Day 386 | swimming at Twilight Beach again?: no, watching a couple of sharks

Esperance Day 88

Today. 30°C, not a cloud in the sky, and the wind has moderated and swung around to the north.

Just a perfect day for the start of autumn here in Esperance.

Perth, meanwhile, has just gone through the hottest summer on record, each month hasn’t been the hottest month ever but it’s been consistent. It’s the hottest ever summer throughout WA as well so it’s been handy being holed up at the coast where the temp has generally been more moderate.

It’s not the driest period in history. The record for Perth was 84 days without rain back in 1974/75. It was bearing down at about 78 days but then there was a downfall which spoiled the run.


That’s not rainfall, that’s, that’s, that’s … a … sprinkle.

So since 22 November there’s been 0.2mm of rain. More than 3 months with only that drop.

Never mind, I’m still in Esperance and one of the key reasons to remain has just evaporated. Oh, that reason is being able to fearlessly splash about in the sea.

Yesterday, an obscure public holiday in Western Australia, was similar to today but the wind was coming in from the east. I took off as usual for Twilight Beach, on that glorious bike path, with my newly acquired flutter board someone had just presented to me. I’ve been swimming down there maybe 30 times since I’ve been here. The water is still warmish but the waves have disappeared in the last week.

Just as I was about to dive in, the surf club siren went off: shark.

Hey, that’s not allowed. Get outta here.

Everyone jumped out and watched as first one and then a second shark could be seen cruising the bay at surprising pace. They came back for a second look. It’s hard to estimate the size but they were certainly bigger than a person, probably 2.5 to 3m long. OK, 2.5m or 8 feet. Big enough.

I’ve seen all the warning signage on my travels and taken photos of most of the more ridiculous ones, like that extreme danger for crocs up in the Northern Territory. Seen the signage and then spotted the wildlife.

I’ve now collected the full set of sightings of Australia’s most dangerous beasts: saltwater crocs, venomous snakes and, today, sharks.

I can now believe I’m getting a full dose of Australia.