Tuesday, January 14, 2014
SHARKS: TUROSS HEAD, NSW
DREAMS about Braidwood. Loene Carmen (Freya Olsen) stood here, Danny Embling (Noah Taylor) walked here, Trevor Leishmann (Ben Mendelsohn) strutted there. Another bright day here on the coast, but not as bright as the Southern Tablelands.
A lovely drive south of here to Tuross Head. I came here when I was a kid about twelve. Mother’s sister lived close by back then in Moruya. I remember being alone, deep out in the ocean, for hours on end, mother watching me from the shore with some trepidation because I’d had a convulsion a year or two before.
Tuross Head has some shops and numerous houses, but somehow the atmosphere of the town remains congenial. The beach itself is an absolute knockout. Apparently one of the things Sylvia Plath hated the most about England was the crappy beaches. I don’t know how this compares to the US East Coast, but it seems pretty magical to me. The water is translucent and the sand white and soft. The vista at my favourite Victorian beach is nice- Jan Juc- but the vista at Tuross Head leaves it for dead. I love the green hill that you can stand on to get a complete look at the ocean and its people. There are beautiful little shallow inlets that little kids swim in. The rest of the ocean is fierce and suitable for brave kids, strong swimmers, and surfers. We wandered around for ages ankle deep, and found shells for A. A man came with a nasty looking dog, but appearances can be deceiving.
We were all set for a great day which suited every member of the family but things don’t always turn out exactly the way you wish them to. First of all, before we even went in the water, we looked up and noticed the whole ocean swimming population was hastily retreating onto the shore. Someone somewhere said they had seen a shark, and that meant closed for business. This lasted two hours, hence the ankle deep ‘swimming’ and shell collecting.
Secondly, S started crying because she had sharp pain on her cheek and thought it was bleeding. It was probably what is known in the vernacular as a ‘stinger’, and it created discomfort for a good half hour. The lifesavers tried to cheer her up by playing it down.
Then, after I instinctively protected S from a sharply rising wave, I felt acute pain in my right arm and shoulder. It is an old injury which was woken up and made worse. It meant I had to nurse it and get out of the water.
Then, lo and behold, A was in tears because the space under her neck was sore and inflamed because of sea lice. J also felt similar pain around her eyes. Tuross Head: a terrible beauty.