After a pathetic apology for summer that was weeks on end of rain and cold winds, we finally got a week of brilliant hot sunny summer days. Lyn suggested that we go to Waihi Beach, where we could paddle in the sea, and also visit one of our kids who lives there. “Paddling” in this instance doesn’t involve a boat, just bare feet splashing around in the water.
Paddling in the sea is an activity that we have more or less abandoned since we left the island where we lived for many years. In those days, we had a boat and cruised all around the harbour, which is dotted with islands, and we visited all of them and enjoyed the fishing, including collecting shellfish. We kept a handbook on board to identify the many strange items of sealife that we caught on our travels.
Going to Waihi Beach incuded none of that. We just took our sandals off and paddled in the warm water. Close to the shore, the water was cluttered with sea lettuce, a type of algae that wreaks havoc with fishing nets and propellers. From a fact sheet:
Sea lettuce is a naturally occurring green algae native to New Zealand that causes problems for the community when it grows during summer months and is deposited on beach and foreshore areas in large quantities.
There is no harm in it for people who just want to paddle, and we saw little fish darting away from the shore, through the sea lettuce, out to their usual habitat. These little fish come in with the tide, and swim away when the tide turns.
Sea lettuce is a very pretty shade of green. I left our camera at home, but always carry a little Pencam in my handbag, so I used that to take the photo below.
We didn’t see our daughter, she wasn’t home, but we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon recapturing some of our long gone happy moments in the ocean.