“Gidday’! My name is Marty Ware and I have been invited as a guest writer to “Street Talk Savvy”, this is super exciting for me as it’s my first Gig as a guest writer.
I actually lived in the Byron Shire for over 20 years and had an absolutely amazing time. I now live about 50 klm north in a small coastal town called Tweed Heads.
So, anyway that’s what leads me to this story that I think many may not believe, but I can tell you with 100% truth it’s true, and this story will only be one of many more to come about my adventures and stories to tell.
When I was 17 I decided to move to the small coastal town of Byron Bay that is 50 klm south of the Australian Queensland border and I came all on my “PAT MALONE” which means I came all by myself in Aussie slang. I only knew one person and who was my surfboards shaper Mark Thomson, who at the time owned “Hot & Glassy Surfboards at Broken head.
Broken head is a small town just 5klm south of Byron Bay and has a strip of coastal beaches that is surrounded by small pockets of rainforest. The area at that time was pristine and still is. Mark lived in a small shack almost right on the beach and had his surf factory out the back. I was lucky enough that he said yes for me to stay until I found something more permanent.
During my stay we surfed our brains out without another soul in site. The waves were great, just about every surf I saw packs of dolphins and caught fish straight from the beach in the evening on my trusty handline
“YES LIFE TRULY WAS BLISS UNTIL I nearly got eaten by a huge Tiger Shark
Mark decided that it was time to visit the neighboring beach in the rainforest, at the time the beach was called Snapper as they used to catch the local Snapper fish straight from the rocks in the deep water areas. Since it has been renamed to White Beach.
We walked about a kilometer to the neighboring beach through the rainforest and when we arrived the waves were great. It was only Mark and I in the water which was just bliss after surfing the crowds of Sydney beaches for years.
After about two hours we were both quite tired and Mark thought that it was a better idea to paddle back to his house and his beach by paddling around the headland instead of taking the one kilometer walk home. I agreed, but was a little hesitant as I knew Byron Bay was famous for big sharks.
As we paddled around the headland I started to feel a little more comfortable until one of the biggest sharks I have ever seen to this day popped up right between Mark and I.
“MAN DID I FREAK OUT” I rose up on my surfboard and screamed shark so loud that I nearly popped an eardrum as I scattered for the rockS. Mark was yelling at me telling me to shut up, but I scrambled up those rocks quicker than a cat being chased by a Pit Bull Terrier.
I looked all around me and all I could see was vertical shale cliffs, so climbing wasn’t the answer!
WHAT WAS I TO DO?
My only choice was to jump back into the ocean before I got cut to pieces by the rocks and started to bleed like a gutted fish. The shark had disappeared, but that only seemed to make matters worse.
Well, I did make it back to the beach after another 10 minutes of paddling and thanked God for keeping me around for another day, only to learn that surfing this wild pristine area was not without it’s hidden dangers as sharks become a fairly common siting!
I was then 17 and now 45 and still surf my brains out, still have my legs though!
See you at the next blog post guys where I talk about surfing in Vietnam, you don’t want to miss this one!