Sunday, February 27, 2011


Gotta love Seal Rocks locals for this sign on their dead end main street. Not to mention their general willingness to share the fantastic selection of waves in their neighborhood.
About 10 years ago I was camping out in the bush nearby when an all singin' soul surfin' pot smokin' Jesus freak emerged from the undergrowth with a spare surfboard tucked under his arm. I hadn't surfed in ages but he encouraged me to get back into it and I was soon fully stoked. As I watched the sand whiting flit about under the nose of the borrowed board I wondered what I'd been doing out of the water all these years.
I owe the dude a major debt of gratitude. He even introduced me to the G-spot - the creme de la de da of camp sites in the area which has sadly now been bisected by a boardwalk. We had it several times in peak condition and felt the full embrace of the place which continues to hold a sacred site in my salty sea dog of a heart.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Took delivery of my new Brompton the other day and rode it around the Bilgola Bends to Mona Vale like a true woman on the verge! This is the absolute Queen of folding bikes in my humble opinion. I first encountered her while on vacation in New Zealand. I was staying in a small B&B in Dunedin when a gentleman and his lady love wheeled in on matching Bromptons. Naturally I got to talking with them about their most marvellous contraptions. Turned out this dude sold communications systems to UNESCO and was something of a millionaire. And yet his idea of bliss was simply biking around the world with nothing so much as a credit card in his pocket and a change of underwear in his panier. He said that he loved his bike so much that he bought the entire company!
Inspired by this example of freedom, I hit up ebay and bought myself a Halfway folding Giant which I've loved to death for the past 7 years. But the chain kept falling off and it gradually started losing its grip on the  fold. Towards the end it was like riding a circus bike as it came apart at the seams on busy city streets. And so the time finally arrived to replace it. I'm sure if anyone cared to fix it up it'd be quite the fun little bike again. Any takers?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Went to the opening of the Australian Surf Film Festival at the good old Randwick Ritz last night. First flick up was 'Who is J.O.B?', a great doco about Pipeline tube pig and radical nut case Jaimie O'Brien. JOB reveals that he had a chronic ear infection as a kid and was told to stay out of the water for a year. His dad, a fiercely ambitious Hawaiian surf dog, wasn't going to let him loose any time in the water so he gaffer- taped a swimming cap to young Jamie's head, whacked a helmet on him and ordered him back into the waves. And thus was born a champ, albeit one who burns the rule book.
After this excellent piece of surf cinema, Festival initiator Tim Bonython launched his new film which is loosely based on the premise of taking three indigenous surfers - Dale Richasrds, Otis Carey and Russ Molony - on a safari from Red Bluff and Gnarloo in Western Australia, to Streaky Bay in South Australia, and then (possibly) Wreck Bay on the South Coast of NSW before heading down to some monstrous man-munching waves at Shipsterns in Tasmania.
Coff's Harbour homeboy Otis Carey was in the house and acknowledged that we were all gathered on Aboriginal land before being subjected to a cringe worthy interview by the director. Tim takes beautiful footage but he can't ask a question to save his life!  The big discovery of the night was a crazy SA dude who does surf stunts like riding a wave backwards while hauling an imaginary rope out of the barrel. He also surfs in a kooky pose on one leg and then sitting down. "If you can do it, do it!" is his motto. Right on, 'bro.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Magic happened again at Byron Bay last week with some fantastic surfing snagged at Cosy Corner and a great show witnessed when some hard core dudes took on Saturday's extreme conditions at Belongil, screaming across the 10ft faces on the bomb sets. It was way too radical for me and the White Resonant Mirror to launch ourselves into but excellent fun to watch. Poised as we were right on the bay, we spent our down time jutting out into the Pacific like gluttons sucking up that special far eastern energy.

But there's a real issue emerging for landholders here in the guts of the bay and watching big waves like these really brought it home - the dunes on which they built their flash pads are gradually being eroded away by the endless surge of the sea. The owners of our fab establishment - 'Bluewater on the Beach' -have had experts in to advise on ways in which disaster might be averted. One suggestion is to make a series of breakwaters, each one perhaps sponsored by a surf company, which would stem the tide of destruction while providing some potentially awesome surf spots. This would also ease the pressure on the ever popular Pass by distributing surfers more evenly along the Bay.

There are of course problems with this concept because the Bay is a designated Marine Reserve - nothing must endanger or disrupt the marine habitat here. But maybe the break-walls would encourage sea life? It's tempting to let nature take its course but Byron Bay is such an Australian mecca that the sheer numbers of people pouring through the place on a daily basis has already had an impact on every conceivable level. It certainly isn't the little hippy haven I first came to back in 1977!

But there's something about it that mysteriously draws one back time and time again, despite the summer crowds and gridlock. It's like a mystical magnet. Luckily numbers were down this year due to the floods up north so we had a good run of the place. Even an Australia Day, there were only a handful of diners at Rae's - that well known flash restaurant at Watego's (what egos!). Staff must've thanked their lucky stars that our party was celebrating not one but two birthdays in fine style for a second year in a row, gorging ourselves on their delectable Morton Bay Bugs washed down with plenty of good plonk.

We've already made another booking at Bluewater for next year. Let's hope our excellent ocean viewing platform is still intact!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We're cycling around Clover Moore's State electorate of Bligh on the 26th March checking out all sorts of art en route and deciding which ballot box looks the most glamorous to cast our votes into.