Friday, 22 July 2016

the reef


What I need, more than anything else, to help me get through the long southern winters, is a good dose of sunshine and salt water. We may have to drive for three days to find it, but boy, is it worth it.

We pitched our tent alongside some old friends on a scrubby bit of ground one dune away from a deserted sandy beach where I ducked into the warm water for a skinny-dip each morning. Our kids mucked about in the dunes, digging for treasure, building forts and carving daggers out of old jarrah boards rotting in the sand. They frolicked in the rolling waves, gentler on the shore than out on the reef, where they boomed day and night. Whales breached beyond the reef, leaping high above the white horses. We watched them swimming past while we nursed a cup of tea in our hands most mornings, spotting turtles from the shore.

Paddling out to the reef, where we tethered our kayaks before slipping beneath the surface, we marvelled at the coral and its residents before surprising a sleeping shark dozing beneath a giant bombie. Ducking down to get a better look, I discovered its length stretched further and further around the coral outcrop, until I spotted its tail curving up from its farthest edge, at which point we thought it prudent to swim back to the kayaks. On to the next dive site, where a giant groper disappeared into an underwater cave before I could point it out to my friend. That morning on the reef, along with the shallow water snorkelling I guided Darcy through from beneath a sheltering arm, introducing him for the first time to the world beneath the waves, will remain with me forever.

A week of shining days of sun, saltwater, and swimming with the fish. We carried it home with us, smiles splitting open faces dusted with sunshine.








5 comments:

  1. We are in the middle of our snowy winters and just yesterday flooding in all the resorts that washed all the snow away and flooded the resorts water and sewage systems. Your tale of a beach adventure swept me away as if I was there. Although I am not one to kayak out and spy a shark sleeping under the water. Like always your tales are so captivating.

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    1. Thanks Zena! I'd love a taste of your snowy winter, without the flooding. I was always scared of bumping into a shark, but was surprised to find myself nothing but curious.

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  2. You sweep me away with your words Alison. I would love to do something like this...

    Ps. Do I spy two tiny baby girl plaits? Too cute.

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    1. She let me keep her hair in plaits the whole time we were away, trying to beat the salt water tangles. I gave her her first haircut ever yesterday (apart from the one time when Quinn cut a fringe for her as he needed some hair for the rocket he was making).

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    2. hehe ahh, that's hilarious :-)
      Brothers eh.
      I cut my girls hair last week, first proper one. No more long plaits I can curl up like a Swiss girl, she wanted it off so I didn't have to brush it, (otherwise known as torture) 20cm gone...

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