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Journeys : October November 2009
Surfing takes me to many beautiful places. The diverse contrasts that can be found where the ocean meets the land are riveting. Waves them selves make ama zing viewing but it's often the surroundings that create a great surf spot. In some places, the surf is epic right on the edge of a city; in others, it's at the bottom of 200 metre sea cliffs; and then there are the beaches fringed with postcard palm trees. Despite all this, nothing compares to the rawness found in the adventure of surfing in Tasmania. There's surf on every coast of the state, so my days can be spent searching far and wide to find the right location with the right weather condition s for the best waves. More often than not, the search for good surf with no crowds takes place in remote areas. In essence, a surfer's dream session is enjoyed with just a few mates, a long way from the nag of the metropolis. I have many favourite surf spots for different reasons, but one particular beach springs to mind when thinking about my quintessential Tassie surf break. I have to follow surfing folklore so I can't reveal the exact location of this particular beach but I can describe the environment that makes it so special. The most striking thing about this place is its fertility. The water smells fishy and the bush behind the beach wafts with decomposing leaf litter. There's a pair of resident sea eagles who often perch high in a dead eucalypt watching over the shore-break. Despite howling winds and rain squalls they look warm with their puffy, feathery breasts. Occasionally one will do a reconnaissance flight over the top of us. It seems like they're watching us surf; but they're more likely interested in any available fish. One of the simple things I like about remote beaches such as this is freedom -- being able to shout and sing, knowing no one can see or hear. Surfing is one of those things you can do almost subcon sciously. I find that sometimes I get to the end of a good ride My slice of the island Shaun Wallbank Andrew Chisholm Andrew Chisholm In Tasmania today October / November 09 38
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