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Noah Lane and Sandy Kerr Go Off Grid


Words by Noah Lane

Some people hate travelling. Car, Bus, Plane, Train, Car. As easy and cheap as it is to jump on flight from one place to the next, there still involves a large amount of time and effort getting from point a to b. And this is looking at it purely on a superficial level, without delving into the morality of it. But I quite like the time between; the hours sitting with nothing but the anticipation of the next destination. Without the distractions of normal life, it’s much easier to tune out, people watch, read a book, listen to an album you haven’t yet heard or revisit an old favourite.

It brings for me a nostalgia, having spent more than 3 hours a day on a bus during my high school years. This particular journey had me tuned in to an early Mason Jennings album of which I associated with memories of the bus journey we endured as kids. Three hours a day on a bus is pretty radical for a teenage kid and while we whinged at the time, it was as my parents always said, “character building.” The pages in front of me were filled with the obscene writings of Bukowski. Late to his novels, I plowed through Women on bus and plane, half shrouding the text for fear of anyone reading over my shoulder and calling me out on the perversive scenes in front of my eyes.

Spurred by the €5 flight with a certain budget airline I had bit the bullet and decided last minute on an educated guess of an incoming swell. I was third wheeling the east coast duo of Chrissy Mc and Sandy K, part of the reason for such a rash last minute decision; both old hands to the region and well versed in the art of inconspicuousness and good manners.

We drove shifts long into the night, cooked on the go, slept head to toe, and gleaned each others enthusiasm when our own waned. It was a strike mission in the full sense of surf strike missions. And while our trip seemed as short lived as mentally, physically and financially possible, our efforts were ousted when Lewis made the same journey in just over 24 hours (including time spent on location), two thirds of which was behind the wheel and completely solo.

It was as these short trips go, a successful affair. The predicted swell delivered - if only for a day - good waves, new and old friends, stretches of coastline. We squeezed the short-lived daylight hours well before and after the fringes of darkness, then left as the swell died. Sandy to attend wedding preparations; Chris to put an even more monumental effort into the final touches of print publication, Backwash; and myself to offer moral support for this from a distance. Back home via car, train, plane, bus. Repeating the process of a few days earlier in reverse. Anticipation replaced with satisfaction, and the same album ringing in my ears, pages of Bukowski still turning.

Featuring Finisterre Ambassadors Noah Lane and Sandy Kerr in the Nieuwland 5 Wetsuit / Captured by Chris McClean and Lewis Arnold

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