Thursday, December 31, 2009

On the Road Again (again)

A couple of analogues to finish off 2009. Manual focus Nikonos 35mm, treading water, manual wind on film advance, bottom turn back when when boardshorts were short. When the road ended at the camping area at the end of Hastings Street. And yes, the surf was crowded then too.

Ah, the sweet 1968 mix of the south Indian tambura drone behind the harmonica, drums and guitars of Canned Heat. Never tire of this tune, which was an adaptation of an adaptation of an old blues standard sung by Blind Owl Wilson of American boogie blues band, Canned Heat. Wilson was a legally blind Boston graduate who played at the Woodstock and Monterey Festivals in the 1960's and was dead of a drug overdose at 27. The irony is that the old originator of the tune, Chicago Bluesman Floyd Jones, outlasted the young prodigy by 20 years. Now that's the blues.

Hoping you all continue to bury a rail and tap your toes in 2010.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Witnessed a Murder

No surf worth riding so I wheeled out the Electra. The deadly treadly had been getting down and dirty on the some epic rides through the summer rain before the creeks rose too high. Then I saw them in the paddock at the back of the empty high school. I stopped counting at 25. Their huge black necks looked menacing. They were making a racket. I've heard they sometimes attacked cyclists on their own. A fence separated us. I cycled harder. The wind and the rain beating as fast as my heart. A murder of crows. Sworn enemy of the cane toad. Nana Brine's favourite bird. Having their very own summertime Splendour in the Grass.

Monday, December 28, 2009

After the Rain

What a year, Drought. Water restrictions. Bush fires. Dust storms. Floods. And Nature just keeps bouncing back. A shot of post-bush fire scorching as new growth pushes through the blackened stumps of a three strand barbed wire fence. Taken from the road somewhere near Tibrogargan. East of the dam. North of the early settlers' cemetary. Not far from the new Mall and the 24 Hour Convenience Store and the highway bypass.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Long May You Run


Teacher Tony with his fully manual Holden surf ute, back in the Noosa Longboards Emporium era - a McTavish sticking out the back. The real Bob McTavish gave an hilarious account of his adventures that night - including the time he stowed away on a ship so he could go to Hawaii. The stuff he can remember is now out in a book, which I'm told is an entertaining read. Click yonder

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

I’m sitting in the bathroom on a 5-wheel office chair that belonged to my late brother and thinking about him and the other guys I used to surf with who are no longer with us. Like goofy footer Mick who used to live in a caravan at Coolum but never owned a car. He used to catch the bus with the school kids to Nambour everyday to work in a bank. Mick was just hanging on his own one Christmas while the rest of us were pigging out on all manner of Aussie tucker with loved ones. To their credit, my folks thought it would be a good idea for him to join us for Christmas lunch.
Mick never showed much emotion, but he was into music in a big way. I have fond memories of watching John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and other acts with Mick at a pub at Alex Headland (the Chifley?) around 1986. I still have an old mix tape (cassette) called Mick's Modern Music he made for me from vinyl singles he bought on holiday in Sydney, stuff like - the Screaming Tribesmen, Harem Scarem, the Go Betweens, Husker Du, the Chills, the Wet Taxis and the Triffids. I have no idea why he took his life.

Pete Hansen Moffats Winter 1978
“You've got jowls like your mother,” the Bride of Brine says as she deftly turns my 30 year beard into a goatee, like Bob Cooper’s only way less famous. I guess you can get away with that call when you have been with me for 27 years. I’m not good at sitting still, even on the 5 wheel office chair and shut my eyes and try to think about a late arvo September Session I had on my DVS quad at Tea Tree. But my mind flicks back to memories of Pete Hansen another goofy footer no longer with us. Sadly a mosquito bit him in Egypt when he was on his way back from the oil rigs in the North Sea.
Pete was my cousin’s cousin. We shared a wooden double desk in the fourth and fifth grades. I didn’t see Pete for a while after he switched schools. One day he lobbed up to Coolum with a beautiful 6' Bob Cooper Bonza, with long triangular side fins and concaves, when the rest of us were riding 6' 10" pintail single fins. We thought it came from outer space.
We met up again at university where he was the king of the anti-Trend trend. Pete and I used to hitchhike to the Rainbow Bay SLSC. He was a clubbie there. Around 1977, it was undergoing renovation and there was nobody there in winter. We would hole up in the unfinished draughty clubhouse and ride Snapper and Greenmount. Pete had this great backhand slashing style, but we brought him down to earth by telling him he waved his left arm around like a windmill.
Sometimes Graham, one of the older guys would  take us to 24th Avenue at Palm Beach, where he would shred on his stubby Darby rounded square tail. I ditched the pintail after having a go of that board at Rainbow. It could turn on a penny. Pete would pester you into going for a surf with him even when it looked lousey. I still use his saying “It’s always better than it looks” to motivate myself, when it’s too crowded or too flat or too fat or too big or whatever.
The Bride finishes up my beard makeover and it’s time to get ready for Christmas dinner, as another black cloud rolls over the tin roof of our old wooden house. Merry Christmas to all of our friends both absent and present.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Currumbin Surf Museum

Surfed The Spit early yesterday with The Bazzmeister and his son Chris, visiting from Sydney. Enjoyed some meaty peaks followed by a meaty brekkie and two cups of coffee. Wound our way south through the surreal sprawl that is Surfers' Paradise down to leafy Currumbin and the Village Store above where a kind lady directed us to the Gold Coast Surf Museum. Big Thanks.

What a find! We managed to chance upon none other than surfing legend MP, photo legend Mal Sutherland and Josh Bystrom, son of late surf movie maker Chris Bystrom (RIP).
Had a great yarn with Mal about the old days shooting film during our stinking hot summers with manual everything cameras as well as listening to a few of his funny tales from the 1960's era. Mal is the real deal. Check his awesome work in the Switchfoot II book just out.
The boards at the museum are a magnificent testimony to the shapers' mind with all manner of fins, wings, rockers, flat bottoms, jet bottoms - the works. If you are into board shaping or the history of surf board design, you have to check this place out. (According to Baz all shaping roads lead to Hayden, so a close up of an old three stringer is above. I can see further animated debate on that theory!)

Bottom photo is a collection of equipment and items from Chris Bystrom's movie making days. His son, Josh is keeping his father's legacy in the public arena. For info:
HUGE Thanks to Mal and Josh for their generous time and sharing of their own brine times.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peace Within 1

Peace Within 2

"I know you think you should make a trip to Calcutta, 
but I strongly advise you to save your airfare 
and spend it on the poor in your own country. 
It's easy to love people far away. 
It's not always easy to love those 
who live right next door to us"
Mother Theresa

Monday, December 21, 2009

Surf Check 1965

Gold Coast cyclone along Mermaid Beach when ordinary workers could afford to rent a beach shack for a week or two. Scan of an old Kodachrome of Dad's taken with his favourite camera - a  Petri rangefinder with manual everything. Luckily those old transparencies had the dates stamped on one side of the cardboard frame. That's the five of us brothers with the three smallest in Mum's home made "boardies". Yew!
Autumn 1965

Hastings Street

Autumn 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Long Time Locals

The graffiti in Pa Bendall Park at Moffatt Beach said "Long Term Locals Only".  Maybe these two sisters qualify - Aunty Clair and Nana Brine, who have more than 70 years of coastal living under their belts. Next time you see them chattering away at the cafe at Moffatt Beach, stop to ask them about the time their father swam against the Duke when he came to visit Oz back in 1915. Or maybe what it was like camping at Kirra before the groyne and leg ropes. Or what Noosa was like when there were three camping areas in Hastings Street. Or raising six sons during the longboard to shortboard era.
Big Thanks to the staff at One La Balsa Cafe for making Nana Brine's 85th birthday yesterday memorable.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One for Andrea

Finally, the holidays are here and I can depart the diurnal drudgery of commuting for the happy hissing of smallish barrels. But before I go, I need to give a Big Shout out to my work colleague Andrea, whose Gen Y grapplings with the grammatical complexities of the English language, hilarious emails and pranks have helped to keep me going during a challenging year. Cheers and pump up the volume on that iPhone.

Horse fly linocut is from a limited edition of 25 - about the same size of the Seahorse pivot fin on rice paper. Email me for pricing
Summer 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Couple of Squares

From my window at work I can see a river that flows to the sea. In the distance, way past the airport, the oil refinery and the new football stadium, I can see a couple of islands made of sand. I'm pretty sure the surf is cranking and the local sharks have gone Christmas shopping somewhere else. There's air in my bike tyres and wax on my board. Can I leave now?
Autumn 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Log Jam

Mark Lloyd hauling log through the summertime crowds at one of the few protected spots while the pesky northerlies blow blue bottles and bad ripples.
Summer 2009

Summertime = Surfari Time

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bandit's Birthday

Aunty Clare christened my next oldest brother The Bandit
seen here on the left with my other brother GfG
waiting for the car ferry
to hit the South Wall at Ballina.
Another shot of Bandit below at Coolum
when shortboards still had one fin.
Happy Birthday bro!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bunch of Three's

They say bad things happen in threes. I'd like to think that good things happen in three as well. So here's three pics of three's. 2009 has been the toughest year of my life. When I have been overwhelmed with grief, there's always been a friend or three to make me laugh, to inspire me to wax up or to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Big thanks to the Cremorne Road Goats who took me and the Bride of Brine on a long long surfari to glide and laugh and take cheesey photos together. Photo by Mrs Brine.
Winter 2009

Three Beaks

Three pelicans lurking at the Maroochy Cod Hole on a full moon. Can only mean one thing - the fish are about.

Three Broken Noses

Three broken noses from three of Sean Wilkie's three finners in the window of his Sunshine Beach shack.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surf Check


You wake up early and there's no wind noise. The northerlies that have been blowing it out for the last week have abated. You get that first cup of coffee into the system and prize the eyeballs open and still it's only 400 am. Your workshift at the factory doesn't start until 10am. Anticipation as you scoot along the rough track to the back beach.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tail Draggin'

Summer 2009

Rolleicord x Velvia x PShop

Post Modern interpretation:
Big Wednesday via a 1936 German camera, Japanese slide film, Australian E6 processing, a scanner in a shop, Photoshop in an American computer on a recycled wooden table in a kitchen with a modem connected to wires that go outside and across the universe.

Analogue Interpretation:
Weird lookin waves at The Pot.
Autumn 2001

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Arugam Bay Footer

It's pretty dry around here at the moment, but we are allowed to keep our gardens going a little with buckets of water. As I'm walking down the side of our old house this morning mid-bucketing, looking at the orange dawn instead of where I'm walking, I stood on a very sharp and rusty old roof nail that the possums must have dislodged in their nightly ramblings.
Luckily, I had my rubber thongs on which absorbed a bit of the impact and deflected the the nail into the outside of my big toe instead of the middle. Ouch!
Sadly the little owner of this thong found near Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka after the first tsunami was not so lucky.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hughie Don't Surf

Hughie don't surf anymore. Well, he never surfed like the Duke on a board made of something. He preferred to slide along the waves just using his arms and feet, which I'm told were wide with chubby toes, just like mine. Hughie was my Dad for 48 years before he joined Uncle Bill and Aunty Clare beyond the horizon, up in the stars. Just about everything I ever learned about sailing and the sea, I learned from my Dad, who had a million sayings gleaned from spending his early life at war at sea -  like "that's how we do it in the States." And still we miss them.
Happy Birthday Dad, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Road Trip

Some of the Brine Team hit the road dark and early yesterday. This was shot around 430am at a very shakey 1/60 second, without a tripod. Not bad for me. And our only stop en route.

Big thanks to Andrew, our driver and the other crew who made it such an enjoyable session - Big Paul, Barry, Phil, Mark and Dean. We all managed to get quite a few slides in - though wave of the day award was shared by Big Paul and Dean who collided causing a dent in Dean's board and remarkably, not a scratch on Paul's head.
Summer 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Feelin' Nosey

Autumn 2009

One for Emma

One for my work colleague Emma (soon to be married and friend of goats, especially wooden ones) and manufacturer of awesome cakes - including one in the shape of a surfboard for my birthday.
Merry Christmas and congratulations on your upcoming nuptuals with Dr Joel (can we call him that now?)
Big thanks to Antiquarian Darren for the "faux goat". Cat appears courtesy of Naughty Sam the Triumph rider from CityBeach. No goats, horses or cats were injured in this digital manipulation.
Summer 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

40 Years Ago

40 years ago tomorrow, those swaggering Brits, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger released one of my all time favourite tunes - Gimme Shelter. Here's the first few verses. Buy it. Play it loud.
Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
Ooh, see the fire is sweepin'
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way
Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter 1969

Spring 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Global Warming

Too dry. Too wet. Too dusty.
Too many gales. Too many cyclones.
Too much global warming.

The rainwater tank that used to be under our house when I was a kid. It ended its days recycled as a chook shed for Lucky, Hairy and Big Boy. Windows made of rust.

Summertime = Stoke Time

Summer 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Movember Madness

Big beards and big hair. This can only mean 1981 when you could get punk rock and hairdresser bands on the same mono radio frequency. Don't know what I was pointing at here on holiday in Innisfail in 1981. Gotta love those old beer stubbies and Karen, what about your flannie shirt? Could you forsee the birth of grunge? Don, happy birthday if you see this.
The beard is on the way back (maybe not that much) after getting completely shaved in the name of MOVEMBER - the charity to raise funds for depression and prostate research - yes, it even happens to surfers in Brinetopia. BIG THANKS to my Mo buddy Captain Logan and everybody who made donations. We ended up raising about $600.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sounds of Then

"Out on the patio we’d sit,
And the humidity we’d breathe,
We’d watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia."

Gangajang The Sound of Then 1985
Gangajang, a sweet marriage of the Angels and the Riptides - both superb Aussie bands in their own right. Music you could do the big surfari drive to. Music that captured the essence of this stinking hot, drought stricken, fly ridden, flood-prone, sunburnt, crazy wonderful beautiful land. In three minutes.
Those of a more technical bent might like to know that this is a shot of sugar cane fields being burnt as part of the harvesting process. Taken from the Maroochy River Cod Hole looking north-by-northwest.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Larkin x Dylan

"Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow"
Bob Dylan Mr Tambourine Man
My legend brother GfG on the old Joe Larkin via Nikonos V and flippers (fins). What a trek to carry that tanker to the furtherest Point. I almost drowned there shooting the boys on a big day when I got swatted by a bigger closeout set. When you're tumbling around underwater in a dark wild boiling ball of foam, bouncing off rocks, strapped to a metal camera that wants to knock you out, all you want in life is a lungful of air.

Mr Tambourine Man

Bobby Zimmerman Dylan belting out something like "Mr Tambourine Man" during the never ending Rolling Thunder Review era tour that strangely included Brinetopia. Note the huge fan behind him. None of your fancy air conditioned stadiums. This was at the local boxing hall. Now demolished. Home to inner city apartments and the ghosts of rock and roll.
Captured on good ole Kodachrome 64 but lacking the exposure latitude of modern emulsions or capture backs. I think the lens was a screwmount (yes) Vivitar 70 - 260 mm F4.5 with a x3 teleconverter.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good Fin

You're floating around in the brine waiting to snare some action on camera when you think you see something like a fin out of the corner of your eye. For a brief moment or three your pulse is racing until the fin resurfaces in a beautiful dolhinesque glide. Maybe time to return to land.