Showing posts from 2010

Christmas waves: a love letter

Christmas day in Byron Bay includes surfing. It just does. For me, that means either my beach (which is a usually quite dangerous beach that is always oddly gentle for christmas) or Wategos. This year, it was a double showing at Wategos - morning, then afternoon.

Beautiful, gorgeous, picturesque, lovely, ideal-beyond-belief Wategos is usually packed with people for christmas day, but this year it was raining so the crowds mostly stayed indoors, leaving the waves empty of that fair-weather crew. The morning waves were nothing much to talk about. They were lovely but slightly, well, meh. But the evening was different.

Izzy collected Jessie and I from our respective homes. We stacked our mals on the roof of her car, bid farewell to our snoozing, post-lunch families and drove into town. When we arrived, we were far from inspired by the small waves, which also seemed slightly busier than we had expected. But we were there, and we are frothers, so in we went.

At first there was a weird vibe in…

Christmas cheer

Yeah, yeah, I know. But indulge me.

Wham - Last Christmas
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Art Park/Atlantic artist residency in Byron Bay

The art folk of the surfing world have developed some pretty cool and supportive opportunities over the years. The latest one I have just seen is two newly created 4-6 weeks artist residencies in Byron Bay.
Excellent!I have pasted some of the details below, but trot off to the Art Park website for all the info and application forms. And good luck!Art Park/Atlantic Guesthouse artist residency
This residency program commences in February 2011. Each residency is held in conjunction with Atlantic Guest House Byron Bay, who provide the artist with accommodation and studio space. We are happy to consider artists who work with wall mounted works, sculpture, photography, new technologies and installation.Residency length is four to six weeks long. In consultation with Art Park, each residency may incorporate a solo exhibition and a floor talk. The Art Park/Atlantic Artist Residency Program will supply and fund:Fully furnished accommodation for a period of up to 6 weeks. The apartment is free…

Two Weeks - Johnny Abegg

Johnny Abegg is someone I admire - as a surfer, a man and as a friend. He is the kind of person who is unfailingly honest, generous and kind, and has a laugh that is impossibly infectious.

His latest film, Two Weeks, is about to start touring from Sydney down to Tasmania. His latest film is raw, honest and brave and is a labour of love documenting two weeks he spent in the Tasmanian wilderness during a tumultuous time in his life. If you find yourself close to one of the venues, do yourself a favour and get along for a look and to support this independent film.


Sunny, with cloudy periods

Just like a ghost
you've been a-hauntin' my dreams,
but now I know,
you're not what you seem...

My favourite Surf Friday

Jamie Watson rules.
Seriously though, PineappleLuv is the bomb!

Check it!

A (generic) surf film review.

I was looking through the mess on my noticeboard today, and found three hand scrawled* pages pinned up behind a photograph. I knew exactly what they were - they were notes I sat and wrote on the back of some flyers after watching a surf film showing some time ago. I'm going to share the notes with you, but I'm not going to tell you which surf film it is, as I don't really think it matters. In the end, reading over my thoughts, I think they are pretty generic to many of the surf films I have seen (although there are, of course, some excellent exceptions to this rule).

I do want to say that the imagery and sounds in the film that I prompted these notes were beautiful and thoughtful, and that I'd had a particularly confusing conversation that day, so was feeling a bit raw and I remember both the images of water and the music affecting me in ways I wasn't expecting in terms of my responses. I think I cried. But even that, even that could not hide the fact that it was, …

West coast, NZ

So where were you yesterday afternoon?

If it wasn't here, then you were totally missing out.

(Thanks, Holly)

Dirty tree.

More and more. Better and better. I wouldn't go back a single day.

Eyes that could steal a sailor from the sea! Or not, as it turn out.

Dolphin magnet

I see dolphins a lot. I know that is connected to spending time in the ocean, but I honestly seem to be a magnet for sea life. Especially dolphins.

The other week I was driving into town from the highway when I looked up and saw this cloud that looked disarmingly like a dolphin jumping out of the ocean. Now, I'm notoriously suspicious of dolphins (I find all that "smiling" is slightly creepy and I can't forgive how much they can look like sharks) but I was compelled to stop and record it.

Ok, so I was a moment too late to get it in all its jumping perfection, but you can see what I mean. And that afternoon when I went surfing, the water was slightly murky after all the rain. Not gross, just not clear. I was paddling back out after a wave, when two dolphins jumped out of the water, side by side. They leapt out of the face of the wave and crashed into the water in front of me, speeding under my board and away. It was a very dolphin day that one.

In Noosa there was a dolph…

Oceanides: a film by Lorene Carpentier

My friend, Izzy, showed me a link to this film, Oceanides. I'm pretty excited to see it!

Skateistan: skateboarding and young people in Kabul

My friend sent me a link to this cool film about a skateboarding program in Kabul.

Pretty cool, huh! If you would like to find out more, check out the program's comprehensive website, Skateistan (I especially liked the students' blog).

Skateistan is Afghanistan’s—and the world’s—first co-educational skateboarding school. The school engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment. Our students come from all of Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They will not only develop skills in skateboarding and skateboarding instruction, but also healthy habits, civic responsibility, information technology, the arts, and languages. The students themselves decide what they want to learn—we connect them with teachers who will enable them to develop the skills that they consider important. Since Skatei…

First big wave contest for women!!

The New York Times reported on the first ever women's big wave surfing comp. Excellent news, huh!
With a smattering of locals and members of the news media, flocks of pelicans, a spouting gray whale and some of the best male riders in the world looking on along the central Oregon coast, three women charged down 20- to 25-foot-high waves in the first female heat of the Nelsott Reef Big Wave Classic, one of five stops on the male-dominated Big Wave World Tour.
And they even reported that,
Male surfers agreed it was high time for women to have a competition like this to compete in. “These girls are putting in time around the world,” West said, “and they deserve more.”Cool. However, there were a few jolting sections to the article that I think should be highlighted. For example, this is an interesting paragraph,
Officially an exhibition, with no prize money, the competition had the look of something that was thrown together at the last minute. All competitors, men and women, …

When is a dog worth more than a woman?

In Australia, one of the players for the Canberra Raider's rugby league team, has been embroiled in controversy over a photograph of him apparently receiving oral sex from a mate's dog as a prank. I actually can't believe that is even a sentence. Anyway, to put it bluntly, it was licking his balls. The bare bones of the story is that the photo was widely distributed via Facebook and Twitter, and an edited version has been all over the news. It's been an absolute debacle.

The whole thing seems really weird more than anything and I'm not quite sure to make of it all to be honest - the photo is more gross than messed up, like an odd thing to have yourself photographed doing. However, there is one thing that I am finding terribly distressing and infuriating.

Football in Australia, in fact let's be honest... Sport in Australia is not known for it's particularly ethical attitudes to women and sex. I'm not going to bang on about my opinions on the litany of sexu…

High noon: Noosa

Don't go that way. There's some steps further along here a bit.

I turned from where I'd been looking at the surf and the rocks and the potential entry spots and faced the man who was speaking to me. He was middle-aged, round, with a beard and a kind face. And he was offering advice!

So you're not from Noosa then?

No. I just got inspired to come up for the day. I heard there were waves.

I had only surfed here a couple of times before, earlier this year with friends. But on this occasion I had come up on my own. I drove up from the city found a pretty good parking spot in amongst the chaos, walked down the lane I knew led to the beach, bumped into some friends who were leaving and who lent me some wax, and made my way through the bottom carpark and along the boardwalk. The break was busy - well, it was Noosa on a Saturday after all - but that doesn't really bother me. Especially since there were nice looking waves to be had. And I was feeling relaxed. I didn't expect…