In my last post I mentioned that my copy of "The Sea Around Us" was falling apart. The view above of the Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland, Victoria is the reason. My sister and I used to take the train to my cousins and we would all go to this beach.
We would spend all day walking along the beach, to the beach, home from the beach. We hardly ever saw anyone. On one side of the sand dunes, it would be so scorching hot, we'd be jumping from grass hummock to hummock. On the sea side, the wind would be blowing a gale. It's the only place in the world where you can get 3rd degree sunburn and frostbite at the same time.
We never swam here. You could see the rips from the top of the dunes so we would spend the morning digging the biggest hole in the wet sand then dig a channel for the sea to flood into our private pool. We almost drowned our youngest cousin by putting him in a hole and watching the tide come in. A couple of Nuns out for an evening stroll made us take him out. I make no apologies, the kid was one of the worst whingers ever born and it was a consensus decision by all concerned. Thanks to the do-gooders we spent the next week dragging his stroller up and down sand dunes.
It was the perfect place to sit and watch the waves roll in. I used to try and pick which were local and which had rolled in from New Zealand. We used to listen to the weather report every night and pray for storms. Cornish wreakers had nothing on us when we heard the wind come up and the surf get louder. The pickings weren't much but our imaginations were. An old boot had us looking for the body. Dead sea creatures were subjected to rudimentary necropsies. The biggest storm we ever experienced left the shoreline littered with all sorts of gemstones which I learned later had probably been dredged up from the off-shore oil and gas explorations.
Only kids would know why we would take an hour to drag home a piece of driftwood to sit on when the holiday shack had plenty of chairs. Sometimes my aunt would turn up with lunch but mostly she stayed away and left us alone. I suppose she thought we'd all stay together and be safe but we would get bored and wander off to do something that interested one and not the others. That was one problem with the beach, you could walk for miles forgetting that the wind was at your back until you turned for home.
I haven't been back, too much development and too many people now. I'd never get away with singing off-key into the wind.