Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Swimming in Ashes, Hataitai Beach

I was thinking about the various adventures I've had at Hataitai Beach.  About five or so years' ago, I drove past the beach on a not-so-spectacular summer's day.  I was in a hurry, but decideed to cram in a swim.  I leapt out of the car and shot to the changing sheds.  But, horrors!, there was a whole group of smartly-dressed people hovering on the platform beside the sheds where the steps lead down to the water.  These people were all a-giggle, eating canapes, and swigging from wine glasses.  This truly incensed me.  These .... These interlopers, these once-in-a-hundred-year party-goers were crowding my beach!  Once changed into my bathing gear, I pushed through the crowd, scowling at everyone, shot down the stairs, and into the water.
There were lots of white-ish blob-ish spotty things in the water by the steps but I thought nothing of it.  I was used to duck pooh, seaweed and assorted debris in the water.  I  swam fast,  looking at my watch frequently;  I truly was in a hurry.   I swam forward across the bay.   Backward across the bay.  Forward ...  Backward ...  10 laps.  5 times through the white/grey blobs in the water.
As I hurriedly clambered up the steps after my swim, still furious with all the party-goers, one of them, a cocktail-dressed woman, approached me.
"You're probably wondering what we're doing here?"
Well.  Duh.
"Our uncle died.  He loved this beach, and we're just scattering his ashes."
We both peered over the railing at the white blobs on the water.  The white blobs that I had swam through not once, not twice, not three or even four times, but five times!   And that's not even counting my 'seal rolls' that I like to do just before exiting the water. 
I threw myself into the changing rooms and didn't exit that shower for 20 minutes.  I went through practically a whole bottle of shampoo (I didn't have soap) attempting to clean myself. 

Here's a pic of  a Hataitai Bay boat-shed, that's only a few metres away from the changing rooms.

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