The Southern Ocean
near Albany
Western Australia
21 to 23 October 2006

Old men ought to be explorers
Through the dark cold and empty desolation
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise.
In the end is my beginning.

T. S. Eliot, East Croker, 1944

Suzanne Curry thus quotes Eliot at the beginning of an essay on William Dampier (whose home in England was in East Croker) in the wonderful West Australian magazine Landscope [Winter 1993, pp 28-34] about William Dampier. Dampier's explorations of the West Australian coast 300 years ago inspired Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Dampier in fact never got to the dark cold and empty desolation of the southern coasts, but explored much hotter and difficult places to the north.

Much of the popular image of Western Australia is of heat and dry, and while it has been dry much of our way, it has been mild or cool with cool or cold(ish) nights. Here on the southern coast, with spring weather racing through, it is jumpers at midday... and warm rooms, so far, rather then camping.

There is great beauty in this coast, also an exotic look because of the predominance of granite in the cliffs and offshore islets...

...shaping the largest and the smallest features
(right above and below - the spots above are raindrops, not footprints, in the sand)

a day at the beach may look like this... dramatic and beautiful — and rugged up

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