A loud crack, as young brown arms slam the boogy board onto the water before squirming on board to do battle with waves determined to separate him from his ride.
His young sister squeals with delight as she runs through the shallows, water splashing with every step as she is chased by her father.
A cheer from further up the sand and points are won in a rousing game of beach bocce played between friends. A green ball has connected with a red with a decided thunk.
The air, still warm in the early evening, is sweet and salty.
The choice between sitting and watching repeats of imported sitcoms, or taking the quick drive to the local beach was an easy one and the perfect way to end the day.
Walking along the water’s edge, we quickly gave up trying to dodge the incoming tide, laughing as the splash soaked the hems of our shorts.
Rising waves raced in with a growl, splattering the sand with foam, and devouring our footprints, before receding, whispering and subdued, leaving pristine sand and a scattering of small shells.
A black dog is digging furiously in the sand while it’s owners look on. A well-loved ball buried, then dug up and then buried again. Over and over and over again.
Another dog, smaller, running toward us, its male owner struggling to keep up as it charges along the beach.
Plenty of people walking, running. Some greeting us with a smile and a nod, while others staring straight ahead, focussed on going where ever they are headed.
Another dog, another ball. A blonde in a bikini, a man with a folded shirt on his head. More children, running in and out of the waves, their laughter startling a mob of seagulls.
On we walk, our feet leaving more footprints quickly washed away, the waves glittering golden with light cast by the sun dropping always lower in the sky.
The beach is emptier now. Families are picking up towels and bags.
The little boy and his boogy board are gone as are the friends with their coloured bocce balls.
The black dog is still digging.
Ahead of us is the steps up to the carpark.
We pause for a moment at the water’s edge and breathe in the clean fresh air for a moment.
On the jetty, people are walking, some fishing.
Hubby pulls me into his arms and kisses me before we cross the soft sand and climb the steps beside the surf life saving club.
In the car park, scuba divers are peeling off wetsuits and loading tanks into their cars.
One last look at the sun setting over the water and then it is time to head home to reality with a side of coffee and chocolate.