Dispatch from OZ: Broken boards, Vegemite and Meat Pies
The Huntington Beach High School surf team is down in Australia for its annual surf pilgrimage. We're big advocates of overseas adventures and love to encourage the next generation on these educational and fun trips. Coach Andy Verdone - who will be inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame in a few weeks - is leading the surf trip, and a few of the students will be sending us updates and photos of their adventures so we can live vicariously through them.
This latest update from the team is from student Davis Freud:
When we arrived in Australia we had to get right on this huge bus for all of us and our 25 surfboards - but first we had to get to the bus, which would be an adventure in itself because of one major difference: they drive on the “wrong” side of the road.
At least five of us almost got hit in just a matter of a few hundred yards, including me. Luckily, we all got there safely and drove up the Australia Coast heading north, away from the main part of Sydney.
We met our “billets” in a beach suburb called Newport. I was paired with the Gilliland family, along with Matthew Hayes, another surfer from the team. The waves were great, the weather was lovely, we were a minute walk from a perfect wave - and the family Matt and I were staying with are amazing.
It was practically a young surfer's heaven with all the waves and good weather here. After the first surf - where Matt broke his surfboard - we had Vegimite for the first time, and it was the most awful thing EVER. No offense to any Australians, but it was really bad. It was kind of salty, bitter vegetables mashed up together that had been sitting out for days. I am not exaggerating how bad it tastes.
Luckily, that night we had meat pies which were absolutely amazing and one of the best things I’ve ever had. I could easily see a shop in America opening up and selling them since they were so good.
Everything is pretty similar, but for the food and the seemingly endless headlands that there are here. Plus, the people are really really nice and welcoming. The family I stayed with the first four days welcomed me into their home as if I were there son, and they definitely will be lifelong friends. So far it’s been an amazing trip, and I can’t wait to see what happens for the rest of the ten days that we have.