September 20 - 26, 2015: Issue 232

  My eighth year 

 My eighth year 

By Sam Capell

The sun was beating down, the sand hot between my toes. Shouts bounced up and down Newport beach, and the good ol’ red and yellow flag flapped in the wind. Sunlight shimmered on the ocean like light on gems, shimmering, ever-changing.

But none of those things mattered. All that mattered was the Nipper boards being pulled out of the shed. For four years I had watched kids grappling with the boards, having the time of their lives. And now I would be one of them.

Brad (my teacher) handed me a yellow board, streaked with wax. The handle was cool in my hands. I stepped down the beach to waterfront, eager to enter the water. But it turned out Brad had a few exercises in plan before we even entered. We practised “popping” – not a way of passing wind but, in fact, a method to get past a wave. Then we practiced paddling. Then finally, Brad picked up his board and said he would help us to get out. I dived onto the board, paddling like a dog. A mound of white water trundled up like a hippopotamus. I was confident… too confident. I got smashed, and almost lost my board. I gasped, struggling to the surface. I was getting smashed, and this was the smallest surf Newport had been for a long time!  

“Just catch the white waters!” shouted Brad, paddling up to me. “Just like everyone else.”

I looked around. Everyone was catching white waters. It looked like fun. So I did too for about half an hour, before Brad signalled us in.

“Since the waves are so small we are going to try and get out the back.” Brad explained.

He lined us up and set us off. We dived over a wave and popped another. I sneaked a look at everyone else to see if they had the same problems as I. They were. Suddenly, a backwash caught all of us and sent us bouncing forward. The backwash sent us over a wave and I felt like I was flying. I hit the water with a hard smack, and I suddenly was out the back.

I was grinning without even trying; I COULD get out the back! Suddenly, a wave came out of nowhere.

“Paddle!” yelled Brad. I tentatively stuck my hand into the water and very slowly paddled. I didn’t want to lose my board.

All of a sudden I stopped moving, even though I was still paddling. The wave was sucking me in! And then, just as quickly, it spat me out like a watermelon seed. And just like a watermelon seed I bounced over the water. Two other kids had caught the wave with me. I rode it all the way into shore, grinning like a maniac. My first wave!  

I was definitely going out for more!!!!

The End


Mona Vale Library History Week writing competition

Our recent History Week writing competition attracted many entries. 

The standard of all entries was commendable and the judges had a difficult time choosing the winners.

The awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 8 September, where the winners and highly commended participants were awarded in each category.

We would like to extend congratulations to the following winners:

Primary Category 

Winner - Samuel Capell (Sacred Heart Mona Vale)

Highly Commended - Sophie Hambling ( Bilgola Plateau Public)

Highly commended - Mattie Stoyle (St Joseph’s Narrabeen)

Secondary Category 

Winner - Wonita Gallagher-Kruger (Pittwater High)

Highly commended - Caitlin Magyar (Northern Beaches)

Highly commended - Ljubica Perisic (Mackellar Girls)

Adult Category

Winner - Meg Dunn 

Highly commended - Stephen Bradbury

Highly commended - Liam Kenny

 My eighth year by Sam Capell, 2015.