Blue Dolphins, golden dolphins and get stuffed here.

Blue Dolphins, golden dolphins and get stuffed here.

The delights of Nelson Bay here in NSW are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands who will end up renting holiday accommodation available but always in short supply. Signs galore everywhere and the closer to water’s edge the more prolific the signage.

Nelson Bay I remember driving to some years ago. We were invited by our neighbour opposite us when still living in Balmain. It is just a bit North from Newcastle, she advised us. It was a considerable ‘bit more’ and as always the last bit takes the mostest. I remember it was a lovely if not a somewhat boozy week-end with many partying the week-end away.

This time around the accommodation was pre-booked on-line and pre-paid without any trouble. One gets many photos and previous quests comments all on-line giving the distance from beach -water, how many bedrooms, all the technical gizmos including size of TV screen, dishwasher cycles, micro-wave, reverse cycle air-con. The wonders of the internet have many advantages.

Driving there also a cinch complements of GPS stuck especially for the occasion on the front screen. ‘You are over the speed limit’ from a pleasant English voice warning us every now and then. It even warns you to ‘stay left’ 3 kilometres before the actual left turning event. It remains a puzzle how I ever found Nelson’s Bay all those many years ago.

About twenty kilometres before arrival one knows that Nelson Bay is getting close. There are now a profusion of hoardings with water sports and dolphins sprouting up wherever there is a bit of vacant bush still available. We passed a house which had a giant golden dolphin fastened on a trailer. Where this dolphin would be hauled to and what it would end up advertising would be anyone’s guess.

It seems that most go there to either race around on jet skis, watch cavorting dolphins or eat ‘to get stuffed’. It defies how anyone could be enticed to eat at a place advertising ‘A Hog’s Breath’, showing a pig’s snout, but at Nelson’s Bay anything goes. I suppose all those water activities makes for such a dire and urgent hunger that an advertisement to eat at ‘Ernie’s dung pile’ would be chockers with starving hordes.

We all had a fantastic lunch at a place that I often wished there were more off. It was at the Northern end of Nelson’s Bay in a pub overhanging the water. Perhaps it was called the Blue Dolphin. It did have dolphins featured in the design of the carpet. Anyway, nice tables with white linen and a superb dish of flat-head crumbed and cooked to perfection with a salad and crunchie chips. Below us, there were activities of boats getting ready with hoisting giant lobster pots and fixing long-lines. Those long lines are fitted with GPS’ as well; I was told by my brother, who does a lot of volunteering watching and reporting on whales. All those boats fishing with long lines have those lines fitted with GPS’ which then sends continuous rapports out to Canberra of their positions.

I hope the fish caught by that method appreciate the technology! At one stage a group of school kids arrived with their teachers. I suppose it was a private school with the girls in those long Jane Austen skirts and the boys in long beige coloured pants and fancy jackets. They were taught to put bait on and throw the line in. All those activities were below our window while we tucked into our flatheads.

No-one there that ordered lunch was drinking beer. Beer drinking in pubs is dying. The latest figures out show a disastrous decline in beer consumption which is balanced by the increase in wine quaffing.

It is a sign of the times.

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