I believe we last left Moruya when Fi, Dan, Andy and I were celebrating our choir’s first performance by indulging in glorious ice cream (no matter what was said in the comments, I still maintain that rainbow paddlepops beat chocolate paddlepops forever).
As we meandered back to our hotel, we decided that it was imperative to go to the beach that afternoon. However, Fi and Andy decided to swim in the pool first, and they totally, like, totally peer-pressured me into swimming too.
At least there weren’t any Blue Bottles at the pool.
This may not sound like a big deal, but a) I haven’t gone swimming in at least five years, and b) I don’t own swimmers. The first issue was solved by me getting over myself, and the second by me wearing my pyjamas. Which weren’t actually pyjamas but shorts and a singlet top, because I had forgotten to bring real pyjamas. The whole clothes -> pyjamas -> swimmers was a brilliant plan right up until midnight that night when I realised I had no pyjamas, but that’s not the point of this story.
The point is that I survived my first swim in years and years, even if by “swim” I mean “bobbing around in the water trying to avoid the dead spiders”.
Eventually, though, Dan, Fi, and I jumped in the car to go to Moruya Heads (Andy, sadly, has thesising to do). As we stepped out onto the sand and breathed in the salt-tinged air, I made an offhand comment about SeaChange and Barwon Heads.
And then we were off.
Turns out that Fi, Dan, and I are all devoted-die-hard-heart-soaring SeaChange soulmates, and have each rarely come across anyone else who’ll happily spend hours discussing favourite episodes, scenes, moments, quotes, and more. Oh, it would have been a beautiful, happy, wonderful afternoon for that reason alone, but all of sudden Fi cried out in delight:
Sure enough, multiple fins could be seen cresting the waves before us in smooth arcs, incredibly close to the shore. Oh, it would have been a beautiful, happy, wonderful afternoon for that reason alone, but all of a sudden Dan shouted in delight:
“Can you see that? Out in the distance?”
We were speechless, then very much not-speechless as we pointed and laughed and squealed (okay, okay, I was probably the only one who squealed). I held up my camera and clicked away, hoping to catch at least a glimpse for you of what we were seeing.
After walking for close to an hour we turned back, and several minutes later saw what, judging by the colour and shape, was another whale breaching. Our third whale. Ten minutes later, another appeared with its tail flipping to greet us, although it’s likely this was one of the first three.
But, truly, exactly how many whales we saw that day doesn’t matter. All that matters is that on a beautiful sunny afternoon, a group of three friends went for a walk along the beach expecting nothing but the gentle crash of waves, the enveloping scent of the sea, laughter, and an escape from real/city life. Instead, we were given the gift of leaping dolphins and whales, which lifted our spirits immeasurably and surely gave us an extra oomph for our performance later that night.
P.S. Stay tuned for Part Four, starring the Strange Weather Gospel Choir (again), my solo, and maybe even the Saga of the Smoke Alarm. It’ll be a ripper, folks.