28 September 2010

The is one of the spots where I learned to surf. It rarely gets good but I had it like this a few times. I used to jump the train with my surfboard and wettie in a black bin bag, hoping to avoid the train conductor, as it was only one stop away. I'd get off in the ghost town where this wave breaks in the dead of winter and walk past vacant B+Bs, boarded up shops and houses that were squated by either a few heroin addicts or inhabited by retirees... just desititue. Then I'd walk through the deserted  streets to the waves and change on an even emptier beach, usually in biting winds and chilly rain. I was so buzzed on surfing it was always worth it.

On one winter day during those salad days, I arrived at a reef break south of here to be greeted by blown-out unsurfable conditions after a three mile walk. Not feeling like humping my surfboard back home another three miles, I just zipped up my parker and sat on a nearby bench in the pissing rain and driving wind. There was no back up plan, so I retreated deep inside my jacket, folded my arms and contemplated the sea.

Then I heard a car pull up behind me. I didn't turn around but an old man got out and walked right up to me.

"Are you all right, lad?"

"Ahh, yeah."

"You're not going to do anything silly are you?"

"Like what?"

"I dunno. You just look a bit down, boy."

"I'm just checking the waves but thanks for your concern."

"Alright, boyo. Take care."

"Cheers mate, you too."

Suicide rates for young males were all the talk in the media at the time but I was pretty stoked on life, even though I was skunked.