I did get to try out the Ola Chica "wipeout-proof" bikini while bodysurfing, and can report that it passed that test with no wardrobe malfunctions. The real trial will have to be on a tropical surf vacation, perhaps in Hawaii.
To beat the crowds, Don agreed to meet me for a 5:30 am dawn patrol and showed up on the dot. The swell had dropped considerably but still offered up waist- to shoulder-high waves. At that early hour on a Saturday, the crowd was much lighter, and we picked an empty peak at South Steyne for ourselves. It didn't have a catchable shoulder and we had to paddle constantly against a south drift to stay right on the peak where it was makeable. Oz showed me a little love on my last day; I got a couple decent though short rides, pulling off one turn and then two.
In front of the camera: above with Don by Scott, below by Don with his waterproof Panasonic Lumix.
Much to my dismay, when it came time to pack up my surfboard for the flight home, the fitted foam rail guards (pipe insulation) and giant bubble wrap bag were nowhere to be found. I must have left them behind at the hotel in Bondi. D'oh! All of our t-shirts and other soft clothes pulled from the dirty laundry will hopefully provide enough protection within the travel board bag.
I'd like to go back to Oz again sometime, but not until the exchange rate improves considerably. Since our visit last year, the Aussie dollar rose 40% against US currency. We had to pay nearly US$2 for a single banana! One thing for sure, I'm not eager to fly Qantas again. Not only did they temporarily lose our checked bags, the in-flight entertainment systems malfunctioned on both trans-Pacific flights, partially on the way there and nearly completely on the way back. Fortunately I've learned to bring my own entertainment as well as food and water as the airlines can't be relied upon anymore for even the basics. On the plus side, Qantas never charged me a surfboard fee, and mostly forgot to have me sign the damage waiver as well.
Update: Nemo made it home on time and in good health. The wax didn't even melt, so it's on with some cold water Matunas and back into the chilly NorCal surf for the both of us.