Friday, April 24, 2009

Its been awhile

I know its been a long time since my last post but such is life. Much has happened since my last post but where do I begin. The surf festival hosted competitors from around the world as the entire town turned into an event, as im coming to realize noosa often does. The streets and surf were packed which i had mixed feelings about but all in all I had a great time with new friends.

Life here continues to revolve around surf and work. A few weeks ago some friends with 4 wheel drive cars took joe, seton, and I to double island point which is an hour drive up the beach to an uncrowded peeling right. After surfing this great wave all day I came to know that it is one of the sharkiest breaks in the area and multiple attacks have happened in recent times. Glad that I had made it out with all my limbs and that I didnt know about the men in gray suits before I paddled out.

Now a days, after grabbing a couple of Hammoks while in the artsy district of Brisbane known as the west end, we pack our boards and hammoks and proceed to the national parklands on days off. We are now in the best weather of the year where it is always in the mid 70's and cloudless. The surf is still up as well, making these days of surf and hammok detail the ipitomy of why I chose to return to Noosa in the first place.

Our hostel is still thriving. Joe Hannah, a great friend from the San Diego days managed to come stay with Seton and I for a few weeks in April. Other then the occasional trip to Brisbane for a bit of debauchery, and some time at the zoo, life has remained extremely mellow. Since then JOe has returned to the states and in his place weve acquired German DJ Yahboy "the man of the house" Christian. We have also activated our couchsurfing account which allows people who are travelling to network and on occasion find free accomidation. About 10 minutes ago our new Italian friends Sabrina and Gaia left our place to head up the coast for a few days on Fraser Island.

New plans are in the making for the rest of our time here as well. When our lease and time at Bistro C are up in August, plans are to take month to roadtrip from Noosa all the way down to Melbourne stopping for good surf and friends weve met along the way. LA boys John Double and his friend Nate will be joining us for this adventure. After reaching Melbourne, plans are to fly to Perth to settle and work for a few more months to save for the next move.

Lifes an adventure right now and Im loving every minute of it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cyclone Hamish

A cyclone off the coast of north eastern Queensland, affectionately known as Cyclone Hamish, has created the biggest waves in Noosa in over 15 years. This past week the coast was battered by Hamish's waves while the wind blew and rain fell creating a serious and intimidating atmosphere.  The entire town seemed to stop as surfers and bystanders alike flooded the beaches to see and experience the extreme conditions. 

Although I was a bit out of my league, Seton and I paddled out. Seton got shaken up early on as powerful currents swept him into some unforgiving rocks. Although I was out there I was hesitant to paddle into many of the larger sets. When I did, I got beaten up a bit. The current was so strong you couldn't paddle against it. People would walk to Tea Tree, paddle out then catch as many waves as possible until the powerful current swept them past 3 consecutive points, get out, walk back, and repeat.

The surf got so big that a rogue wave came over the boardwalk and crashed through the windows and doors of Bistro C soaking the patrons and their meals!

Now Hamish is breaking up and the Noosa longboard festival is about to begin. My former room mate, and Hawaiian surf love child, Summer Manukea, is friends with one of the competitors who will be staying with us for a few days while the competition is on. Although brother Jesse Carmody leaves us today, the hostel Seton and I are running continues to thrive. We recently bought a visitors book for all that come thru to sign. 

All is well in beautiful Noosa.     

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ive been here for over 3 weeks now. It feels so great to be fully settled. Ive secured a job as a bartender at Bistro C, a great restaurant situated right on the beach overlooking first point of Noosa main beach. Ive got a nice little apartment walking distance from both work (the beach) and the river where there are free electric bbqs at which, you can grill some meat, do some fishing, and drink some beers. My friends out here have made sure that both Seton and I are hooked up while were here as well. Dennis and our crazy American buddy Tom have hooked us up with 2 bikes and two great longboards to play with while were here.

Im so glad that people are deciding to visit us in paradise while were here. Although Ive only lived in my apartment for one week we have had our buddy Rich from MB, Diane the wakeboarder and her girl friends, along with some friends of Setons childhood buddy stay with us. Tomorrow one of my best friends is coming to stay with us for a month. Right now Jesse Carmody is on a plane making his way here as we speak, my good buddy John Double has booked his flight to comem out in June and, Ive just got off Skype talking to my buddy Andrew Harner who wants to come out during the California summertime as well.

This was the best move I couldve done at this point in my life. The economic times have created a terrible job market for people like me, young and fresh out of college. So now I will wander the world, gain some life experience and enjoy what opportunities come my way. Ive just found out about an English school in Noosa where I will try to volunteer or work at so that I may be able to improve my resume for teaching in Japan or Hong Kong as my next move. Loving it here but always planning my next step. Even so, whenever I leave this place it willbe too soon. Here in Noosa has been the first time in months that I have been settled into a place. Until next time...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Arrival

I have arrived.

Last week, with a board bag and back pack, I was dropped off at LAX to begin my adventure to Aus. Because I had 3 hours before departure, I checked in and sat at the bar in Bradley International Terminal. There I proceeded to drink scotch and watch the last Lakers victory of the season from home soil. When it was time to board, I did so with a buzz and a smile.

The flight to Brisbane took 20 hours including a 4 hour layover in Fiji and a delay due to engine trouble. Having slept the majority of the flight and deep seeded excitement on par with jumping out of a plane, I grabbed my bags and caught a train into the heart of Brisbane. After catching a few funny glances for walking through downtown with a surfboard, I acquired a phone and a bank account.

With my new phone I was able to reach my Aussie mate Mex and head towards his house in Indropilly, a suburb of Brisbane. There is where I would set up shop for a few days until I caught the train to Noosa. The weekend was filled with parties and clubs that I frequented on my last visit to Aus. The Vic, a former favorite venue, had burned down a few months ago but, although a few things had changed, the majority remained the same.

The ride to Noosa was filled with beautiful countryside and a bit of sleep from an eventful weekend. When I arrived I was greeted by my family away from home. Dennis Dunstin, former Fleetwood Mac manager, current friend of the family, and absolute legend picked me up from the train station. I have been staying with his lovely family just outside of Noosa in Tinbeerwa, and enjoying a bit of rest. I have a job interview on Wednesday and a call into a few of the local realestate offices for an apartment.

Things couldn't have gone more smoothly and I'm looking forward to my extended stay in Australia. Coming back has only deepened my love for the people, scenery, and lifestyle that this country has to offer. I can't wait to be a tourguide to friends and family from home that will join me in the next few months.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Goodbye and Hello

........and so it begins again. On Tuesday, January 27th, I board a plane bound for Brisbane, Australia. Yesterday I said goodbye to some of the most amazing people in my life...again. After a month of wandering in my old territory, the time has come to make my next move. Although everything necessary for my trip to Australia has been squared away for weeks, the flight remained unresolved until last Tuesday. I grew tired of waiting for things outside of my control and pulled the trigger. Now I sit in Carlsbad, having said goodbye to all of my dear friends in San Diego, spending some of the remaining time with family.

The past month has been full of great experiences. My friends have made sure that we celebrate every day of life. San Diego and Los Angeles have been filled with sunshine, surf, and Lakers victory. A great combination if I must say so.

Having looked up old contacts from my travels in 2006, I realized how many people I know in Australia. Although contact has been sparse with some, as soon as I looked them up, old memories resurfaced and I remembered the warmth I experienced while there. I am very eager to catch up with my Aussie mates and forge new experiences in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

After an 18 hour flight, including a 4 hour layover in Fiji, I will arrive in Brisbane on Thursday the 29th. After hanging out in Brisbane for a few days I will hop a train to Noosa where I will meet with family friend, and legend, Dennis. This will be my home base until Seton arrives and I can secure a job and an apartment. Who knows what will happen along the way but I am ready for whatever comes, greeting all with a smile and a lust for adventure.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Chapter

I know that it has been awhile since my last post but once again I am in Southern California awaiting my next move. It has been great to see family and friends however I miss the excitement of travel and although I was excited for my fix of La Playa burritos, the sharp decline of quality food in my diet has become depressing. I constantly find myself missing the fresh lobster, scallops, crab, octopus, and shrimp delivered to the back of the boat by local fishermen.

I miss killing dinner.

Furthermore, it wasn't too bad having a chef constantly preparing a vast array of culinary delights with these freshest of ingredients.

Today I got my first surf in since I returned. The 57 degree water and hazard to health warnings made me realize how good I had it in the crystal clear 78 degree water of Mexico. One of my most memorable experiences while with the El Tigre is when I woke up one morning to another ponga at the stern of the boat trying to sell shrimp. We already had alot onboard but managed to strike a bargain anyhow. We gave them fresh water in exchange for a ride over to Santa Maria point where the waves were firing. I grabbed my board and jumped in for the ride. When we got there I jumped off the ponga and paddled into the lineup. The waves were small, but they were consistent and peeling and I had them all to myself.

Other then surfing I remained on a strict regiment of fishing. It quickly became routine as I learned to control the cockpit. I would need confidence when it came to some of the flurries we encountered. At one point, while chasing a school of dolphins at close to a thousand strong, I witnessed the most intense display of sea life I have ever seen. The dolphins were breathtaking in themselves but when they were joined by 10 marlin at the surface it became more exciting. We hooked up 3 of these marlin at the same time then started catching the other fish that had joined the feeding frenzy. Everyone on the boat was hooked up at once. We had marlin, Dorado and tuna on at the same time. We spotted the tuna when they converged on a bait ball so concentrated that the surface of the water boiled with tuna leaping out of the water. In the midst of all this, the owner of the boat cast out on a marlin only to have a gray whale surface mere feet away from his bait. It was truly an amazing sight.

Although my time in Mexico with the El Tigre was an experience I will never forget, and no doubt improved me as a person, after getting the boat to Cabo San Lucas, I have chosen to leave. As soon as I returned to San Diego I planted myself at the computer trying to plan my next move. After days of contacting every family member and friend that I have met over the years through travel I have decided to move to Noosa, Australia. While studying in Brisbane Australia in 2006, I always talked of returning to work. Since I made the decision I have sold my truck and applied for a Work and Holiday Visa that will allow me to stay and work in Aus for a year. If an opportunity presents itself, I may stay longer. My plan is to leave as early as the end of January and set up shop. My buddy Seton, who has been a partner in travel and crime will be joining me. From there it is fairly easy to visit Luke in Japan and Cisco in China (when he gets there). My family friend Dennis Dunsten will be helping us get settled in with a job and temporary housing until we find our own apartment.

As chaotic as my life is, im still living, and adventure is always on the horizon. I may never be able to live this freely again in my life so I am going to take full advantage of it while I can. As a great man in Chicago said once, "Just do whatever."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Trip

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought that I knew way more than I did coming into this. Not the case. I am getting schooled on a daily basis, and stoked. Slowly, and not always smoothly, I am transitioning into a serious fisherman. I have not yet set foot on land. 11 days into the trip and we have caught over 30 marlin, and countless yellow fin tuna, dorado, and wahoo. I am the man in the cockpit; rigging all rods, pinning bait, gaffing fish, and leadering marlin by hand. It is intense and extremely exciting.

Today I had to take the "donkey knocker" (a plastic bat full of lead), and bash a dorado's head in after it got into the boat so that while flopping around on the deck, it didn't hook one of the people in the cockpit, or damage the boat. The aftermath included blood spatter worthey of Dexter.

Other then brutally murdering sea life, I have seen a lot of great things. Paddle boarding the small but extremely long waves at Santa Maria, snorkeling, watching dolphins ride the wake off the bow of the boat from the pulpit, epic sunsets, 80 degree water, and eating like a king, have all been great additions to the rigorous fishing schedule.

Unfortunately the weak connection here has rendered me incapable of adding photos or video but I will get it up soon. Until next time.