Out on the water

Monday, January 18, 2021 Permalink

It’s very weird that I’m so averse to the beach – by which I mean the ocean, sand and sun – because I love being out on the water.

I think there’s some kind of selective memory thing happening because I forget [that] until I’m out there. And some of my favourite memories over recent years feature boat trips.

For my fiftieth birthday I rented a local catamaran (thingy) for a group of ten friends for a champagne and sunset tour. It was absolutely delightful.

on the water

And in late 2018 I went on a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast when I went to Italy. We had a chance to swim while off the coast I was one of the people who voted we stop twice to do so. My friends back home were shocked given I rarely set foot in the calm waters off Hervey Bay, let alone leap off the side of a boat far from shore.

I must admit however I was promised by the captain that there were no sharks around. He said it was something to do with the lack of fish or something, but I believed him so wasn’t looking around for approaching fins.

out on the water

I used to swim in the ocean a lot. Growing up in nearby Maryborough meant we visited my grandfather and step-grandmother in Hervey Bay most weekends. And we always went swimming. My step-grandmother owned huts on nearby K’gari (Fraser Island) and we swam there all of the time. Having said that I recall neighbours calling out to us once they’d seen a shark and we bolted out of the water. I’m not sure I ever swam there again.

I actually have K’gari to blame for my dread of the ocean and shark phobia. Well, the island and Peter Benchley. I was still in primary school when I picked up Jaws. I assume I ran out of my own reading fodder and options were limited so it was probably that or my step-grandmother’s Victoria Holt or Mills & Boon. (Which I did read in later years there.)

It meant however I spent the entire barge-ride back to the mainland watching behind us for some massive shark to loom out of the ocean to take down the massive barge and the dozen or so vehicles on it.

My fear, or rather antipathy, towards the ocean is kinda sad really because I really do love being out ‘on’ the ocean. Generally on a vessel speeding along the waves.

I was reminded of this on the weekend. I had my godson over for a day or two and decided to treat us on a boat trip. We travelled along nearby K’gari and saw a very large turtle, a herd of dugong but the very best bit (the nine-year old’s perspective and probably mine as well) was that the boat had a boom net. Once out to sea, the boat’s crew lowered the net into the ocean and groups of us took it in turns to get in while the captain travelled at a lower speed, but still fast enough to have us cling to the sides for balance.

out on the water

I’m not sure I would swim off the edge of a boat here without the net. I realise a net wouldn’t stop a shark but we were in fairly shallow water and I’m assuming someone was keeping an eye out for dark creatures beneath the sea.

The day reminded me how much I love being out on the water. Now I just need to find someone with a boat to take me zipping across the waves. But only for short stints because I still dislike the sun.

Are you a fan of the ocean? Being in it or on it? Or just watching from afar.Ā 

22 Comments
  • Min Write of the Middle
    January 18, 2021

    Great photo’s Deb and I love the one of you! I love being on the water too but I hate going on those boats that speed along slapping the water violently and I fear that my spine might snap! Gently gliding across the water is more my style. I’ve always wanted to do the net off the boat thing but haven’t as yet. I hope you get many more adventures ‘on’ the water. You’re in a good spot for it! x

    • Debbish
      January 18, 2021

      I’m the opposite Min. I used to get a bit seasick on large barges that vibrate, but LOVE smaller speedboats – as long as I’m not sitting on a really hard seat…. standing is good.

  • Jennifer Jones
    January 18, 2021

    I enjoyed reading your water post. I love being near the water as it makes me feel calm. I would never swim in the sea as Iā€™m terrified of sharks. That boom net looks fun. I think Iā€™d still be looking out for sharks

    • Debbish
      January 18, 2021

      I’m the same re sharks. Like VERY phobic and can’t even look at them (or snakes). If anyone made the ‘da-da-da’ noise from Jaws in the pool (when I was a kid) I freaked out.

  • Natalie
    January 18, 2021

    I’m a fan of being in the ocean, Deb. Partly because I live far from an ocean so it’s a treat to get to a real one. I live close to one of the Great Lakes and it does look like an ocean i.e All water as far as the eyes can see. I like that it’s freshwater so you don’t get the sticky feeling of saltwater after a swim and no sharks šŸ™‚ I hope you get to go on more fun excursions on the water. #lifethisweek

    • Debbish
      January 18, 2021

      I think I’d like to live near a lake (I only ever see houses on lakes in movies) but think I’d be a bit nervous about swimming in them if you don’t know what’s down there. Mind you it might just be a familiarity thing and the fact that potentially we have crocodiles in rivers or lakes here.

  • Sue from Women Living Well After 50
    January 18, 2021

    Hi Deb I saw your photos on FB and you and your godson looked like you had such a fun day. I’m so pleased you have rediscovered your love of boating and being out on the water. It is a great way to escape from everyday life for a while. I love the ocean but I don’t actually go into it! I walk or run along the beach or sit on my balcony and watch the soothing waves. I have though put it on my list of things to do in 2021 so watch this space. Have a great week.#lifethisweek

    • Debbish
      January 18, 2021

      I’m the same as you Sue. I love having the view of the ocean but my ideal would be living on a cliff overlooking the ocean, cos I don’t even walk on the beach.

      I spent a lot of time when young on a pier (the one featuring in Jo Tracey’s post today) and it, or a seat in front of my poppie’s hut on Fraser Island were always the two places I used to ‘imagine’ when I had to do a meditation that required me to visualise myself somewhere. As you said, the calm quiet waves were bliss. The pier used to be far more deserted and I used to be able to sit out there (off the edge) uninterrupted for ages. It was particularly useful during my more angsty teenage years or when I went to Uni and came home on holidays.

  • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
    January 18, 2021

    I love being in, on and around water! šŸ˜€ It’s such a calming feeling even being around it but I find it so refreshing to be in it. I don’t go out too deep in the ocean though – can’t see without glasses – so the shark issue has not been huge. In fact, I think I’d be more anxious to go in the water if it was deeper in the ocean. My last holiday to Croatia had a couple of highlights – all involved water. A sunset kayak in the ocean, swimming in the Green caves and a ‘beach’ day {I still prefer our beaches!}

    • Debbish
      January 18, 2021

      I know Sanch we’re really lucky with our beaches. Obviously many in Europe are shelly or rocky etc. When I lived in Africa people raved about the beaches in Mozambique or parts of South Africa but I couldn’t really see what the big deal was, which made me realise ours are very special. I like that there are places that have the seawater partitioned off or something, so you can still swim in it but not at risk of jellyfish or stingers or (gulp) sharks.

  • leannelc
    January 18, 2021

    How lovely Deb – and I’m glad you’ve had these wonderful boat trips to tuck away in your memories. I’m not much of a beach fan these days – sun, salt, sand and wind (and sharks) just don’t do it for me anymore. Give me a pool and a bit of dappled shade to lie in afterwards and I’m more than happy.

    • Debbish
      January 18, 2021

      I’d love a pool though I know the upkeep is horrendous and I wouldn’t use it as much as expected. A plunge pool off my deck would be perfect. I think – if I was working and still earning a decent wage – I might think about investing in one. Mainly because I think it’d add value to my place when I’m ready to sell and that infinity pool look is kinda nice. But I’m with you on the sand and the sun. My dad had lots of skin cancers at the end so I try to stay out of it but I’ve gotten burnt twice lately. This past weekend wasn’t too bad as I had my sunshirt and smothered myself in cream but… missed my knees (I had long shorts on when I put the cream on) and my ears!

  • Debbie
    January 18, 2021

    This was a great read Deb. I tend to get motion sick but always enjoy getting out on the water regardless. I had a ball boom netting off the back of a boat in Jervis Bay on NSW South Coast. My dad was determined to do it and although he was shaky with his Parkinson’s, he absolutely loved it! It’s one of the best memories I have of him as he passed away 3 years ago this week. Love the photos and it’s an area I really must up to one day! #lifethisweek

    • Debbish
      January 19, 2021

      So glad your dad got to experience boom netting Debbie. I must admit I struggled a little to climb out of the net – I blame my weight and dodgy knees (and I’d had a fall the night before) but it was so much fun.

  • Laurie
    January 19, 2021

    I love being IN the ocean, ON the ocean and NEAR the ocean. Loved seeing your beach photos. It is cold and gray here where I live. Your 50th birthday celebration sounds perfect! So does the Amalfi coast adventure. And I would definitely love to try swimming off a boat on a boom net.

    • Debbish
      January 19, 2021

      My birthday was lovely but the Amalfi coast trip was very special. My only issue was that I hadn’t prepped properly for the sun and there was no shelter / shade on the speedboat. Having said that – though I got burnt – it wasn’t as severe as it would have been here.

  • Vanessa
    January 19, 2021

    I need to be near it often, but rarely go in it these days. Energy and whatnot. I want to learn to stand up paddleboard though, it’s the perfect place to do it here. When my body works, that is!

    • Debbish
      January 19, 2021

      Yes, SUP is big here as well as our water is so serene (protected by K’gari etc). I tried it once ages ago but felt too heavy to get up off my knees onto my feet!

  • Jo
    January 20, 2021

    I’d never swim on Fraser Island – particularly not the eastern side of the island. As you know I went snorkelling off Big Woody last week and was pretty keen not to go out too far.

    • Debbish
      January 20, 2021

      We did when I was little but there was often horrible tiny bits of weed everywhere. I know my rellies often saw sharks closer to Indian Head.

  • Denyse Whelan Blogs
    January 20, 2021

    I loved seeing your photos from this day on social media. What a great day and Idea for Pickle! I love that you loved doing this too.
    I am a fan of the ocean and pools. However, in my own way I am fussy. We have always had a pool in our backyard from 1980s till 2015. I won’t go in a communal pool or spa. Nope. Other people’s …?! And even though I can surf, grew up by the beach, age and lack of stability in my limbs now prevents me from going in too far because of the current.
    I am at peace but also stimulated by walking on or by the sea. This is why I will say to my husband, ‘gotta go ground myself at the beach’ and I do!

    Thank you for sharing your post in Life This Week, the Monday link up on my blog. Each Monday, there is an optional prompt but you can link up a post (just one) old or new, on or off prompt. Next week’s is 4/51 Cannot. 25 Jan.Hope to see you back here then. Denyse.

    • Debbish
      January 22, 2021

      It was a great day. I’m not a huge fan of public pools and don’t really know anyone here with a pool so don’t go swimming much / often any more.

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