It reminded us a lot of Dunedin's lifestyle. When we weren't dining on fresh seafood (trumpeter is like blue cod up there), kayaking, exploring the national park, skin diving or mountain biking we were surfing across coral reefs and in beautiful rocky bays. We also met some amazing down-to-earth locals.
In the '90s surf artist Mark Sutherland created a cartoon character called Gonad Man who lived a notorious life of surfing, women and adventure. He went to live on an island to surf perfect waves (among the other activities he developed a cult following for) for the rest of his days. It was every surfer's utopian dream. Well, I think we met the real-life version on Norfolk Island. Checking the surf at the reef one morning we met the inspiring Brett Bergagnin - or Bergs as he is known. Younger surfer's described him as "the Kelly Slater of Norfolk Island" - he certainly knew how to surf a wave in the pocket and his bottom turns were a mirror image of Tom Carroll's. Power surfing certainly isn't forgotten on this island.
Bergs is a builder on Norfolk Island and drops tools at the first hint of the right wind grooming an open ocean swell at one of the many world-class waves that break around the island. And he's a master of them all. There are only about 15 surfers and 15 bodyboarders on the rock, so they're very welcoming to newcomers in the water. It feels a lot like surfing in Dunedin, but without the booties.
We arrived home in time to catch filmmaker Damon Meade, of LongWhiteCloud.TV, shooting Maz Quinn, Bobby Hansen, Luke Cederman, Matt Scorringe and a few locals at St Kilda for an upcoming release. Check out some of Damon's work here. Making a surf film is a real challenge that requires the waves, wind, surfers and filmmaker to all perform at their best ... in the same moment. I think I will stick to stills for now.
Hopefully more swell on the way for everyone - maybe even a puff from the north.
See you at the beach ...
Dunedin Light is your weekly dose of stoke from the surf lifestyle and culture of Dunedin's beaches. To find out more visit: www.dunedinlight.com