Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mount Warning

Mt Warning is a mountain close to the house and on the way back from Byron Bay. Kevin has climbed it a bunch of times with the TSS kids. Gorgeous views from the summit looking out to the ocean. After a great day surfing in Byron, we decided to travel to the camp at the base of Mt Warning, crash at the camp, cook some dinner and get up early (4 am) in hopes to summit in time for the sunrise. Well, the first part went well... but today the sunrise would be buried in the clouds. Hannah, Noah & Wendy, after two attempts, have missed the epic views. Maybe next time! Congrats to Bubba for making the peak! Kevin, Wendy, Hannah, Noah, Ryan, Joel, Curtis, Barbara & Rick all made it to the top in record times, proving that the 5 hour time estimate posted was not tooooo accurate (smashed in in 2.5 hours up and down!). Mount Warning was the "plug" of an old dormant volcano that stretched 50-70 kilometres wide. The last 400 metres is a crazee "rock scramble" with 80% grade and chains to help you make your way to the summit. Climbing gear recommended but we "opted out" for the more "extreme" route. Uncle Norm would be pleased to see that "Team Soloman XA Pro's Shoes" were the footwear of choice on the journey and the Simms family will be looking for another family set when we roll into Nanimo.

Loaded Up for Byron.... Again!

Byron Bay was the place to be over the last couple of days. Nice clean waves with off shore breeze and warm water. Brought Joel, Ryan and Curtis to Watego's and The Pass in Byron. They all caught their longest rides yet!

@ Camp

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been actually "working". I was up at the two camps over the last couple of weeks and have no internet up there. Year 4 camp was at Hidden Creek. We designed a cool plaque for the walls of Hidden Creek since they are kinda sparse compared to our typical Ontario summer camps. Maybe a new tradition will come from it! Lotza wildlife over the last few weeks, including... "red-belly Black Snakes", Dolphins, Goana's and even this little Wallaby who was checkin' out the dining area on Straddie Island Camp. My work place continues to be DREAMY with sunsets like this one over the Broadwater up on Straddie. Can't believe I am getting paid to be in this beautiful place. Year 6 camp was sweet, great kids, good teachers and I introduced tons of new ideas, including "Survivor". Kids loved it, picturing themselves on the reality TV show Survivor! Just on holidays now so headed out on surf trip for a few days with Ryan and Joel Vandermarel and their "German Cousin" (funny storey) Curtis. Gonna hit a few more new surf beaches that I have not been to yet! All for now, Simms

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Favorite Buggies in The Gold Coast

A friend of ours, Matt Baden just purchased a sweet classic Australian Holden wagon. Upon looking through my photo's, I realized I have my top 6 favorite Aussie Rides.

#1 of course is Matt's new 1964 wagon with Cadillac hub caps and surfboard stickin' out the back.

#2 is this brand new Toyota min-van - perfect for loading up and heading out to a bike race. probably got a bed in the back for the long haul surf trips.

#3 - I have always been a sucker for the classic Kombi van and this one was decked out beautifully inside and out. Maybe Norm could put on an awning for me and take it to the next Trans Rockies race.

#4 - These "ute's" always make me laugh. If you are a "cool kid" in Australia, you probably buy one of these baby's (granted not in this ugly green colour) to cruise Surfer's Paradise with.

#5 - The Fraser Island Beach Tourer of choice is this Land Rover Bad Boy. Complete with 4WD and spare tire, I could take this ANYWHERE and look hard core doing it.

#6 - Finally, up in Noosa, the guy who owns a perfect little surf shop called NOOSA LONGBOARDS owns this sweet woody ride and drives it to work on most days, parking it out front of the shop. Sounds like a good life to me!
There you have it... my top 6 rides from the land down under. Reality.... home to my Dodge Grand Caravan in a few months!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Steph Gilmore - Gold Coast Local

It was amazing to be right out on Snapper Rocks today. Steph Gilmore walked right beside us looking for her favorite launch site. She is the current 4 x World Champions and just signed a multi million dollar deal with Quicksilver/Roxy.

The athletes had the opportunity to catch a ride from the Redbull Jetski which shot them back up into the line up so minimal paddling occurred (wish they had that service for us in the mornings down at Burleigh!).

Steph Gilmore actually got attacked in her apartment a few weeks before the competition started so she was a questionable starter with a broken wrist after the attacker her hie and she defended. They caught the guy and charged him.

She had a sweet ride and easily killed it. My bet is on her for the title.

Mic Fanning

Rip Curl Booth had Pro's like Owen Wright and Mic Fanning signing autographs and giving away product. While we had a coffee and relaxed inbetween heats, the kids tore off to the Rip Curl Signing.

Quicksilver/Roxy Pro Surf Competition

Sweeeeeet Day down at the ASP Pro comp at Snapper Rocks. Got there and had a chance to check out all the vendors and spectators at the site.

Amazing atmosphere with all the pro athletes mingling around. There is no charge to be right down on the beach as they enter their Heat and when they finish the competition. You can meet them as they come out of the water and ask for a photo or autograph.

Arrived just in time to see Steph Gilmore match up against a wild card girl from New Zealand. Steph carved up some amazing turns and easily won with 7.0 scores four or five waves in a row. They are in Heat action the rest of the week and finals by next weekend. Tomorrow the swell is suppose to go up to 6-7 feet so I think we will be back to watch the men surf some heats. Should be good.

They have a few other comps on in between Pro Heats - Grommet Comp, Speed Wave Comp, Most destructive wave, Big Air etc..... .

We hiked right out to the end of the rocks and watched the surfers right in front of us catch waves, carve turns and surf some amazing waves.

Hoping to see 10 x World Champion surf tomorrow. As well, big names like Joel Parkinson, Dane Reynolds and Mic Fanning rippin' it up. Going to get up early and surf down at Rainbow Bay before the comp starts, then go for breakfast and let the viewing begin.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chapman's Arrive... To The BEACH!!

We scooped up Bubba & Rick last Saturday in a flurry of Simms weekend activity. Had a BMX race in Caboulture along the pick up route so we tried to fit everything in. Wendy managed to meet her folks at the airport and train it back to our place.

Since then... the first order of business was to hit the beach. Already this week they have visited a variety of locations between Snapper Rocks and Broadie. As well, Wendy took them up to Springbrook to check out the water fall they heard so much about from the Taher Family.

Today we travelled over to Currumbin Alley to surf and explore the rocks around that area. Awesome area to visit and we will definitely visit the Currumbin Surf Club for breakfast one morning. The kids and Kevin surfed and had a super clean day with sweeet rides along the river mouth.
Post surf we hit the Quicksilver pro and you can see Bubba was number 1 Steph Gilmore fan with her new beach attire. Great day exploring!

Nice Family Shot!