The Gold Coast in Five Days – 4/5

The calm before the storm.

Our relaxing morning was spent using out final pass on our three pass deal: the observation deck on Skypoint tower, the 77th floor of our Q1 apartment.

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At 10:00 we head up to the deck, check out the view and take plenty of photos. We can see the sunshine coast stretch out for miles bordering the endless ocean. There’s a café we could eat at, but once we had taken sufficient photos we head back down to our room.

The rest of the morning is spent relaxing, and enjoying our “calm” before we head out to the beach in the early afternoon for my unpredicted “storm”.

I am still trying to determine if what I caught was a riptide. According to the freedictionary.com a riptide is: “a stretch of turbulent water in the sea, caused by the meeting of currents or abrupt changes in depth.” I still don’t completely relate to this definition but further down the page it defines it as “a strong surface current flowing outwards from a shore”. And this is what I believe I caught, or least caught the rip’s edges.

Brenda and I stood at the fringe of the sea, two tiny dots against the vast expanse of the ocean spreading out beyond where our eyes could see. Brenda didn’t want to go too deep so after 10 minutes she went back to the sand while I enjoyed the depths of the ocean.

I had finally managed to reach the point beyond the main crashing point of the waves. This was the point to be. I could relax and bob with each wave as it came into shore. Soon I realised I had unknowingly drifted to the edge of the flagged area. I began leisurely swimming parallel to the beach to centre myself between the flags. When I attempted to stand up I realised that I could no longer touch the bottom as I could before. I tried to swim in towards the shore, but it proved to be a lot more difficult than I thought. Every time I pushed myself towards the shore, with the help of an incoming wave, the previous wave was pushing me back with greater strength out into the sea. Personally I thought my face would have appeared rather composed as I still felt relatively calm, but a man about 2-3 meters away from me (closer to the shore) asked if I was alright and whether I needed any help. I thought I had myself covered and had the strength to swim harder towards shore so I replied that I was fine. His question though made me realise that, yes I really was struggling and couldn’t overpower the strength of the ocean.

After a few more attempts I told him: “No sorry, I need some help.”
*Note we are still within talking distance, but I believe I was just on the fringe of the riptide, whereas he was standing closer to the shore.

To my plea for help he turns towards the shore and waves at the lifeguards to tell them to come out and help. I’m not a hundred per cent sure what they say but they pick up their loudspeaker and say something like:

“Stay calm and come back towards the shore.”

That actually did help as I knew they were right there and able to help if I was to seriously need it. So I began to float on my back and pushed with all my strength against the waves until I managed to come in a little further. Once I was able to stand up, I dug my feet firmly into the sand to prevent the waves from pushing me back out and slowly worked my way towards the shore.

I then stumbled onto the shore and crashed down next to Brenda to recall my adventure to her.  I guess I was exaggerating by calling this a “storm” in my day. However, it did make my little beach visit exciting for someone like me who rarely visits the beach.

After the adrenaline from my little 10 minute adventure subsided, I buried Brenda in the sand and created an ugly mermaid’s tail for her. We swapped roles and she did the same for me, doing a much better job.

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We head back to our hotel and I go for a quick swim in Q1’s pool to wash away the sand. A resident of the Q1 begins to talk to me and tell me a little about his life while we are in the pool. Since the Gold Coast is such a quiet area, I believe to be filled largely with tourists and temporary residents, I get the impression some residents could get quite lonely and so thrive on the small conversation they can make with whoever they meet.

For the rest of the evening we cook our 2 minute noodles and get ready for the night out.

Our first night in the streets of the Gold Coast starts at 10:30 when we buy a delicious pizza to share between us. We don’t have a particular location in mind but it isn’t difficult to find the crowds of the main street as we follow the groups of young people towards the cluster of nightclubs. We aren’t keen to spend much money, if any, so we step into the first free nightclub we see: Cocktails nightclub. By this stage it is 11:30 and the club is not even half full. The dance floor is too empty for our comfort with too many people simply watching, so we step out to explore the next club.

‘Shooters’ has a $15 entry fee which we are unaware of until the security guard asks us to see our entrance stamp. We consider leaving the club until one of the guys grabs the stamp and lets us both in. The vibe is a lot livelier, with more people and better dance music, so we head to the dance floor. At 12:15 we check out the next club ‘Beer Garden’, with free entrance. It is very quiet dance wise but has more people playing pool.

We end our night relatively early and head back to the warmth of our apartment.

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