Gift from the Gods at Coolum Beach

surfer, sunrise, sunshine coast, cloudy sunrise, surfing, morning surfThe skies can be heavy with cloud then on sunrise, the clouds tint with rich golds, oranges and pinks, a gift from the Gods. There’s nothing like it. Even on a rainy day, much like surfers that head out back anyhow, I’ll zip up my rain jacket and throw my baby cam into my vinyl backpack, lined with a thick plastic bag and off I go to the beach.

But it’s Saturday after a long, hard working week. For the first time, in a long time, I stay in. Any other day I’d enjoy the peace of it. The drizzle is reasonable, nothing too drastic but I can’t face another black and white horizon with 25k south easteriles at my back when I’m exhausted.

This didn’t stop me checking the horizon on the surf cam at the appointed time for sunrise. Yep, grey, grey and grey. Not all grey sunrises end as expected. There are rainbows and all kinds of magic waiting for those that just get out there. Last Thursday, I captured the above image when sunrise looked impossible but the clouds in front of the sun dissolved at the last moment.

My most memorable rainy start surprise moment happened last year in July.

I set off at pre-dawn on a Tuesday, the air crisp, the sky black with storm clouds. I walk along the boardwalk, a rain cloud persistently following me. I love the clean smell of the rain, the shine of it on the pandanus leaves, reflecting in the planking. I shelter my camera with my hand and snap off a few shots, just to hear the shutter release then the camera returns to its plastic haven. The rain gets heavier, I pull up the hood of my rain jacket, face into the sharp slants of rain. The good thing about rainy starts is that there isn’t as many people about. You can have huge tracts of beachfront or boardwalk all to yourself.

Dreaming of my first sip of coffee, I pivot on my lucky tile at Third Bay, glad to be on the return journey. From a distance rain is like a sweeping curtain, on the beach you can see the division clearly between end of rain and the start of it. Rain cloud 56b sails northward and leaves a hush on its tail. The storm remains steely grey out at sea.  As I lift my camera for the shot, a crack of sun breaks through the clouds, flaring into the corner of my lens, as a surfer makes his way to into the water. That was the moment. Thirty duds, one utter gift from the gods. Just like that.

So, here it is Saturday, normally, off I’d go anyhow ready to soak up yet another morning at rich, raw Coolum. Ready to receive all that photographic goodness but this morning, listening to my tired body, I pull up the doona and snuggle down, thinking about all the wonderful places in Australia I’ve yet to capture.

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