photos by Nigel and I
text by Nigel
It feels like the end of the earth. Two great headlands, Cape Nelson and Cape Bridgewater, stretch stoically and defiantly into the powerful rhythms of the Southern Ocean. A magnificent stretch of sheltered water lie between them,waves rolling into a long stretch of beach.
Through the fog of history, in the time of the eponymous admiral, Empire washed all manner of hardened and depraved refuse onto the shores. Sealers and whalers clubbed and harpooned before skinning, dismembering and rendering the fat of their kill, while squatters and settlers turned inland to massacre the land's inhabitants, members of the Gunditjmara nation, with dogs and gunpowder before adopting the airs of aristocracy.
Now the sun shines. They set out on a dirt track to observe a colony of seals whose home sits at the foot of cliffs at land's end. Reaching their destination in late afternoon the head of a grey kangaroo rose above some bushes, its grazing interrupted by the intrusion. With his jill close by the buck stood in wary but patient observation. Stretched along the cliff's edge, a large mob was scattered amongst coastal scrub and the tall grass of midsummer. For a visitor from afar the scene offered delight and amazement in a strange land. She didn't mind that the seals were absent upon her visit, away to hunt for a final meal before the onset of darkness. Their journey had been worthwhile. And so, with a nearby bushfire gifting the sunset a pinkish hue, they started the long walk back to the town where, among the vacationers, the gaiety of middle class affluence on holiday provided another fog to drift across the bay.