Monday, September 28, 2009

A mixed bag of news and messages today.

Australia is being blessed with a visit from San Francisco author, thinker and contemplator of a very wax encrusted navel in Jaimal Yogis, here to promote his book Saltwater Buddha and, naturally, to catch a few waves.

On his journey so far he's managed a pretty epic session at Padang Padang in Bali, though I doubt Vicco will serve up such tasty treats during the short stay he has planned. The reports though are not all bad so with a crossed finger or two we may get Jaimal wet and leaving happy.

And happy is what I want to make him by getting as many Victorian readers as possible along to his launch in the city on Wednesday. If any one has a spare hour or two to call in to the New Lululemon Athletica Store at 140 Bourke Street Melbourne (between Russell and Exhibition right next to the Virgin Active), on this coming Thursday October 1 at 6:30 PM.

I had a chat with Jaimal this morning, he's clearly a lovely fella and the book is a treat, well worth the space in your bookshelves and in front of your face while you listen to the seabirds on your next Indo Boat Trip.

But don't hold off till then to buy it.

See you on Thursday.

As for me and my weekend splash, it has been abominable the last couple of days, late season snow in the mountains, and flipping freezing with a huge storm swell making it all a bit ugly.

I did however make a dash, mostly to give back the red speed dialler as I know Tony was aching to get his feet on it, and it gave me an excuse to go to one of the few candidate breaks when conditions get so bad. A couple of waves were fun in a tortured kind of way, but it was trash.

Tony got his board back as you can see, muggingly happy to have it ding free. The other shot is me off the bottom, a couple of weeks ago at Bells, as shot by local hot snapper Steve Ryan, who is going to get a wrap up in my next post.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Every so often we get hit with an unusual surf event, and today our coast was at the receiving end of a swell generated 7000 km west of here in the vicinity of Heard Island where I've heard (ahem) it's been a bit blowy.

This has resulted in an unusually long period swell of about 22 seconds reaching us around lunchtime today.

As we all know, long period means groomed and powerful, and these babies packed a punch. A very westerly direction meant a lot of size was taken off from the fifteen foot thumpers giving the down south locals a joyride, so we had to settle with about a third that by the time it rounded the Cape.

With massive waits between sets, every so often 5-6ft steam trains, straight as arrows, would come hurtling in, and for a lucky few, amongst the many hopefuls, a magic carpet ride awaited.

It was pretty busy, upwards of 40 out at Bells/Rincon at one stage, and though polite, the crowd was competing.

I opted to sit on the Bowl, which was filling up with the tide and the crowd thinning as many moved up the line to RIncon. My strategy was that the odd bomb might find me alone, and for three waves, one of them beyond bliss, I was right. A speedy run and three or four butter smooth off the tops had me thinking I was about to wake up to find daisies stapled to my nipples and the Russian National Anthem tattooed on my willie. (In very small print)

Alas, or should I say fortunately, it was true.

The wave... not the willy.

I was a very lucky boy.

Pics... a couple of long period screamers without a stapler or tattooist in sight.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

As I mentioned my older son Joey in the last post I thought it might be fun to show you what rings his bell.

I'm always rabbiting on about The Devil Incarnate (Tom) but the big boy is rarely getting into scrapes worth mentioning apart from the near bottling he got returning home from a party recently... and parties seem to be what he, and most 17 year olds, are best at. That and chasing girls.

He's a damn side better at that than I ever was but then you only have to look at the boy to see why.

Joey = Prince. Mick = Toad.

How the National Geographic managed to snap a shot of me I'll never know. Suffice to say next time I bump into Mr Tim Laman I'll make sure a hair and make up lady is about.

Well... make up anyway.

The other thing Joey is good at is with his artistic endeavors. As part of his work year he embarked on a graphic novel as part of his Visual Communications subject.

Called "750ml to The Ground", it tells the story of all the things that can go wrong when you have a little too much to drink and subsequent encounters with bouncers, fighting with your mates, drinking, more drinking and girls who exaggerate... a lot.

Below are a few pages, from a much larger body of work, that he gutted himself doing over the last month or two. Every drawing he did without reference, apart from his prodigious memory, and a camera for the backgrounds. As I watched it come together I was gobsmacked to be honest, as I've rarely seen in thirty odd years in advertising someone so adept at such a young age.

The characters are Joey (as Tony) and his mates... as themselves.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

School holiday time and as paying work is QUIET I thought I'd help our elder son Joey and drop him down the coast were he's spending a few days with some mates.

Naturally I needed to fit in a splash with the lad, and we managed a fun paddle out at one of the Phillip Island reefs that start to work as our summer pattern begins to show itself. The one fly in the ointment was a guy on a longboard (no disrespect to longboarders.. I love the art) who insisted on paddling inside everyone and taking Every Set Wave that came through. It was a tad inconsistent, so this meant he had the best of it. He clearly missed out when the manners were handed out, but had second helpings on a plate of selfish.

I swear if eyes had lasers he wouldn't have a head as every other chap in the lineup was getting a little shirty with him.

Older guy too, though not as old as you know who, but then, not many are.

Still, 'twas fun, and as we all know, if the wind changes when we're frowning, we are stuck with it forever.

The pic, by Joey, while waiting for the old man to come in. Unfortunately he missed my hell snap and gouging cutback, but then, I did too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Today I had a late run for a splash as the Devil Incarnate (Tom) was off on A Road Trip with a few skating mates, to Sydney and stops on the way.

So of course I had to see him off and in fact dropped him off at the pick up stop.

We're both typical worried parents.. more like worried for Sydney I think but I see it as the equivalent of the grommit on the surf trip. They're good lads, so fingers crossed.

Anyway, all this meant I didn't head off until after midday, and hit the waves around half one at Winki (for a change.)

It was a bit lack lustre but as the tide dropped it began to show some form... nothing mind boggling mind you but it was running through, and the speed runs are a blast, even at 2-3ft.

Despite the crowd, I had a lot of fun, and my final wave was so good I had to come in on it as there was no hope that I'd better it.

The obligatory shots were taken in waning light. I was a bit careless with camera stillness, mostly because I was having a conversation at the time.

The blur that resulted though did emphasise the one thing that sets Winki apart.


Even small and almost sloppy, you do get a whizz on..

Monday, September 14, 2009

Odd is the only way I can describe this past weekend.

Odd weather, odd surf, and I saw my kids the odd couple of times.

School holidays are upon us and that naturally means for Tom: skating, skating and more skating, and Joey, a social life rivaled only by the the royalty of seventeenth century France. The kid goes to more parties that Louis the Bloody Fifteenth.

So we saw little of the kids and Saturday was the hottest Melbourne September day ever, barely out of winter and it got to 30C, or nearly 90F in the old money.

Global warming? Either that or everyone in Victoria had their heaters on.

Down the beach yesterday and still warmer than average. A lack lustre, but packed lineup at Bells looked less than inviting so we waited to see if it'd thin as the morning crowd tired.

We checked a couple of unlikely spots on the off chance of luck but discovered very quickly that the reason they are unlikely is because it was unlikely they'd be working.

Which they weren't.

So back to Bells, the crowd began to thin so we headed out to try our luck.
I was on the little borrowed fish again, and lucked in to a couple of belters very quickly, which is also what the board did. The thing flys, and catches waves so easily, so although incredibly inconsistent, the odd set that came though underneath the increasingly strong offshore was worth the wait.

Unfortunately it became very very crowded again, with a few new faces out of the woodwork due to the warm weather. Which meant it was a bit scrappy out there, a lot of dropping in going on, and the inevitable deeper than desired take off position.

Richie had exited the water a little earlier than me, so took a couple of snaps that show towards the end of the session I was well out, caught behind again and again.

I did enjoy it though, and it was nice to feel the sun with a little heat in it.

Shots then, are the early crowd, me chasing whitewater, and Banyak pal, longtime surf buddy Rod Hyett, Australia's answer to Ansel Adams and the world's most consistent surfer. At 54 or whatever the guy is as surf mad as anyone on the planet, paddles like a madman, (his nickname is Ten Men, as in when he paddles out it might as well be ten men), and he occasionally rips off an off the top that has me gagging. Richie managed the aftermath of one such turn, he's throwing a bucket and setting up for another patented Rod Turn.

Onya Rodney.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

As those of you who have been here before can see, I've been fiddling about with the layout.

The lines come from old Algy Swinburne, diminutive man about town, pre-Raphealite poet and slightly twisted chappy when it came to spankings. He was a gifted man with words though, and it is for these wonderful lines that I thank him.

I passed the header by my mate Richie, who is my worst critic. In fact he's everybody's worst critic but I do think that is part of his charm. He said go with the version with the pic of me, so as an International Man of Mystery (you can see I saw a rerun of Austin Powers last night,) I thought it appropriate to show my 55 year old gnome like silhouette to confirm there is flesh and blood lurking behind the blather about life, the waves, and gurgling around on the bottom of the sea which as you know I do with alarming frequency.

All comments welcomed but
it remains to be seen if I take any bloody notice, and I may fiddle some more anyway as some things have dropped off.

Now that sounds familiar.

Pic, just for the sake of it. Me coming back to the boat from a Banyak surf. Near as damn to exactly one year ago.

I didn't have a cold, the water was bathtub warm and you can bet your backside it still is. Some lucky bastard is standing in that boat at this minute...

Whoever you are, catch one for all of us.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A very quiet run on the work front, with panic lurking behind every bush saw me putting up my hand to help my producer mate Richard Keddie. He was casting about for suitable extras in the telemovie he is producing on the life of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Aptly titled Hawke, it looks the goods and if the inhabiting of persona is any indicator then the guy playing Hawke, Richard Roxburgh, is up for a more than a few awards. He is doing an incredible job.

So there I spent the last couple of days, bored out of my mind getting paid stuff all as I waited for my moments to look like sagely Cabinet member Senator Nick Balkos. Told to grow my beard and don a suit, I did a good job of frowning, folding my arms and looking serious.

So begins and ends my career on the silver screen.

The day after it all finished I went for a surf. Had to. I couldn't stand feeling so effing old.

The pics then are me looking serious waiting to look even more serious, the Rincon line up and my friend Tony's five ten speed dialler made by Kiwiland's Roger Hall. It's heavy, fast, and glides into waves as if I was on a board three feet longer.

A very fun, different way to surf.

When I have money I must buy one.