I go for a walk down to Newcastle Beach. All of 150m lays between our balcony and „our beach“ as we chose to call it. I think ‚Jeez, there are a lot of people here today‘ while I hop down the 30 steps to the walkway along the beach. I go for my usual route along Newcastle Beach, passing the Ocean Bath and Fort Scratchley to get to my favourite place „Nobby’s Beach“ further to the break wall past the lighthouse.
The sky is blue, the sun is out and no clouds to be seen anywhere – I feel like I’m in paradise. Then a „Bzzzzz“ a tickle on my cheek, I swing my hand over my face, „bzzzzz“ again, tickle on the nose – still there! Next swing with my hand „Bzzzz“ on my forehead. . . how annoying! . . . let me please introduce you to Newcastle’s ’sticky flies‘. I think they are the most annoying creatures here. Not the roaches, not the spiders, the sticky flies. They don’t care if you’re almost doing acrobatics to get rid off them, they always return even before your hand is down next to your body. Most of the time you have at least one on your face and about 30 on your back, going for a walk with you. Well at least I shouldn’t complain about loneliness 😉 .
A very noisy „Toooooooooooooooot“ disrupts my fight with the sticky flies. A massive container ship makes its way into the harbour accompanied by three little tug boats. What an amazing sight. I turn around slowly and get on my way home.
Back at Newcastle Beach I finally cotton on that there is some surf comp on – that’s the reason for all those people. Not that I know anything about surfing. It’s such a beautiful day, that I decide to sit down on the steps and enjoy watching the people. Over the speakers they announce the next surfer: Kelly Slater. The water is turquoise, the waves are rolling in nicely and the surfer offers a spectacular show and then – I think I can’t believe my eyes: there are dolphins riding the wave with the surfer.
Wow! I call Greg all excited, grinning from ear to ear. „You won’t believe it, there is a surfcomp here at our beach and there were dolphins riding the wave right next to the surfer – amazing!!!“ – „Do you know who it was?“ – „Must be a girl Kelly something“
„Kelly Slater?“ aks Greg. Totally oblivious I reply „Yeah that sounds about right.“.
„You’re kidding me, that’s one of the best surfers in the world and I’m sitting at work. Great! It’s a guy by the way!“