Saturday, July 31, 2010

Coolangatta Mono

Here's my contribution to the never ending discussion about how much sand should or should not be sitting around Snapper, Greenmount, Coolie, Kirra. Judging by the presence of some old properties now highrises, this is maybe 15 - 20 years ago.
And for the crew who call The Platform their local, it's just as dredgingly challenging as it ever was. Think rock ledge not sand bank.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Retro Mono Trio

"The holidays are here. The holidays are here." said Dick to Dora in my Year One Learn-to-Read book. And the excitement of a break from the 21st century, post-modern, downsized workplace endures. Time to recharge the batteries. Maybe a little drive somewhere.
Or maybe a slide by myself 
away from the maddening 
Definitely got to get
this computer thing 
sorted out.
Pic by Hughie

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Retro Bowl

January 1978 - a couple of Aussie teenagers lean over the railing at Huntington Beach Pier. One of them is shooting the surfing action with a Fufica ST801 manual focus 35mm camera, a roll of Kodachrome 64 film inside and a Hanimex 28mm wide angle lens on the outside. Three decades later one of the exposures finds its way into a coffee table book called Switchfoot II. This is it.
This post is for Mike Moir - one of the best shooters from the analogue era. Your legendary images of the OC continue to inspire.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retro Ride

"We were told to design a car that the ladies would love that the men would love just as much, and that’s exactly what we did." Adding, "It makes me feel proud every time I see one. After all of these years, Mustang has never lost its luster."
Joe Oros Chief Designer of the Ford Mustang
This post is for Andrea, who is unable to put pedal to the metal - for the time being. Get well quickly. We need you back on the team!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Retro Left

Retro wetsuit. Retro board. No leggie. Left. Uncrowded (maybe). Cleanish. Morning light. Has to be Tallows Beach around the corner from the Byron Bay LIghthouse up the road from Casa Greenough.

Or is it the north side of Huntington Beach Pier on a winter afternoon in 1978?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wooing would be wooden boarders

The crew over at Wooden Surfboards are organising a bit of "show and tell" wooden board day in two weeks time. Here's the deal:
"So if you have built a wooden board of any kind , shape or style and would like to share the experience with others then bring it along. Also if you have a great looking board of any age or style to share bring it along , whether you built it or not." 
"If you would like to know more about wooden boards of any kind and the various methods of building them. Then this is the day for you to meet some very talented people to talk to. We will gather in the park across from the beach at Currumbin Alley on the Gold Coast once again." 
"Remember it is a non competitive and non commercial get together."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Final Round

Final Round - wood, rock and sand 
collaborate and live happily ever after
"I was going for a walk near Los Angeles. There was a collapsed building that had burned down 40 years ago. The roof was gone. Trees were growing inside the building and it struck me as beautiful, wonderful to see how form returns to the formless. The city council had put up a sign which to me was a sacred sutra. The sign said "Danger, all structures are unstable.'" To me, that was a holy sign. I said, 'thank you.' " 
Eckhart Tolle
Metal refuses to collaborate 
with sand, rock and wood
And pays the price of selfishness

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wood vs Sand vs Metal vs Rock

Wood versus sand
Round one winner is sand.

Metal versus sand
Round one winner is sand.

Rock versus sand.
Round one winner is rock.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crook as

We see more whales than kneelo's in this part of Brinetopia, so I was stoked to shoot this unknown gent having a whale of a time on a few wind chopped walls not so long ago. This post is for another kneelo - my brine brother Barry D, an African ex-pat living on the Gold Coast who has been crook for a while.
I can sympathise with Barry as I haven't been feeling too well myself lately. Times like this, one gets to stop and reflect just how wonderful life as a surfer is - memorable waves, a quiver to choose from, solid friends to share the stoke (and mock), views from the shoulder and the channel that the average punter will never experience, eclectic music to lift the spirits, travels to new and favourite swirlings of brine. Here's to us all getting better and wetter.
If Frank's kombi could only talk...maybe it would recount fables from the road like this one from goofyfooter Mark, who sent me this email recently (edited slightly to achieve G rating!):
"Terrible conditions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, didn't even get wet. Knocked off work early Wednesday and decided to make one last check before heading home. Surprised to find a 3 foot left, clean, off-shore, super consistent, no-one out, not a soul. Mad dash to the car. Freezing cold, paddled out and got a fantastic left straight away - looked in to shore in anticipation of the hills having eyes, but no-one suiting up. Paddled out again, another ripper left, again looked around, still no-one. What the *&%$ is going on? Did I miss a shark alert? Have I finally fallen through the reality crack? Am I actually still curled up under my desk at work?
Two hours of solitary lefts, the only company being a learner for about 20 minutes. A couple of absolute bombs. I kept taking a wave as soon as I paddled back out, thinking I better make the most of it before the crowd arrives - but no-one came. I'm putting it in my top 3 left surfs of all time, maybe even the top?"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wooden Music

Above a thumb piano, popular with West African poets and wandering musicians. And below Aboriginal hard wood clapping sticks from northern Australia. Add a didge and a Spanish guitar or an Indian sitar and you have a multicultural sonic delight. You want Tone? Rhythm? Echo? Can't beat wood.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"South of my days' circle"

Must admit that I'm a bit of a sucker for The Bush. There is something magical about sitting in between sets out the back of a beach or point break and looking shorewards seeing nothing but gnarly gum trees or coastal wallum under a clear blue winter sky. 
Reminds me of that late great Aussie poet - Judith Wright (RIP).
"South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees, blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite-
clean, lean, hungry country. The creek's leaf-silenced,
willow choked, the slope a tangle of medlar and crabapple
branching over and under, blotched with a green lichen;
and the old cottage lurches in for shelter"

"Oh, they slide and they vanish
as he shuffles the years like a pack of conjuror's cards.
True or not, it's all the same; and the frost on the roof
cracks like a whip, and the back-log break into ash.
Wake, old man. this is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening
South of my days' circle.
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country"
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Noosa Woods Camping Area

Continuing this week's wooden theme, I tip the briney cap to the old Noosa Woods Camping area - now gone, but at least a relatively natural park.
In 1975, the main drag - Hastings Street - at Noosa Heads ended with a public camping area which was beside the rivermouth. As post-War kids, we were spoilt for choice diving into the river from a home made springboard, body surfing on the surf side or paddling home made canoes around the mangrove isalnds (which are now multi-million dollar McMansions). Apart from the killer sand flies (midges) at dusk it was paradise on a shoestring budget for Aussie battlers and boardriders on surfari (or on the dole!)
Pic by Hughie
By1985 the suits and the heavy earth moving gear had moved in to town. The camping area was eventually closed and the rivermouth moved a good kilometer to the west so as to protect the ex-mangrove McMansions from cyclonic surges. The swells and the cyclones and the endless flat spells came and went as part of the cycle of the sea that we are all part of.
Can land developers tame the power of the waves, the cyclonic surges, natures cycles? And if so for how long? 
Do we own the land or does the land own us?
Do we own the sea or does the sea own us?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"To infinity and beyond!!"

Go Woody!
There's a stubby holder at the new Noosa Longboards shop featuring several of my "Woody" images including this one of the 1948 V8 beast. A tough shoot when crowds of tourists are trying to see what an old tanker like the Woody is doing on the beach!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Splinter Group

The only wooden board that I've tried was one with wheels rolling down the bitumen hills of Brinetopia, so I have no idea what they feel like to ride. Came across this quote in the Surfer's Path from Koa Enriquez describing the wooden glide: "We surfers crave that feeling of racing along a wave and this rockerless design really trims out and moves. It's surprising how a small wave will get you going and - hey! Stoke is where you find it" Looks like the unknown rider below would agree.
Closer to home, a tip of the briney cap to the team at Wooden Surfboards whose blog has some stunning pics and articles on the art of wooden surfboard building. Love their clever use of the phrase "splinter group".

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Wide Wood

The sun seems to have slept in this morning. Even the kookaburras across the creek at the back of the Brinecave were slow getting their laugh together before the cloudless dawn. Must have been because of the new moon and solar eclipse.

With the new lunar cycle, thought I would start a new series - World Wide Wood, and who better to start that than Jacob Stuth and alaia wooden board at First Point Noosa. (Peace sign is from bits and pieces of our garden.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cloudbreak has a silver lining

Looks like a great weekend shaping up in Brinetopia - strong winds generating 3M swell. Plus this little gem from Fiji Times Online (via Museum of Surf) about Fiji opening up it's surf spots for all to use!

Surfers can access any area without paying

"TOURIST and local surfers can, from Friday July 9 this year, access and use any surfi-ng area in Fiji without havi-ng to pay or obtain permit or approval from any person. The decree aims to encourage and promote Fiji as a premier surfing destination, promote surfing as a sport, maximise development and training of local talented surfers, and also for locals to engage more profitably in the surfing industry.
Head of the tourism ministry Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the decree had been gazetted following Cabinet's approval on June 30, and it prohibited any exclusive use of any surfing area by any person. "Any person who obstructs or prevents any person from accessing or using any surfing area for surfing or for any water sport, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine and or imprisonment," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Seahorse Stranding

A pod of seahorses stranded themselves yesterday just south of Shangri-la, during their annual winter migration from Byron Bay to Noosa. Fibreglass experts believe the mass stranding was probably due to electro-magnetic radiation from excess SMS texting causing epic interference with the seahorse's natural sliding propensities. It has not been confirmed whether the texting spike followed the Brinetopia football team's impressive victory over their southern cousins.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SUP 666

My old Mac computer automatically generates a file number when I convert my RAW files to TIFF format. And this one happens to be number 666. I tell no lie. Now some would consider the SUP the work of the devil - more of a dangerous boat in the lineup than a craft for sliding the brine. 
Whatever your thoughts on SUPs you have to see someone like Keanne de Abboitz (above) in action on a big day on his local Point to appreciate how skilled some of the SUPpers are. On this afternoon, he was taking the drop on the wrong side of Boiling Pot and getting barreled (and hooted by the crowd.
Having said that, I think SUPs should stay in the rivers and lakes and not be allowed on already congested Point breaks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sailing On

The first tattoo I ever saw 
was on the forearm 
of the fella who married my mother's sister. 
It had gone blurry even by then. 
He passed away last night. 
Sail on, Uncle.
Farewell and thanks from the Brine team.

Monday, July 5, 2010

True Locals

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - the original locals. 
NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Click here for more info.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

R.I.P. The Vann Man

This post is dedicated to "The Vann Man" -  an artist, music afficionado and work colleague who passed away a couple of nights ago. Words below taken from one of my favourite old skool songs - Astral Weeks a seven minute epic by the other Van Man - Van Morrison recorded in one take in 1968.
"If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again"
"From the far side of the ocean
If I put the wheels in motion
And I stand with my arms behind me
And I'm pushin on the door
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again"

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world
I got a home on high
In another land
So far away
So far away
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
In another time
In another place
In another time
In another place"

"Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
We are goin up to heaven
In another time
In another place
In another time
In another face."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Catch One (or two)

Have a great weekend!

Catch one or two or five.