A toast. To me.
Why? How curious of you to ask!
One big fat fucking tick against the first item on the list.
Tick, tick… Boom!
1/30: Stand up paddle board.
Enter, 29 before thirty.
I am pretty damn stoked right now!!!
It was difficult to know how this was going to go. You watch videos or see people out there stand up paddling, and they glide through the ocean as though they are a fucking dolphin.
It is not necessarily as easy as they make it look.
I’m not saying it’s incredibly difficult, just not quite dolphinesque.
I get on board whilst in the shallows.
Nerves, fear, seediness.
Stupidly, I am mostly nervous because of those around me and who may see me stack it. Self conscious I guess. Fuck it, don’t let fear hold you back, right?
Whilst getting my foot for paddling, I go knees. Knees deep in board. Steadier. Stronger. Confident.
Up she gets!
Oh, up she gets.
Not for long.
Not all that long after the beginning, she is in the drink.
I have no idea why I am speaking of myself in the third person.
Not all that long after the beginning, I am in the drink.
In all my grace, I actually make it back on to the board with some ease. Anyone who knows me, can appreciate that ‘all my grace’ basically equals zero. Zero grace. My strapless bathing top rolls south, my swimming shorts roll north, and with that I tumble back on to the board and back to knees deep on board.
This routine continues for ‘yay’ amount of time. Smiles, stacks, seawater and sun. Oh and SUP.
The great thing is, you get the hang of it. Your thighs are shaking like shit in holding your partly squatted self up whilst you soar through the seas, battling against the wind and the little waves. One moment of stopping and that wind has you turned right around in the direction you’re trying to escape! The wind was a “fun” extra.
Confidence can often jump that fine line to cockiness. Yes, the cocky side of me decided to get a little cheeky and experimental on the board….
“Hey, did you know people do yoga on these things!” This is when I was damn sure the only yoga pose I could manage on here at this stage was child’s pose…. Awwwwww…
But of course it wasn’t the only one I tried. Not entirely graceful, not entirely failure. A good Erin moment I guess!
For now, I’ll leave SUP yoga to the pros. For now, I’ll get there.
To set the scene a little more, we are in Monkey Mia, a kind of non-town in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Monkey Mia has beautiful seas, calm waters and friendly, shore dwelling Dolphins. Before we know it, we are SUPing and these human curious dolphins are swimming around only metres from us. A pod of 4 of the little guys chasing each other, racing, rolling, scratching themselves against the ropes mooring the boats. We stand there holding our paddles and just watching them in awe. They’re soaring through the ocean the way I imagined the SUPers of the videos were.
Oh no, no way. These Dolphins take all the grace.
Visiting early morning and seeing the ranger interact with them was one thing, standing on a board, 20 metres from the shore, 5 from them, is a different experience altogether. That’s what makes these kind of things priceless.
Did I mention the smiles? Thought so!
No blog post, or photograph, or recount is ever going to replace or do any justice to the memory of seeing these incredible creatures play amongst each other away from the tourism of the morning feeds here.
Epic life moment right there.
After a while, we are fucking exhausted, excited and ready to relax for a while.
I’ve just ticked the first item off my mini bucket list.
I am fucking ecstatic! I couldn’t give a fuck right now how much the resort is going to charge me for a glass of bubbles, I am there. Well, why not make it a bottle, a sunset cruise around shark bay on a catamaran and so I say cheers again!
Chin chin and cheers to me!
Twenty-nein to go…
If all goes to plan, 2 more to go this trip!
I’ll be back xx