It is the crack of another dawn at Abalon (now, Shark Bay). A couple of taxis meander past on their way to the city. Their bleary eyed drivers squint as the rising sun pierces through their night-vision eyesight. Tis another day in paradise.

This day begins in the land of salt. Today we follow the old salts that have lived on this land all their lives. They are the true locals, the men (mostly) who have seen the rise and fall of many waves and the transformation of their beloved little town with the onslaught of trendy city slickers.

Many of the old salts are ex-Pro Surfers. This, afterall, is the best place to surf. Their skin is wrinkled and brown. Their eyes burn bright through pterygiums and blood shot whites. Their laughter echoes across the darkened beach as they stomp down the sand dunes to their favourite break. They don’t need sunlight to find it. They know it by heart. The ocean is where their souls fly free.

These men are getting on in years. They stay away from the new breed whose only ambition is to climb the ever lengthening social ladder. They don’t care. It’s not about who knows who for them. It’s about how close you can live to the surf and how many mornings and afternoons you can spend in the salt.

Matt Black is King Salt. He has spent his whole life surfing the world and has come home to nest… finally. His family is almost grown. Matt is known throughout Shark Bay. He runs his own surf shop (of course) and spends hours talking to local surfers about everything to do with the sport. It is his only obsession. The current pros come in and buy their boards from Matt cos they trust him. He’s the only one that really gets them, cos he’s been them.

Things have not always been easy for Matt. Two divorces down, how many to go? It kinda eats away at a man’s soul after a while. Why do they always leave? His only constant is the sea. She is his lifelong companion, one that never lets him down. Perhaps that’s why he couldn’t make a marriage work, he was already married.

So Matt puts on his social mask and keeps up the appearance of one in control, when really, if he didn’t have the surf, he’d be a weeping mess. Afterall, the kids just come two weekends a month and demand new boards and endless amounts of cash. They don’t know the real Matt. They’re too busy walking the streets at night yelling drunk. Makes Matt seethe. It wouldn’t happen in his house.

So this is Matt. These are the ‘Salts’ and this is another chapter of Soapies Choice. We’re laying foundations here, meeting the characters and soon it will come altogether in dramatic twist after dramatic twist.

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