Day 7 - Saturday 15 November 2008

I wake up at 5am to the very first rays of the suns light emerging out from the darkness. From first glance it seems to be clear skies today but with the tiniest slither of cloud on the horizon. I had very freaky dreams last night about murder, humiliation amongst friends, deceit, betrayal, love lost, big mouldy 1970ís style houses, hills, expansive views, sex and baths.

I climb out of bed but itís too early for photos as itís still just a bit too dark. For the next 40 minutes or so I jump in and out of bed taking photos in and around Q2, of the the lighthouse and the first light of the sunrise. I can see Pat is out with his camera and Alena wanders past too. We wave to each other as a friendly early morning gesture. There is a golden orange yellow warm glow on the cliffs that highlights the mood of the morning. A little later, after the golden glow of the sunset dissipates into the bright light of the day, I climb back into bed and sleep some more until about 8.

This morningís glow is rich with warmth, and as I awaken I feel instantly the nightís dreamy anxieties and fears are fading. Mornings on Tasman are the same routine again, I wander up to Q3 for a breakfast of cereal and coffee but this morning there is also wholemeal cakes with honey and blueberry jam. What a delight!

The day ahead presents what I will term a Ďdawdle dayí, or rather do what you like day our team leader Bob announces. I decide that the first thing I will do is move all of the linoleum from Q2 Ė about 15 bags averaging 18 kilos per bag Ė to Q3 for removal by the helicopter tomorrow. After getting one of the wheelbarrows Iím into it. Halfway through I come across one of the rarely seen Tasman Island crickets hiding amongst the bags of linoleum. What a rare treat. I deliver another bag of lino to Q3, grab my camera and return but when I return itís gone. However, after a few more trips back and forth it reappears and I manage to capture a few photos of it. I finish off my chore of lino moving in time for a morning tea. On the menu is; freshly baked scones with cream, jam, marmalade, kiwifruit, strawberries washed down with a cup of hot tea. The weather today is perfect, the skies are clear, the sun is out and there is barely a cloud in the sky.

After morning tea a group of us head north across the island to the top of the Haulage-way on the northern tip, once we arrive we head east traversing the top of the cliffs until we reach the north-eastern corner. From here we turn right and follow the cliff edge south travelling up a long incline before it slowly drops again. There are magnificent views back over to Cape Pillar and the Blade and Knobby Rocks, and across the middle of the island to the three houses and lighthouse. The cliff walk is stunning in its grandeur and magnificence of landscape Ė vast skies, looming cliff faces below, and ocean as far as the eye can see.

This is the same walk that I first did on my previous trip to Tasman and I find the spot that Iíve been making a drawing of back home in multiple states. When we get to the edge where it turns inwards back towards Q2 and Q3 we all stop and sit for a long period, at one stage viewing whales far off shore and consuming the vast view of the silver blue sea from 1,000 foot directly above it.

Itís so immense. We separate and each of us slowly makes our own way back westwards towards Q2, through the thick bracken filled valley that use to be the islands vegetable patch, back when the light was still in operation, that we weeded on the first few days of the trip before hitting the main track for the final walk up to Q3 and lunch at about 2.30pm. I stop many times during the walk to look and to take photos.

Lunch consists of home-made bread made by Bob, salad, tuna, avocado, salami, cheese, etc. I finish lunch with a cup of cranberry tea on the steps of the lighthouse once more allowing my mind to drift away whilst taking in the view of the multi-faceted landscape. I wander back inside, help with the drying up then take my video camera and backpack for a walk back down to the top of the Haulage-way where the Whim silently sits at the northern tip of the island.

On my way back I video the walk, holding the camera down at my waist as I wander along the linear track that cuts through the centre of the island. I pause the video when I get to Q1 and take more interior photos of its emptiness and darkness.

A weather change comes through. The forecast is for gale force 60-knot winds and it seems to come out of nowhere whilst Iím wandering around inside. I think to myself, if itís like this tomorrow we are not going anywhere and therefore itís another night on Tasman for us. So much for the clear sunny day that welcomed the morning in. Soon afterwards we are getting blasted by heavy rain pelting down on us whilst we take shelter in Q1. I feel compelled to take a few more images. I wonder if the wind will settle in and if we will be here longer than expected?

Once the rain clears I head back up to Q3 where I do a little reading. Shortly afterwards its dinnertime. We stoke up the BBQ and cook sausages and mince patties, served up with a side salad. Dinner is washed down with a couple of glasses of red wine and one of white before we watch a digital slide show of Mikeís recent trek to the edge of the Simpson Desert on camels.

The weather this afternoon and night can only be described as inclement, itís wild, windy and raining, and as Chris so eloquently puts it, Ďtypical Tasman weatherí. We all wonder if we will be flying tomorrow and thereís a bit of a hushed silence amongst us all as we individually think of the unknown. Bob will call Heli Resources at 6am tomorrow to find out.