Published: December 9th 2011April 21st 2011
I woke up with the sun this morning and turned over to see Lee was still with me in my tent. Carmen told Lee that if he wasn't going to shower after getting smoked out by the fire then he had to sleep with me rather than in their tent. When I woke up after falling asleep by the fire I had discovered he was doing exactly as he had been told, giving me a little bit of space to sleep on the bumpy sand rather than the blow up mattress. I wandered over to Des and Keith's tent and grabbed a coffee. Before long Lee had joined us and everyone started poking fun at the fact that we'd shared a tent. I could only assume that the Aussies had a thing when it came to homophobia, when it seemed perfectly natural to me that two mates would share a tent when they needed to. After brushing off the various jibes Keith, Kemton, Lee and I headed off to the other side of the point to check out the surf.
I drove Lee and Carmen's jeep and followed Kemton along the beach. It was bizarre, riding the tide line between where the sand was dry and tide lapped up the beach. Lee was a brilliant co-pilot, telling me when to switch into four wheel drive and when to really give it some on the softer sand so as not to stop or get stuck. We made it through to the other side of the point and Lee and I stopped briefly to see what was going on before heading back. We were more interested in hunting the Pipi's along the tide line back on the other beach. Although we drove very slowly, and Lee told me to look for the tell tale bumps in the sand, we only came up with two before giving up and heading back to camp.
After an hour or so Kemton and Keith returned to camp having surfed the morning away on the other side of the point. As Keith bragged to Des about having got back on to a surf board after a number of years, and still got the knack, the three of us younger lads hoped back in the jeep to test my driving skills again. Due to the fact that we were entirely self sufficient on this trip we needed to make daily runs to Freshwater which, as the name suggests, was the place to refill our water canisters. It was a relatively easy drive once I'd got the hang of it, but I could tell Lee was jealous that he couldn't drive on his first trip to the beach. There were six taps each fed from bore holes in the ground. Kemton explained that the water wasn't safe to drink from the tap unless it had been boiled, but was perfectly ok to shower in. It didn't take long and we were soon back at camp sorting out the wood ready for tonights fire.
At about 10am I opened my first beer of the day, and sat back to relax in the sun. It wasn't too long though before I had to go and pay a visit to our make shift dunny. I was a little anxious that my large frame may be a bit much for the delicate looking plastic seat, but after doing my safety checks for spiders and any other unwanted companions I was fine.
Everyone was going to head off to Rainbow beach for the day but Lee and I were keen to get fishing rods in the water. Des told us that the truck that zipped up and down the beach selling ice also sold bait, so we set about getting our rigs and reels set up ready for the off. Whilst we waited, the beer continued to flow and there wasn't any let up for a good hour. Eventually our patience was rewarded with the arrival of the 'Ice man' and we collected our stuff together and headed down to the sea. It probably wasn't the best idea to keep drinking whilst we waited, as it probably left us feeling like the worlds best fisherman, but nonetheless we tried for the next couple of hours to catch whatever we could.
As lunchtime approached we started to feel hungry and gave up to feed our beer induced munchies. As we headed back up the beach to camp Des called out and asked if we had caught anything. Shaking our heads and both commenting on the fact that the fish were probably on a break, we were offered the left over pasta from last night. Lee divided the leftovers into two and we set about munching our way through the huge plate of pasta.
Once our lunch had settled we went back into the ocean to give it another go, casting our bait time after time into the rough ocean and still we caught nothing. Eventually as the sun began to set over the top of the hill behind our camp we gave up an dragged out bait and rods back up the beach just as everyone returned from Rainbow. The usual pome jokes were made about not being able to fish and we let it run off our back telling them that it wasn't about how many fish we caught but more about the experience itself.
I decided to shower tonight, as the prospect of smelling like fish for the rest of the evening didn't appeal to me. The small tent that if sent up last night now had a rubber mat I'm the bottom of it and had an electric shower pump hanging from the ceiling. The shower was fed from a little pump that sat in the bottom of a large rubber trough quarter filled with warm water. I considered it a real luxury to be able to shower and felt amazing after rinsing off the sand and salt from our unproductive fishing trip. Lee was wiped out and fell asleep in his chair almost as soon as we had finished dinner. I didn't feel much like drinking after last night and so put away three or four cups of Earl Grey tea to help me sleep as I sat with everyone watching the flames dance in the fire under the blanket of stars in the sky.