I’d forgotten about my little site and how reflection is such a good way to reflect on everything, to be grateful for what you have and to appreciate all the little things. So now I’m back, thanks to a friendly Stranger..
It’s been a funny year. It’s pretty much one year since my last entry and to sum up my year it’s been pretty mundane - there’s no problem with that. I suppose you go through life chasing high’s, what ever your dreams are. I forget without the mundane moments (that down time) the special moments wouldn’t be so so special!I’ve been hasty chasing high after high… and maybe not being in the moment for all the little things that matter so much more in life. This is something I’ve realized and should have known better for.
So the surf’s been pretty average all year so what, it surprises you when you least expect most of the time when your not ready at all.
I’d like to say thank you to Cassie you are my mentor, my soul mate, my best friend and you enlighten everyday of my life…My family for keeping me grounded and understanding me and all my amazing friends out there in all the many different parts of the world who create the happiness and inspiration inside me to be better..
Here’s a few photos I thought some f you might like to see that sum the year up. Wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy happy new year.
Surfing a left bank at remarks just another day, it was super FUN! Thanks to my mate ‘Kumpa’ for the shot.
This super gorgeous, special wonder woman. I love you and your vibes.
It’s always a great pleasure to be surfing at home, stern paddles, the best. photo @ stugibson.net
Ditto Cass. My birthday in Indo two years ago, coconuts, fruit and musli for breakfast- always a great start to the day!!
Fiji with everyone, wow what a trip. Thanks Nic Harris won’t ever forget it.
Hahaha, on our return drive from Sydney to Tas, our car broke down in Gundagai. The Slim Dusty song says it all and it was a great way to spend my birthday this year. Looking back organising a new car and completing the mission was so good. Haha never forget it!
Goldy you ‘legend bru’ Here’s to the creations and creators and the jewels we all find along the way. Check out thisishenson.com for some of Goldy’s finest work.
Sammy & Sare, Porch and Parlour owners in Bondi, best food ever.. let the good times roll…
Marti ‘Para’ Paradisis, always frothing and having a good time, biggest charger and inspirator checkout mooseontheloose.com
Good times with all my family..
Probably the best wave I got all year at Cloudbreak. Thankyou Cookie for the shot.
I’ll always miss Ireland, the people and this wave..
On my arrival the temperature was just 4 degrees and I’ve been freezing my nuts off since. Caleb McClean picked me up from the Dublin airport and we started our journey toward Belfast in the North where I was born in 1986.
Driving inwards the shadows of Belfast’s dark past became apparent.
'A Black cab', Belfast.
Black roofs lined the outskirts of this crazy ‘Town’. The colours were amazingly different to anywhere I had been before and I was excited to see the place I was born. A mass plume of dark smoke wafted over the road I envisaged a car bomb. The feelings were clear, down every street would be a painted mural stating various political message. ‘The scars of yet another worthless war, all so evident’. Belfast looked tired, cold and bleak and the effects of conflict and division had inflicted pain on every single person.
We jumped in a ‘Black Cab’ and got the full rundown from ‘Bobby Sans’ second cousin of ‘Aiden’. ‘Aiden’ was a Catholic and had the clearest recall of the past like it was yesterday. He took us to memorials, which honour the intensity of indifferences in political, social, religious and economic history of this part of the Country.
The fight for a Republic preceded the struggle people endeavoured and the result was many deaths including children. Oppression, incarceration, and intimidation inflicted on the Catholics lead to the formation of the IRA (Irish Republic Army) whom started fighting back, fuelling a war since 1920. Continuous battles with the British army still are ongoing since the British started their staging.
With the looming threat of World War II republicans seized on England’s difficulties and the IRA embarked on multiple bombing campaigns. The consequence; many Catholics interned for the duration of the war years and many deaths.
Bobby Sans had been arrested for his involvement and became famous for the hunger strike, which took his life along with 10 others.
We soon learned of snipers, bomb attacks, molicoff cocktails and multiple gun attacks from each side of this Catholic/Protestant war and the realization of how recent they were since 1969. I felt uneasy as we drove past the most frequently bombed hotel in Europe ‘The Europa’.
Belfast ‘Town’ as they called it was cut in two with a huge wall. On one side Protestant and the other Catholic. Each side of town had its own political views and murals of art showed their messages. Even sayings from political figures like Gandhi and George Washington were present. Everyone had been in conflict from the elderly to children. At one particular gateway, where many deaths had occurred houses had almost no windows and of them they were very small and bulletproof.
Streets of Belfast
Another Political Mural
Me ‘unable to sign’
It was crazy to hear all the stories that had fuelled such a recent, dramatic past. Death was such a consistent occurrence for such a small place. I Soon realized how harsh this place was and I felt grateful and lucky to have grown up in the ease, freedom and peace of Tassie.
Soon we stopped for my first Guinness at Brennan’s, opposite that well known hotel. We talked threw the night with many locals and visited a few different bars. I felt their pain but also their spirit, which is still high and full of joy, excitement and happiness.
The Europa ‘Europe’s most bombed hotel’
The next morning we began our drive to the West Coast. The countryside is beautiful with green fields, rivers and the mountain ranges..
Tips for surfing at the Stern
-Preparation is everything. Having everything you need for the day includes your board, warm clothes, a decent pack, all your food and your calf muscles. I am never organised but Chiza is and he’s been killing it for years. So I suggest preparation. I recommend a board like around a 6.8. The weather can change dramatically quick so a change of light warm clothing are helpful and a beanie’s always good. Food & Water; I don’t know how many times I have been so excited that I’ve forgotten these vital essentials. A decent suit helps that’s best for the conditions. In winter a 5:4:3, boots and hood is what will get you threw the day, and in summer a 4:3 or 3;2 is perfect, hoping on the sun. Marti wears boar dies so its possible to be warm, I think. Some rare days you can even get away with board shorts.
This is Rudi analysing Shippies form the lookout, such a nice place to chill and take in the moment over the ocean.
-An idea or a map’s useful so you don’t get lost. It’s right at each fork, once you’ve turned off the main road at the apple orchard, then you’ll arrive at the car park.
-Trust me, this walk isn’t easy so having a clear mind and body are better than any substance abuse before hand and celebration’s are best left for once you’ve done the walk are back in the car and are ready to reflect on what a wonderful day you’ve had.
-Don’t if you have a ski forget to strap it down, anchor it whilst the tide is coming in, or run over your tow rope.
-When you are paddling out you jump off the back ledge, time it. If it’s massive I suggest probably down off the point.
-I’d suspect Shippies has consumed easily over a hundred boards over the last decade of its surfing history. Many boards just dissapear never to be seen again.
-This area is actually a past Tribal feasting ground. Thousands of years ago simply gathering, eating and celebrating was done here. Its a special place and you can get fully get lost in the experience. The air’s clean and the view is amazing, not to mention the vibes.. Enjoy.