Currumbin author at writers fest

CURRUMBIN surfing writer Tim Baker and round-the-world teenage sailor Jessica Watson team up this Saturday at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival to talk about oceans and what they mean to them.

Baker, whose latest book "Surfari" recounts the eight months he spent last year caravanning round Australia with his wife and two young children, said oceans had many lessons to offer us.

"Oceans can teach us about being adaptable, going with the flow and riding life's peaks and troughs," he said.

"Time spent in the ocean teaches you about humility in the face of a higher power."

A former editor of "Surfing Life" and "Tracks" magazines and the bestselling author of "Occy" and "High Surf", Baker said surfing's lesson gets lost in competition and commercialism.

He said he was "fortunate" at being able to combine his two "passions" of surfing and writing.

At a festival session on Thursday with co-panelists environmentalist Anna Rose and Indonesian novelist Andrea Hirata, Baker spoke to Year 12 students about "exploring Nature, leaving civilization behind and stepping out of your comfort zone."

Describing last year's round-Australia trip as "a pre-emptive strike on a mid-life crisis", he said it was also an opportunity to give his kids a "free range" life experience as advocated by American author Lenore Skenazy.

"We had an amazing journey not without its challenges," he said.

"Australia is a beautiful country and we got to appreciate it on a whole new level."

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