Life of Brine, A Surfer’s Jour­nal (Hardie Grant Books), by Phil Jar­ratt

Paradise - - Living -

In the four hours it takes to fly from Syd­ney to Port Moresby on flight PX001, you’ll be well into this easy-to-read mem­oir by Aus­tralian jour­nal­ist and surfer Phil Jar­ratt. Jar­ratt, 66, and liv­ing in Noosa, is one of Aus­tralia’s most pro­lific chron­i­clers of surf­ing cul­ture.

He is the au­thor of 35 books and a for­mer ed­i­tor of the ir­rev­er­ent Aussie surf­ing pub­li­ca­tion Tracks.

He is bru­tally hon­est in Life of Brine as he re­veals his ex­cesses and wild times grow­ing up as a surfer in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

In one chap­ter, he meets up with the Amer­i­can writer Hunter S Thomp­son, who was well known for his own ex­cesses, and there are end­less en­coun­ters with surf­ing le­gends and stars, among them Kelly Slater, Gerry Lopez, Bill Mur­ray and Pamela An­der­son.

Much of the book is about Jar­ratt’s ca­reer as a jour­nal­ist, his work in the surf in­dus­try, as well as his trav­els. He surfs ev­ery­where from Bali to Biar­ritz, and even briefly jour­neys to PNG on a writ­ing as­sign­ment.

But Life of Brine isn’t just about Jar­ratt grow­ing up to be a Noosa grand­fa­ther, it’s a nostalgia trip that shows how surf­ing has grown from the sim­plic­ity of the 1960s into a bil­lion-dol­lar sport and in­dus­try.

If you don’t fin­ish the book on the plane, it’s a handy ad­di­tion to the ham­mock in be­tween surf­ing ses­sions in PNG.

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