We’ve really enjoyed spending the last 5 or 6 days with family up in Muswellbrook, but I have also been keeping a watchful eye on the surf cams waiting to see when the Newcastle ‘lake’ would finally produce some waves.
The forecast said that today was the pick the days and that a 2-3ft swell would hit the coast so I came down to Maitland last night and stayed there with my old school mate Shaun Kelly and his family. We don’t see each other often but the shared experience of growing up in Scarborough High School in the 70s, then doing youth ministry together before both finishing up as church leaders gives us a lot of common ground. We had a great time last night catching up on the last few years and then thus morning I left for the surf… hopeful…
After a quick drive down the coast I saw decent waves at most beaches and some great banks. I decided on Dixons Park as there was a nice right hander rolling thru. It was a good wave but the crowd factor got a bit overwhelming. For once I actually lowered the average age in the water as these aging mal riders congregated out there. I counted 17 of them at one point, all in their mid to late 50s. They operated as a pack and would catch waves together dropping in on whoever happened to already be on the wave. I heard one bloke complain and they simply told him that he was welcome to surf somewhere else… None of them were particularly good surfers but the pack mentality meant that getting a wave was tricky. I lasted an hour and gave it away… Some days things just don’t work out… The wetsuit I had bought from the op shop for $5.00 was doing a fair job given it’s age but I was also getting chilly.
So from there I gave another old mate a call and we headed out for a coffee. Wayne Mordue was a much loved WA baptist pastor in the 80s who moved back east and Wayne is also one of our prayer team so it was really good to reconnect in person rather than by email.
We had coffee at Estobar right on Newcastle Beach – the coffee was a 7/10 but the almond croissant was a 10! After we finished our coffee we wandered over to chat where we could see the surf and I couldn’t help noticing how good it was… So this time I was back in the shortie wetsuit and out there for another bash. This one was much more enjoyable with less crowds and more waves. There are some great waves in Newcastle.
Before paddling out I went back to add some time to my parking meter. The parking inspectors were just doing the rounds and while I was pretty sure I was safe I thought it best to check. Lucky I did… As she approached I got talking with the parking inspector, we laughed and chatted for a bit. She even told me not to renew Mt ticket as she wasn’t coming back that day. Then she noticed I had accidentally parked in a disabled bay… a fine of $422.00!… ‘why don’t I look away and give you a minute to move’ she said. Moral of the story – be friendly… I could only imagine getting a fine for that amount… Ouch!
After the surf I went to see District 9, a fairly new sci Fi movie. My verdict was that it was interesting and unique in it’s approach and style, but the story itself was not that rivetting. Probably a 6.5/10 but worth seeing nevertheless.
From there it was back to Shauns place to drink red wine, eat chocolate, watch rugby and catch up.
Some days it’s nice to have back to back fun and friends and today was one those – noice