Avast ye, mateys, and let me share with you the tale of a man who was confused and shocked (in that order) of the terrible things he saw on the high seas.
On the mid-North coast there’s a little place
Its name is Shelley Beach
And if I call it heavenly
It’s not a figure of speech
I’ve been coming here for years
It’s like my home away from home
If no one’s there it’s even better
But today was a wee bit different
Let me tell you what I saw
In all my years of coming here
I’ve not seen it before
As I lay there floating
I thought I saw a rock
But then I saw it MOVING!
It was really quite a shock
The current was a’flowing
And it was hard to tell
If my eyes were playing tricks on me
Or this was a beast from hell
I thought it might be a turtle
Gentle creature of the sea
What better way to share the beach?
But it was not to be
It was too black, and so I thought
It might be ocean trash
I moved a little closer
Trying not to make a splash
And then I thought perhaps it was
A plane up in the sky
Throwing moving shadows into the ocean
From hundreds of feet high
I searched the skies and couldn’t see
A plane to save my life
Then the rock started coming back my way
Oh! The confusion and the strife
I didn’t move, I had to know
Just what this creature be
And so I stood still till it was
A foot in front of me
It was about then that I saw it
Over four-feet wide
It was a MOTHERFUCKING STINGRAY
That’s how Steve Irwin died!
I said ‘HOW DARE YOU TAKE HIM!’
And I lunged upon the beast
Then I yelled out ‘CRICKEY’
As the struggling increased
I rode it up and down the coast
And eventually it tired
I served it up on Masterchef
And Matt called it ‘inspired’
Dedicated to Steve Irwin.
So the last two stanzas may have NOT actually happened, but that’s what I like to think I would have done if my pants weren’t too busy being shat.
Despite thinking I was alone, a surfer bloke came over immediately after to inform me they sometimes did that when fishermen had left guts up on the shore. He was polite enough but you could tell he thought it was fucking hilarious.
Then an elderly couple came down from the headland and told me that they saw the whole thing, too. They’d been watching the Ray move down the coast and wondered why the hell I wanted to get close to it and look. Once again, you could tell they thought it was fucking hilarious – and I must admit if I’d seen myself swim frantically out of the ocean like that I might have laughed too.
I’ve been going to Shelley Beach (in Nambucca Heads on the Mid North Coast of NSW) for as long as I can remember. It’s the most serene place, particularly in Winter when no one swims – but never before have I had an encounter like that. I’ve seen stingrays at the aquarium and whatnot – LITTLE ONES. I did my research and found out they aren’t aggressive which is great too, turns out I wigged out over nothing.
That being said, both the surfer bogan dude AND the old couple both commented on how BLOODY HUGE the damn thing was so at least I know it wasn’t just me.