Monday, October 29, 2007




Best team all year and best in the end. This team is untouchable.




I guess the story really starts on Friday afternoon when I went to Trigger Brothers in St Kilda and finally bought a surfboard. I had my eye on this one for a few months, actually - it's a 7'6" stubby, 3" thick, white, and minimal graphics. It's a nice board and it was going take it's first dip in the ocean on Saturday morning.

I woke up early and went to get some breakfast and a coffee in St Kilda and drove across the bridge to Williamstown to pick up Lincoln and we made the hour drive down to Torquay - Jan Juc to be more precise. The surf was forecasted to be 3ft, which really isn't that bad for beginners.

The new board

The beach


The water was cold even with a wetsuit but I was able to get used to it pretty quickly. There were a lot of surfers out on the water but the beach was wide and there was a lot of room so you didn't feel crowded. The waves were manageable and there was a bit of a lull right where I got in, which was cool because I could get right over the waves to start up.

Cliffs around the beach
You know what else is really cool? Surfing chicks. You see a few but usually only a couple a day. Oh, but not today - they were everywhere.. Everywhere. There was even a group of them just learning.. The weather was great, the girls, the new board - it was going to be a great day. Right? Well, of course not. Not too long after getting in the water Lincoln said that he thought he cut his foot on his board. When we got to the beach he had a 2 inch gash near his heel and it was bleeding. We wrapped it in a towel and I ran to the Lifesavers to get a bandage, some tape, and directions to the nearest health clinic in Torquay.

When we got to the clinic they wouldn't let him in for at least an hour because he didn't have an appointment. He was bleeding. How can you not let him in? I ended up dropping him off at his parents' house because his mother's a nurse and I went back to St Kilda. He did end up going to the hospital and got stitches - he's not allowed to surf for 10 days.

I went for a bike ride on the road for an hour and then met up with Paul at the Belgian Beer Gardens on St Kilda Rd. The Hoegaarden was flowing - well, at least for a little while until they ran out of kegs and we had to drink from bottles. How do you run out of one of your most popular beers on at Saturday night? It wasn't even night yet. Another 5 or so people joined us a few hours later before I stumbled home 8 hours after getting there. The Belgian Beer Gardens is a 'must go' in Melbourne, especially in summer.

This place gets packed

Friday, October 26, 2007


St Kilda Tour

Last Sunday I took an early morning tour of St Kilda, the town that I live in. I thought that people would want to see some of the things that you can see around town that early in the morning.

I woke up at 5:30 to watch South Africa beat England in the final of the Rugby World Cup, which was being played in France. I then went out to do the tour before the Red Sox game at 10. I went out at 8:30 and it was already hot on a day that was going to see 32C (90F), I first noticed when I was in line to get my coffee. The heat was evident in the sun but when you're in the shade it can be rather cool.

There were a lot of people out that morning. Some were buzzing around town for a coffee or paper, others were getting out in the warm weather for some running or biking, while others were stragglers still finding their way home from being at bars the night before.

Without going any further, here's the tour and my route:

Monday, October 22, 2007


Sox Are AL Champs!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Let's kill some fish..

I've been a vegetarian for over 5 years and in that time I have never intentionally killed anything. Sure there were times when I accidentally ate meat due to misunderstandings, mistakes, or just pure ignorance. There was that time at a wedding in Jakarta where I ate a krupuk even though I knew what it was but I blamed it on being tired and the heat.. and then 10 minutes later I ate something that was certainly meat but they put it next to the brownies! Who puts meat on a dessert tray? One time I just bought the wrong spring rolls. But those are examples of animals that are already dead.

I killed a duck in Quebec when she flew in front of my car. In New Hampshire a chipmunk darted in front of my car and stopped but there was a car coming in the other direction so his best hope was for me to put him in between my tires... Kelly: "Do you think he made it?" Me: "No, he didn't." Kelly: "How do you know?" Me: "I heard him hit the bottom of my car."

But in 5 years I have never killed anything intentionally, which is why it was a surprise to everyone that when I was invited to go deep sea fishing I said, "yes". It was supposed to be a nice day, it would be a good time out on the boat, and deviating from my beliefs for one morning wouldn't hurt anyone - well, except for the fish.

We were heading down to the Mornington Peninsula about an hour south of Melbourne but it took quite a bit longer to get there because of rush hour traffic. But eventually we got down to Rye where our hotel was, which was more than big enough for three people staying for less than 12 hours since our boat left at 6 the next morning.

The plan was to head up the road a bit to get some dinner and maybe a few drinks in Sorrento but a quick walk through that town showed that there's nothing there. Our next option was Blairgowerie, which had already driven through and we saw a bar that had a deck and seemed to be rather full. But this place was filled with people older than my parents.. not that my parents are very old but these people were. So back to Rye and the hotel for one and on to the closest bar. We had a few in this place that was mainly there for betting on horses and had one of the foulest smelling bathroooms that I've ever been in and then we moved next door where we just made it in time for dinner. Dinner was quick and not too bad so now it's time to move back to the bar.. oops, they close at 10. What? Are you kidding me?

The pier

The alarm goes off at 5am - whose idea was this? - jumped on the boat that held 14 and we were off to the ocean to find some snapper. The swells were big; 13-15 meters and all of a sudden I wasn't feeling very well. But I didn't know if it was from the ocean or the drinking the night before or the fact that I didn't have any breakfast. After trying a few spots we went to the deep part where we saw quite a few sea birds and two of the biggest gulls I have ever seen - they looked like flying dogs. Then someone else said that they weren't feeling well - I wasn't alone! Then another.. and another. And then people started letting loose over the side. Well, I might as well get in on this and here I go...

The rods

Most of my morning was spent sitting on the bench trying not to lose what little was left in my stomach and I gave little attention to my rod and it seemed that the fish were ignoring it as well. That was fine with me. But I did get one tug and when I reeled it up I met Franky.
Franky the Fish

Me and Franky - he's just a little guy

Luckily, I just barely got Franky through the cheak and I was able to easily get the hook out, take a picture, and then send him on his way. I threw him back into the water and at first he was stunned from his first venture outside of the ocean but then he slowly started to swim away.. and then he was eaten by a seal.

We had a seal follow us to about half of the spots, he loved to steal the fish off of the hooks but he hated to be photgraphed so, unfortunately, I don't have any. We also tried to do some trolling for salmon but I didn't participate in this part of the day. Then on our way back to the pier we spotted some dolphins and one even followed our boat while jumping in and out of the wake.

How do you finish off a day of fishing? Well, you go to the pub, of course. And we went to the nicest pub in the area, The Portsea Hotel, which had outdoor tables and some good food. The only thing left to do was head back to Melbourne and do nothing for the rest of the day.

The Portsea Hotel

So how was my day of death and destruction? It wasn't bad. Sure I was sick most of the time but it was nice to get out on the ocean on a nice day and see some seals and dolphins. Was the enjoyment of the day worth Franky's life? No.. I don't think so, it was very sad. Next time I'll do without the hook and rod and just enjoy the trip (hopefully without losing my breakfast).


Sunday, October 07, 2007



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