Manager of Saltwater Dreaming surf shop, head surfboard waxer and surf instructor.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE?
I was living on the north coast of New South Wales in Australia, and was a registered nurse working in accident emergency and studying psychology at university. I also had a business based around the construction industry.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE?
I have been living here for 12 years now. I first came here to work and originally was teaching social psychology at Prince of Songkla University. I eventually started a family here and now consider Phuket as my home.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SURF SHOP AND SCHOOL. The Saltwater Dreaming Surf Shop started as a hobby in 2000, while I continued to work in the hotel industry. I have now been working full time at it for two years. The surf school gets really busy in the low season, we teach people from all over the world how to surf, we run kids’ days on the weekends and help to support the local surfers and community.
In the surf shop we carry our own brand of surfboards, which are designed by me and John our shaper from New Zealand, the surfboards are tested by us and a few pro surfers as well as other accomplished surfers from Thailand and around the world.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE?
Most of my time these days is connected with the water and surfing. I like the warm waters and the sense of community among the local surfers and expats. I also like that it is a great place for my daughter to grow up away from the pressures we have in Australia.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
I am probably one of the luckiest people in the world, I have been surfing all my life and so my job is what I do to relax. Just being in the water and around the ocean is definitely the best meditation for me.
WHAT HOBBIES OR SPORTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?
Apart from the obvious, my other pastime is making websites and educating people about the ocean, surfing and Phuket. Our main website saltwater-dreaming.comis centred around all of these.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
Walking along the streets of Sydney with the sea air and the smell of spring flowers.
FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH?
I have many favourite dishes in Thailand, especially when my wife cooks them. Probably my all time favourite Thai dish that I never get bored of is the Phuket Kuyteow ruea (boat noodle soup). It has tender stewed beef and other interesting ingredients. There is a small restaurant located at the local market grounds in Cherng Thalay, which makes the best soup on the island.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO?
Reggae, blues, grunge rock, Australian rock music, anything that gets the toes tapping.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET?
Not everything that glitters is gold, but there are definitely some real hidden gems here. Especially when it comes to places to go and discover, like secluded beaches, pockets of rainforest and coral reefs. Just get out there away from the glitz and you will be surprised how beautiful the island is.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE LIVING ON THE ISLAND?
In 2004 we had really bad flooding in Phuket and on my way home on a motorbike, I went through what I thought was knee deep water, but as I found out later it was much deeper and when I got half way through, the water was over my head.
I had to get off and push my motorbike home. Wasn’t funny then, but it is now.
THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY?
Twelve times world champion surfer Kelly Slater, of course. He is a great athlete, competitor and ambassador for surfing. People are now saying he is probably one of the best sportsmen ever, and I would have to agree.
WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE?
I think my wife would have something to say about me going on a first date, ha ha ha. But if I could recommend to others I would say choose somewhere overlooking the sea. There are some great restaurants along the escarpment between Patong and Nakalay Bay which have fantastic views and great atmosphere.
IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS ANY OTHER PERSON WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Difficult question to answer, we all wish we were someone else at sometime, or had a little more of this and a little more or less of that. Life isn’t easy, whoever you are, and it takes work and commitment to do want you want to do.
I am living my life happily with a beautiful daughter and wife and really wouldn’t change anything. So my answer is me and do it all over again.
FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY?
Layan Beach. It is quiet, clean, never crowded and has beautiful sunsets.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE NIGHT OUT?
Don’t really go out to speak of, but a few beers at Surin Beach with friends on a Saturday evening while watching the sunset is definitely something I enjoy.