Brinetopia now has some shiney new weapons of mass destruction called Hornets. Not sure how much they are going to cost to buy and maintain, but I know who'll be paying for all this bravado and it won't be the tycoons whose investment houses on Noosa Sound sit empty for most of the year. Photo taken last Friday by my colleague and facenook star Ash. The brooding post-cyclonic swirl of dark and light reminds me of the derided but famous British artist JMW Turner, who used his fingers and finger nails as well as brushes to render amazing scenes featuring the destructive power of nature.
Photo above by another lady featuring Brian Donhelly in Noosa to promote his new doco-movie about Gidget. Check it out if you get a chance, if nothing more than to see how you can get five surfers on a wave at the same time! Board is a Dick Van Straalen fish.
My first attempt at a home made underwater housing for my Super 8 movie camera. Circa last century. It was ugly but it worked. Bonus feature #1: waterproof on/off switch - very handy when you are shooting movie film that costs $600 per hour (before editing out all the dud bits). Bonus feature #2: it was so big and bouyant I could duckdive and it would drag me to the surface like a short board. Best comment: "Are you shooting commercially?" from a lady surfer at Tea Tree - Noosa.
I love this shot. Older chap with moustache riding a long board with a check stripe and a skin coloured full length wetsuit, at sub-tropical Noosa National Park. All the boxes for "Wrong!" are ticked. But who cares? He's obviously got the stoke happening. (And he avoids water born photogs).
Maybe he was doing it for a dare.
Or he lost a bet.
We were out checking some artworks yesterday arvo when we spied two young chaps wearing what even I thought was pretty strange and daring outfits - a nun-like "man" dress with heelless strappy shoes and the other in knee high gold lame girly boots. The Bride of Brine saw these two odd souls in a completely different light, "Oh look at those gorgeous gucci boots and that Jean Paul Gaultier man dress!" I thought that they had lost a bet or were doing it for a dare. Nope. They were members of Lady Gaga's support band The Semi Precious Weapons having a quiet stroll through the semi-precious artways of Brinetopia. And I had missed a paparazzo opportunity. Perceptions. Pre-conceptions. Odd.
Brinetopia is currently having a population explosion with all manner of carbon-based bipods converging on the relatively few pristine parts of what is largely a hot, barren island. Real estate barons and building companies reap a fortune as cashed up newcomers tear down our "quaint" local architecture to be replaced by faux-Tuscan look-a-like McMansions.
Our politicians propose ever more clever ways to move this burgeoning populace around - toll tunnels and toll bridges and lots of road construction. But it just results in more traffic snarls, more drop-ins, more agro in the line-up. Less koalas, less fish, less fresh water to drink, less time to think and laugh and love.
I'm reminded of the words of the two greatest Cats of the 20th century - Dora and Stevens.
"Anyone who believes
can go on forever
in a finite world
is either a madman
or a politician"
Miklos Dora (da Cat) quoted in Let My People Go Surfing, by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Penguin Books 2006.
"When you crack the sky, scrapers fill the air
Will you keep on building higher
'til there's no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?
"I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me where will the children play?"
exerpt from Cat Stevens Where Will the Children Play? 1970
Photo of Cat Stevens in concert by Caloundra resident, Alan Ebert shot on Kodachrome in 1974. Ironically, this venue has now been torn down and replaced with.....an inner city apartment skyscraper.
with more surfers than there are sheep in New Zealand.
"A few dings in the memory
and a few punctures
on the body
where the sun
shone too hard"
A rough summary of Noosa Festival in one sentence. Unless you were Mike from Noosa Longboards, who also got a tyre puncture to his vintage Thunderbird and managed to block the skinny road to the National Park.
The came, they surfed, they cranked out a truly deadly beat -
album of the week, the crew who played last Saturday night.
Noosa 2009 - a nice card from our 5 year old friend Gabbie, with spray from her Mum.
Noosa 2010 - another collab. between our friends Mike (blue) and Pete (green) from Noosa Longboards and the real, original Gidget (aka Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, who visited out briney shores during the Noosa Festival of Surf. Go Gidget!
When I was a juvenile (and I know some would argue that I haven't left that world), there were two magazines made by surfers for surfers here in Brinetopia - Tracks and Surfing World.
Tracks was bigger in size, irreverent and cheaper but made of matt newspaper and in black and white. Occasionally there would be the odd duo tone blue and white or brown and white surf shot of somebody like Ted Spencer or MP at some exotic break amongst the articles on macrobiotic diets, Captain Goodvibes Cartoons and interviews with long haired surfers from the counter-culture like Terry Fitzgerald, Nat Young or a cheeky young scamp called Rabbit. Surfing World was glossy, colour and more expensive.
At school we would argue the point over a lot of important issues like who was your favourite Beatle - John, Paul, George or Ringo? Or whether the Beatles were better than the Stones? (We were yet to discover The Who or The Kinks and punk had not been invented).
When our school principal tried to ban the reading of Tracks, then the line was drawn in the sand. Tracks was Lennon and SW was McCartney. Tracks was the Stones and SW was the Beatles. So it was settled, we would cut out Captain Goodvibes and other "bad taste" Tracks pictures and stick them to the underside of the hinged wooden lids of our desks so that when we lifted them to get out our school books, the rest of the crew could get a giggle while the maths teacher continued with the hypothetical drone of "let x equal the unknown quantity".
Photo: Steve Core or Peter Simons or ?
Then one arvo on the way home from school I happened to see Richo (Terry Richardson) beaming at me from the newsagent magazine rack just along from the balsa areoplane kits and the Egyptian Pyramid cardboard project kits. I wasn't even a goofy footer and I thought that this shot was magic. A perfect left hand barrel in the Australian bush. After that Tracks was never quite the same for me, even though they published and paid me for several stories and photos of our Sunshine Coast spots.
Maybe it was the end of the hippie dream and the Morning of the Earth era and the beginning of the high energy era of punk and twin fins. Maybe it was just the stunning "wow" factor of the colour glossies that the SW guys like Hugh McLeod, Peter Simons, Bruce Channon and Peter Crawford (RIP) produced.
And that shot of Richo that started it - who took it? Was it Steve Core (as his website suggests) or Peter Simons (as another site suggests) or somebody else. I have put the bite on both Steve Core and Bruce Channon (former editor of SW). Watch this space for the replies.
Best Festival Ever. Surf, sights, sounds, smiles and smells - to be fully described over the next week or three. Big thanks to all, especially the volunteers at the Lions Food Caravan at First Point, who I forgot to shoot.
42SIX Jeep seen in the Noosa Lions Park car park adjacent to what is now a mini Surf City where folks like Ash Grunwald and Band of Frequencies will be pulsing out some mesmerizing tunes during the annual telling of tall tales known as the Noosa International Festival of Surf.
Four to six foot is about all I need these days. Just throw in long wall and a barrel section and sunshine and clear water and my mates but no crowds or underwater beasties and that's about it. The simple life. Kinda.
This pony got us across the 300 miles of dirt that was the Nullabor Highway at the bottom of Oz - 3 speed manual column shift, 161 cubic inches spread across 6 cylinders. No power steering. Radio was optional extra. All hail the 1971 Holden Belmont. When bumpers were made of metal and seat belts were a novelty.
Weather forecast for the next few days says there's a mighty blow coming across the waters to Brinetopia. Or as the meteorologists say "a large slow moving high pressure system in the great Australian Bight will extend a strengthening ridge over much of the east coast, maintaining a strong south easterly flow over coastal waters into early next week"
Wind + Brine = Waves. And I'm on holidays! Better saddle up my pony.