“Did you see that?”
During the last week of our summer holidays, Amanda and I flew up to the Gold Coast for a four day holiday. I had never been to Queensland before so I was excited to see another part of Australia; I feel like I haven’t seen enough of this country, to be honest. Anyway, we were staying in Surfer’s Paradise and I was expecting the worst: drunk bogans, obnoxious tourists, and loud teenagers. While I am sure all of the above were present, I must say my low expectations paid off as Surfer’s was a far more pleasurable experience than I was expecting.
Our hotel was near the beach so we spent part of every day in the ocean. Surprisingly, the beach was never very busy, no matter what time of day it was. Not bad considering it was still the school holidays. We’re not sure if it was the recession or the fact that school was going back the following week but we certainly weren’t complaining. Compared to Sydney beaches it was a dream.
On our first afternoon on the beach I was body surfing (fairly well, I might add) in the warm Pacific water. Amanda was sitting up on the beach watching. At one point I came out of a wave and looked to my right and saw, much to my terror, a grey shape about two metres long in a breaking wave about 15 metres away.
There was a fin protruding from the wave.
After writing about shark attacks here for the past few years, my bloody, ironic death flashed before my eyes. My immediate reaction was to get the hell out of the water. Conveniently, I was in water that was too shallow to swim in but too deep to run in. Perfect. So I did one of those awkward water runs that make my lower extremities look like they belong to a giant marionette being manipulated by a novice puppeteer. Oddly, I didn’t yell “shark!” or anything. I just moved. Everyone else off to my left…well if they couldn’t see it themselves that was their problem.
Once I made it into water in which I was confident a shark could not to get me in (about 15 centimetres), I turned around to see no sign of my tormentor. And everyone else still swimming. One other guy saw the same thing I did, or so I assumed, as he was standing in the shallows with his boogie board staring out at the waves (he had previously just been out there with me). I walked up to him and asked if he saw “that.” He replied, “The fin? Yeah I did. It was probably just a dolphin though. They were all over the place down at Burleigh Heads this morning.”
A dolphin. While many spend hundreds of dollars to swim with dolphins in captivity, I just swam/ran from the chance to play around with one in the ocean. Brilliant!
I then made my way up to Amanda and explained what happened. Meanwhile, my boogie boarding friend went up to the lifesavers just to make sure it was a dolphin. It was about this time Amanda and I saw a fin out beyond the breakers, jumping out of the water in a playful, non-menacing manner. Stupid dolphin.
* The shark was actually almost certainly a dolphin
Over the course of the four days we spent most of our time relaxing…which is exactly what we wanted to do. If we weren’t at the beach we were likely by our hotel pool (complete with swim up bar!), reading on our hotel balcony overlooking the Pacific, or eating. We also visited Sea World (Wost. Log Ride. Ever.) and did a little shopping.
We checked into our hotel the day after the Big Day Out so our hotel was full of musicians; we saw Lupe Fiasco, The Dropkick Murphys and TV on the Radio wandering around all week. Kinda random/cool. All in all, a great little getaway before heading back to work this week. Some photos from the trip below, starting with the view from our hotel room.