Christmas day and Boxing day came and went with little to write about. The weather was poor mostly cloudy and it rained. So much for Christmas on the beach in Oz eh? But then we had a very nice day so off we headed south of the city to Bulli Beach.
Why Bulli beach? No particular reason. It could have been any of the beaches between the city and Wollongong really but it seemed a good place to head for.
Trouble in the Rip
For those who don’t know; a rip current, (usually just called a rip) , is a specific kind of water current that can occur near beaches with breaking waves. The rip is a strong and narrow current of water which moves directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves like a river running out to sea. A rip current is strongest and fastest nearest the surface of the water. It can be surprisingly powerful as Dani’s mum found out.
She decided to take one of his Christmas presents – a body board – for a trial in the surf. No sooner had she started than she drifted off to our right. She wasn’t far out but seemed to be struggling to get back to shore. For a while it wasn’t clear of she was trying to get back on shore or if she was trying to body-board. I know she is a pretty good swimmer so was not immediately concerned. But then it all went on a bit too long…
As luck would have it an experienced surfer was in the immediate area and spotted her and asked if she needed help. He kind of towed her away from the rip current to a from there she was able to swim and walk her way back to the beach. Exhausted by now and only just realising how close she was to disaster.
We all saw the funny side of it later but it just goes to show how powerful the rip current can be. There was after all, a reason why the safe bathing area complete with flags and life guards, was the opposite side of the beach. It is unlikely Dani’s mum will try anything like that again soon.
Bulli and Its Beach
Bulli is a small commuter town about an hour out of Sydney – although today it was very busy with plenty of like-minded people making the most of the break in the unusually dull weather.
The beach is one of three running up this stretch of coast. It has one of those old fashioned rock pools at either end. Another sure sign that safe swimming may not be the main attraction of this beach? Perhaps.
We also found this little gem just behind Bulli station. A great little microbrewery and pub. OK, the Christmas hangover didn’t last long eh? But you have to love these places.
On the route back to Sydney we stopped at one of the lookout points high up on the cliffs overlooking the famous stretch of coast road (including the sea cliff bridge) and Stanwell Park Beach.