Monday, June 29, 2009

The blog is feeling a bit like a surf report at the moment.. and how boring given it's the log-ins of someone so past it I sometimes forget what the wax is for.

So I'm resolving to try and up the ante, post a bit more often, try to resurrect some stories and do a bit more of what I think I used to do when I began way back when. I might have to go and re read a bit to remind myself.

Anyway a solo run yesterday as Richie was doing Dad Stuff with his young Louie. I scouted prisons for Tom while I drove down and scored a freezing peak with a couple of dozen grommits and their Dads on their own Dad Stuff Day for a boardriders club from another coast. A bit of a zoo, and something of a slalom course, but the hooting and encouragement for the little ones was enough to assuage any frustration on my part. I did one good turn. That kept me happy. You become easily pleased as you get older.

It was so cold, about four degrees C with a decent offshore so the wind chill must have pushed it close to zero. Thank God the water itself is still around 14C which is clearly not enough to keep the sharks at bay. A small, (four or five feet) something or other nudged a bloke on the next peak which encouraged him from the water. That this is the land of the Large Great White had me a bit skittish for a while, and feeling a bit guilty that I wasn't making a fuss about it but the sense of fun with the kids may have generated its own Shark Repellent Happiness Field.

One can only hope.

I must smile more.

Pics today... the little peak, crowd dwindling but the peanut gallery of seagulls were thrilled to be there. ...aaaand a couple more T's.. back end of the run now. I must get the sketch pad working harder. The first is a collection of bits of graffiti I've shot, and a line scrawled on a wall that got thinking, plus the logo for a fictitious Old Farts Surf Club. I'm the President.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A very mixed and eventful few days in a low high key sort of way.

My youngest brother headed of to 6 months in a foreign war zone which will keep us all on the edge of our seats for quite a while. His parting comment was if you hear on the news of death or kidnapping it's not him as we would have been told first. Thanks mate. Really comforting.

The Dark Prince aka Tommy got into more hot water than a bucket of fresh prawns on a summer Sunday and I picked the wrong peak.

Clearly picking the wrong peak is the least of my worries, but when you look at the line up yesterday, you'd have to be a bit miffed when you realize, once leaving the water, you made a complete hash of it and 100 yards either side of where Mr Grumpy paddles out there was a better variation on pretty damn nice.

Whatever the result it was fun if a little inconsistent, but given the clear lack of crowds and great conditions only thing that could really have spoiled it would be if one of the local Great Whites had decided to cruise the lineup.

Fat lazy old buggers were probably a couple of headlands away feeding on seals.

Pics today are the few from the Woolamai car park and two more T's, little fishy guy and a doodle I liked enough to make official.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yikes it's getting chilly down here.

Inconsistent waves at Magics meant sitting for ages between sets, cooling my heels and gazing at the horizon.

It was cold comfort though, in the nicest possible way, as Rich and I pretty much had the bank to ourselves for nigh on three hours, so with him on the lefts and me the rights, we shivered and occasionally waved at each other while enjoying pretty damn good little waves. A bit gutless, but who's complaining?

Pics for today, the right hander shot as I left the water during an atypical flurry of crosswind. it had been glassy for most of the time.

Additionally a couple more of my T experiments, these two lurching far into the Land of Odd, with a tribute to 20's Dada gone surfing, with a dash of Tom Slick*, and an inscrutable old sea dog.

After the last two apparently went down like a cup of cold sick, I'm taking brave pills putting these up.

*Fifties/sixties TV cartoon Tom Slick has a scene where Tom, Hero that he is, is being mobbed by reporters.

Tom, Tom, have you got something to say to your millions of fans!

Tom looks into the camera...


(Yes.... I've been told I'm obscure before.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yesterday was a different one.

We're being plagued by minute to no swell at the moment, but perhaps it was a good thing as, free of distractions, I spent a good part of the day with Luke and Wes from Nalu Productions in Torquay, filming an interview with Maurice Cole and Ross Clarke-Jones.

The intention is a series of webisodes on Maurice's website, documenting the where, why, and how he got to where he is today, with a shaping direction very different to most boards out there. They may be thrusters, but Not As We Know Them.

Just ask Mike Machemer. The recipient of one I took over to him last year, I gather he Loves It. I hope not in a creepy way.

Because what MC is doing has evolved out of the experiences and developments made tow surfing, the stories will break down how they got where they are, beginning with first forays into tow, and the discoveries they made. How length kept reducing, weight increasing and the realisation that certain curve combinations did very surprising things.

Later, we will be filming the results of Maurice's attempts to translate what they have learned into boards for you and me.

It was a fascinating day, listening to tales of 30 foot waves in the neck, hitting the bottom at Jaws, and see just how minimal, and high tech, the boards are becoming. Carbon kevlar, nano carbon, riding waves at water speeds around 100kph, fun dialled up to 11.

Maurice is pretty unstoppable when he gets going, except occasionally as Ross piped in or rolled his eyes at some outrage from the hairy one. Poor old Luke on camera was getting worn out as there were very few pauses. My job will be a big one as I try to make it brief, as it was all interesting.

The interviews were tempered later by Maurice talking of his battle with cancer, and how the prospect of more imminent than expected mortality has spurred him on creatively. It was great to see not an ounce of defeat in his eyes. That he is in remission and the battle looking promising means we'll be seeing a lot more from a Mr Cole on a roll, and no doubt Ross, half man, half brick that he is , will continue doing his XXL best to keep us entertained.

Picks today: Ross checking out a bit of history while Luke films, Maurice giving me heaps and also in the shaping bay, tidying up the next tow experiment.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A long weekend has just passed and I've caught my first cold in 18 months or more. Given Victoria is the Swine Flu Capital oink of the world now I should be oink grateful for small mercies oink.

That didn't deter me though from a splash, and as I headed for a desperate on Saturday, the swell being minimal, but the winds favourable, I took my finless option down and decided fun was the only route to joy when it could be flat.

Surprisingly, it wasn't too bad, and though I had only an hour it was quite successful.

So much so that Sunday saw another enthused dash seawards, the swell a little better and the tide doing it right for Little Rincon, that part of Bells that becomes a very good little point break at high tide.

So three hours or more of finless fun, and I'm now making waves all the way through, getting drive, making sections and feeling more and more like I'm not a complete pretender. The spin still elusive, but my baby steps are now moving beyond toddler, though still consistent surprise dunkings keep me far more edge aware than normal. It is a subtle art.

A varied selection of craft out there too, with stand up paddlers, longboards, fish, quads, Maurice on an asymmetric experiment, finless me as well as Bruce from North Carolina having his first surf at Bells.

It was a good day.

Yesterday, despite the public holiday, I worked and sniffed, oink. The evening was endurance personified as Tom was in the mood from hell.

Sometimes I think he was brewed, not born.

Pics today, said Rincon, and two more T's, some fun with a fin and another that rose from a doodle.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Times are tough out there and in a bit of a rush of blood I thought, time to do some T-shirts!

So I've been beavering away in between worrying myself to death and, I thought too, why not throw the critical hat out the window and let the world judge.

My good mate Richie is the world's biggest critic, especially when it comes to all things Mick. He thinks half of them are crap anyway so I just have to be a glutton for punishment.

So, bit by bit I'll be putting up the odd ideas, and see what tomatoes get tossed back at me.

So today, a borrowing from a favourite old poem-turned-soap-powder, and the other...what I've done quite a bit of, though my Dear Old Dad might argue, but without the pipe , of course.

Smelly bloody things.

(Naturally imagine one of these next to them, © if anyone can be bothered nicking them.)

Monday, June 01, 2009

After the glory of last week my ego driven head swelling had reduced to the point that I could actually get into my car. A prolonged run of bum winds was finally swinging, we hoped, into a quarter that would gift us with a splash worthy of the word.

Unfortunately it seemed we were to be disappointed. After the early start, coffee and croissant in hand, and laughing like drains all the drive down, our befogged old eyes had nought but cross shore crap to gaze on when we got to the beach.

Looking to that magic corner at the far eastern end of the beach, that end protected from the cross shore and home of a near permanent set of well shaped banks, I spied a ripping right reel off. Peering more intently, I then noticed a depressing detail I'd originally missed.

Six contest singlets and a crowd on the beach.

Rats and double rats.

So we decided to look about, driving up and down the island before detecting a wind shift gradually tracking around to near dead offshore. We hightailed it back to our original beach, the contest was still on but the banks that were originally being messed up by the wind were now, happily, being blessed by a more benevolent breeze.

A couple of hours of fun though we both felt a little flat.

At least we got wet.

The pics, a crestfallen Rich at our third beach check, a Stairway to Heaven Knows Where and our fourth beach check, with Mr Long Legs and Headless Harry.