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Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith
(The Sea)

1. Tell me where you are at the moment and about the boat you are on. Are you sailing alone or as part of / with a crew? Tell me about your relationship with this boat?

I am sitting in a harbour in the whitsunday islands waiting for a system to pass before heading further south, i am sailing on a very beautiful modern classic sailing boat, a sloop with a drawn in transom and traditionally classic lines, she is so very beautiful. I am in a crew of three a very old friend and her partner, i have sailed with them both before and will again. I don't feel that connected to the boat really, she is a lot of hard work and i treat her very well. I live and work on her and think her very beautiful but she doesn't make my heart pound, almost like a beautiful woman that you know you will never have.

2. What is your final destination? Why? How long have you been on this journey?

My final destination is soon depends where we will be in the next month, i have recently decided i want to leave and i am going to, first i will surf my brains out, and be in the water not on it, i will wake up when i want to wake up, not when the boat wants me to wake up. I have been on the boat for 18 months and had maybe 18 real barrels. For me that is not enough, i need more than that, maybe 18 a month maybe 18 a day. We came with the boat from Europe, sailed down past Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papa New Guinea. I love sailing and everything it entails but my blood pumps fast and i need to be going a little more crazy you know like pushing myself in more than one direction.

3. Is this your first big voyage and what is the pull of being at sea? Is it about the travel, the means of travel, the fact that sailing harnesses the wind?

I have sailed a lot over the past 10 years, i really love the learning part of it, the being involved in everything ocean based and to understand as much as i can, its also very liberating. Have 30,000 sea miles more or less. When i was young living in WA, i was high chatting to a older friend sorta thinking i had it all planned out i just wanted to travel and surf and make the most of every day or week of my life, i had the idea that i would continue to do this as i grew up and take my family with me. The guy that i was high with was very intelligent a civil engineer, he put it to me straight, about the oil, the trees, the animals, my footprint, my greed. It was maybe the single most important conversation i have every had (and honestly just this second realised it). From there i made it my mission to learn. I have a small boat at home and enough money now to buy one that will take me and my family (my friends and my family too) wherever we want, and it wont be offending the Earth. hahahah

4. What have been your most memorable experiences on this trip so far?

Well, I met a very beautiful woman a month ago, we have spent everyday together since and really thats all i can think about, haha. But really i have been swimming with the humpback whales recently and that is pretty mindcblowing, surfed the tidal bore in Indonesia jungle and seen the moon at its most beautiful. 5. Is there somewhere you consider home base? Where were you born and raised? Thats sorta of the idea behind living on a boat is that you are alway with a home, you know something constant the same bed, smell, coffee the waking up and knowing where you are and feeling safe and content there. But i like Ireland alot but i don't think she is my home, i have another place that i think i might like to grow old but its a secret, great waves fresh fruit, water from the mountains and waves but i cannot tell, sorry. I'm Cornish, St. Ives and feel very Cornish. I am very proud of Cornwall and feel relaxed there but there is just a lack of consistent solid waves.

6. How did surfing come into your life? Has it always been important?

Naturally, my father could never swim when we were growing up, and we were born on the beach, dad owned the restaurant on Porthgwidden beach for the first 10 years of my life i got my first wave there whilst he was working his ass off so i could learn how to surf. I could walk to Porthmeor the boiler side so it was fate that i would like to get barreled. Dad can swim now he learnt when he was in his 50's legend. Surfing has always calmed me, amped me. and pushed me so its something i want to keep doing for the rest of my life and will go where ever she takes me, if your happy your happy you know, don't fight it.

7. Many people will know you from the images captured by Mickey Smith. How did that relationship come about?

Mickey is a legend, but you already know that, mick is from PZ just over the hill a good few years older than me though so we would just hear the stories from the older boogie boarders from St. Ives, like Mark Stevens, and surfers like Joby Godolphin, they'd come back from trips with mickey and be full of funny horrible stories. Years later Me, Lowey and Tom Greenaway took me old classic car over to Ireland, hearing about 'The Leen' and really wanting to have a look, Jack Johns and Donuts were already charging with Mick for years so we hit the boys up and spent the first part of that winter hanging with them, I cannot say enough words about Mickey or Rivie or any of my close friends really i am the luckiest person to have these people close to me. They are all a inspiration and a pleasure to spend my life with.

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