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Seven Continents

Splashdown in Cairns

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 25 September 2008 | Views [340]

Sven Michael Davison and GBR

Sven Michael Davison and GBR

Cairns Australia is a tropical seaside city that boasts the largest gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re an aqualung astronaut such as myself, skipping Cairns is not an option. A stroll along the concrete boardwalk on the north side of town is lovely at anytime. The low skyline, tall palm trees, and lulling waves sooth the soul into a meditative state.


One evening, before dining on kangaroo, emu and crocodile, I found myself drifting along the shore. I reflected on an underwater adventure I had just experience far out by the reef. As I dreamed of the wondrous alien world, I came upon a patch of brackish mud, a tributary that had ran out of adrenaline, just out of reach of its oceanic finish line. Two boys in the eight-ish category, dressed only in shorts, leapt off a low cinderblock wall into the odiferous muck. Covered in goopy clay, they picked themselves up with uproarious laughter, climbed back on the wall, and repeated the action several times over. I stood observing with a smile plastered to my face, thinking of a time in my life when every puddle had the attraction of Star Trek level space exploration.


Their gleeful actions drew the attention of a taller lad of ten. He marched up to the younger ones with arms crossed. He barked in his native accent, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”


“Getting filthy!” The jovial slime creatures screamed back.


The tall curmudgeon monitored the action, a carbon copy of a distant satellite parent. After two more splashdowns the elder boy’s frown melted. By the third re-entry into planet mud, the lad whipped off his t-shirt and dove in after them.


I moved further on, leaving the boys alone in shrieks of sheer pleasure. When I returned twenty minutes later, they were engaged in a three-way mud fight. The laughter never stopped. I resisted the urge to join them. However, if the field had been clear, I would have launched myself into that Australian mud bath and abandoned ground control in favor of my inner Major Tom. 

Tags: beaches, cairns, great barrier reef, mud



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