Noosa may be a perfect wave but Mooloolaba gets her fair share of barrels too.
I have not been ignoring you, I promise. It's just that I usually try to wait for something interesting to happen before I write and, well, live has been a bit too normal around here these days.
I don't actually work 9 to 5 - it's usually more like 6 to 6 (including travel time). - because I spent most of last week working on boats in the Brisbane area, which is an hours drive away. It is kind of nice to have that hour of buffer time between dragging myself out of bed and starting polishing, but it makes for some very long days.
Last week was a bit brutal by my standards, due in part to the fact that I made the foolish decision to go out on Thursday night before working at 6 am on Friday morning. I can safely say that those 10 hours of scrubbing boats in a parking lot under the searing sun were some of the worst of my life. Granted, Dusty could have fired me for showing up so ruined, but instead he said things like, "Corie, how are you feeling?" "HOW ABOUT NOW?!?!" And laughed his ass off.
Yes, work is good. But so is not working. We didn't have much lined up in the way of work this week so Dusty gave me a few days off, which majestically coincided with the first pumping swell that has appeared since I arrived on the Sunshine coast.
Mooloolaba has decent surf but everybody kept telling me how good Noosa gets, so yesterday Mark and I grabbed our boards, hopped on a bus and headed for the famed point break. In my travels I have taken many a bus to search for many a wave, but none quite like this. The bus was right on time, it was clean and air conditioned, the bus driver was friendly and very helpful. Of course it cost us $30 one way to get there, but that is public transportation in Australia for you.
The bus took us right into the heart of Noosa Heads, a cute and touristy surf town complete with surf club, surf shops on every corner, swanky cafes and designer boutiques. Mark and I decided to cruise around and get a chic ($10) coffee before going out to surf, and wandered off down a street. I guess my inner compass was working because within a few hundred meters we ended up on the beach with a perfect right sand point reeling right in front of us.
Dude. Forget the coffee, let's go surf. Noosa Heads is a series of point right breaks that, when a north east to south east swell hit, light up and send perfect waves barreling down the beach. The only problem with this wave is the crowds. It is actually true that everybody in Australia surfs, and they all descend on the point breaks when it gets big. At First point alone there were easily 100 people out, with surfers stretching all along the coastline for the next mile of waves. Groms, girls, old locals, kooks, tourists, shredders, style masters... everybody was out.
Not to be excluded, I grabbed my board and jumped in. I wished very much that I had a longboard so I could paddle battle for the set waves, but I managed to sit inside and get a few drainers without getting run over by one of the afore mentioned surfers. I did see quite a few people get run over, lose their boards into the rocks and get dropped in on, but I guess that is how it goes around here - or anywhere with a good wave and lots of tourism.
After a sweet surf and lunch at a swanky cafe, Mark and I took a walk out through Noosa Heads national park because we heard that you can see koala bears in the trees. Not only did we see a koala bear - which for the record looks exactly like the stuffed animal - but we also saw more and more perfect waves around every point. What an amazing place. This is what I envisioned Oz to be: koalas and sandy barrels.
After being taunted by enough waves we headed back into town to surf again. I bit the bullet and rented a longboard. I really wanted one of those nice set waves at First point and being on a bigger board allowed me to get one. And then another. And another. By the end of the day it was all I could do not to fall asleep on the bus ride home - sore, sunburned and stoked.
Today was back to work, and I spent 10 hours polishing stainless steel. Fun! The swell is still pumping and I am considering heading back up to Noosa this weekend, but who knows, there is lots of fun to be had around here as well.
But the waves will be around for a while. This current swell is generated from south easterly trade winds, but there is a cyclone off American Samoa which will send more waves our way. I feel incredibly guilty about this as I have been wishing for a cyclone to form and kick some swell my way, although I have friends on a boat in Am. Sam. who are currently sitting out 100 m.p.h winds in Pago Pago. I'm sending out positive thoughts to all those in the path of nature's destruction - yachties and locals alike.