90K I'd guess, but the board puts him out near the longboards and it's a happy glide in.

The frame next to it is his next project and is the beginnings of what will be a Simmons inspired twin made from paulownia, again his own construction method but different again from the already built boards construction method, which is a spine and rib style, with banded ply on the rails.

He's an inventive lad and clearly has a way with his hands. That he is a design engineer working at GM in Melbourne might have a bit to do with it.

I'm really looking forward to the end result on the Simmons experiment. Watch out Swaylocks.

Because I'm out of the water for bit longer and going vaguely stir crazy not being able to surf, or at least attempt my version of it, Finless Freddy, my new nom de surf, has been mucking about sculpting. Oh God you say... as if poetry isn't enough what 's he up to now?

My favourite all time sculptor is Brancusi, and those familiar with his work might see vague similarities between his approach and mine, at least when it comes to heads. The big difference is his is worth millions and mine is soon to be recycled as modelling wax is expensive and I'll try something else. I will say though that it is bloody good fun and better than staring at my scarified navel which incidentally is getting to look as far away from a six pack as it's ever been, and that is a long, long, way.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The weekend has come and and I promised myself the next post up I wouldn't say a thing about Musica Surfica (ON SALE NOW)... damn I did it again.

One thing I have promised though is how SafetoSea got it's name.

I've had a mild interest in things poetic for quite a while, mostly as a kid trying to work out how to read them properly, or throwing them in the too hard basket or indeed occasionally trying to write something that on re- reading was crap at best and utter crap when read by my Mum who thought everything I did was wonderful. Well not everything but I like to remember her seeing the best in me.

A few years back, reading the paper, I came across an article on the funeral of a young woman who'd died tragically. It was one of those losses particularly poignant because she held great promise and had, in her short life, achieved much. Her father gave the eulogy and in rounding up had quoted the second last verse of a poem called The Garden of Proserpine by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Swinburne for a time was regarded as one of the great English poets, though that high position has been long lost to him, and indeed his wild ways settled the fella down long before his death at 72 in 1909. He had a great haircut but some pretty dubious tastes, to put it mildly. Amidst it all though many gems emerged and for me this was one.

Sometimes called the Great Pagan Prayer, it has a bleak comfort to it that has always appealed, and inspired me to occasionally have another attempt at the art. Perhaps it is merciful that these moments are once or twice a decade.

Still they're not as bad as the Worst Poetry in the Universe.

According to Douglas Adams in 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'

..."the second worst is the poetry of the Asgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his epic poem 'Ode to A Small Lump of Green Putty I found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning' four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been 'disappointed' by the poems reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve book epic entitled My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilisation, leapt straight through his neck and throttled his brain"

Apparently the worst belongs to a lady from Essex, though some would argue the worst was William Topaz McGonagall, (1825-1902) of Scotland who gave us gems like this:

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

Thank you William.

Poetry is a difficult art, to write, to read, to understand, I have trouble getting my head around pentameters, iambic and otherwise, but when it sinks in the effect can be profound.

Give this a read then, get into the rhythm, and let it flow like a nice easy point break.

Who knows, it may get you to delve more into things poetic, or it may mean you'll never read a poem again.

I can but try.

HERE, where the world is quiet,
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.

I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep
Of what may come hereafter
For men that sow to reap:
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.

Here life has death for neighbor,
And far from eye or ear
Wan waves and wet winds labor,
Weak ships and spirits steer;
They drive adrift, and whither
They wot not who make thither;
But no such winds blow hither,
And no such things grow here.

No growth of moor or coppice,
No heather-flower or vine,
But bloomless buds of poppies,
Green grapes of Proserpine,
Pale beds of blowing rushes
Where no leaf blooms or blushes,
Save this whereout she crushes
For dead men deadly wine.

Pale, without name or number,
In fruitless fields of corn,
They bow themselves and slumber
All night till light is born;
And like a soul belated,
In hell and heaven unmated,
By cloud and mist abated
Comes out of darkness morn.

Though one were strong as seven,
He too with death shall dwell,
Nor wake with wings in heaven,
Nor weep for pains in hell;
Though one were fair as roses,
His beauty clouds and closes;
And well though love reposes,
In the end it is not well.

Pale, beyond porch and portal,
Crowned with calm leaves, she stands
Who gathers all things mortal
With cold immortal hands;
Her languid lips are sweeter
Than love’s who fears to greet her
To men that mix and meet her
From many times and lands.

She waits for each and other,
She waits for all men born;
Forgets the earth her mother,
The life of fruits and corn;
And spring and seed and swallow
Take wing for her and follow
Where summer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn.

There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.

We are not sure of sorrow,
And joy was never sure;
To-day will die to-morrow
Time stoops to no man’s lure;
And love, grown faint and fretful
With lips but half regretful
Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
Weeps that no loves endure.

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.

Then star nor sun shall waken,
Nor any change of light:
Nor sound of waters shaken,
Nor any sound or sight:
Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
Nor days nor things diurnal;
Only the sleep eternal
In an eternal night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well if doesn't rain then it certainly pours.

Last week I was interviewed for NewsHour on the Australia Network, our Window to the World satellite channel, for a piece on Richard Tognetti and the ACO. It is also a damn good little ad for Musica Surfica, as you'll see.

Apparently it is seen by some hundreds of millions, which is a bit mind boggling.

If it takes off in India and China we'll be rich, rich, rich!!

I wish.

Now for the Urdu and Mandarin translations.

It's only six and a half minutes or so, but you do get to see the ACO in the context they usually work, and my ugly mug creeps in too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A novelty this past weekend as I was invited through a friend of a friend to be a guest on Radio Station 3RRR's Radio Marinara Sunday Morning Show, co hosting with regulars Bron, Dr Surf (not his real name) and Dr Beech... (his real name).

So in I went, with my three bits of music, as it was my choice for the day, and an open mind. I was also hoping my um and er gene wasn't in total ON mode, me being a bit um, prone to that when speaking in er... public.

Last night the podcast went up on the RRR website, so now all you out there have the opportunity to listen to me make a bit of a dill of myself as I try to mix it with a PhD in Marine Biology in a conversation about fluorescing proteins in jellyfish, biological video screens, and the mitochondria in ancient cell lines... or something like that.

At least when we got on to Musica Surfica (Now On Sale) I had a vague idea of what I was talking about.

The music I chose for the show included a piece from the film, and a Philip Glass melody that was edited for the podcast and I couldn't remember where it came from. For those interested the track is Dance VIII from the Glassworks Expanded Edition available on iTunes.

To all in at Radio Marinara, and particularly Dr Surf, thanks guys, it was a blast to join you for the hour and yes, I'd love to do it again. Seems next time they want to talk about Surf Blogs.

So many blogs. So little time.

This weeks picture... the pole outside my house, with Bird At Risk, as I killed time waiting for Richie to turn up at dawn a couple of weeks back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back from hospital, four holes in my guts and as sore as all get out... plus I can't surf for a month, but some might argue I never could.

It's a good thing I have some good news though, as today we went live with sales for Musica Surfica

Just click on the Musica Surfica above and you're through to our sales page at Great Southern, where your orders will be dealt with as fast as our grubby little hands can stick them in a box.

There's also a link there for Euro orders through x-treme video, who are distributing for us over in Europe.

And if you've got a blog, tell the world. I want my house back.

To whet your appetites, in the pack is Musica Surfica, the whole thing again with a VO by me explaining what went on, Finless and Finned extras, a phenomenal Music Extra with Richard Tognetti letting rip with Paganini's Caprice 24 on his Violectra, a Reshaping of the Boards section, and a special feature on Warren Pfeiffer, our Master of the Zen of Mat Riding. All the extras have a VO by me so if you can't stand my babbling on, turn the sound down.

But wait there's more! You'll also get a soundtrack CD, with all the music from the film, and there's a lot, mastered and sounding rather good if I say so myself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As I said in yesterday's post I nipped down to Bells to pick up my new DH finless and give it a test run.

Hard. Very.

First four waves...or was it 5, flat on my face. Derek says first you've got to get low, then lower, then.... lower. Oh-Kay.

Then I made four on the trot, all the way through at four foot Bells. Light onshore but it was fun shape and not too crowded.

I can't say I spun, but I did the sideways almost backwards thing and still managed to get through.

Then I was munched on another three or so in a row and called it a day..

Op now. Bye.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Tuesday, the weekend was an average one in many ways, Sue on the warpath, the waves small to middling, though improving a little on Sunday, but inconsistent and very crowded down Bells way.

I did the dutiful thing though and managed a constitutional, having my arm twisted by Richie to actually bother putting my wet suit on and actually paddling out.

It was that inspiring.

Still, he mounted a good argument (imagine driving all that way and not... hard to argue with) so out I went, and it was long wait followed by long wait.

My first wave was one of those flat take offs that make you feel reeeally slow and clumsy getting to your feet. None of that lift and spring that comes with a good one, I was all feet tripping over themselves, but it felt even worse, kinda like left foot on earlobe, right leg tangled up in nose hair, the usual things that befall the aged.

I did eventually get going and got to the other end not entirely disgraced, and even managed the odd really fun one after removing myself to the lowers section and avoiding the crowd.

That evening Tom gets in from a long days skating.. filming for the film he's in and if anyone tells me me the practitioners of the concrete arts are soft, take a look at any serious skater. This kid's body is like this every other weekend, he goes so hard at it, and then goes get some more.

Of course, that night in the shower it's ooch, ouch, yeoww , followed by aaaahhh as he gets past the stingy bit.

Pain can be a wonderful thing... when it stops.

Oh yeah, and the other diversion was Saturday night, as Joey had to go to a costume party... so he chose Superman. Now Joey has been a Superman and Batman freak since he was very little, and very nearly got the gig of young (13 year old) Superman in the recent Brandon Routh flick.

As it turned out he didn't get it but now at 16 he's nearly as big as Brandon. Maybe next time.

Tomorrow... I'm in for the gall bladder outy operation... yikes, so no waves for 3 weeks or so. This afternoon though I'm nipping down to Bells for a quick splash, as work is quiet, I hope I've sorted everything and.... Derek has just made me a finless, he's down to catch a swell and I'm picking it up.

Photo's next time.

Of course, not of me surfing the bloody thing.. now that would be funny.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Today is the day before the 2nd birthday of Safetosea. I had intended to celebrate by explaining how the blog got it's name, and then I got a message from Mike at, telling me he had a review up for Musica Surfica.

The review is a goody, so I'll leave it to you to have a read, and I'll just have to tell you of the Naming of the Blog next time.

CLICK HERE for the full review, and below is a taste of what you'll read. And Mike... thank you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

All this time back and I've neglected to say anything about my time in LA.

What a funny place.

Over the past couple of years I've made some bloggy friends, and dear old Ted, of Clayfin fame, offered to escort me 'round for a day or two, took time off work and met me at little hotel (Hotel 6) he'd managed to book not far from the airport and miles north of his home near San Diego.

I'd got a cab after getting my gear , and arrived tired and a bit fuzzy headed. Ted was not there yet, I'd just got out of the cab and begun to check in when in he walks.
I'm as pleased as punch to finally meet him, but somewhere in our initial conversation he says something about bags. In a mind numbing jolt I realise the cab has left with the whole shooting match in the back and as Ted is talking I go white, and then start swearing like a Tasmanian tin miner, ( I've heard them) while Ted is going. " relax man, just get the little ticket they gave you when you got the cab..."

"What little ticket, I didn't get a little (expletive) ticket"

Naturally all my visions of congenial conversation and a relaxing catch up went roaring out the window and as we went upstairs I could barely speak. Even my little trophy was in the bag...

So upstairs and Ted is chatting away, my mind is Somewhere Else and the phone rings.

Bags downstairs. Cabby found it on next job and popped it in.

I was amazed, and blessed his craggy grey haired head as I zipped very gratefully down to get it.

So the next day we went to have a surf at Malibu, and there I met Mary (Surf Sister), Al, (Waves of Discontent), and Brett who although he confesses to it, is not a Novice Surfer.

I'd hoped to also catch up with Jason of Pet Cobra, and maybe even catch a glimpse of Patch, but he was Hiding Out somewhere.

As were the waves.

Glassy, warm and the closest thing to flat I've ever paddled out in. I searched for some sort of analogy, the closest I thing perhaps a Zen Poem on the meaning of Nothingness... in braille.

Oh (dot)

void (dot dot)

think of (dot dot dot)

empty (dot dotdotdot)

emptiness (dot)

where's the bloody waves (fly spot)

So I sat for a (long) while, caught a bump and got dropped in on by two 13 year old girls, swapped boards with Brett and tried his lovely little fish, caught a half decent wave then was blinded by Al as he grinned at me with his new teeth, then dinged Brett's fish on Mary's board as I paddled madly trying to catch a wave and ran straight into her as she paddled out.

Brett was cavalier and said 'don't worry man', but I felt terrible as I watched him trying to suck the water from the crack as we walked up the beach.

A Tex Mex lunch afterwards in the Malibu Inn across the road, and then down to Venice, where I found a hotel to house me for the couple of days before going home.

Venice, because I was due to have a couple of meetings in the area over the next couple of days, I was told I'd like it, and there I was.

As it turned out the meetings fizzed, and I wandered about taking snaps, getting sunburnt and looking perplexed a lot of the time. I've never been somewhere with such a huge range of have and have not, slick on the beach apartments facing guys and girls sleeping rough, the man with his piano, the guy who paints, the smelly guy I made the mistake of walking behind, and the rich ladies with the fluffy pom poms on leads.

The back streets were great, I fell in love with photographing graffiti and paint splats on fences, loved the California light, and had a couple of fun conversations in the Mollusk shop... if only I had enough money to take a board back home.


I also spent about fifty bucks in ten yards on hip hop cd's sold to me on the boardwalk by three different guys, cool guys that had a patter that just wouldn't let up and had sucker radar that must have spotted me just before I left New York.

Still, Tom likes them, says they're actually pretty cool.

So all good.

A long flight home, and back to the real world.

To Ted, thanks mate, it was a pleasure to finally meet, and to Mary, Brett and Al, thank you too for making time in your lives to day g'day, and share a wave.

I gather the swell kicked a couple of days later.

I hope you all got one for me.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Today was an odd day.. full of promise I thought as it was still, overcast and the first threats of a warm, steady offshore were beginning to waft about as I sat on the front porch waiting for Richie to turn up at 6.45 in the morning.

Amused myself taking pictures of the bush in front of me and the ant trying to climb up my leg.

Got the boards on and stopped by the coffee shop to pick up our coffees, and, joy of joys, my strawberry jam croissant.

The drive down the usual catch up on kids hi-jinks, ....boy is that another story (Tom), and a laugh as Richie detailed the funnies he's encountered via his little bloke and one Eddie Izzard on YouTube.

Just search for Eddie izzard and Darth Vader. A treasure trove awaits.

And on to the Island. A solid swell and a low tide meant we drove from this break, to that break, and back to this break, then to another break, before checking down this road, but wait, what about that road, and on and on for two and half bloody hours.

Finally, back where we started, we just decided to go out and let the incoming tide gods look after us.

Once I paddled back from Tasmania, the river I mean rip having released me, I did manage to get a couple of nice fast rights, and half a left, then sort of just gave up the ghost and thought I'd have a look for something else.

Rich had the same idea and as we wandered up the beach tantalising waves fed tiny bits of bliss before another big bomb came through and spoiled yet another view of what we thought was The Promised Bank.

Sandwich shop in the end and a Triple Twirl on the way home saved the day.

I did have a good snooze on the bean bag but lurking deep was the thought that somewhere, one of those banks we checked was perfect, with no one out.