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This Is Northern New South Wales

Danny’s Canada (part 2)

Daniel Salfield in Canada… a bloody idiot for going surfing

Perspective – A dish best served cold
Words by Daniel Salfield… We think his girlfriend Hope took the photos

The coarse putty colored fir tree’s tower over me, with Zen like calmness, as I stumble down the cold sand to Tofino’s main surfing beach. The drive from Victoria was a little over fours hours and it is a relief to finally have my first glimpse of surfing this far north in the world. The beach is about as different as a beach can be from Byron. Massive bark-less logs lie scattered before me like a party of naked and unconscious drunks. The ocean has a tinge of grey to it and the waves appear to be breaking a little slower and softer than they should be – as though the cold has slowed the oceans blood. It is beautiful. I feel as far from home as possible, ecstatic to be experiencing another page in mother oceans vast picture book.

I get down to the waters edge – It doesn’t look ‘that’ cold I think to myself. No sooner has the thought crossed my mind that the first rush of tide hits my bare shins and it is instantly paralyzing. I regret forsaking the booties in my packing for the sake of my vanity.

I decide to trust in the quality of my wetsuit and my body heat to see me through and I persist through the breakers. Each wave feels like, crushed ice being swept over a pool by a gigantic broom. After a while I start to warm up a little and any reservations I have about my comfort is forgotten by my first wave. Weaving some turns and getting to the nose, on my hired long board feels great. I am not so far from home at all.

If I was back in the style conscious surf mecca of Byron, things would be different. I am sure I would feel like a bit of a ‘kook’ riding a board with a bright green ‘Pacific Beach Hire” branded onto the deck. When I left oz I hadn’t been willing to let Air China steal another two hundred dollars off me in excess baggage fees, so for now its beggars can’t be choosers.

It is only when you leave surf-saturated town like Byron you begin to appreciate how enjoyable it is to be riding any waves, no matter the quality or your comfort. I had left Byron after a two-month surf feast, the waves had been so consistent and of such quality that there was more than once I had turned my nose up at head high surf. I had been spoiled to the point that a tube ride was instantly categorized and compared to the ones before it. I was a fat toddler sitting on a mountain of candy and I didn’t know which way to roll. Here I was though reveling in two-foot mush, like I had discovered the Forbidden City.

Perspective it seems is a dish best served cold.

For more more words from Mr Salfield, he has a blog you know…