Personal Narrative

Back in the swinging sixties my LP collection consisted of The Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Throggs.  Sitting in my bed-sitter in Cork city in Ireland I was dreaming of warmer climates and faraway places.  I had a gorgeous girlfriend, a steady job with a company car working for A C Nielsen a market research company, but I felt the need to explore.  There was a whole world out there, people were surfing in warm water I had read in Time magazine while following the progress of the Vietnam War.

I left Ireland in 1968 to immigrate to Australia, I was a sad to leave family and friends and travel to Sydney where I knew no one, but I quickly grew to love the outdoor lifestyle built around water, surfing, SCUBA diving, walking and travelling.  Trips up and down the NSW coast introduced me to the wonders and delights of surfing and diving.  While living in Canberra for two years I learnt how to snow ski and developed a love of walking in the mountains in between surfing trips to the south coast.

While living in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne in the 1970s my wife and I would travel almost each weekend to Phillip Island one of the premier surfing spots on the Victorian coastline.  Twenty years later I surfed perfect Bells on the west coast of Victoria and have always felt that morning was one of the best selections of waves I have ever had, despite being in my 50s at the time.  I should add here that it was mid-winter and the water was not the warm water I had dreamed of forty years earlier.

Now in my mid 60s I look back at the wonderful walks I have completed like Patagonia in South America last year (2010).   Surfing out-of-the-way places like the southern tip of the South Island of New Zealand (oops very cold water again) and the numerous trips to Bali highlighted by a session in October last year (2010) at Medewi that is  drawing me back once more to Bali in two weeks’ time.  Walking and surfing have been very good to me and I realize as I write my blog that the coast has become over the years the center of my life.   That if I am away from the ocean I wonder what the weather and the waves are like back there. It’s all about the journey and search, not about the destination.

Surfing Medewi 2009

2 Responses to Personal Narrative

  1. semainwaring says:

    Such amazing memories Mike, the way you write about them makes me imagine all the fantastic adventures you must have had and will have still!

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