“Were they dolphins or sharks?” – Byron Bay

Me at surfers alley, Byron Bay

It wasn’t as majestic or as biblical as the lady at Bondi had described it. The only feeling I really felt was in fact horror! Be it sharks or dolphins at least I ticked it off the bucket list.

As I walked toward the infamous Byron Bay, board in hand, smile on my face, sun beaming down and glistening over the vast ocean, I saw three surfers paddle quickly to the right and two get out of the water all together. I looked left and saw what I thought was thrashing (was it a shark?), but as I looked closer there seemed to be a shadow ‘surfing’ the wave in the shape of a dolphin.

I thought to myself that people are watching, if I bail now I will be deemed ‘pussy of the beach’. I now realising that would not have been the case at all. So I went in anyway, at first rather sheepishly, but as I neared ‘The Wreck’ to which an artificial break of about 3-4ft was forming, I noticed there was a large rock under the water which made the water slap making the appearance of thrashing. So I wrote off my earlier assumption of thrashing to be the big rock and the shadow to be just my vivid imagination.

I continued to get battered and beaten by the weirdest waves I have ever encountered, as if there was some ‘higher wisdom’ known only to the locals of “how to bloody surf here?”. I thought to myself, so what if they were sharks? Then at last a wave came, the one I had been waiting for, the perfect wave, I paddled 1-2-3, then popped up, I was up, the perfect wave.
Then all of a sudden the wave ‘double crashed’ – I flipped – and as I flipped I turned and glanced back at the wave only to catch sight of a shadow and a fin!

“Oh no”, I thought “spectacular wipe out, only to be tumbling and spinning like some panicky, fast food on a rotisserie for one of the oceans greatest predators!”. I pictured sirens, lifeguards, the 5 o’clock news, and the headline ‘Welsh wanna be surfer…Shark Soup!’

I finally surfaced, there were no sirens, no lifeguards, no headlines … the sun beamed and the ocean glistened just as it did before. It was quieter now and I was still here? Thank God, the predator obviously wasn’t hungry … or was it a dolphin?

I dragged my board back to see my girlfriend and tell her of my near death experience, but before I could catch my breath she greeted me with excitement saying “did you see the dolphins?” … it must have been the friendlier of the two options.

Beaten, tired, wet, cold, I finished day 1 at Byron Bay on a high 🙂

“Here’s to swimming with bow legged women!” (Jaws).

First of many posts on my epic trip to the South Pacific, so stay tuned and please, if you like my blog, SHARE! Thanks for reading.

Under Water Byron Bay
Under Water Byron Bay 2
Above the water

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