Thursday, December 17, 2009

World Trip!!

Confirmed! We've paid our deposit, and are rip-roaring and ready to blast off into our (partial) world trip! It's still a long, LONG way off, but I'll definitely be looking forward to it every day until we're there.

SO, for those to whom we have not already discussed our trip ad nauseum, here is the (very) rough itinerary:

Late June: Gnaraloo (approx 10 days)
July 11: Greece/Greek Isles (10 days)
Jul-August: South of France (2 weeks)
August: Spain (1 week)
Mid August: Las Vegas (couple of days including my birthday)
August: Californian coast, all the way up through Los Angeles to San Francisco (couple of weeks)
August/Sept: Hawaii (about 4 or 5 days or so)
September: Home!

There is, of course, a fairly obvious focus on the trip... Whilst we're starting with a relaxing ferry tour of the Greek Isles, Biarritz in France will be our home for 2 weeks of, hopefully, great surfing! Probably not much surf in Spain or Vegas (wave pool? Hmm...), but Cali-forn-i-'A'-frame-peaks will be a highlight. Top it off with a chill out session in Waikiki, Hawaii... splendid.

The plan will be to update whenever we have access to the Internet... could be intermittent. Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

Countdown... 6 months to go!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Soon! Soon!

Ok, the photos and videos are coming soon. Some are already up on Facebook, so for those that way inclined, feel free. We'll move some up to the other various contact points, Flickr etc.

Meanwhile, check out this quick little right I caught today:

video

Or watch it here on YouTube.
Huzzah!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Friday!

Well it's Friday here too and its a nice one. Not too hot. Haven't done anything too strenuous.
Had a very nice, relaxed breaky as the swell is back up and the break looked hit. Spent the rest of the morning reading/swimming in the top pool. Just had a fishburger for lunch and a few fruit punches. This arvo we're heading to seminyak to check the banks there and then have dinner with some of Rob and Leeann's mates at a swish restaurant. Meals there will probably be $20 Aust instead of $6. :P

A bit less size in the waves on Wednesday meant we actually had some really nice waves. It stayed nice for most of the morning but we had a VERY lazy one and spent most of the day swimming or lying by the pool. Some great tag-team shopping Wednesday night with leeann. We both now have too many bags.

Yesterday was great! James got up early to check the waves and it was perfect. There was some order and plenty of guys out in the line up. Perfect peelers breaking off two distinct peaks. Rob, James and Leeann surfed the right of one, while I sat out the back with the Indo guys on the other catching lefts. A fun morning cut short only by the fact that we were heading out to Ubud.
Ubud was a bit of de ja vu for Jame snad I having been up that way before. We'd seen the jewellers, wood carvers and the Volcano, but it was still good to do it with a group. The worst bit wa the food at the restaurant on the mountain, the best part was that the restaurant didn't have glass in the windows - nothing to block that view.

Hoping for some small waves tomorrow before we fly out tomorrow night!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday

The swell has been crazy huge here, testament to which is the bone-crunching sounds of our beach. We've been out every day, picking off the edges when they have some shape. Rob and Strunky had two awesome sessions out at Airports, and came back smiling from ear to ear after a good run at Uluwatu.

We're hoping to head up to Canggu (pronounced Chung-goo), where there's some great beach breaks that should suit us well. A competition there might hold us back for a few days, however.

Hit the markets yesterday and Sunday, to collect the obligatory Bintang singlets and other cheap garbage. Dinner down on the beach at Jimbaran Bay went down a treat last night. Go the snapper! The highlight from last night was a local busking group, made up of a conga player, 3 guitarists and a double bassist, accepting song requests. Let me tell you, the Balinese version of Land Down Under was the best I've ever heard. We had a bit of a group sing-song to some Bob Marley, but the most awesome part was watching them bust out AC/DC's You Shook Me All NIght Long. Hannah filmed it, so once we can work out these zany computers, we might be able to upload the footage. An absolute classic.

Life is hard, all this eating, laying around in the pool, eating, massages, eating, surfing, eating, surfing, eating, eating, surfing, eating, shopping, swimming etc. Someone's gotta do it though, so as long as it's me, I'm a happy, happy boy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here and Ulu

Arrived safe and sound, although the internet situation is not quite ideal... It might be tricky for us to get any photos up! You'll have to be content with my waffling, instead, and use your imagination.

All is great here, excellent food, so we've been stuffing ourselves like sharks in a feeding frenzy... hmm, probably not the best analogy on a surf trip!

We checked out Uluwatu and Padang Padang today. There was a Pro series on at PP, so there was about 5 million pro surfers out in the water. Uluwatu was comparatively deserted! It was SO massive there. Unless you've seen it, it's hard to fathom, pictures just don't do it justice. Rob contemplated going out, but decided against it in the end, which seemed like a particularly wise decision. We "surfed" a 2 inch high little bit of tide splashing over some white sand, which was lovely, especially in the heat!

Lunch at Jimbaran Bay, whilst Rob and Adam surfed out at Airports. Then we headed back to Legian, where Leeann and I surfed out at Legian Beach. Nice! Actually, it was jacking right up out the back, then EXPLODING through into reforms. Caught one really nice right hander, screamed up and down the little face that there was. My first International surf!

It's been so relaxing here so far, and it's looking pretty good for the week ahead. I'll keep trying to work out some way to get the photos uploaded. Just wait until you see the pics of Uluwatu...

Until tomorrow!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fraying Edges

So close! Just one more day of work to get through, and then HUZZAH! We have only a couple of extra goodies to pack, and then we need to sort out stuffing the boards into one bag, for ease of transport. Dinner with the folks tonight, and then AWAY!

Had some minor dramas yesterday though!

We stripped the wax off the boards last night, to make way for the tropical wax required for the 26°C water of Bali, and in so doing I discovered a HUGE gash off of the port rail, about 8 inches aft of the nose. It flakes back for about 3 inches, and sanding away the cracked and fraying glass revealed....dun DUN daaaaahhhh.... the foam core. For those not versed in surfboard engineering, seeing the foam core = "Oh bollocks!!!"

Why I couldn't have discovered this a week ago, I don't know. With nothing more for it, and only a day or so away from departure, repairs have begun. I sanded back what was originally a small patch of cracked glass, and that was when the full extent was revealed. You need to sand the general area around the damage so that the new glass and resin have something to adhere to, but noticing the foam core, and starting to feel a bit concerned, we consulted the Oracle. Blair wasn't too worried, and suggested a thin strip of glass over the affected area, with plenty of resin to seal that bad boy up. It mightn't look pretty, but it's better than having a large hole in your craft, and at my (rather low) level of ability, it won't be affecting performance at all.

Hannah kindly finished off the repair whilst I whipped up a an inch thick steak (aided by my birthday present, a Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker!!), and My Precious is now drying on the lounge room floor. Actually, as I write this, Hannah has probably already given it the finishing touches. Thanks! I have some photos of the damage which I'll throw up, just for (my?) interests sake.

It must be a popular time of year for Bali. A mate, who I work with, flew over on Monday, and my sister has been there since Sunday! Anyone else coming?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Day At The Movies

Hannah was a very lucky girl, and was allowed to have her birthday present VERY early this year. This was largely due to the fact that I was too excited to wait. Even wrapping it was difficult, as I was trying to rush faster than the speed of light, so that she could "OPEN IT! OPEN IT! C'MON HANNAH, COME AND OPEN IT!" Which she did.

The other reason for the early gift-giving ceremony (read: shoving a hastily wrapped package at Hannah shouting the aforementioned rant) was that the prezzie was intended for use in Bali. I grabbed a GoPro Surf Hero, a surf board mounted digital video camera, waterproof to 30m and capable of shooting a photo up to every 2 seconds, or the infinitely more awesome 56-odd minutes of video footage. A 3hr surf session might yield only half an hour of actual wave riding (on a very good day) so an hour of footage is HEAPS. Check out the sample videos on the GoPro site, and on YouTube.

We've had a few trial runs at local breaks, including a great twin session down at Isolator's in Cottesloe. Hannah's used her considerable skill as an auteur to whip the clips into a couple of cool movies, viewable on her YouTube channel. And the results? Fantastic! It's so great to see yourself riding a wave, something you obviously don't ever get to do, ordinarily. And the fish-eye lens creates a much grander view than the probable reality, so you even look like a better surfer...

The camera clips into a plate stuck to the front (or back) of your board, and can face either backwards at you, or forwards at the wave face. We grabbed a bunch of extra plates too, so we can stick them on all of our boards. I'm hoping we'll be able to upload some of our clips next week.

I'm really looking forward to having a go on the waves in Bali, which are supposed to be excellent. Even if the waves are average, the "awesome multiplier" (i.e. fish eye lens) should help produce some really cool little movies.

Keep an eye on this blog, and Hannah's YT!

A quick plug: for fans of other sport, GoPro have all sorts of stuff. Chest harness, helmet and car mounted cameras are all available, if that's your bag, baby.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nothing to say yet, so...

We're all cashed up with our 25USD dollars each for entry visas, and significantly wiser in the ways....

I spent the best part of 20 minutes today, standing behind a fairly unpleasant gentleman who had a bit of a tanty that he couldn't get USD in denominations of $17.34, by the sounds of it. The options of $5, $20, $50 or $100 didn't meet whatever requirement he'd dreamed up...

WARNING: BELOW SECTION IS POTENTIALLY QUITE BORING. ALLOW IT TO DISTRACT YOU AT YOUR OWN RISK.

ANYWAY, a few things to note. I've always changed money in my destination country as required, but as one needs an entry visa for Indonesia, I thought it prudent to get the appropriate currency BEFORE turning up at the immigration desk.

Immigration Official: "Are you having 25USD?"
Ignorant Aussie: "G'day fellah!"
Irate Immigration Official: "Arrest this man."

Well, here's tip one: Everyone wants USD. When you walk into a money changer, every other person in the queue wants their entire life savings in USD. SO, go as early as you can to the money changer. Alternatively, follow a large American fellow around for hours at a time, in the hopes that he wants to change his pocket full of ex-Presidents into something rather more rubbish (like AUD, for example). They run out of US dollars VERY QUICKLY in the money changer.

Tip 2: Shop around. At an RBA exchange rate of 83.99 US cents to the Australian dollar, the rates in the money changers for buying US currency ranged from 82c with no commission (very good!) to 77c + a percentage + $8 AUD per currency for conversion (quite crap.)

EDIT: A huge thanks to Rich! They only had $49 USD available in the money changer, but Riccardo kindly offered his only American dollar to square the total away. Cheers man!! I owe you one....dollar.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Inauguration Dae

Howdy! A forthcoming trip to the BEAUTIFUL island province of Bali, Indonesia, has prompted this method of reporting back to everyone at home. And, so, here it is!

I'll be trying to update regularly, with some pics and hopefully some videos of our surf related action, (assuming Huey, Lono and Tiki deem us worthy) and MAYBE even some stuff out of the water...

Ok, so there's obviously not much to mention yet, except that having to work another four days before departure is quite rubbish. My mind will most assuredly NOT be on the job!