Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gangs in Australia

On our first weekend here, Brian and I took a trip to our first beach. It’s called Terrigal. It was a little cloudy and a bit cold, but the beach was lovely. It’s quite a long beach with sand like golden brown sugar (the best kind to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with, by the way). The beaches here don’t seem to collect as much debris as Vancouver beaches. There’s no driftwood & very little kelp that washes ashore, so they’re really almost pristine. We had a walk down the beach to where it ended at some rocks. We climbed over them (I only fell once on the slippery rocks … just like our first date where I fell on the rocks at English Bay in Vancouver & Brian doubling over with laughter, ah, yes, just like that … ). We came to another smaller beach called the Haven. It was where fishing & scuba diving boats came in. It was a nice sheltered area. This is where we saw the gang …

Right next to the spot where small boats were pulling ashore there were big pillars in the water with the largest pelicans I have ever seen perched on top. As we got closer the pelicans flew off the perches & landed on the beach. Moments later a small boat puttered onto the beach & disgorged a few enthusiastic sport fishermen. It turns out that is exactly what the pelicans were waiting for … We saw them slowly strutting along the beach, exuding cool confidence. I absolutely love this picture, especially the guy closest to the camera. The placement of his right foot adding an elegance to his bad-ass walk. (For some reason it reminded me of West Side Story, where you have the Sharks & the Jets … the oh-so tough gangs skipping around & using jazz-hands. ) You see their disdain for the fish carcass on the beach. They’re too cool for that … they only stop for fresh meat!

Apparently there is a filleting station on the shore & the birds perch up high & look for fishing boats to come in. They then alight on the beach & stalk over to the drain & wait for the fish blood & guts to come pouring out … yum!

It might seem silly but we got out of their way as they came along. I don’t know if you can tell the scale, but they went up to my waist in height. I’ll tell you that’s one gang I won’t be messing with!

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