2023 by Dr. John Ivan Coby - HTML preview
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From Andromeda the galaxy looked like just another fuzzy point of light dotting the infinite void of the cosmos. As he approached close enough he noticed its spiral shape with its arms of higher concentrations of stars. Located about two thirds out from the centre, in one of the spiral arms, was the small solar system that was his destination. Its young star had spawned ten planets and faithfully held them in perfect balance as it gave them its gravity, heat and light. In its life-sphere, that is the sphere of space around itself where water existed as liquid, solid and gas, the young star had formed its life-planet. Through it, he believed, the star expressed its consciousness and its spirit. How exquisitely beautiful the life-planet appeared to him floating out there with its dead moon for company. He thought that it looked almost like a carbon copy of his home planet, Rama.
What a contrast it was to what he had just rendezvoused with on the way there. The thirty miles long boulder encrusted ice block he checked out on the way wasn't streaming a comet tail yet, but it still looked menacing as hell. He knew that the tail would appear when it approached close enough to the star; around about the orbit sphere of the sixth planet of the solar system he was visiting.
As he approached the life-planet he admired its most striking feature, water. He flew towards the warmer southern hemisphere where he saw a very large island surrounded by expansive oceans. He slowly began his descent through the atmosphere. On the spur of the moment he chose to aim his intergalactic cruiser towards the most easterly point on the east coast of the island because he liked the way it jutted out into the great ocean.
A metallic-blue, 1963 Holden Premier turned right just after passing through the green tunnel formed by the two rows of giant Strangler Figs growing on either side of the Pacific Highway. The sign at the turnoff said Byron Bay 6 km. On its roof racks the Premier carried the precious cargo that was meticulously created at the San Juan surfboard factory about twelve months before. In the boot was a two-man tent, a Lilo inflatable mattress, a sleeping bag, ground sheets, a box of cooking utensils, clothes and a box of food. Behind the wheel, alone, was Adam, driving in his bare feet, wearing his favourite pair of faded Levis and the San Juan T-shirt that his mates, the San Juan boys, gave him the last time he was up there.
It was mid-November 1968. The Holden cruised down the north-country road towards Byron Bay. Adam wouldn't stay there though. He knew of a much better place, a place shown to him by the San Juan boys on a previous trip. It was called Broken Head, to him the place where the most perfect waves broke and to this day he is unsure whether the surf sessions he had there, in his youth, were the very best he ever had in his life.
Back in '68, Broken Head was still a well-kept secret. Travelling surfers, in those days, headed straight for Byron to surf the Pass or Wategos. On a good day with a solid eight-foot swell there might have been fifty surfers out at the Pass. Just five miles to the south, in waves so hollow that their curl landed way out on the flat and peeled absolutely mechanically, there'd be nobody out, except maybe for the few who happened to be privy to the secret.
In those days, all there was at Broken was a small camping area. It was nestled in a clearing, in a tiny valley, which was surrounded by green hills that were covered by lush subtropical vegetation. There was a small kiosk there, so one didn't have to drive to Byron for the basics, and there was a shower, toilet and laundry there as well, for the campers. And there, right there, not more than a few hundred yards away, were waves from heaven.
A narrow dirt road was the only access into Broken. It was about two kilometres long and there might have only been three or four small shacks hidden in the bush along the way. Otherwise, Broken Head was surrounded by a sea of natural wilderness.
Adam parked his car in town. After paying his friends at the surf shop a visit, he stopped at the post office where he phoned his parents and told them of his safe arrival. He also thanked them, again, for the use of the car and the money they gave him to live on.
Stepping out of the phone booth, he paused, took a deep breath of clean north coast air and focused his attention on the ambience of his immediate surroundings. He was back, back where his spirit soared, back where he actually became aware of the colours, the perfumes and the textures. He just felt it, this feeling, and this thing inside, which only came alive when he was there.
The day was stinking hot and glaringly sunny and everything was surreal tranquil in Byron Bay as the 1963 Holden Premier rolled out of town and turned south, headed for the little campsite which would be his home for at least the next month.
The intergalactic visitor parked his silver ship under a cloud as he surveyed the scene below him. He could see a long peninsula, with a lighthouse on its point, surrounded by a small village. Then he spotted surfboards on top of some of the cars. The boards looked similar to the one he had strapped down in the back of his ship. He noticed the swell lines on the surface of the ocean and the way they wrapped around the long headland and then peeled off in the sandy bay on the lee side of the point. When he saw the riders shredding the wave faces, he smiled to himself contentedly, realising that he had come to the right place.
The space traveller was a twenty-one year old human being hailing from the planet Rama, from the Andromeda galaxy. He was six feet tall, lean and fit. He had a handsome face and wore his sun-bleached, russet-coloured hair shoulder length. His skin was olive and his eyes iridescent green. He was the three thousand, four hundred and seventy second generation of surfer born into a family of surfers whose ancient ancestor, Raman, brought the lifestyle back to their planet from one of his journeys of exploration to a distant star. He was biologically and anatomically identical to the humans living on Earth, except for one thing. He, like everyone else living on Rama, was a full telepath. As an extreme example of his mental ability, he could if he wished, with just a focussed thought, make any non-telepathic creature drop dead on the spot. Because of this ability, the Rama had no need of weapons.