April 30th, 2005

Well, here it is, a retired Australian surf board at Bronte Beach. I am so glad I got into this sport, it is possibly the only one that I have ever taken seriously –

The waves were very full at Bronte today so it was really hard to get onto them. I got on a few and saw the beauty of the hydaulics of the ocean as I cut left into an unbroken wave on one of them.

There are a few things I wanted to try and do on the board before I left Australia, one of them was ride tube –

and the other was to attempt a ‘cut back’ –

I guess these will have to wait until I get back to England. Tonight is the farewell night, should be fun!!

April 29th, 2005

The conditions for surfing today were absolutely perfect. A fairly strong offshore breeze and glassy clean water conditions….but where is the swell!!!! Annoyingly the waves were about chest high max and with the occasional bomb set once every 30 minutes. Faisel and myself were surfing in the south corner of Freshwater just off the rocks (which were of no concern with the lack of surf), we got a few lefts and a few rights it was pretty good fun although I only wish it was twice as big. Here is a wave from today at DY (there’s no scale reference of this wave but I assure you it is tiny but beautifully formed) –

On another note, have you ever had it when your phone seems to have gone mad? When I got back from the surf the phone in our house was ringing. I ignored it because I never answer the phone (to my flatmates displeasure) because I didn’t give anyone the number and I’m too lazy to go and answer it but after the 10th time of ringing I thought I better go and check it out. So when I answer it all I get is this ‘schhhummm…schummm…schhummmm’ noise like something was rotating and brushing against something although I’d never heard anything that sounds like it before, a bit freaky.

April 27th, 2005

Billy Corgan is playing at the The Forum in London in June. I am going!!! A reason to go back to London (as well as see all my friends and parents)!!

A guy from Hawaii called Dan Moore won the Billabong XXL competition after surfing this 68ft wave in Maui (what a nut case) –

Scarey Stuff!! Copyright Ron Brown

Click here for a Video of the Above courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald and Sky News Australia. More info here.

Some more video from the Boat Trip thanks to Andy and his video camera (that has a slight brightness/contrast issue as you may notice). The video contains some house boat action and some exlusive interviews with some of the people you see here on G2007.COM. –

And finally some usage statistics for g2007 this month (traffic doubled this month for some reason) – 32,849 unique visits, looking at 60,811 pages downloading 200,991 files transferring 11262377 Kilobytes (11 gig). In the past 12 months g2007.com has had 175,748 visits, loading 373,056 pages and transferring 690,090 files with nearly 1 million hits (980,111)!!! I might need donations to keep the site running at this rate!

April 25th, 2005

I still feel like I am on the boat as I write this, my vestibular labyrinth has not got use to the fact I am no longer on the water but actually on solid ground.

After a morning of surfing at Manly/Freshwater on Friday (where the waves were just throwing themselves into the sand from a great height) I managed to split my lip open after abandoning a take off and getting thrown into the wave, the surfboard must of hit me in the face at an angle. I bled into the water for several minutes but didn’t see any sharks.

So I return home and Andy has got a Honda CRV off one of his ‘mates’. This saved us a fortune trying to get to ‘Paradise Afloat‘ (we did not need to hire a car) – a house boat hire place on the Hawkesbury river near a town called Windsor, about 60km outside of Sydney. After the long drive in the Anzac Weekend traffic to Windsor we all arrived (after picking up some people from the train station) on the boat. It was too dark to set sail on the first night so we stayed moored against the edge. I had to share a room with Esther and Chris which was ok but Chris stinks a bit after a while. We had a go at doing some fishing and I catch a little Bream fish that is not big enough to eat but a good omen for the rest of the holiday as this was the first night and we were already catching fish!! The next morning we set off down the river for some fishing and sun bathing.

Our Houseboat taken from the ‘Tinny’

The ‘tinny’ is a little tin boat with a little engine on the back. This was the highlight of the trip for me. Although it was slow it was faster than the house boat and if you were in it on your own you could fly around the river on it, it was great fun!!

So Saturday we moor up and jump off the roof of the boat into the water (which is a bit horrible compared to the sea). It was pretty scarey actually because the current in the river was so strong. If you were not a good swimmer or timed it wrong you could get swept away! I tried to swim against the current and I didn’t go anywhere!!

Esther managed to catch one fish in ‘Dad’s Corner’ on Saturday which was also too small to eat. This was the only fish for this day.

Nachos Yummmm

After dinner we played a bit of poker and then Esther, Nicole and myself built houses out of the cards –

Esther with Card Houses

Sunday we headed back towards Wisemans Ferry. A location which has shops and a pub. We stayed on the boat for most of the time, I was so keen on driving the ‘tinny’ I became the ‘boat taxi’ that took people from the house boat to the main land! It was great fun!! We had a beautiful lunch on top of the boat that afternoon, here we are all enjoying it –

Matt, Nicole, Fizzer, Pete, Jorid, Andy, Chris,Esther, Mel

That night we played more cards and I wrote down some fashion advice for the girls (because I am such a cool dresser in my 1980ies ripped jeans) –

Esther, myself, Nicole, Melingar

After another evening of drinking and eating fine food we woke up the next day, ANZAC Day. This is a day where Australia and New Zealand honour the sacrifice of their fighters in time of war (more information on the link). We also woke up to find that Mel and Fisel had caught a fish big enough to eat!! (the only one of the entire trip).

ANZAC day is also a chance to play 2-up, a game that was popular with ANZAC soldiers, it is probably illegal to play it any other time of the year. The pub in Wisemans Ferry were playing it and I lost $15, $10 to Andrew and $5 to Melingar. Andy actually lost $40 in total (or maybe it was $80). I made this video which contains some house boat action as well as some 2-up action at the pub (listen for Matt telling Andy ‘its a mugs game’ very funny) –

Right Click..Save Target As (Requires Sound)

After the visit to the pub we headed back to the boat for the drive home. I took this photo just as my battery ran out –

Driving the boat home at sunset

An excellent penultimate weekend in Australia….oh how time flies……..

April 22nd, 2005

Tonight I made dinner for the first time since Winter 2004, it turned into a bit of a nightmare. I have one thing that I can make that I invented myself last year. It is a pasta based dish with fish/pesto/cashew and basil. I bought the ingredients from Coles.

This is the equivalent to Tesco or Wal-mart (based on your locale). I bought the Pesto there yesterday. When I mixed it into the fish we noticed that each pot was a different colour! This was a bit strange, we checked the use-by date and all of them were out of date! Ranging from 3-6 months. This wasn’t even the jar stuff neither but the fresh stuff you get in the cold section.

We all walk up to Coles with the reciept, empty pots of pesto and a box of ruined barramundi fish. Indria, the first person I talked to seemed happy to give a replacement for the pesto but couldn’t give us some replacement fish ‘because it had to go through the till’. This reminded me of my days working at Tesco, I would probably had said the same thing back then, so I tried a more George Clooney Oceans 11 approach with Indria to just ‘let us take some fish whilst no one is looking’ but she said the cameras would see us. So I decided to buy some more fish and just get the pesto replacement. When we got back to the till Indria said her boss was in, ‘George’ or ‘Dave’ or someone. I was hoping someone in a suit would appear, but no, just some guy who stacked the shelves but was probably three times the age of Indria. After what was the worst customer experience of my life (the guy seemed to just want an argument), I think the funniest moments were when he said “didn’t you check the use-by date before putting it into the fish” (even though I only bought the pesto the day before) and “you want us to give you more fish that you didn’t buy from here” in an arrogant ‘who do you think you are?’ tone. We eventually got the fish for free and some replacement pesto and it was all ok in the end.

So that is Coles in Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia. I recommend shopping at Woolworths which is located close by in Potts Point.

April 21st, 2005

Running out of surfing days in Australia (12 days remaining). This was a picture of the surf this afternoon from Pine St. in Manly which is exactly where we were –

This was an average wave for the day, some of them were massive. I had a few good rides and also some pretty scarey rollovers as well. I am still trying to get duck-diving down to a fine art, this was a good day to practice, although one of the waves broke on me took me right around the top of it and then spat me back into the sea, a bit scarey!

Off on a boat trip tomorrow down the Hawkesbury River – back Monday. Expect an update with some pictures etc.. etc.. to be coming soon.

April 18th, 2005

Whilst surfing at Manly today (a few good left hand bombs but mostly windy) I was a little bit paranoid with the shark thing that i mentioned earlier. It was a beautiful day the water was warm, not even a rash vest was required, although I wore one because there were a couple of blue bottles floating around. So I am looking out for waves and at the same time looking for this 2 metre shark that is apparently going around, there’s virtually no one in the water neither for some reason which made it all the more scarey, there wasn’t that safety in numbers feeling. I heard this squeaky little noise in the water and look over to my left and see a penguin bobbing up and down in the water. I expect to see sea gulls, dolphins, fish, other surfers and boats at the beach but not penguins. It looked a little bit out of place because I thought normally they lived in cold places.

A Little Penguin

I thought maybe I was going a bit crazy so I got out of the sea, drank some water and got the boat home. It turns out though that NSW does have a Penguin Colony and that the North Harbour near Manly is the only known one and it is also endangered!!

April 18th, 2005

A nice story to read on the internet just before going to the beach for a surf –

18.04.05 7.20am

A surfer fought off a 2m shark with his board at an Australian beach – then continued surfing.

Illustrator Simon Letch returned to Sydney’s Bronte Beach 30 minutes after surviving the attack with a replacement board, despite the beach being closed because of the danger, life guard Aaron Graham said.

“He was pretty calm about it, very laid back.”

Graham said although there were two big puncture mark bites on the board, the shark didn’t actually bite a hunk out of it so Letch was able to ride it in.

I think I would have been the same way if a shark and taken a bite out of my board as well.

April 17th, 2005
Karine and Mark had a little baby –

… and then there were three in the family and that’s a magic number! Congratulations!!! From MarkDP.Com

April 13th, 2005

Faisel saved someones life today whilst surfing, which is hard to believe as he can barely swim himself. I completely didn’t notice that someone was drowning, I was too busy watching out for blue bottles and dodging a crazy fish that was ‘coming for me’ (serious) oh and trying to go ahead in our ‘wave off’ which I could not do as I was in full wet suit because of the blue bottles on a beautiful hot day and practically dieing of heat exhaustion. Anyway, Faisel sent an email to all his friends and me about it, here it is reproduced without permission (I like his use of the & to replace the word ‘and’ I see the & as a bitwise operator exclusively) –

I performed a surf rescue today at Manly beach, which I will now tell you about with tongue in cheek!!!!!

Basically me & Gary were having a “Wave off” (surfing stand off where two or more people compete to get massive waves & ride them in a flamboyant fashion). I’ve just finished “hanging 5” (surf trick where one puts one toe on the nose) “out the back” to go ahead in the “Wave off” when I hear some dude shouting out “CHRIS, CHRIS!!!”.

Despite my name not being Chris, my spidey senses started tingling to alert me of a civilian in distress. I look left to see a lone swimmer trapped in a rip & in some strife.

So just as “the Hoff” would do in Baywatch, I start paddling over to him as fast as I can.

Its a 5 minute paddle – I’m there in 1. I tell him not to worry – “I’m a Pharmacist & l know Kung Fu, so you should be safe now – grab hold of the board”.

No, but seriously, he’s got cramp in his leg & couldn’t swim. I waited for a while for him to calm down & get his breath back while holding onto the board (didn’t want him to drag me off the board & drown me – as I’ve heard thats possible with people panicking) Once he was calm I got him on the board & we caught a wave back to shore which was not easy cos we were in a rip & he kept falling off the board!!!

So I’ve got this guy to shore, before he can thank me, I’m riding the rip back out to find Gary & clinch the “wave off” with a freak 15 foot wave on which I “Hang 10” (both toes on the nose).
Eat that Gazza, better luck next time!!!

Obviously this story has been dramatised very slightly.

To reiterate my masculinity I (as well as Gazza’s) have been cited as “double hard bastards” on Mikes (drummer guy who I live with) website.

Go to www.spoonasound.com &click on “links”, then “webspaced” then the insect image, then read the “news” text.

Have to go now – have to save a small child, mother & father from a natural disaster after helping an old lady across the road.