Finding Nirvana at G-land in 1983.
My brother Dan, and I and I had our first trip overseas in 1983. It was a time of innocence and wonder. We went to Bali where we were blown away by the happiness of the people and the non-stop pumping surf at Uluwatu. After three weeks of surfing at Ulu every day a couple of us went to G-land.G-Land
Bobby Radiasa, the camp operator, came with us on the overnight bus/ferry/bus/boat trip from Kuta. As we approached the lineup in the old fishing boat he suggested we jump off and paddle over to the surf-break. Dan had stitches in his chin from a wipeout at Ulu so Richard Arthur and I waxed up, jumped overboard and got straight into a few at Speedies.
The next ten days were heavenly. There were only a dozen of us in camp to share the whole place. We had timed our trip around the moon so that the tide was high through most of every day. Every morning we would wait till mid-morning for the. The lineup was hundreds of metres long and we lost our minds surfing the endless tubing waves. At sunset we would sit together with our new friends in the tidal pool in front of the camp and sip warm Bintangs.
We had heard it was unsurfable at low tide but wandered out to the edge of the reef late one afternoon. It certainly looked very sucky and was breaking right on the reef, but it didn’t seem unrideable. A couple of us decided to give it a go. Dan set up a tripod and filmed.
Surfing such a shallow tubing wave so far from a hospital was thrilling. The surf wasn’t big but we were surfing in a kind of cautious survival mode. We felt a real sense of achievement as we walked back over the reef after that surf.
The other day Dan sent me a short silent edit of the footage he shot that day. He asked me if I had any music that might work with it. I sent him a couple of songs my step-son Louis had recently recorded. Dan sent back this edit.
Watching this, I feel the connection I experienced with the other guys at the time. I can also remember the feeling of knowing I had found my Nirvana. I think the song, by Mike Caen, is a beautiful description of the darkness and light of life and Louis voice speaks for itself.