To grow up in this town really was the dream. Big backyards with pools and even bigger beaches with an endless ocean, available any day of the year.
When you live by the coast it's always about the water.
Watching tide charts to see when we could safely swim over to the sandbar then playing for hours until the tides turned once more for the return swim.
Putting at 8 knots to the very end of South West Arm in the pursuit of fresh waterfalls, smooth rocks & an infamous rope swing then the sweet combination of adrenaline & pleasure as we wade around the warm river telling stories of sharks and all we knew about their feeding habits.
Dad's longboard taking priority over passengers and having to duck down if riding in the 'second car with no roof racks'. Finding sand in the bed, shower & all creases of the car...even in winter.
Owning a wetsuit. Feeling indestructible in a wetsuit. Not being afraid of being dumped.
The smell of the National Park as we drove for picnics by the river or through to Garie to check the surf.
Being flung around the back of a boat on a donut, skis or wakeboard then refuelling at Atwells Boat Shed with homemade sausage rolls & a bag of red frogs.
Summer holidays, deep, natural tans, being on the esplanade with other early risers as we wait for the sun to come up over the horizon.
It's been 24 years now and things have evolved a little, 'cool' cafes & bars & restaurants have popped up and bring crowds in on their own merit. I ride my bike less, I've forgotten how to surf and am now afraid of being dumped when the swell is big. When I go for a walk I usually motivate myself to do so with the promise of a soy latte at the end of it. Work takes me away most days of the week and by a Friday afternoon the commute kills me.
But the simplicity and perspective that comes when standing, or more importantly living, alongside a large body of water is profound. I'm still here and above all else what's keeping me is the water. It's always about the water.