Saturday, September 7, 2013

Snapper to Greenmount, barrels & drop ins

 Gagging to see some half decent surf I trotted off to Snapper rocks, being busy at work and the operation I haven't seen any decent clean surf in Oz since Tassie last year. Once in Coolangatta the walk around from Greenmount beach is pretty stunning, snapping a few on the way to Snapper. It's a cool setup here with the walkway taking you right by the ocean enjoying the view and the sunrise. I forgot how amazing the colours can be in the water when the sun hits the surf just right, nature at her best.
   Greenmount and Rainbow bay was fairly mellow but, Snapper was a total different story with irratic wobly story to the waves as they first jacked up just before the rocks, peeling down the line further as a cleaner line. One thing I did notice was a lot of blatant dropping in and a bit of agro, I was watching one guy in particular that sat about 50m down from the takeoff at Snapper and he'd watch someone take the gnarly drop and pull into the barrel then he'd disrespectfully turn around and paddle for the same wave. Who does that? Why? How did this person think it was ok to drop in on someone in the frign barrel? I don't care if he's the best surfer in the world it still doesn't give anyone the right to do this, he not only did it once but at least 3 times while I was watching causing each surfer to bail, and if you have been to Snapper it's not a nice spot to get hammered because of someone elses incompetence. Personally I can never understand this side of surfing, surfing is meant to be about having fun, enjoying the feeling of being in the ocean and riding one of natures treasures. Having a laugh and most of all bringing smiles to yourself and the people around you, not being a feckn prized prick ruining everyones day just because you can't handle the drop that someone else can.
this guy's got no respect and again the pic below, if you know him tell him to pull his head in.

Another drop in by someone else
   Right so, that little rant over hahaha. Their was a few decent lenses out and about too and a "Red" camera, I was wondering at the time if there was something going on. It wasn't until I got home that I noticed in me photos that Occy was ripping the place apart. So I was stoked I finally got to catch some of his magic as he's been someone I've always looked up to, a bloody legend. It was fairly busy in the lineup and  some interesting drops been taken at Snapper, very entertaining to even just sit there and watch it all. I also went up to the surf club for lunch, they have the best view up there and the best food. I had an amazing Thai beef salad, it was that frign good I will be going back again, big thanks to the lovely waitress that recomended it and a thanks to the chef. The waves during the day weren't massive to my usual shooting locations but it was good to see some surfing again and a dreamy and beautiful wave just peeling and peeling and peeling. What a place, definately going back there and hopefully i might enjoy a beer or 2 with the legend Occy at some stage and exchange surf stories.

Traffic jam

Early morning solo mission!?

A whale giving me a wave, i swear it was waving at me





Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A whale of a time

   It's been almost 2 weeks now since my hernia operation, it wasn't your usual case of the intenstine protruding. My hernia was made up of a fatty layer that hangs over you intenstines called “omentum”, which was pushing out of a 50mm tear in my stomach muscles where my sensitive belly button is. The omentum protruding out was the size from the wrist to the finger tips while holding a softball! The operation went well and am now recovering.

   My hernia was the main reason why I haven't pushed myself to chase big waves to photograph of late as it was getting increasingly bigger every week. I'm sooo stoked that i am not far away from getting back into it now. So all we all need now is a couple of big storms to romp through the great Southern ocean into the sth Pacific sending massive swells to grace the coastlines of Tasmania, Fiji Tahiti and all inbetween.And hopefully will time well with me days off when I get back to work, that seems to be the hardest part hahaha.

   Meanwhile I have been chilln out in Surfer's Paradise, being stuck in me room for the first few days after the operation was driving me nuts. As soon as I could get out and walk around ok i went straight down to the beach where it was pumping. Unable to pick my camera up at this stage was quite frustrating but, at least I had me toes in the sand and ocean washing around my legs while i stood motionless watching the surfers glide across mother nature. It felt great, bloody awesome to be honest.

   At that stage I wanted to be on a boat, so a week or so later when I felt I was up to it I decided to go on a whale watching trip. It was an amazing day with us spotting a couple of whales, one coming right up to the boat and then tripping us all out as it dove under us to pop up on the other side. The whale turning gracefully over slightly to get a better look at us probably thinking what a bunch of nutters. They are so stunningly beautiful, moving through the water with ease occasionly coming up for a well earned breath of fresh air. It was the best day I have had in Australia yet. A huge thanks to the lovely friendly crew on the boat, I highly recommend the "Sea world whale watch" boat.

   So here's a few shots of recovery time for me. And here's to hopefully a future with no more hernias and days of big surf to shoot and share with everyone my curious perspective on the world as we know it.


My recovery accommodation

The lovely seaworld whale watch crew
Just luv this shot, so graceful

Looks like they're all staring at a painting on a wall...

I want one of these and I'd say I wouldn't be the only one
One of those moments in life for a lucky lady

That's pretty high and dam impressive, so much trust in this shot

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Confession, I'm sorry to all...

Strandhill soul

   Well straight to it I guess. Got a phone call from me old boss in Ireland about a job...I DECLINED it!!! I know, I know, I know, what the hell was I doing.

   With great regret I said no even thou my heart's still in Ireland, I'm sorry to all over there. If the job offer had been made before I came to Australia I would have taken it. There are a few reasons why I threw away the oportunity to see all me mates again in Strandhill, chase the big surf and drink a frign decent pint of Guinness. For starters it was in Kilkenny which as you all know is miles away from Strandhill, it would have been 6 days a week so I would not have gotton back to the Hill that often. And the money was a third compared to what I'm getting here, also at the end of this job I was intending to come to Ireland for a month where I can catch up with everyone over a pint or 12.

   I'm not getting any younger, so now I have to make logical grown up decisions for my future, I have a chance of a lifetime here in Oz to set myself up nicely for my more relaxing years. It was the hardest decision I have had to make since the one I made to leave Ireland. To this day there's not a day passes that I don't think of Ireland, I'm sorry to all and I miss it all so much, sitting in the Strand telling stories of shooting from a small rib boat in big seas and howling winds watching me mates man up and tackle the heavy cold water barrels.

   Hopefully with the way work is here I'll be able to come over every 2 years for a month or so. It's going to make it even more special to me when I do come over, so here's to the future and seeing everyone at the end of this job, Sláinte.

Tom DH gliding on my favourite wave in Ireland

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Contrast of Life

A lightning view from my blacony in Surfer's

  I've only just realised how long it's been between blogs, so I guess I had better fill everyone in on what's going on.

   I took the plunge last November to move to Australia, the offering of over double the hourly rate and the draw card of working 3 weeks on and having 1 week off was too much to say no. As much as I luv NZ and my family their it was just too tempting. And yes after being here for 4 months now it was totally the right decision made.

   I'm currently residing in a small mining town in Qeensland called Mt. Isa when on me 3 weeks on and Surfer's Paradise on me week off. I'm driving a beautiful 300ton crane building a environmental friendly gas powered power station to replace the old one. The temperature's consistantly around 35-40+ degrees and has now and then gone up to a head boiling 47 degrees, my best mate on site is bluey, a 5 litre blue water bottle which I usually chug down 1 1/2 of those a day!!

  Mt. Isa itself is basically a hole which i cannot understand why, with the millions of tax dollars each year produced from the mine and power stations the town is old and run down and in desperate need of repair. being 1,800 km's inland from Brisbane you could say it's kinda remote. There are some really nice people here, but I do feel sorry for them living here all their lives hence when i get me week off i head to Surfer's for some fun, surf and sand.

  Going on last week I had off their might have been a little too much fun...I treated myself to the 26th floor in the Circle on Cavill tower with a killer sea view, totally loved something different and a bit more flashy from my box room in Mt. Isa. First night in Surfer's I decided to go to the Hard rock cafe for dinner, I timed that quiet well as they had the battle of the bands on and I have been wanting to see some decent live rock bands for a while now. It was a pretty awesome night.

   Over the next few days I just cruised around and chilled out. Amongst the hectic Surfer's night life I found a little Irish bar called Kitty O'Shea's that had some great mellow live music. Being almost more of a dinner place it never got that crowded with drunks. The staff were really friendly and it was good to be able to just sit there, listen to some tunes and share stories of travel and Ireland, very much reminded me of being in one of the pubs in Strandhill. A big thanks to Sadie, Kelvin and the rest of the staff.

   I know their's other places to go but all in good time, if any swells pop up while on me week off my goal is to go chase and let my passion for heavy water take over. It's been a patient waiting game so far and I only just missed the Kirra swell by 1 week!

   Yeah it's definately a contrast from work life to chill out life but this is the lifestyle I've wanted for some time, to be given more than 1 day off a week to actually go do something enjoyable, so with a bit of luck I'll see some amazing OZ surfers charge some of the heaviest waves in the world while making a bit of coin in the Isa.

Bring it on and fingers crossed
The not so environmental friendly mine in Mt. Isa

Storms here are impressive with killer lightning shows like below

Balcony reflections

Surfer's by sunrise...

Surefer's by day...

and Surfer's by night from my balcony