Tidal, solitude and melancholy

I sleep in a little this morning, pondering my uneasiness of the night before whilst keeping my body warm under the sheets. Once again the sun pours in through the window and it appears like itís going to be yet another magnificent day. Breakfast, I clean up and Iím out the door thinking to myself that I will take it a little easy today, perhaps half a day walking, followed by a half day reading and writing.

I head out towards South Cave. Itís a short walk along the white grey gravel road until I arrive at the even shorter track up to the cave. South Cave is much smaller than North Cave but it does seem to go in deep quite a way. I bump into one of the rangers and I ask him if I am able to make my way around to North Cave via the coast. He says generally yes but only when the tide is low. I decide this will be the way I navigate today and am soon heading my way around the coast from South Cave rock hopping and bush bashing as I go.

Near South Cave, Rocky Cape In awe of Rocky Cape And then there was more... (Too amazing for words)

Its not the easiest terrain and it brings back many memories of rock hopping as a kid around Avoca Beach in New South Wales. There are a few hazardous moments where I feel like a rock climber right on the edge, and at one point I have to take bit of dip into the sea up to my ankles, as the rocks no longer have anything for me to grab and climb around.

After about an hour and half I make it to what I think is North Cave, but the tide is up and I canít navigate my way around the final rock face because its too sheer. I think perhaps I could wade through the water, or I wait for the tide to head out or turn around and head back. I stop and have some lunch and think what I should do. I donít particularly want to strip down, jump in to what looks like chest deep water and wade across. The water is probably very chilly and knowing my luck a family will be on the other side when I arrive.

I donít feel like waiting for a few hours, so I decide to turn back and face the same precarious rock hopping and bush bashing that I have just encountered to get to this point. The return journey doesnít take as long, perhaps half of the time as I know where Iím going this time and I pack my camera in my bag so there are no stops for photographs.

Once back at South Cave I back track some more and then take the 20-minute walk out to Rocky Cape headland. Itís a nice easy walk and my feet are relieved that Iím not rock hoping any more. The headland of Rocky Cape is very spectacular, more giant protrusions of rock crashing upwards, saturated oranges, light grey, green and dark grey almost black. Large white pebbled beaches, and deep green foliage against a rich blue sky. In the distance poking through is the white monolith of Rocky Cape lighthouse standing as a sentinel up on the hill. I decide to walk up to the lighthouse as my next stop.

During the walk up the gravel road I think about solitude. Most of my walking in this park I have been alone. I think of dark and light. Of shadows and richly saturated colour. I think about crevices that I have drawn in the past. This place has small crevices, but when I stop and zone in on them I see them everywhere.

I think of sharp focus and wild energy. I find myself contemplating deep time in the geology. I contemplate the history of the area, and imagine what old black and white photographs of the regions landscape might be like, and what sort of stories I might hear from the local aboriginals.

I think about Raymond Arnoldís black and white prints of rock faces, each image layered against the next and a landscape evolving/forming as each plate is etched. I think of blurring around the edges in contrast to sharp focus. Dark edges, light highlights and layers of grey and white light. I think again of darkness, and layers of erosion of rocks in this wildly expressive landscape, a layered landscape of violent eruptions in deep time, in dramatic layers of light and dark, in layers of wild erosion.

Before I know it Iím up at the lighthouse taking in the views across to North Cave and down to the headline I was just walking around. I think to myself how Iíd like to climb Flagpole Hill and take in the view above North Cave over to Sisters Beach. Perhaps next week as Iím tired now and am starting to feel the effects of the dayís rock hopping so I slowly wander with my thoughts back to the shack.

Iíve been walking for five and a half to six hours today, so much for a quiet day. Back in the shack, the sun is setting in all its glory. Itís a thing of absolute beauty watching it in the quiet of the shack, however I do miss the family. The interview I did with Rick Eaves is on ABC tonight so I listen in anticipation but with heavy eyes and a tired body. I enjoy the interview but I go to bed feeling quite melancholy about it, art the residency.