Surfing had taken over. I honestly thought about going surfing, about the weather, about technique, every spare second of my day was lost to surfing, it was bordering on obsession. School work started to suffer.
I would get dropped off at school every day by my dad at about 6,45am, there were days when you just knew the surf was going to be going crazy, the autumn early mornings when the offshore was blowing, the sun was shining, the surf was pumping and not a single person was at the beach. Those were the days when I would walk straight in the front gate at school get a surf report from someone who had seen the waves as lots of my friends lived overlooking the beach go up to Wade who was my main bunking partner, not much had to be said we would just keep walking and go straight out the back gate of school and off home to steal our own surfboards and spend a day of paradise surfing while everyone was at school.
Sounds too easy and actually it was, but there were consequences. “Bunking” school was punished with 6 of the best. A caning from the headmaster that would leave your backside battered bruised and bleeding. We knew, the rules were clear there was no grey area, if you got caught you would be severely whipped and you would walk around in pain for a few days. You would be punished at school and then again at home. 6 of the best was not something to be taken lightly, it was pain. No matter how hard you tried to hold the tears back after the 3 or 4th stroke of the cane, the ones that broke the skin and started the bleeding, you could not. Evans the headmaster was not an absolute maniac, he would always let you regain your composure and wipe away the tears before you went back out of his office to face your school friends who were always listening and waiting with an evil sadistic glee.
We knew the consequences, so we would always take the back roads first to Wade´s house to pick up his surfboard then to my house to get mine. The Bluff was like living with one huge extended family everyone knew everyone, so if one of you parents friends saw you sneaking around during school hours it would not take long before you were in trouble, so we took the long back roads to make sure we were not caught.
Wade`s mom was always home so we always had some amazing story as to why we were back home from school so early. Our favourite was we collected so many newspapers for recycling we got the day off, I guess I will never know if she actually believed us, but she always just smiled and said that was wonderful and gave Wade his packet of Simba chips and off we went. No one was at my place except Gretta she lived in the kaya (Zulu meaning home) behind the garage and worked in the house full time, cleaning, cooking and basically running after us 24 hours a day. She would not believe a word of what I was saying and would scold me but would never ever give me up. Geez Gretta was a legend, funny how you only appreciate people when it´s too late sometimes.
From my house it was a quick run up Bushlands Road, then down Marine Drive to Sloane Road and Garvies.
It was just Wade and me at Garvies all day, and it was glorious. The teachers would come and look for us, but they mainly looked at Ansteys, and we were never caught by a teacher at the beach. We were however every now and again turned in by someone and the next day, first thing in the morning we would be told we were in trouble and would have to go down to the headmasters office for our whipping at the end of the day. The waiting was the worst, knowing a beating and pain is imminent is not nice. We would try pad our pants with toilet paper, it never worked and the whipping was always the same.
The life lesson was clear, if you do the crime, be willing to do the time.
Did we do it again, pleasure and pain, action and consequence?
Absolutely, and we did, many more times.