Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tsunami Alert

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

No use of the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)

Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at
6:49 AM EST on Sunday 28 February 2010



Possibility of dangerous waves, strong ocean currents and foreshore flooding
throughout the day from 08:15 am (EST) Sunday.

Sea level observations HAVE confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

For further details visit the Bureau web site

Next update due by 8:19 AM EST on Sunday 28 February 2010
Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first
wave not always the largest. First tsunami effects are expected as follows:

Coolangatta from 08:15 am (EST) Sunday 

Maroochydore from 09:00 am (EST) Sunday 

Agnes Waters from 10:00 am (EST) Sunday

Gabo Island after 08:00 am (EDT) Sunday

Sydney after 08:45 am (EDT) Sunday

Crowdy Head after 08:45 am (EDT) Sunday

Coffs Harbour after 09:00 am (EDT) Sunday

Byron Bay after 09:15 am (EDT) Sunday

Tweed Heads after 09:15 am (EST) Sunday

Check that your neighbours have received this advice.

Boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to shore.
Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront. Vessels already at sea
should stay offshore in deep water until further advised.

Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami, as there is the possibility of
dangerous, localised flooding of the immediate foreshore.

For emergency assistance, call EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT QUEENSLAND on 132 500

Maps showing the affected areas are on the Bureau web site For a repeat of this warning call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300
878 6264).
An undersea earthquake of magnitude 8.8 occurred at 4:34 PM EST on Saturday 27
February 2010 near THE COAST OF CENTRAL CHILE (latitude 35.320S longitude
72.930W )

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Analogue Dreaming

Dreamed last night that my yellow car got stolen. The night before, I dreamt that my boss did an oil change on it. 
This is the same car that came with nothing more entertaining than an AM radio, so we installed a stereo cassette player hooked up to the electric clock circuit so you could play music even when the keys were out of the ignition. You would store maybe a dozen cassettes in a plastic box under the seat, otherwise their plastic cases would melt in the furnace like heat of the Aussie summer. There was no air con, so surfaris were mostly with the windows down and the 2 speaker stereo up loud. You had to make sure every track on those cassettes was killer as the player only had fast forward and reverse, so finding individual tracks was hit and miss. Often, you'd see 20 or 30 meters of cassette tape wrapped around highway signs and waving in the breeze like gossamer spider webs encrypted with a party beat.
This is the same car I rolled on a dirt road and chalked up 235000 kilometers before I traded it in more than 15 years ago. A yellow Holden Gemini with 4 speed manual gearbox and rusty roof racks.
The dreams were in colour.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Epic Fail (like herding cats)

Two aborted surf missions lately. Number one - mate's car broke down about 5 minutes after we left the Brinecave ion a mission for multi-point perfection.
Number two - a different crew. We were supposed to hit the spot above, which is several hours and quite a few tunes on the 8 Track cassette deck  away. But it would have been easier to herd cats into a barrel. I developed dodgy teeth, got two fillings and a jaw that was still sore a week later. Mate had to stay home to look after kids. Other mate had tradespeople lined up to do renovation job.
But when the planets line up and the cats get herded, we'll be having a ball. It's like Greenough said in an interview - surfing with friends in scrappy waves is better than surfing alone on good waves. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Triple Tragedy

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of three young men who died after falling off the 80 foot cliff at Point Cartwright on Saturday night. Just wrong.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Simmo x Kawana

For the last 35 years, I have been paying taxes by working in a variety of jobs - shooting surfers, weddings, portraits and other stuff, digging trenches, stacking supermarket shelves, picking veges, delivering junk mail and collecting census data. I have built a lot of functional, fun objects like sailing boats, underwater camera housings and skateboards. But I have never built a surfboard. To me that remains a magical craft - the way one can take a hunk of foam and sculpt it into a shape that is functional and fun in the sea and then layer it with sticky bubble-free fibreglass so it stays watertight and takes your weight. And then there's the tricky art of fin placement.
I'm in awe of people like Simmo, below, who not only can make a board for themselves, but can make one that actually shreds like this DIY board with fins he glassed on. Late arvo Kawana.

Monday, February 22, 2010

3 x 4

Three fins times four frames equals immense stoke. Especially when you are Gaston making a backdoor barrel at Sunshine Beach on your three finner.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Church on Sunday

"Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty
Sound of their breath fades with the light
I think about the loveless fascination
Under the milky way tonight

Lower the curtain down in Memphis
Lower the curtain down alright
I got no time for private consultation
Under the milky way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

And it's something quite peculiar
Something shimmering and white
It leads you here despite your destination
Under the milky Way tonight" ***

*** excerpt from Under the Milky Way by The Church El Momento Descuidado 2005 

The Church North American Tour 2010 details

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Noosa 2010 Festival

Photo: Flyer cover - Harry Roach sliding First Point 2009

Sometimes in autumn, we get a late season cyclone that lines up the swells like corduroy from First Point to Granite Bay and beyond. Car parks are jammed. Drop ins are notorious and local building sites shut down while tradespeople get some work and life balance. Cyclone Freda was kind and hovered far enough away not to do any damage but still pulsed out magnificent rides for what seemed a few weeks.
Sometimes Autumn just brings little crystalline peelers for big logs. Down near the rivermouth or over at Sunshine. Either way this years Noosa Festival going to be a wonderful gathering of diverse equipment, accents, ages and experiences. Bring it on!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What do you want from life?

The first time I saw snow was on top of the Grand Canyon last century. Coming from the hot sub-tropical land of Brinetopia, I don't know what was more awesome, seeing that dirty big red, yellow orange, brown, green canyon or the thick layer of snow contrasted against the blue Arizona sky like wedding cake icing. Around that time, I came across The Tubes, a band originally from Arizona who headed west like so many others to California.There, they released such ascerbic classics as "White Punks on Dope", "What do you want from Life?" "Don't touch me there" and "I was a punk before you were". Social satire in a punk visage - almost like a hybrid between the Mothers of Invention and The Saints.
"What do you want from life?
To kidnap an heiress
or threaten her with a knife?
What do you want from life?
To get cable TV
and watch it every night?
There you sit
a lump in your chair
Where do you sleep
and what do you wear
when you're sleeping?
What do you want from life?
An Indian guru
to show you the inner light?
What do you want from life?
a meaningless love affair
with a girl that you met tonight?
How can you tell when you are doing alright?
Does your bank account swell
while you're dreamin at night?
How do you know when you're really in love?
Do violins play when you're touching the one that your loving?"
excerpt from What do you want from life? by The Tubes 1978
Moffats Headland - this view currently for sale for several million $$$. Retro single fin available in a range of tints and fin options. Uncrowded waves no longer available.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Johnson's Areoplane

There's only one American President I have seen in person and that was LBJ - Lyndon Baines Johnson who visited Brinetopia in October 1966. I have to trust my folks and the historians as I don't really remember it, but my Dad took an iconic Kodachrome of LBJ's Airforce One jet surrounded by security in suits, dark glasses and #1 blade haircuts. On the other side was us local gawkers with nothing better to do plus an entourage of long haired demonstrators not keen to be sent off to the Vietnam War.

Fast forward 15 years and Aussie band INXS release The Swing produced by Nick Launay, who had already captured beautiful sound for Public Image Ltd, The Gang of Four, Midnight Oil and The Church. Great album. Great cover - trannies on a lightbox.
Johnson's Aeroplane was not one of the three singles that kept INXS on the airwaves and there's some speculation as to what exactly it's about - a farmer crop dusting fighting back against drought? LBJ and the little fields below the bombers? But every time I hear it I'm reminded of that visit by Airforce One.
"Johnson sees the fields from all the sides
Steel machines and black tar roads
Countryside where the spirit never dies
In his face all the history shows
Farmer's pride as the rains came down"
INXS Johnson's Aeroplane 1984

Surfing pic above from the same era as The Swing when channel bottomed thrusters with glassed on fins, manual focus prime lenses and Kodachrome ruled.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Buckets of Rain

The dry ravines of Brinetopia are awash with water as a monsoon trough dumps more rain than you can poke a divining rod at. Grey dreary days made for music and art and sleeping in.

"Buckets of rain 
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets coming out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love honey baby
I can stand"
Bob Dylan Buckets of Rain from Blood on the Tracks 1975
More Rain Songs
Rainy day, Dream all day - Jimi Hendrix
Fire and Rain - James Taylor
After the Rain - The Angels
Rain - The Beatles
She's a Rainbow - Rolling Stones
The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
Be the Rain - Neil Young
See the Sky About to Rain - Neil Young
Walking in the Rain - Grace Jones
Hard Rain's Gonna Fall - Dylan
Who'll Stop the Rain - Credence Clearwater Revival
Black Rain - Ozzy Ozbourne
Pray for Rain - Massive Attack
Rain on the Scarecrow - John Mellencamp
Spring Rain - The Go Betweens
Rain - The Gin Club

Monday, February 15, 2010

How we make stoke

Big thanks to the crew over at IN THE HILLS for the following quote:
“Mulling it over, I couldn’t articulate it fully but definitely, 
I knew I had become lazy, really lazy. 
A spectacular sloth by the standards of shooting film. 
Film is hard. 
Film is a stone cold unforgiving killing bastard. 
Film is once in a lifetime, no excuses. 
F8 and really, really be there: 
ready, steady, in focus, correct exposure, 
and pressing the shutter in synch with life.”
Photo: Hughie
Add to the quote above, the following for summertime surf shooting elements - salt air, sand and extreme heat. All natural enemies of film. Oh and hard light, blue bottles and skin cancer. Which makes this image even more special. Nana Brine and GfG ripping on their coolites at Kirra about 1963.
How stoke is created.  Start the journey as a toddler in the brine with your folks on a little hunk of foam. Get the feel for currents and moving across the wave. Graduate to "borrowing" your older brothers' boards when they are out chasing girls. Save up your pocket money and buy a second hand dinged up tanker that you can call your own. Then you purchase your first new board and the stoke of putting on that first layer of wax. 
And so it continues - custom boards, surfaris, close encounters with fear - until eventually you're too old to carry your own board and you return to bodysurfing again. Back where it all began. Still in the brine. Still stoked.

Viewer's Choice

the waves dictate 
what craft we will ride
But sometimes
we're spoiled for choice.
Or just shoot our mates with film.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Square Seagulls

"I walked along the avenue

I never thought I'd meet a girl like you
meet a girl like you.
With auburn hair and tawney eyes
The kind of eyes that hypnotise me through
hypnotise me through.
And I ran - I ran so far away
Ijust ran
I ran all night and day - I couldn't get away.
A cloud appears above your head
A beam of light comes shining
down on you
shining down on you.
The cloud is moving nearer still
Arora-borealis comes in view
arora comes in view.
And I ran - I ran so far away
Reached out a hand to touch
your face
You're slowly disappearing
from my view
'appearing from my view.
Reaches out a hand to try again
I'm floating in a beam of light with you
beam of light with you.
And I ran
I ran so far away
Ijust ran
I ran all night and day
And I ran
I ran so far away
Ijust ran
I couldn't get away."
Flock of Seagulls I Ran (so far away) 1981

Many would dismiss this Brit New Wave group as one hit wonders, but how can you not like a band called Flock of Seagulls? It sounds so......oceanic. Brinish even. And they did win a British Grammy. And how about this squarish vinyl with a live version of their hit "I Ran". Oh and that awesome guitar solo. If only the lyrics matched it's virtuosity. It's gotta be worth something on eBay (one day).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Square Energy

Square Shadows

Shadows dance
Winter sunshine at Sunshine Beach.
Colours define the era
as shadows sweep in and out
of our days and nights
The only board that ever gave me
bloodied limbs and stitches
(fingers crossed).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Lost Weekend

The good folks at iToons tell me that I have legally downloaded 470 tunes onto this lovely white computer. One of those tunes is called (deadset) "Bring Me the Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mills' Peg (Dropping Bombs on the Whitehouse)". Yes I was pretty surprised that iToons would sell such a ditty, too. But when your band is called Brian Jonestown Massacre, bizarre song titles and album titles like Tepid Peppermint Wonderland seem normal. Lester Bangs would be proud.

Summer 2010

So what a surprise to find out that the BJM will be leaving their cyberspot on my computer - nuzzled in between Brian Cadd and the Brown Birds of Windy Hill - to visit Brinetopia to play at the The Lost Weekend from 5-7 March 2010. Also escaping my computer for The Lost Weekend will be The Gin Club and a bunch of others. Shame the BJM's friends-enemies Dandy Warhols won't be there. Fingers crossed for dry weather. Here's the blurb from the weatherwomen and weathermen:

Flood Summary
Issued at 7:11 PM on Sunday the 7th of February 2010

The following Watches/Warnings are current:
For more information see:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rusty x Pajero

Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4 - Noosa Festival 2008
Rusty Miller - First Point Noosa Festival 2009

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Corker x Woosley

Big shout to Corker, the first kid in our neighbourhood to ride a long board, to go to Noosa, to run away from home (year 7!), to hitchhike to Perth. In the words of Neil Young, "Long may you run". At one stage Corker used to drive around in a big V8 Ford nicknamed "Big Henry". Also known to drive unregistered ride on mowers massive distances on country back roads to get to the pub!
Corker's last board, now ridden by another, a beautiful Matt Kean remake of a Ray Woosley shape - 9'6" heavy volan glass, monster hatchet fin glassed in. Happy Birthday, champ.

Friday, February 5, 2010


You've heard the rumour on the street and in the lineup. You've seen the pixilated and shakey footage on YouTube, Vimeo, Myspot, Yourplace and iSaw. You've tapped out messages to your peeps using iArp on iPhoney to check the rumours. But there's been nothing in the surf mags. Can the rumours be true? Is it a hoax, like Brinetopia's wrestling king, Nacho Beastmeister?
Stop the presses! Yes it's now official.  It's OK to ride whatever surf craft you want in order to have a quality brine experience (aka FUN) and reconnect with your inner smile. Bodysurf with or without flippers (fins). Add a home-made or store bought handplane. Ride an airmat like Mr Greenough or Mr Pranaglider of 23Breaths fame. Do your own thang!
(Note: File picture bears no resemblance to Mr Pranaglider)

Let's be brutally honest here, the surf doesn't always crank like the sanitised perfection presented in surf mags. Sometimes it is uncrowded and perfect for a 6' 2" thruster with ample rocker, or a quad with a bat tail, or a swallow tail fish. Sometimes it's small but perfect for a slide on a big ole log. Have a good look around your local point break next time it's cranking. There'll probably be people of all ages on all kinds of craft. Even kneeboarders. Where are they in the mags? I don't have one, but go kneelos!
In the advertising world, we are increasingly being sold an "Us and Them" concept as if the universe is neatly divided into little tribes - ones that only ride shortboards or only ride long boards or only look and dress and drive a certain way. The mainstream surfing media loves market segmentation. They guesstimate what their "target demographic" is and then sell the concept to advertisers, whose team riders just so happen to grace the pages of said mags. 
Yes, I hear you say that they are the best riders in the world. Sure - based on some logo sponsored contests that some logo sponsored surfers can afford to attend but unsponsored surfers probably can't. And what about those logos all over their boards and bodies? Is it the manouver or the logo the mags want us to see? Just how many backlit and silouhette shots do you see in the surfing press these days? It's almost like subliminal advertising sneaking to override our better judgement.

We don't have to adopt the lifestyle or the products they are making a profit by selling to us, unless we want to.  That's we the masses - the average punters bobbing amateurishly in the brine. We the folks who can't really afford to attempt that death defying manouver for our mate's camera because we have to pay for our own boards and can't afford another broken one.
I have no beef with purveyors of quality surf products that enhance my experienec while I'm on this spinning blob of brine called Earth. But don't tell me how to think, look, dress, drive, ride. vote. I certainly won't be making my purchasing decisions based on a plethora of strategically placed logos.
Sometimes even a body board will do it.