The Salt Brigade

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“Well if the good die young, I wanna be bad, like a fat dude in a pair of tight pants
going off into a place unknown…” Quintron. Words: Tyler Mars. Photos: Anthony Dodds.

SOME things just happen, no reason or warning. Some happen upon us and give us reason to believe that was the raddest thing we have ever witnessed. Like the first time you heard The Ramones or watched as a tornado ripped threw a trailer park like a fat man in a meat pie shop. This is a bit of both …

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Bali is a relatively small spot for travellers who share the same interests. If you’re looking to Zen out and hone your yoga skills, you may find yourself in in the mountains of Ubud. Or if you’re looking to surf your nuts off, drink many a cold Bintang along with a dash of tequila while getting bootleg tattoos, then one finds one’s self along the coastline of Bali, where this group of cats met and joined up for a week no one will ever forget.

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The crew was a bit of a colourful collection, much like a quilted blanket your grandma made. Or, as I tell this tale, an eclectic redux of The Dirty Dozen, (minus four).

The cast of characters runs like this: the lovely Kassia Meador, Jared Mel, “The Longhaired Peace Warrior”, both hailing from California; Zye Norris “The Baby Faced Assassin”, Harrison Roach, “Sergeant at Charms”, and the man behind the beard, Thomas “Doc” Bexon, all from Noosa. Husni Ridhwan and Deni “The Grom”, our local guides and communication officers. And finally, rounding out the Salt Brigade, Bryce “Big Bung” Young commands respect when high in the air or smashing lips to pieces and leading a charge.

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The mission statement was simple; mount up on bikes, a 4×4 for hauling beer/gear and a choice of weapons of self-construction to get the job done. Follow the guides east and then off to the west in search of good times and better waves.

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They rode hard on dark pavement ’til the rising sun lit the way into the bush. Hot on the trail, with numb asses and feet ready to walk the plank, the first spot was shred ahead. Their gears shifted down as their brainpans revved up, they were there at last. With bikes resting in the shade and the jeep as basecamp, the brigade suited up ready for action. Like a flock of waterfowl, they took to the sea, putting them in the right state of mind, for they knew they were in the right spot to carry out the mission.

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There were waves aplenty on the first part of their mission, right hand barrels peeling down the point beckoning the crew to tuck in and check out. Long stretches of wide open territory ready to explore, clean beaches, clean waves and blue waters, it felt as if the hand of modern time had not yet reached this far. To feast from the buffet of old Bali was an indulgence the brigade would not grow full of.

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Local fishermen and animals creedling in the bush poked their heads out to see for themselves what all the hoots and throat horn blowing was all about. One by one, the group shared the lead as the sets kept rolling in. No tidal change would force them out of the water, they had their assignments and were there to stay and make their mark, if only for a moment in time, on this blue marvel hurling though space we call home.

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With the sun going down and a long ride to headquarters, the battalion quenched their thirst, mounted the bikes and loaded the gear into the 4×4 and set off as a curtain of stars began to peel open … ready for the next act.

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The next few days were the same as the group headed off at sunrise, in multiple directions like the arms of Shiva, each time finding spots different than the others the day before. Left and right points, beach breaks and whatever they could sink their fins into. Scenes of wicked drops with knee-jerking stalls, dragging their hands along crystal walls.

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As the group travelled together, the bond between them grew stronger and stronger. No longer a bunch of holidaymakers put together for a good time, now more like a family lending hands when needed … laughing, sharing and growing much like the swell they were after. Their mission came to an end way too soon. And although they accomplished what they set out to do and were very satisfied with their outcomes, they left wanting more. More they shall have as each member of the rag-tag salt brigade went their separate ways, just waiting for the call to order on the next adventure, to a place unknown …

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