Another beach from under the shadows of last year …
The best beach day all year, maybe, and here we are nearly to April. It’s already biting hot at 10:30, not oppressively hot but the hot that sends you into the surf, then back to your towel, then into the surf again.
The nippers have just wrapped up their session and the coach is talking with them and their parents; they’re the little ones – five and six year olds. When the official session is complete a Surf Life Saver takes a few of them, one at a time, out on the board to the buoy. A girl, who couldn’t be more than five, paddles all the way out by herself and rides in on the waves. I’m impressed and a little jealous. I’m neither that competent nor confident in the surf at 44. I was raised next to a giant lake which was frozen during part of each year – what should I know of surf?
When we flew in over these waters a few weeks ago from our weekend away in Tasmania the sea had that hard gun-metal blue hue of autumn but it had been but a tease. Summer temperatures have returned and with it the sparkle, sparkle aqua blue of a shimmering summery sea. Gentle, simple waves break. I try bodysurfing into shore – missing a few waves before I catch one just right and I glide into the beach, head high and pushed by the eternal force of the ocean.
Eloura is the moniker attached to a stretch of beach between North Cronulla and Wanda beaches. My mate Adam warned me there’s not much here, but a good beach. When he moved to Australia from Boston as a little kid this was his beach, it’s where he learned to surf and that’s a big deal for an Australian.
Eloura is a beach without distinguishing features but its nice and full of people: families, teenagers, older couples. To our south the white and cream apartments of the Shire’s residents crowd the shore to snare their sea-views. Off to our north, the oil refinery of Kurnell and the aeroplanes appearing and disappearing behind the dunes lends an urban air.
Eloura is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘pleasant place’. It is 22.3 kilometres (16 miles) from home.
Elouera is in the Southerland Shire LGA; the State Electoral District of Cronulla (Mark Speakman, Liberal) and the Federal Division of Cook (Scott Morrison, Liberal).