Tips on keeping safe at our South Australian beaches.

Tips on keeping safe at our South Australian beaches.

Penguin Point

In the Australian summer on the south coast we can be bothered by many things, flies, mosquitoes, snakes, march flies, a hot sun, ants, jelly fish, sting rays, pounding waves and vicious under tows……you would think that a sunny day at the beach would be the worst place to be in Australia. And yet we flock to the beaches, and enjoy the wonders of a spectacular and yet unpredictable coastline.
I have learnt a few lessons over the years that seem to keep me safe, try these and see if you are happier at the seashore.

1. Having been washed out to sea in seconds when I was a lot younger I am very cautious to check the area for rips. Firstly read the signs and take heed. Look for an area with no waves and white water going out to sea. Stay close to the shore and put your feet on the ground regularly.
2. I never venture out too deep if the area is known for sharks, which is most of our coastline.
3. I apply sunscreen, and reapply later especially my face, and lately I’ve taken to carrying a very light sarong which I immediately drape around my shoulders as soon as I get out of the water. Always wear a sun hat.
4. I never, ever swim alone.
5. I carry an insect net which goes over my sun hat and use it when I need to. Flies are notoriously attracted to facial features, especially mine, and South Aussie has many flies. You can use an insect repellent if you like.
6. I check the ocean waves before setting up camp, especially at surfing beaches where the waves can come in a lot further unannounced. Let me explain. Many years ago with my brand new camera we were equipped and ready to photograph the surfers for the day. Umbrella up and gear placed neatly in piles, within about 10 minutes a huge “after surge” from a powerful wave raced up the beach and absolutely saturated all our gear including my new lens. Fortunately I had my camera in my hand only the lens was ruined. Towels all soaking, food all gone…etc. I learnt my lesson the hard way, when the surf is up you keep a big distance from the shoreline.
7. Never go to an Aussie beach without an umbrella. It gets very hot here. We have a new umbrella which has a tie down for windy days. A marvellous invention.
8. Travel lightly. Buy lightweight cameras, …lightweight umbrella and chairs etc.
9. Don’t take those silly blow up toys out on our beaches when the day is windy, which is most days along our coastline. Two summers ago we had a drowning as a mother tried to save her child who was blown out to sea on a blow up floatation animal.
9.Don’t touch jelly fish, don’t touch stingrays, and look out for concealed rocks beneath the sand. Many a stubbed toe has resulted from kicking an unmovable rock just under the sand.
10. If you are going to venture along the cliffs for a few photographs, either watch out for snakes or wear snake protectors.
11. Don’t take young children swimming at a big wave beach.

I guess that has put you off our beaches…is this my secret weapon for keeping you off the incredibly pristine beaches in South Australia? Well I hope not!
Many flock to the overcrowded beaches in Queensland, where you sit within two inches of another tanned, greased body. But the South Australian coastline although isolated is extremely beautiful and truly lovely for swimming.
Wherever you are, stay safe.

 

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Wendy Philip - artist.

Through the beautiful art of photography, I hope that you enjoy the vibrance of the Southern parts of our earth. I photograph mainly local landscapes. I am a story teller, writing a blog when I feel inspired. I also have a love for houses and interior and exterior decor. Stay with me and venture into the wonderful world of photography and beyond.

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When things go wrong on the journey..an adventure down to Echoes

When things go wrong on the journey..an adventure down to Echoes

Beautiful beach

One of our first trips to Echoes. This image is one of the very few we have of our initial visits to this beach. One of my children lies under the umbrella, surfboards and clothes lying on the ground. My old Pentax camera needs a bit of updating…..

In our early years when camping, surfing and holidaying at Marion Bay, we frequented a beautiful isolated beach. The beach was called Echoes, because of the sound the waves made as they whispered and echoed up against the gigantic cliffs this beach is surrounded by. It fast became one of our favorite spots due to its isolation and the good surf.

Recently the governing bodies, whoever they maybe, decided the descent to this beach was too dangerous and so the 3km road to the beach and the beach itself are closed to the public and consequently completely overgrown now.

One bright and sunny day we decided we would walk the distance and visit this most spectacular and beautiful beach for old time sake. 

Armed with packs , cameras and food etc, we set off. All good the first hour, but on arrival at the cliffs edge we noted how the old track we had used, was definitely in a mush worse condition than before. 

Then as fate would turn on us, my vision went fuzzy and blurry, I was getting a migraine. Usually these gave me a headache and followed by vomiting and feeling very ill. Well we sat on the top of the cliff and waited till I could see again. I took some pain relievers. 

I was not giving up, no sickness would stop me from visiting my old beloved beach. 

So down we scrambled, fell, jumped, hopped, toppled, until we finally made the beach. My legs were like jelly, so I lay down on the golden sand and slept for about 30 mins.

When I awoke my husband had been swimming and so we both idled away the afternoon swimming, listening to the echoes and chatting and resting. 

I would need all my energy to climb back up that cliff.

I did consider how silly we had been and this was probably quite a dangerous undertaking.

As we lay there looking out to sea a small boating vessel passed by, they stopped and peered in at us and we distinctly heard them say. “How on earth did those people get to that beach?”

If I could have yelled back, I may have said, “Sometimes people are silly and insist on taking the track less travelled!”

Most of the afternoon I did keep pondering how on earth we were going to get back up the cliff, especially in my weakened state.

Three o’clock and departure time finally arrived.

We stood back and planned out our route, I gritted my teeth and I used all of my strength to slowly crawl my way back up the cliff. We helped each other over difficult spots and clung to branches or anything secure as we ascended. Exhausted we reached the top and took a drink and rest, however we still had a long walk back. 

As we walked along and time went by I seemed to gather new strength and felt amused at our exploration activities, maybe as we are getting older we should not take such risks….oh what the heck…”Man who sit and do nothing, experience no excitement in life!”

Cliffs Echoes beach

This image is of the cliffs that we climbed down and then up again!!