Sunday, October 11, 2009

B15: Surfing the Great Ocean Road

(Jumping off the rocks in Lorne sucks! The surf was large, weak, and incredibly fun. This is where we entered the water. [Lorne, The Great Ocean Road])


This weekend I went down the Great Ocean Road again to our surf camp. On the way down we hitched a ride with an Aussie economics major who is applying to study abroad in Santa Barbara. He was pretty stoked that we wer from California and we talked about everything random, like cars, or the American Civil War, or the Chinese language, or surfing reefs, or Michele Obama, or Aboriginals. We also talked about our hopes for a good swell and warm waters.

After going too far and ending up at Kennet River (where all the koalas are) we finally ended up Wye River. We stayed in another clubhouse, the Wye River Lifesaving Club. It was very homie. It is interesting how there are all these little hostel-type clubhouses on the coast with places to board and cook in the kitchen. It reminds me of ski resorts that board their employees during ski season. I wonder why America doesn't have these little lifesaving clubs?

(The Wye River Life Saving Club. Looks small because it is. At least this time there weren't 90 people with 60 beds... There as also a koala in the tree to left, it isn't pictured here. [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])

Friday night we surfed Wye River (not actually a river, just a beach where the river feeds into the ocean). It was big and choppy and incredibly difficult to get out past the waves. The waves were inconsistent but still super fun to ride and I enjoyed them in between conversions wtih a guy from Chile who was "Chillen" out there. Saturday morning we surfed Wye River twice and it was more of the same: unpredictable, tiring, but fun. I ran into one of the Aussies from the last surf trip and she invited me out to Lorne to her favourite break. That afternoon, we (Chilean, Brazilian, Norwegian, Philipino, Aussies [two], and American [Brian]) packed up and drove down the windy road to Lorne.

(Wye River. There was a bird's nest and it actually swooped screeching. We had to put our hoods on and run away. [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])

At Lorne I borrowed the Brazilian's board and we jumped off hte rocks into the blue waters. Ignoring the sheila's advice, I paddled to the left and soon found myself paddling on top of a rock literally. The middle of my board was sitting on top of a rock and I was paddling and not going anywhere. Other than that, I surfed great and the waves were pretty endless. We would catch waves and ride them all the way to the beach (about 150 metres away) and have to get out and run back up the rocks and jump back in. It was nice being able to surf a fiberglass board… the big foam ones are clunky and usually end up hitting me in the head.

The next day (Sunday) we went back to Lorne and I got to see the first big crowd of beachgoers in their bathing suits (bathers). We surfed the beach break which felt nice and safe. I watched the little Aussie children shred it up and they watched me do handstands on my board.

I also got to explore the tidepool at Wye River. My feet are taking a beating, but I feel that that is for the better in case I am in Irvine and ever need to walk home barefoot in the wee hours of the morning. Brian and I saw fishermen, salmon, starfish and crabs. We actually saw more dead wild life than living wild life! We saw a dead seagull, a dead crap, a dead fish, a dead jellyfish, and a dead penguin. The waters were clear as day and as warm as a bathtub.

(Spring time in Melbourne. Evidence of cauliflory is in the foreground. The leaves grow from the stem of the tree. [Carlton Gardens, Fitzroy])

(Blue waters and pointy rocks. [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])

It's amazing how all the students I've met are so generous. They take me places, let me borrow their fiberglass boards, and are never too busy to give little tips that can make my life easier. It seems like all their experiences are so unique and so culture oriented. I have so much to learn. On the flip side, Aussies and international students like to drink, play games, and talk very loud. Sleeping is also something they don't like to do. Hence I didn't sleep much and am extremely tired. Next week I'm going to try and look into flights to Tasmania and my housemate and I are going to the zoo!

Until then,

Mikey Doo

(Wye River Beach. Pretty good swell. [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])

(A starfish with 8 legs? [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])

(Getting the feet wet. I had to run away because that wave soaked that rock. [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])

(Rock fishing. He was going for salmon. [Wye River, The Great Ocean Road])


  1. Tasmania!?! Are you going to finally meet Taz for me? You are the best brother ever! :) The Wye river looks beautiful and the water looks so clear. Please don't hurt yourself doing handstands on your surfboard. <3


  2. P.S. I can't figure out how to vote on the reactions thing. My vote is "cool."

  3. Oops I think I figure it out...and voted twice...