Dog Tales: The Desert.

[vc_row][vc_column][norebro_text]Matt McCann is well travelled warrior. The man regularly takes to the road and travels solo, on a shoe string budget, with only a board and what he can carry into the far reaches of the globe. He is known amongst his peers as the “Boxy Dog” as an homage to his home break, and his ability to sniff out waves and an adventure.

In the follow series, Matt shares with us some of his adventures from his time wandering the earth chasing waves.

In 2016, after the end of a relationship since high-school I bought a van for $1000.

I purloined the sofa bed from my parents’ house into the back of the van and hit the road. I nearly crushed myself a handful of times slamming the brakes on as it came sliding up the front of the car into the back of my seat.

I was set on chasing waves as I always am, so I headed south. Heading up hills on the pacific highway going 40km/hr, my exhaust pipe rattling and blowing black smoke the whole way. If it wasn’t for the holes in the walls and floor, I probably would have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

After running out the rest of winter down the south coast with some epic sessions, I decided to head to the desert.

The drive to the desert is long, but when you’re solo it’s really fucking long. I took my time and swiped through tinder trying to swindle a hot meal and warm bed for the night as I made my way.

Each of those tinder ‘dates’ are funny stories in themselves. Pretty slim picking out there…

I was about a day drive away from Port Lincoln when reports of a 50-year storm coming arrived. I ended up driving straight through it.

The van was getting blown all over the place and skimming on water on the road. Looking back it was probably not the best decision to be driving.

When I arrived in Port Lincoln it was chaotic, fuel stations weren’t running, no ATMS and Coles was running out of food and water. I got cosy for a couple days until the weather passed, passing the time parked up with a beer at the pub when the power came back on.

The weather passed and I headed west to chase the swell this massive storm had created. I pulled up at the first spot and bumped into Chase O’leary in his bus touring around Oz.

Despite bumping into Chase, I surfed solo the whole time I spent in the desert. Anyone who’s been there knows how sketchy it is surfing with the amount sharks in the area. I could only surf for 40 minutes at a time before I’d wig myself out and see a fin or splash and just bail.

After spending a good amount of time alone in the desert I decided to head back to the east coast.

The van wasn’t running too crash hot, so I stopped back in to Port Lincoln to get it fixed up by a mechanic. I spent a few hundred bucks to get in good enough nick to get me home.

Or so I thought.

I was about 8 hours from the east coast, on the home stretch, when the van died… The clutch was gone and it needed a tow if I was making it home.

For what I paid for the van there was no way I was forking out for that. I took the license plates off, took all my boards and valuables out and ditched it right there. I put the key in the exhaust pipe and chucked it on gumtree for a few hundred bucks while I waited with my thumb out on the road for a lift back to the east coast.

I snagged a lift home hitchhiking and someone bought the van for $300. It seemed like the wave hunting adventure was over.

3 days later I was on a flight to Europe.

Got a gripping tale you’d like to share?

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