Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 13

Time for something different. Instead of going to the tip of the country at sunset, this time we went at Sunrise!
Into the teeth of the howling gale, we walked over the rocks to the tip once again. Once again, the wind tried to blow us into the water. As the waves crashed into the rocks, the salt spray washed our cameras and lenses in grimy, misty fog.  Steve got big bertha out, his ultrawide angle panorama camera and lugged it to the tip, in the hope of a decent sunrise. I don’t know if the camera is called big bertha or not, I just made that up. It is a huge contraption that demands to be delicately carried along with about ½ a ton of accessories and tripods and who-knows-what-else. This is Tanya’s role. Then there is the taking of the photo itself. Luckily, the cape is only moving northwards at about 3cm per year, otherwise the photo would be blurry, it takes so long to get the shot. As for our sunrise, we got a sort of half-hearted sunrise, the sun shyly hiding behind big banks of showers and cloud scudding off the coast until almost too late. Once again, we had the place to ourselves. Hard to believe that it is still possible to be in such an iconic place and not have anyone else around. Not just once, but three times!
Sunrise (kind of) at the tip.
 We witnessed a remarkable phenomenon on the walk back. The tide was low when we reached the tip, and had started to come in as we headed back. The tidal water rushing through the small gap between the mainland, Eborac and York Islands created a massive upwelling of water just the other side of the channel, right near the beach. The area under the surface must be a real obstacle course, judging by the force with which the water was surging to the surface. The surging created a huge flat area of bubbling, heaving water, while at the sides was a series of whirlpools, waves and wash-back currents that looked incredible and probably just hinted at the forces that were actually at play under the water! Not a place to be in a dinghy or tinnie. Really glad to be watching that from dry land!
 A visit to Somerset on the way back wasn’t quite as inspiring. The light was ‘all wrong’ so we didn’t linger.
Teddy caught the fishing bug this afternoon, and roped Tanya in. I had a go as well. Ted, our esteemed and newly appointed fishing guide, decreed that manky meat left overs was the bait of discerning fish everywhere, but it soon became apparent that even Punsand Bay fish don’t like past-it’s-used-by-date meat, so some squid was purchased from the shop. The results however, remained pretty much the same. Not so much as a nibble. Our fishing efforts caused some amusement to the kids on the beach, but spectacularly failed to motivate the local fish population into chomping ferociously onto our delicately baited hooks. So rather than a mountain of fresh local fish for tea, caught by our own hands, we had pasta
Tried to book a helicopter scenic flight for tomorrow morning, but the pilot doesn’t do mornings apparently. He refused a booking for three people for a half hour flight (over $900 worth) because it was ‘too early’. So we won’t get our aerial shot of the tip after all we have been through. Not to worry, a good excuse to come back some time. We did watch the helicopter take-off and land on the beach a few times this afternoon, taking 10 minute ‘scenic’s’ but we all thought conditions were pretty marginal for flying and we wouldn’t get good photos if we went this afternoon. So we stayed on the ground. Couldn’t see the point of paying to take photos from inside the cloud! Showers scudding through camp again this evening.
 Logged on to the weather, rather pointlessly, again tonight. I was going to say the forecast was the same, but it wasn’t. Tonight it had 20-30 knots, as has been usual the last two weeks, but with the added bonus of ‘showers extending inland’!
The plan at this stage is to head back to Heathlands and stay the night, to see if we can get a window of a couple of hours to fly to Merluna station. Plan ‘B’ is to drive back and then come back with the trailer at some stage. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.
Thus ends our last full day at Punsand Bay.

nothing to see here....our fishing guide hard at work.

Helicopter flying anyone? The view from Punsand Bay beach.

Nice flying conditions.....

Bob & Tracey

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