I: The Boardwalk, Narooma
The morning is cool and the breeze choppy, not a day for a quick dip at Potato Point. So we head to the sheltered breakwater pool at Narooma. Even that isn’t sheltered enough. We decide to walk along the Mill Bay Boardwalk, passing the amusing murals on the public loo: a dog, leg cocked, in the doorway; a sardine leaping out of its tin; a VW filled with water in which fish frolic; an octopus squirting water into a boat.
“No”, I told my daughter when I spoke to her earlier. “Not a geology day today.” But I was wrong. The land-side of the boardwalk offers twisted chert, the same cooked sea floor material that makes the map of Australia just across the Inlet, and the Glasshouse Rocks a bit further down the coast. Sprays of grass shower down towards the water, sometimes with a scattering of white and pale pink flowers at the edge, sometimes a bright red bush.
The day is grey and the water sombre, but I learn from my granddaughter. If she can edit the weather, I can edit the water. I use my new trick in SnapSeed (create your own custom looks) to edit all photos of ripples the same way, a delicious green looking down to rocks, weed, oyster shells, and a manta ray. Leaves and grass fronds float on the surface.
Pelicans lurk wherever fishermen might come to clean their catch, and a dolphin makes one curve above water before disappearing. Often there are a number of them at the boat ramp waiting to be fed, but not today. Just a photographer with a grand telescopic lens, eyed off by a couple of shags and a very large pelican.
We warm up walking and Joe determines on a swim. A dive class is togging up and another one leaving the water. This is the pool where I night-dipped on the way home from yoga; where, standing in early morning water up to my neck, I talked to a woman who was an airline pilot (or a fantasist?) for half an hour until I was ice-berged; where my ten year old daughter launched me on the only wave I’ve ever caught. Today I chose the deck chair and watched figures on the south side of the breakwater, and Joe back-kicking out to the net.
II: Potato Point at high tide
After a flurry of low tides (a separate post for low tide beauty) we end up at the beach when the tide is high.
Piles of seaweed offer golds, buff, gleam, and crimson, with a dash of blue.
Joe braves the water, without a wetsuit, and I regret my swimmers, safely stashed in my car back at Waincourt. He strikes up a conversation with a woman who tells him that her family set themselves the challenge of going into the sea every day for a year – and did it! Mind you, her son seemed a bit reluctant, even on this day that tempted me.
On the beach three generations established themselves in a tent. The toddler tottered down to the water with his bucket, still not quite confident in his power to stay vertical. I can watch such ambulations forever, but sitting on the beach without sunscreen for long stretches is not a good idea, so we head home for lunch, stopping to look at what Joe is pretty sure is a hybrid of a spotted gum (Corymbia maculata)and a bloodwood (Eucalyptus gummifera).
At this point my world was consumed by fire-fear as bushfires edged closer and closer, and blogging lost its appeal.