Friday, March 1, 2013

Drama at Hataitai Beach, Wellington, NZ

Hi there.  A dramatic day today.  The weather started out dull so I figured I'd just mope around the house and have a break from the beach.  But by 2.20 pm, the sun was out.  (incidentally, I notice that Wellington has broken the record for the most sun hours this season for the whole of NZ - yay!!)   I shot down to Hataitai Beach, just in time to meet up with my swimming pal  J, ready to leave after her swim.

I convinced her to have another swim.  As we were swimming, she told me that a fully-clothed kid of about six had fallen off the steps from the deck, into the water.  His father bounded in fully clothed to grab him up.   Luckily, the water wasnt very deep.   The pair trotted off home soaking wet.!

J and I had a lovely lazy swim chatting about everything.  We forgot the time and suddenly realised we'd been in the water a half an hour.  I usually try to swim right up to the steps because I hate putting my feet to the ground at any time because I'm, scared of the stingrays that could be hidden under the sand. 

I rang up NIWA once to tell them that a huge stingray had skirted around my legs at the foot of the steps.  "Go to Hataitai Beach and kill it!  Kill them all!" I shouted, like some crazed person.

"They won't hurt you.  They're harmless," smirked the NIWA guy.  "They probably come in every Febraury to lay their eggs.  When you see what look like little leather purses - it's their egg sacs." 

A year or so after that conversation, and just after having almost stepped on my second stingray, I read about poor Steve Irwin's death  Stingrays harmless, huh?  However, I hadn't seen a stringray at the beach in, maybe, half a dozen years.

After J and I had got out from our swim today, one of the regulars called us over to the deck railing.  And there, heavens-to-Betsy, was a stingray!      All us regulars congregated on the deck, peering down into the water.

J, and lots of my friends, and you three readers as well, all know by now how I would rather eat live maggots than let non-beach folk see me in my bathing togs, with my rotund body and flabby thighs.  However, today with nary a thought but that I had to race across the road to get my camera from the car, I stopped all traffic on Marine Parade as I hared across the pedestrian crossing.  How embarrassing.

Here's a not very good pic of the stingray.

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