Bob Mctavish has zagged in life, creating an alternative surfing lifestyle. His exclamation point was his decision to stowaway.
It’s a legend that for the most part, is relatively untold. The best bit is that it’s completely unbelievable, but 100% true. For the enlightened, the story leaves a lasting proposition - “What Would Bob Do?" His carefree attitude, dedication and daring larrikinism are a real-life inspiration in 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade'.
Rewind to 1963. The big waves of Hawaii that were projected onto the big screen and magazines rendered it utopia for the surfer community. Surfers all around the world simply had to get there. Back then, the international travel standard (for cash-poor surfers) was the cruise liner, which attracted punters in droves; the fortunate few on their way, and the rest boding farewell, marooned on the dock. This particular day, our mate Bob McTavish, went to say goodbye to his friends on the ship Orsova... but intentionally didn’t take the hint when the streamers popped and the ship's horn sounded. He elected to steal passage.
Ten days in-and-out of room 203, dodging suspicious officials with early morning exercise drills created as a crafty diversion. Bananas and beer as the nouvelle cuisine and diving off c-deck for coins in Fiji Harbour. Finally, Hawaii appeared in the morning light.
Bob surfed his brains out. Several times a day for five weeks on the holiday of a lifetime.
But word got around. News of the stunt inevitably spread through the Australian surf community. Then into the newspapers. Then eventually back to the Australian embassy, in Hawaii. The FBI was alerted. Evidently Bob’s holiday was winding up. Bob got busted. Jailed! And then deported. He spent six months paying the fare back....All absolutely worth it - Bob will tell you why.
So, next time you’re pondering ‘yay or nay’ on meaty life decision, just go with it and channel a little of bit of Bob, “no ticket, no worries!”