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thewheelsonthebusgo 'Seize the pleasure at once' - Jane Austen.

Shark Bait

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 17 June 2008 | Views [671] | Comments [1]

The red sand hills, salt bush and the wedge tailed eagle are behind us for a bit now.  We’ve hit the white sands with the pigface and the ubiquitous seagull.  We’ve both missed the ocean as we got into the surf a fair bit before our trip.  Our last surf was at Bargara (near Bundaburg Qld) where we got smashed in fairly big surf (Berni copped a nasty edge of the board in a sensitive spot) and we were told by locals when we asked how often it broke there – ‘never’.  

We saw our first ocean again 3 months and 2 days after leaving.  Nic J even put a dolphin on for us at Port Augusta, SA at the top of the Spencer Gulf.  When we got to Streaky Bay, we saw the life size replica of the biggest White Pointer Shark caught on rod and reel just nearby and decided it was too cold for a swim. 

At the Head of the Bight we saw the awesome power of the Southern Ocean slowly chewing away at the rocks.  We saw 4 Southern Right whales playing in the swell.  Not far west of that at a cliff side stop we saw a pod of 25-30 dolphins jumping and surfing far below.  If you’ve been lucky enough to stand at the edge of the cliffs with the water far below you, you will know how beautiful it is and also how you are drawn but freaked out by the edge – no rail, no safety net, no chance.  With these swirling winds trying to blow you over.  We camped 30metres from the edge.  Not a place for sleep walkers (take note Dave W). 

But one day you should all go.  Yes you!  You reading this.  You will obey my instructions.  Get in your car and drive.  Go now!  No  wait – finish reading this blog and check out the flickr site.

So as I was saying, we missed the surf, remember that bit?  So when we got to Esperance I’d had enough and needed a fix.  So we drove around these beautiful headlands looking for a spot that looked ok.  It was blowing a gale literally.  But out I went.  Berni stayed on the beach with the camera.  Freezing bloody cold.  Got out, slightly freaked out by the size of these big dumping waves.  Caught a couple of smaller ones – just on a lid/body board/shark biscuit as we left the surfboard in Howard.  Berni stirred me for being a cappuccino boy for riding the white wash.  But you gotta ease yourself into these things.  I washed my tan off.  Maybe it was red dirt after all.  

And then we got to Albany, went to the Information Centre (Hi Rebecca!) and got the good oil on where the guy got chewed by the Great White Shark about a month before.  It was Middleton Beach and there were 3 of them hanging around for a while.  So that afternoon I went for a dusk swim at Middleton Beach.  For some reason Berni decided not to come in and stayed on shark-watch.  I only went in waist deep and caught shore breaks.  That night a storm front came in and in the morning the swell had come up but was just dumping so we are yet to have a proper surf.  We have a plan to do more (some) stretching and get a bit fitter before hitting the west coast breaks.  Some of the names are pretty cool/scary such as Gallows, Guillotine, Bone Yard and Suicide.  Maybe you’ll hear from us again...



Hi Dave and Berni!
I'm so glad you saw whales at the Great Australian Bight, that was one of the highlights of my trip over here too. Driving through all that desert and then suddenly seeing the sea, and then having the good luck to get there just when the whales are passing by, I'll never forget it.

I still think you're insane for swimming in those freezing waters at all, let alone at Middleton Beach, but at least you're a lucky lunatic!

Hope you're having fun at Margaret River and looking forward to seeing you two and the famous yellow bus soon.

p.s. craig says this isn't a post office

  Eileen Jun 19, 2008 7:11 PM

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