As the boaties went out

Sunrise on Currumbin Beach
To watch the sun rise over the ocean and sit in silence as the sky turns from black, to grey, to orange and pink, shivering as the last mist evaporates with the sun’s first rays over the horizon…

That’s what I wanted this morning. No, that’s what I needed this morning. I drove to the beach and sat in the dark to wait. But even at that time of the morning I wasn’t alone.

The street sweeper raced through the car park before the crowd could arrive, the car park his own private race track. So many years since I’ve seen that sight and I felt comforted at this lack of progress and change. Boaties waited to the side watching for the tide to change. Surfers waxed their boards, preparing for those early waves. In total darkness. Now that’s dedication. A jogger pounded the quiet footpaths and there were a few just like me, waiting for the sun’s greeting as she danced across the waves towards us.

An hour we waited in silence, when the boaties saw the signs that they were looking for and raced for the boat ramp. Even so there’d be a queue. There always is before dawn.

It was still dark and I heard it before it came into view… the first boatie heading for open water. A single green light seemingly flying above the water, the sound of a full throttle. That one wasn’t going to miss a minute of sunlight out there!

More surfers arrived and the car park took on almost a party atmosphere, surf buddies calling out to mates not seen in a while. Holidays long over and the tide close to changing again.

Currumbin Alley - low tideI waited for the next boatie and in the grey light of dawn I wasn’t disappointed as a line of four came down the creek. Silence fell over the car park as all watched the procession begin. Over the next hour we watched at least a dozen boats make their way to open water through the bar. The last few dodging surfers on the very waves they needed to pass.

It was the personalities that captured me as the boaties headed to sea. The personalities of those driving the boats. Hmm, do people drive boats?

Anyway, there were The Cautious and Careful, who sat and watched where they were going to cross the waves breaking on the sand bar. They’d circle and wait and watch others go and finally choose their own path… off they’d go.

There were those that free-wheeled it… The Fearless Bastards! Full speed ahead and no slowing down. They’d twist and turn and race along the waves and… damn that’d be some ride! That first green light of the morning had belonged to a Fearless Bastard!

There were The Kings, who decided up front… going that way! And that’s exactly what they did… picked a line and come hell or damn big wave, they weren’t going to change their mind. You know the type, they say… this is how it will be!

The last type, at first I thought were Cautious and Careful, but they’d sit and ponder and wait and watch and wait and wait… then just go for it, sometimes following in the wake of The Fearless Bastards or The Kings. Yeah, ouch. That didn’t always work so well. There was more than one close call. They really didn’t have the attitude for those paths. We’ll call them The Wrong Turns.

Four distinct personality types found within a dozen boats. Not bad I guess for one hour.

The sand barWhile waiting for stragglers, I wondered who I’d head out to deep water with… you’d think Cautious and Careful the safest bet, but those Fearless Bastards! Can’t help thinking what kind of ride that would be! Fun! But honestly, The Fearless Bastards! scare the hell out of me. Watching them racing alongside waves waiting to cross between. Whew, I had to remind myself to breath more than once. Hmm, let’s just admit there’s something solid and dependable about The Kings. They believe everything will work out just fine…  and their belief is kind of contagious, makes me think it will work out fine too.

Just don’t put me in charge of a boat, as I’d be a Wrong Turn. Yep, I’m always so damn worried that something is going to go wrong that I wait and watch and wait and wait… and I act suddenly when I feel I’ve run out of time or have no choice. Real back against the wall kind of stuff. That’s me alright. I think I’d like to be somewhere between Cautious and Careful and Fearless Bastards! Able to choose my own path at my own pace, then sometimes go hell for leather, with that perfect seat of the pants knowledge of what I’m doing. Just for a change and a bit of that fun ride.

Did I even notice that first golden burst across the water as the sun’s reflection danced to greet us? No, the boaties had me with that first green light introducing me to The Fearless Bastards! I didn’t even notice the sun rise. And that’s fine with me.


Sunrise on Currumbin Beach credit:  Some rights reserved by Tezza #
Currumbin Alley image credit:   Some rights reserved by Tezza #
Satellite image credit: ©2011 Google – Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, Cnes/Spot Image, GeoEye


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