LETTERS TO LIZ - PAT SAUNDERS

Not long ago some letters arrived in the mail that I had written and sent to my best friend back in Australia during the Deus 9ft and Single in Canggu. A few sheets of paper, a postcard, three brown envelopes and some terrible handwriting contained a humble summary of my thoughts, feelings and experiences shared with good people in and around the warm Bali waters.  

Sitting on the steps at the Deus Temple taking a break from the hot shaping bay I found Bob McTavish who had been burning through a book on the trip that, coincidentally, was conceived from letters the author had scribbled in the 60’s and recently found again. The nuanced memories that slip from the mind over time came flooding back and inspired the story that Bob found so hard to put down. We discussed the way that feelings and experiences are immortalised in print in a way that can transport the reader back to places you could hardly remember and experience them all over again and the value in the tactile experience of good old pen and paper.Reading back over the letters from events that took place only weeks ago showed how quickly the detail in memories fade. My own words conjuring the stress and exhilaration of racing through Sydney, making it up the airport escalators with moments to spare narrowly avoiding missing my flight. The mental images of barrels, sunburn and sets on the head. Of scooter races through rice paddies, watching evening thunder storms on the sand and conversations with dear friends about life and love. Reliving the entertainment and effort of communicating with a rice farmer named Wayan, in broken English and inferior Indonesian, about the increasing difficulty of food production as local populations increased and encroach on the land and another Wayan who told me all the tricks of the trade to make extended open ocean island hops in traditional Indonesian fishing boats. 

It’s a nice to have those little records, along with an album full of photos to look back on at the end of every trip and to inspire adventures to come. A huge shout out and thank you to all the people who shared this experience and made the trip so successful and enjoyable.

Until next time…

Pat Saunders