The Sweet Smell of Seaweed & Salt

Today I ventured up to the nearby coastal town of Lancelin, about an hour north of where we live, a favourite place of mine as a teenager, but not somewhere I go often these days.

I managed to leave quite early because our next door neighbours woke me up at 5am. They hadn’t gone to sleep at that point and were a tad merry and oblivious to the volume of their voices! They’re great people and enjoy a harmless party now and then so no drama.

However the plan for today was to get a surf in at Lancelin nice and early then go back to Moore River where Danelle & her family are for a delayed ‘Christmas lunch’. Moore River is 70kms up the coast and Lancelin 100 a pretty easy drive.

I set off with surfboard on the roof hoping to score some decent waves, but I could tell even then that Huey wasn’t going to do us any favours. There was a howling easterly blowing and the skies were grey. Today was predicted to be 38 degrees, but ‘unsettled’ would be the best word to describe the day. I doubt it got close to that in Lancelin.

As a teenager I had many a trip to Lancelin with mates in search of surf. The old Mark 1 Cortina used to get us there, usually after 4 stops along the way to refill the radiator. We would leave at 4.30am and manage to squeeze 3 surfs in before driving home in the mid afternoon, sunburnt, weary and usually very satisfied. I don’t know how many times I nearly fell asleep at the wheel on the drive home, but I can still remember the ‘drift’ as everyone else nodded off and I was left to man the steering wheel on a hot summer’s afternoon.

Lancelin is actually known as the windsurfing capital of the world as it so unbelievably windy. As a surfer you should really only go there when the winds are light because in Lancelin they are always stronger. The easterly is stronger and the sea breeze howls like a mad dog when it comes in – usually quite early.

As I got there I drove past ‘backbeach’ where I intended to surf and went to the jetty – the take off point for ‘hole in the wall’, the premier surf break in the area. It is a 45 minute paddle to a piece of reef in the middle of the ocean, but when its on, its a great wave. (I once paddled out there on my own and had it all to myself for 4 hours with light offshores and 3-4 ft swell!) I didn’t plan on heading out there, but just wanted to get my bearings on what the swell was doing.

As I poked my head out of the car I was greeted with that familiar smell of salt and weed that has been washed up on shore. Its funny how smells can be like music and can take you back to a time and place. I ‘returned’ to my teen years and remembered those times – paddling out behind the island in search of surf, but rarely finding it – trying to scam rides out to ‘hole in the wall’ with crayfishermen – or even more importantly trying to scam rides back in after 3 hours in the water – tucking muesli bars up the sleeves of our wetsuit so we could have lunch out there and surf longer – getting feet cut to ribbons as we tried to get thru the surf at Edward Island – dreaming of boat ownership and how good it would be not to have to paddle like paupers – sleeping in half built houses so we could save on tent site costs…

Those teen years were great days of adventure and fun and a fair bit of foolishness.

Today I drove round to ‘back beach’ only to see it blown to pieces by the wind and with lousy banks. As much as I was hanging for a surf I just wasn’t desperate enough to launch the mal into the chop.

So I headed back around and sat at Edward Island where I watched a small group of dolphins feeding and playing close to shore, before heading back to Moore River for the family lunch.

One day soon I reckon!…house on the edge of the park the divx movie online

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