Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Hopefully the end result.
Lake Macquarie

Compared to many other lakes and estuarys, Lake Macquarie has remained almost pollution free and the fishing is slowly improving. All in all, not a bad place to live.

The means of getting there.
It has become a common occurence to read of some unfortunate who has foolishly ventured out to sea in a small tinny, along with some of his mates, hoping to bring home a feed of fish. God only knows how many times television news programs report on this phenomena as well. Many, if not all of these misguided adventures, occur when the seas are being whipped up by storms, not far removed from being cyclonic and sadly are responsible for some fatalities on a regular basis.

Boats designed to safely navigate rivers, bays and estuarys etc. are not capable, in many cases, to be taken out onto the open sea, particularly when big seas are running. Many of these boats tend not to have any of the essential and legally required safety equipment on board, which makes the odds on survival astromomical.

For all of my life I have always wanted to own my own small tinnie, to enable me to be where hopefully the fish are. After two decades of land based angling, the missus and me retired to the shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie and at long last I became a boat owner. I obtained the boat drivers licence and as I normally do whenever a new craze takes a hold, I set out to ensure the boat became fully fit out with all the bells and whistles etc.
25 HP Outboard, Flat flooring with waterproof carpet, Navigational lights, Oars and paddles, New anchors, one sand and the other a reef kellick, new anchor ropes and mooring ropes, boat hook, landing net, prawn net, marine radio, Depth sounder and fish finder, water resistant seat cushions  and so on and so forth.

A mere drop in the ocean.
Fisherman's Heaven.

The tinnie creaked under the weight of it all. I attended seminars conducted by what was then known as Waterways and kept fully abreast of maritime regulations and the contents of the boating handbook.

I have always been a stickler for obeying the rules and have always made a point to pass on the knowledge obtained to all of my fellow thrillseekers. Being armed with all of this knowledge and awareness has made boating safe, sound and enjoyable for me and my passengers.

The years of training and the experience gained from it all enabled me to make boating and fishing an absolute pleasure, as the following demonstrates.

How to do it and not get it (by one who did it, got it and can't get rid of it)

Early morning, the sun's up and I'm out of bed. Connect the boat and trailer to the car, making sure safety chains and lights are working. Start the car and off to the launching ramp at Wangi. You beauty, nobody at the ramp, so into the lake goes the tinnie.

Wangi Boat Ramp. North side. 
Park the car and trailer and scooter out the boat into deeper water and commence to start the outboard. The air temperature already is approaching 34 degrees C and after 15 minutes of continuous pulling, I'm a soaking sweaty mess and the motor remains silent. After another 5 or so minutes of tugging, interspersed with the odd profanity, I give up and onto the trailer goes the boat and home to Blackalls to attempt to rectify the problem. Arrive home, motor starts second pull, more profane speech. Motor runs for 5 minutes then once again off to Wangi.

Cantankerous heap of shite.
Arrive at Wangi boat ramp, prepare the boat for launching. Shit!!! Forgot to fill the tank with fuel purchased the previous day. Where is it, home at Blackalls of course. Home we go, fill the tank and once more unto the breach.....Give me a break. For the third time arrive at Wangi boat ramp, launch tinnie and scooter out, board the boat and commence to start motor. Motor starts first pull, Thank you Lord. Weave one's way through the moored yachts and off to find the artificial reefs at the Lake's southern end. 

Hang on, where's all this shit ridden water coming from, Fuck it, the bungs aint in. The bungs refuse to screw in and the tinnie is going down faster than Monica Lewinski paying homage to her beloved President. Back to Wangi, beach the boat and finally get the bungs to screw in. Off we go again and 15 minutes later arrive in close proximity to the reefs. Where's the fucking bait, in the fridge at Blackalls, that's where. After language that would have made Gordon Ramsey blush, it's back to Wangi. Park boat on beach and drive car back home. Retrieve bait from fridge and back to Wangi. Scooter out boat and motor starts 1st pull (Ah! God is with me at last) and we're off south once again.

"Bloody Hell, We're off at last."
At last, reach the general area of the reefs and throw down a diet coke and polish off a ham and cheese sambo. After 30 minutes of steering grid patterns across the areas where the map says the artificial reefs should  be, absolutely no luck in finding even one of them.........Useless, miserable pox ridden maps. Stuff the lot of them, who needs them or gives a shit, lets wet a line anyway. I decide to use both rods. The rods, where the friggen hell are they? Oh go fuck your kid sister rotten, you're not serious are you, no fucking rods, guess where? You got it in one,  home at fucking Blackalls................You miserable arse fucking prick.

All those years of training and dedication to the cause had more than adequately prepared me to cope with the previously stated minor setbacks and I was able to arrive at a satisfactory decision.


The Wangi Rissole. Any old port in a storm.
"Whose shout?"

Ahh! The stuff dreams are made of.

Saturday, October 6, 2012



                                Long, Long ago on an island far, far away. 

                                Oh! how the mighty have fallen.

My God, what one would give to be able to turn back the hands of time and return to those days of political incorrectness and little responsibility.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would eventually evolve into the aged, overweight specimen, with aching and creaking joints, that I have become. At least I have had the company of the same mischieveous brunette for over 40 years to date and I hasten to add I never would have made it without her, despite the never ending ear bashing I am subjected to on a regular basis. I'll tell you one thing though, she can paint and does so as often as she can. Several of Gabi's paintings are gracing various homes around Sydney and locally.

Long gone are those times when it was nothing to down copious quantities of that frothy amber fluid and the next morning be responsible for making rash promises to one's self to give up drinking altogether. Nowadays it's the odd beer on special occasions, the odd glass of mainly white wine and bucketloads of lemon cordial that prevent the two of us from dehydrating.

The sad thing recently has been the number of family members, close friends, aquaintances and neighbours who have passed on, owing to the ravages of time that fate inflicts on all of us eventually. It has made me to become aware of my own mortality and memories of those long gone good old days, spent in the company of so many good friends and wonderful people, have once again been flooding through the cobwebs of my mind. It has made me aware that I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of them all and to realise how fortunate I was to have had what I once had.

Surfing at its exhilarating best.  South Maroubra.
A great way of life.
The current headquarters.

The proposed new HQ.
At time of writing the plans for the brand new Surf Club building have been drawn up and I am led to believe construction will commence within the next 12 months or so. It will be sad to see the old clubhouse fade into history, but in all fairness, it has definetly passed its used by date. 

The end result was as follows........

The Taj Mahal

Coffee Shop
Coffee shop with Restaurant upstairs
A quiet drink at QY's
Nice view.
Ahh! The aroma of burnt meat....Yum.
Surfing in its purest form.

Someone has to do it.

I am certain that Gabi too has her favourite memories relating to times gone by, but she tends to keep them to herself, whereas I get a buzz out of making some of mine known to all and sundry. When I start reminicsing about the past, there really is not much that I experienced that would not be regarded as the norm for the average person. For me however, it was many of the simple things that meant so much to me and none of them have been, or ever will be forgotten.

The exhilaration felt when wave riding on my racing surf ski, the thrill of bodysurfing, the indescribable feeling of excitement of riding my Malibu, even more exciting when surfing with the beautiful blonde headed Paula.

The adrenalin rush when the plywood surfboat starts sliding down the face of a green wave over six foot tall.
The tender and loving moments spent with the odd steady girlfriend when alone together. There were quite a few cuties who made up the numbers every now and then and even though they could never be regarded as steadies, they more than contributed to making life as it was then memorable, to say the least. Participating in just about any activity with either one, or both of the two sisters, Paula and Lesley, especially when parked in the Fiat 600 outside my Annandale home saying goodnight to each other after an eventful weekend in the club and on the beach etc. Boy, did I look forward and love being given a lift home by either girl in that little Italian rocket on Sunday evenings.
There were the all too numerous drinking sessions at the Newport Arms, Mona Vale hotel and the Avalon RSL, the many trips to just about every Drive In theatre in and around Sydney with someone pretty to snuggle up with, Ten Pin bowling at Balgowlah, Squash at Newport and Avalon and when in season the Stock Car races at Westmead of all places. I tell you those westie petrol heads were besotted with young blonde headed Paula as there weren't too many of her quality at the races. At times it was like swatting flies keeping the interested ones at bay. The Sunday evening drinks at the Surf Club, known as QY's and the many Bucks nights and mixed functions held in the Surf Club building on a regular basis were always popular and were well supported by all of us.  During the early 60's we had the Stomp dance craze take off at Avalon, which led to a large increase in club membership and enabled us to make a sizable  payment on our mortgage. We ended up owning the clubhouse building years sooner than anticipated, as the State Centre loan was paid back before the end of season '64-'65, if I am not mistaken.

To sum up, what made it all special were the many friendships that were created and being aware that one was giving up a portion of one's time to perform a valuable public service. Despite all the mischief making and at times over the top behaviour, beach patrols were regarded as the main reason for our presence and existence. If push ever came to shove it was a Three Musketeers situation namely, 'All for one and one for all' that clicked into place. Shortly before I started this blog there was a tragic accident in one of our rivers involving members of the North Narrabeen SLSC. To enable the Narrabeen members to grieve and come to terms with their  loss, members of the Avalon club volunteered to take responsibility for Narra's Saturday beach patrol. Even when it comes to other clubs, the aforementioned situation also applies as well. 

Avalon and Nth. Narrabeen Girls Crews.
All of us had, what was then a modern well maintained building in which we entertained ourselves. We cooked our meals, we slept in the bunkhouse, or on the verandah out front, we consumed the odd amber ale and lager, we stowed our gear and showered and had all our various surf craft stored safely in the boatshed. As members of the Surf Boat crew we were required to compete at many an Open or Restricted Surf Carnival and somehow found time to do so.
Our backyard was the Avalon district and our front yard was the sacred beach and Pacific Ocean.

One can only hope and pray that there is an afterlife, because time is beginning to catch up with all of us. Imagine the reunions and sheer excitement when all of us mischief makers are once again in the one place, the mind boggles at the mayhem that will most certainly eventuate. Saint Peter, who is in charge of the keys to the Kingdom, better see to it that he never lets the keys to the fridge out of his site, otherwise the angels and God Almighty himself will not be getting a wink of sleep at any time day or night.  ( Providing of course, we all make it upstairs that is )

                                                AMEN TO THAT        


So What's This Blog About, You Ask?

Click on Here to see the Annandale to Anarchy Statement of Intent. Politically Correct and Easily Offended Types needn't apply.