I SPENT the last week down in Lorne with a group of amazing people, soaking in the salt and the sun. It was a week of early mornings, late nights, laughter, surfing, table-tennis, swimming, guitars, surfing, night-walks, sunburn, UNO, surfing, and lifesaving. Did I mention surfing?
We stayed in the Lorne Lifesaving club, which is right on the beach (you literally walk out the front door into the sand), and I’ve only been home for a few days and I’m already utterly homesick for it. Picture, a huge recreation/dining room, opening out onto a balcony overlooking a wide beach and the crashing ocean. Dinner in front of full length windows and the sunset, breakfast fresh after a morning surf …
Some memories stuck out in my head, and I jotted them down most nights, half-asleep in bed.
Monday, mid-afternoon. The storm began to roll in just as we began what was promised as the longest swim of the week. Over 600 meters, through foaming, open water, cutting across a rip. Mid-way, lightening was flashing overhead, dark clouds obscuring my vision. I could just see the shore when the rain began. When my feet found sand again I was laughing.
Wednesday afternoon. It began to rain again, while we were out surfing. Drifting between sets, sitting upright, the tips of our boards in the air, everyone was laughing, revelling in the weather. I tilted my head back and opened my mouth. I could taste salt and fresh water. My feet were cold. The ocean was still for us, for those few moments.
Wednesday night. By lucky chance, I was one of the few people who had managed to finish all the assigned work of the day. We were invited on a night walk, which took us through the small town and down by the skatepark, before doubling back along the beach. Nearly an hour later, we were piled onto the balcony, and a couple of boys pulled out their guitars and started playing. The ocean was loud and soothing, the salt heavy in the air, and when we all started singing Riptide, the entire moment felt beautifully unreal.
Thursday afternoon. Cocooned in blankets, feet dangling from the balcony and camera pressed firmly to my face, a golden sun broke through the clouds. The surfers below, adrift in the ocean, became inky silhouettes. Everything glittered.
Friday morning. My first real chance to sleep in, and, of course, I woke just past 6am. Emerging from our cabin bleary eyed, I grabbed a blanket and my camera and slipped downstairs and out onto the beach. There were nearly thirty of our group already out there, balanced on boards and waiting for the next set. Set up in the sand and only half-awake, I took some of my favourite photos that last morning.
Mostly, I spent the week barely parted from my camera and generally annoying everyone. I’ve compiled a few pictures that kind of sum up the trip (and make me even more nostalgic). Lorne is such a beautiful place, and I was surrounded by such beautiful people, and I hope some of that shows through x