You would think that The Nobbies would be an excellent place to get
away from Joe Public, but even with a howling gale blasting in from
The Bass Strait, there is the eternal shrill whine of children whose decibel
level outperforms the crashing waves and predatory shearwaters. Once
placated by a cuddly toy penguin, however, the juveniles are generally
benign, unlike their adult counterparts who simply will not obey rangers’
instructions and whose attention span seems limited to one advance
by a single cohort of fairy bands of brothers before they have to stand up,
blocking others’ views and flashing away at the shy bird-life which is
trying to avoid the unwanted attention of a sea eagle, or a fox, but which
ends up mating under spotlights, beneath the boardwalks, to a perpetual
What are they doing? Oh, look! A threesome!
Eudyptula minor is a cutie and its nightly parade reminded me of a
Mediterranean passeggiata, except that those on the fringes do not
usually get picked off – or do they?
The whole ambience recalls accounts of the fulmar-dependent,
indigeneous people of St Kilda. No doubt the mutton-bird eating
Bunurong would have had heaps in common with the original
inhabitants of the Scottish archipelago, although the Bunurong
had not been planted on their terrain, but were the supplanted.
Mind you, the Koolin people sounds rather like the Cuillins, don’t
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t savour a short-arsed shearwater,
or whatever the mutton-bird is. I preferred the duck confit at Port
Phillip Winery, the previous day.
Those of you who have been questioning whether I have morphed
into a fully-formed Sheila yet, might be better employed rating my
surf babe status. Forget The Husband. The only thing he surfs is
the internet. As for Rip Curl experiences, he is more into those of the
Rip van Winkle variety. Or Lip Curl, when he comes across snippets of
his fame being promoted over this site. (He can be as desultory as
that lone wallaby that hopped across the dusky beach last night,
silhouetted against a giant red full moon.) Just trying to divert
attention, I’d say.
We stayed over at Surf Beach in a house on stilts, all weather
boarding and corrugation. The walls were decorated with a Howard
Hughes, Airey’s Inlet finned surfboard, bearing the endorsement:
I felt like Loyd Grosman- remember the guy who used to traipse
through people’s houses trying to guess what kind of a person lived
therein? He actually only got the job because someone mistakenly
thought he was a journalist. I felt a bit of a fraud myself. But now
that I’ve heard of stabmag.com, I feel that I have some beach cred.
I might even get The Husband some Board Shorts. Apparently, Life
is better in them. The guys in the adverts seem to prove the point.
Maybe I could tether one of these Adonises to my side with the
World’s Strongest Leash, a one piece leash technology. Might just
keep The Husband from wandering off towards the wine aisle in
Even the reading matter was connected to the ocean and Night
Surfing was the only novel on view. The blurb confided that it was
about a wave that arcs so high it drops down the sun, stars and
moon from the sky and turns day to pitch. Hannah is a drop-out
who wants to learn to walk on water and Jake has been a dustman,
or re-cycling engineer, from Liverpool, but he dreams of surfing the
night. Presumably he has had a shower first. He has demons of his
own. Let’s hope that Hannah exorcises them.
Right, enough of those barbed comments, as prickly as the fins on the
I did enjoy leafing through Tracks: the Surfers’ Bible– the next best
thing to a Teahupo’o pizza delivery, apparently.
You see, I had never heard of grippin’ the lip; surfing in Namibia- I
thought it was all desert dunes. I thought Roll out the Barrel was a
1940s song by Lew Brown and nothing to do with tides and waves.
Painting zebras on a wall sounded artistic to me, something like
decorative murals on a kindergarten reception hall.
Hoovering through the slob sounded like clearing up after the
kindergarten kids had gone home. And I had never heard of
films such as Sojourn, a surf film about Sumatra, with David
Rastovich. I really must have been up a gum tree!
Oh, wait a minute! It’s hovering through the slob. It’s all this
being on the road. I’m turning into an ultimate gypsy like Creed
McTaggart. That’s a different creed from the one I know back
home and which I can recite by heart on Sunday mornings.
Okay, so he’s known for his sunglasses and criticised for faux
surf celebrity; I’m known for my hats and…
I’m morphing into something. It’s Travel. It broadens the mind,
as well as the behind.