A premier of sorts for Musica Surfica this weekend as for the first time it was shown at an official Victorian event, that being the Apollo Bay Music Festival in the deep south of the state.
I disappeared around lunchtime on Friday in a bid to get down and get a late surf, passed up good waves at Bells, picked up a flock of alaias from the Patagonia store in Torquay for a show and tell before the film, and got down the Bay to find a screaming onshore... although right on dusk the stormy 6-8 ft of swell was showing a little glass off about to begin, but solo at dusk in Sharkland holds few allures for me, so I went and had a meal instead.
The next day, back to my favourite spot in the area, a place called Boneyards, and it's nearby companion, Sledgehammers.
You get the picture.
A tight crew of hot kids sat on the ledge at Sledgies, picking off some very tidy barrels in between getting flogged on the reef.
I've surfed this place a few times and love it, but I was clearly only going to get dregs with this lot so opted for Boneyards at a fun if warpy 4-5ft. I was surfing like I had two left feet, (oh surprise) but did manage to get a couple that felt ok, but I suspect... no... I know I was thinking more about the show that afternoon.
Come the time, and in front of the closest thing to a hometown crowd I've yet had, I came over a bit tongue tied and left them to just watch it, a packed house that clapped the roof down, and I only wish I'd managed to get to the front earlier afterwards so that I could inform all and sundry you could actually buy a DVD before they left. We sold a heap to those who heard me, I signed autographs and even had several people coming up to me teary eyed they'd enjoyed it so much.
My fifteen minutes of fame... extended by fifteen minutes.
Once we were done Marky says.. So what now Mickey?
Let's go for a splash.
I know just the place says he.
So we dash off, at near dusk, a caravan of two cars, Rod, Hazel and Benji in one, plus Marky and me in my movie showing clothes (exactly the same shirt, jeans and shoes I wore in New York) shooting off down the road, onto a bush track, then a mile walk through the most beautiful rainforest to a little bit too-big-for-the-bank left that was occasionally reeling off some hooters amidst the almost close outs.
Mark and I both got a couple of good ones, Rod and Benji opted to watch with Hazel from the beach, but later regretted it as it ended up really showing some form, and with it all the bliss of a sunset through the trees with just two of us in glassy six foot lefts.
Getting absolutely flogged on one late take off that went near enough to dry on the reef told me in so uncertain terms not to have ideas above my station, but happy campers we were nonetheless.
Next day, back to Boneyards we lucked onto a much more lined up swell with excellent 4-6ft waves for three hours. Followed by bacon and eggs for lunch and a group alaia session in early afternoon for any locals willing to have a go at the beachies in town, the day just got better.
We had kids and dads running up to try one, hoots all round and a local guy took my Derek Hynd finless out and astounded me with how well he did.
Marky was a convert too, loving the finless but not as keen on the alaias. That they were fresh and a bit oily didn't help, but the kids took to them like ducks to water. I took a little 5'1'' paipo out and had a hoot riding prone with fins, fast and furious with my favourite bit being skimming right up the beach at the end of the rides.
Big smiles all 'round
Sledgehammers, a Boneyards right, and I must apologise too. I didn't shoot the alaia session as I was having too much fun.
Big thanks to to BillyJo of Tao Surfboards for his alaias. Billy is making the boards for himself and Tom Wegener down here in Vicco. Super nice guy and mad alaia obsessive.