Yesterday, my girls were in Sydney and so I had the day to myself.
Knowing that the surf was small and murky (from all the rain) here on the Coast, I decided to head down south just to get away and maybe have a surf.
I checked out my favourite spots around Lennox Heads and stopped at Flat Rock. The water everywhere was very brown and murky due to all the massive rain and flooding we've had.
Everyone was surfing the rights on the northern side of Flat Rock, which was big, about 6ft to 8ft faces but not that good. Over to the south side of Flat Rock, out front of the camping grounds, was an awesome left that was big and very clean, but there was not one single person out surfing it. As you know, this is never a good sign if the locals aren't surfing what looks to be a good wave.
A guy came in and I chatted to him and he said it was alright. He then pointed to the south side and said it looks good there. I agreed but asked how come there was no one out there. He didn't know.
Anyway I left and checked out several more spots down to Ballina but ended up back at Flat Rock.
I was checking out the waves and got chatting to a guy about my age and we agreed that the south side looked good but couldn't work out why no one was there. He was from Townsville so none of us had local knowledge.
"I'll go out there if you're keen" I said. Terry agreed and I paddled out and he came out about 5 minutes later.
The paddle was epic and after 20 minutes, and just as I thought I could see our cuzzie bro neighbours in New Zealand, I finally made it out the back. I was a long way off shore and had already drifted about 500m down the beach.
The water was very murky, to the point where I was sitting on my board and I could not see my feet! And for most of the time I laid on my board as I wasn't game to let my feet dangle down in the water. There were logs, whole trees, plants and all sorts floating around.
Once I got my breath back I took off on a really good size wave and paddled back out.
My new best mate Terry caught one too and was inside.
Out of nowhere, about 10 metres in front of me, a black fin popped up and headed straight towards me, dead straight towards me, with bow wake coming off the fin. It wasn't a dolphin and was definitely a shark. With the water so murky I couldn't see how big it was - all I could see was a fin coming towards me and coming fast!
I fucking shit myself, being about 300 metres from shore and having a fucking shark heading straight towards me.
I spun around and paddled my guts out, continually looking back over my shoulder to see where it was. Terry saw the look on my face and didn't need to be told what was happening. He started paddling before I pointed and yelled for him to paddle in.
I paddled like I have never paddled before, to the point where I couldn't feel my arms and my neck hurt from trying to look behind me while paddling flat out. My heart was thumping out of my chest. It was the scariest fucking feeling ever!
I finally got near Terry and he's asking me what kind of shark and how big it was. I couldn't talk as I could barely even breathe from exhaustion. But if I could I would have said "Who fucking cares what type and how big - it's a fucking shark!"
After what seemed like an eternity, I made it close into shore, then realised I was in a gutter and remembered how people have been attacked by sharks in only one metre of water. So I paddled my guts out again.
I finally made it to shore and nearly kissed the sand.
I realised that both Terry and I had only caught one wave each and after such a mission to get out there in the first place I said to him "Sorry to cut your surf short" to which he replied "No worries, I'm glad you saw it and not me"
"Right, I'm going to the pub now to have some beers to calm the fuck down!"
Later Terry got talking to a local up at the car park and told this guy what had happened.
"Oh yeah," said the local, "there's a big tiger shark that hangs around out there."
Where the fuck was he an hour ago!......