Beach Bandaid.

Almost everyday, I take the dogs for a walk at “Dog Beach”. It’s a section of beach between Ocean Beach and Ettalong Beaches where dogs can run off the lead. Not only do the dogs run off the lead but so do the humans.
Somehow having a dog breaks down most of those social barriers and we almost all chat to each other and at least know the dogs by name.

Dog Beach: my daughter inscribed this with a stick in the sand.

Dog Beach: my daughter inscribed this with a stick in the sand.

I am quite surprised by the array of dogs which wag their tails, growl, run, chase balls dog along the beach but it’s like Sam the Old English Sheepdog and his mate Hamish, the Lassie Collie really call this stretch of sand home and the rest of us just come and go. They are such character dogs and you don’t see those breeds often in Australia and I’ve never seen them together before so they really stand out. They have such long, adorable coats, that they’re not the sorts of dogs you usually see at the beach either.

I used to have a Lassie as a child and we had an Old English Sheepdog before Bilbo. He was a rescue dog and much of the time we had him, I must admit, we felt like we needed to be rescued what with the flying slobber and his food thieving ways. He’d steal food off the kitchen bench and swallow it bag and all. As if that was crazy enough, he’d run round and round in circles during a storm, huffing and puffing like a freaked out canine locomotive. His name was “Loopy” before we got him and although we changed it to a more dignified “Rufus”, it didn’t change the nature of the dog!

Anyway, if you’ve been following the misfortunes of the beach since “The Storm”, then you’ll know it took a beating. Trees had been ripped out by the roots and scattered like matchsticks by the violent surf along the beach and the place was looking like a war zone.

Here’s a link to a post written during the storm:

Then there was Walking Along the Storm Ravaged Beach:

I even wrote a poem: Beach Storm:

A vagrant tree branch on the beach after the storms.

A vagrant tree branch on the beach after the storms.

Well, now it looks like a building site. Part of the beach is blocked off with a row of roadworks cones and there’s a roadworks sign in the middle of the beach and often you can see the bulldozer at work moving mountains of sand to try to save the road. Sandbags have been ordered but this situation is very complex and like any ecosystem, there are things you don’t even consider which are somehow part of the picture and there is so much to consider.

Umina Beach just after the storm in April.

Umina Beach just after the storm in April.

That said, you would be surprised how many engineering experts know exactly what to do down at the beach. Everyone has an opinion. No doubt, even the dogs who have turned all the council paraphernalia as yet another “telegraph pole”.

Isn’t it funny how the less you know the more certain you are? Sometimes, we joke about our son who is only 11 but still has his opinions: “Often wrong but never in doubt”. His peers are much the same so it’s nothing personal. Yet, how many adults are much the same? After all, it would be reassuring to have those certainties but a complex problem is a complex problem and usually ends up needing a multi-disciplinary approach to take in at least most of the angles. There is definitely no quick fix!

So, in the meantime, our beach hovers in a kind of life support but it is receiving intensive care and a lot of love.

We wish it a speedy recovery!

xx Rowena

11 thoughts on “Beach Bandaid.

  1. New Journey

    I am glad they care enough to come and care for the beach, it did go through quite a upheaval with that bad storm….glad to see you are still able to use the beach with all the work going on…kathy

  2. merrildsmith

    It’s amazing the technology that goes into caring for beaches. Some NJ beaches are still being worked on from the damage done during Hurricane Sandy a few years ago. Your dog walking beach activities sound like so much fun. 🙂

  3. roweeee Post author

    It is interesting to hear about your beaches still being affected by Hurricane Sandy. As much as you sort of know there are longer term “scars” from such storms, the general feeling I get is that we’re all business as usual…even if we’re not!
    The dog walking at the beach is great. I’ve met some great people and dogs and can have a chat when I’m able and if I feel like staying home, there are no cancelled arrangements. It’s all very casual. I wrote a series of kids “books” about dogs a few years back, which I put aside but I’m finding observing these dogs very helpful and watching them interact with each other. I should have already revisited these stories and reworked them but I’ll get there.

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Kathy. Yes, council has been great. I know that’s easy to say when I road is under threat but they are really trying to find a solution and that isn’t as easy as you’d think xx Rowena

  5. New Journey

    No I wouldn’t think so, especially when your dealing with Mother Nature and one of her creations the ocean…… serene and peaceful one moment and so full of fury the next our Mother Nature…

  6. roweeee Post author

    It is that perfect metaphor, isn’t it? One dog walker remarked yesterday that the sand comes and goes but when I mentioned that to my husband he said that it’s a different matter when you have dunes shifting which had been there for 40 years. The state of the beach is certainly attracting some debate!

  7. maxwellthedog

    I love the first photo where there is a sign of a guy working but absolutely no one in sight actually wielding a shovel. There’s a metaphor for government projects in there somewhere.

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