……..continuing from Part 1 in the previous post.
If you’ve read Part 1, you’ll remember that I walked right to the end of the Esplanade towards the west and thought I might fall into the sea as there seemed to be no fence or way forward……..unless I could walk on water I might add.
Then I saw the top half of a walker coming out from behind the rock retaining wall on my right.
Of course if I’d thought of taking my crumpled map out of my pocket, I would have seen that the esplanade turned at a right angle 🙂
Just around the corner, I was delighted to see a tiny boatyard with small fishing boats intermittently tied up between several board walks behind a chain wire fence.
I looked down in front of the chain wire fence, but could only see a channel of water with a few seaweed-covered rough boulders scattered here and there.
Having spent some time in the UK in the mid to late 1970s, I had a sudden mental picture of some of the picturesque fishing villages I’d visited on the southern coast and got kind of excited at the prospect of some fishing boat images right here in Williamstown.
One of the few sorrows of my current life, in early retirement, is not having a car to travel along some of my state’s spectacular coastline and possibly, the occasional quaint fishing town or boatyard to do some photography. I’d been to one once when on a few days holiday with a friend and the boats and quay were restored as it might have been in the early days of the 19th century, no less.
Anyway, last Sunday, I walked slowly down the chain wire fence trying to see a way in, but the only entrance was through what looked like a ‘clubhouse’ or boat repair shed.
Obviously, PRIVATE PROPERTY – no through path.
So I followed the cycling/walking path round the corner and onwards past a small inlet. According to a Google map this was Jawbone Bay & the start of the Marine Sanctuary and it looked like low tide on Sunday.
I was facing straight into the brilliant sunlight and most of the houses and low-lying coastal scrub was just a silhouette (so the above shot has had the shadows lightened to reveal some detail).
The tiny bay, (or inlet), was covered in sparkling stars from the reflected sun on the rippling water surface and really quite enchanting. The wind had dropped a little and walking was really pleasant under the blue Spring skies with just a smattering of whispy cloud cover creeping in from the horizon.
I heard a weird sound and looked up to see 2 gyrocopters (?) with broad ballooning parachutes spread over them.
Then I looked across the low-lying scrubby salt-resistant landscape across patches of yellow Oxalis and some other yellow weed which I couldn’t identify. It wasn’t Wild Radish, but something similar.
I walked down a narrow path towards the water.
Definitely low tide, but with cameras and other gear in a wheeled bag and what amounted to tennis shoes on my feet, (not my normal lace-up leather walking shoes), I couldn’t walk across any of the wet sand, or to peek in the shallows looking for crabs and other water creatures.
I’d deliberately brought my short 17-50 f2.8 lens and Canon DSLR in case I came across some rock pools. I also had my Canon 50mm f1.4 lens which is the only remaining lens from my early Photography days some years ago which had the right-sized polarizing filter to photograph through water. Now I’ve sold and traded a few lenses, I need to reassess the filters lying in their dust-free containers.
So I continued onwards stopping every now and then to admire the low-lying landscape and brilliant patches of green, yellow and other multicoloured low-lying plants.
I photographed a few other weeds, but the images weren’t particularly good so they got deleted.
I couldn’t help but be envious of the surrounding houses and their picturesque views over Port Phillip Bay. If anyone had a glass-windowed loft and was high enough up with a ‘widows walk’ and/or telescope, they would be able to see all the shipping, leisure boats and yachts coming in and out of Port Phillip Bay.
Imagine living in the house below.
I am descended from the early Whaling Captains that plied their trade in the southern oceans and called Hobart, in the southern island state of Tasmania, home. I can well imagine the wives watching and waiting in those early 1800s for all the months these whalers were at sea. Some of my Ancestors ship’s instruments are in the Maritime Museum in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.
My Mother (now deceased), so my 91 year old Father now, has a copy of the original Whaling Captain’s diary in which my G/G/Grandfather’s brother ran away to sea at the age of 13 and worked his way up to the rank of Captain. It’s a fascinating story and one day I’ll borrow it back and make another attempt to put the diary on computer. My eyesight is poor even with prescription glasses. I’m never really 100% sure whether my images have sharp focus when reviewing them on my 27″ computer monitor. Don’t ask me how I take photos. After some 80,000 images made over 7 years, I’ve just learned to guess, or compensate, with what I can’t see clearly through the viewfinder.
My G/G/Grandfather was hit on the head with a whaling spike and died in his fifties off New Zealand, so my G/Grandfather was brought up by the older brother who was a well-known whaling Captain.
Anyway, as I gazed up at this spectacular house with what appeared to be a third floor with 360 degree viewing windows in Williamstown, I immediately thought of my ancestors’ wives.
Waiting and looking out to sea each night for months on end.
Watching and waiting.
Waiting and watching.
Anyway, there were no spectacular seascapes to photograph on Sunday, but the stroll in the winding gravel path towards the Jawbone Arboretum entrance was thoroughly enjoyable all the same.
I saw a white-plumed Honeyeater high in a Eucalyptus tree, but without my 150-500mm lens I couldn’t get a close-up shot.
Don’t know what this creeping flower was but it reminded me of Old Man’s Beard, a climbing Clematis.
Didn’t bother to look up this grass flower as I’d take so long you’d never get to see this post.
Steps from time to time with houses in the background
Greens, yellows, gold and red leaves made a lovely bed across the landscape.
Plenty of seats scattered through the whole reserve and Range Lake system
Ribwort I think.
This is a favourite image, not because its a spectacular sea or landscape but because its such a true reflection of the area.
I love this grass and there’s hundreds of meters of it planted along the river next to my home area.
Looking back towards the tiny boatyard’s club house/shed.
Walking past the tiny boatyard I saw several rabbits grazing with dozens of small birds.
I walked down to the chain wire fence to try and get my Sony a6000’s 55-210mm lens through the gap, but this is the best I could do. Once again I wished I hadn’t left the 150-500mm DLSR lens at home.
I stopped here at the entrance to the Arboretum which I saw most of on my first visit back in August.
In the distance I saw cormorants sitting on the rocks at the start of the Range Lakea system, but it was pointless going further at I didn’t have a long telephoto lens with me and I wanted to walk back to the bus stop. I couldn’t remember when the next bus came to take me halfway home. Then there was a potential wait for another tram or bus to take me on the second half of my trip home.
So all in all, it was a very enjoyable walk and the warm sun did its very best to break the effect of the brisk sea breeze that sent my jacket flapping and needled its way under my thin shirt.
Next visit, in warmer weather, will be to explore the Range Lakes system shown on the map at the top of this post………preferably with the long 150-500 telephoto lens to do some bird photography.