Saturday, January 22, 2011

I should pay more attention...

Back in our pre-children days, when Nev and I spent many months travelling our beautiful country and working in some pretty odd jobs, we spent a lot of time in and around beaches (I actually think we spent more time at the beach than working - sigh! That was the life!)

All of this time at the beach, somehow or other ended up with us learning to love body boarding.

Neither of us were very good at it and certainly didn't have the whole "surfie" image or the professional accessories needed to be taken seriously.

What we did have were a couple of cast off foam boards we picked up somewhere and an addiction to the sensation of all that powerful water picking us up and chucking us towards the beach.

When we stopped roving the countryside, settled down to work and have children, we forgot all about our addiction (if only my addiction to chocolate was as easy to forget!!).

Our home beach at Hervey Bay wasn't very conducive to surfing.  The coastline in that area is largely protected from the savage ocean by Fraser Island, which  keeps the waves to a gentle lapping against the shore - which of course is great for small children, but surfing - not so much.

Down here in SA is another story completely. The coastline is rugged and the surf spectacular!

The minister at our church is a keen surfer and through many talks with Nev, has awakened this once forgotten passion, ensuing in the purchase of bodyboards all round.

(They still aren't the groovy ones, and we still don't look very cool, but man we are having so much fun!!!

The children, especially Harri, have embraced it wholeheartedly, often staying longer in the water than either Nev or I (actually, it's the getting in part that is difficult - cold SA water!! - Nev is thinking along the lines of purchasing wetsuits (horrors) - I'd look like two pigs fighting under a neoprene blanket!) 

The other day, as we descended upon the beach, squealing with excitement over the perfect waves and interrupting all the peaceful sunbakers (who sunbakes these days????) I was feeling pretty good about it all - this new found family fun, (a family who boards together, stays together kind of moment).

I had my board clutched under my arm, high stepping over the waves (trying not to get wet!!), checking Harri hadn't gone too far out and that Ellie was close by my side, mentally writing a blog post about waves, surfing, lost and found joys etc. when the inevitable happened.

I was wiped out by a big wave.

Knocked down, turned around, shaken all over, smacked in the back of the head by my own bodyboard, nose diving into the sand, breath knocked out of my chest, coming to the surface coughing and spluttering.

Decidedly uncool.

As I regained my feet and some of my breath (none of my dignity) I remembered the extremely wise advice handed down by the great surfer Z in the movie Surf's Up:

"Don't take your eyes off the wave dude!"


Mary Witzl said...

That sounds like so much fun -- but only if it's without a wet suit! I've only body surfed a few times and always at tame beaches, but I've had my face ground into the sand every time.

As for who sunbathes, the British still do this. In Cyprus, we couldn't get over all the dangerously burnt people we saw, 95% of them British or Irish -- of all the people who shouldn't! Sun sense still isn't widely accepted here.

jenb said...

Cold yes, fun yes, smooshed yes, but you only live once and you have to enjoy the journey or there really is no point, hey? I might even join you when i finally make it down that way.

Theresa said...

Only you Helen, only you:P

Kay said...


Queen of the Natives said...

lmao Helen! Funny girlie :D (you write so well babe)

Library girl said...

LOL yeah I've worn a bodyboard on my face a few times thanks to huge waves and lack of attention :) But oh, it is so much fun! Even though I'm loving being back in the desert, I yearn for the beach regularly. Jealous!