Seal Rocks, Australia
I started today with a simple plan – do a little of the homework I’d come to do and then visit the three consecutive local beaches – Boomerang, Shelly and Elizabeth. Easy. But first, a little perusal of the local shops. Being lazy, I decided to drive since I had a car – waste not, want not. I came across a cafe that seemed to cater to city slickers on getaway so did as the circumstance prescribed and ordered a flat white. I got it to take away, jumped back in the car with the intention of enjoying it on the beach but instead was overcome by an impulse to take off in the direction opposite to my simple plan.
When I’d spoken with Dad the other day, he mentioned a place called Seal Rocks which I vaguely remembered seeing sign posted on my way in. Back in the day, Dad worked on the State Coastal Protection Scheme and was instrumental in protecting vast tracts of coastline which are still protected to this day – Seal Rocks is one such place. I punched it into the GPS and away I went with my coffee for company.
After half an hour or so along more dirt roads, a vista of pristine beach with crystal clear aquamarine water revealed itself. I was moved to pull over, get out of the car and bask in the warm winter sun and pride in my father at ensuring this haven remains the right of all who visit it. Thank you Dad.
Further along, I stopped briefly at the dilapidated shack of Captain Frenzal who sells sea shells by the sea shore out of an old, broken down deli cabinet. I picked a few and just as I went to put my money in the honesty box, Captain Frenzal himself appeared as though from the pages of comic book. He was the perfect image of an old salty dog replete in his beanie and bushy beard. He refused to take my money saying that they weren’t his best shells and I’d be doing him a favour by taking them away. I thanked him hoping there wasn’t an ancient sea curse on the shells!
I kept on up a narrow road I wasn’t entirely sure I was supposed to drive on, hoping it would lead me to a lookout. It did. In fact, it took me to a car park at the beginning of a trail that led up to a lighthouse. After a short walk through serene bushland, the final ascent was breathtakingly steep but well worth it to have my regained breath stolen again by the magnificent views at the top. Just stunning! The actual seal rocks (sans seals) dotted the water, punctuating the canvas of perfect blue sea and sky.
On my way back down, I came across a couple staring out to sea pointing excitedly. I remembered Sandy saying that there was a good chance I might see whales and sure enough, I followed the couples gaze out to spot a whale spouting water high into the air. It was a couple of kilometers out so not photo worthy but something to see none the less.
Back in the car, I turned tail and headed back to Pacific Palms stopping briefly at Bluey’s Beach for a quick sticky beak and a game of Humphrey* with the water… only I let the warm water catch me. Home for a spot of lunch then onto my original plans. I made my way back to the far end of Boomerang Beach which was starting to get cool in the late afternoon sun. None the less the paddling water was still warm.
My next intended stop was Shelly beach but I couldn’t work out how to get to it from Boomerang. I knew it lay in cove between Boomerang and Elizabeth beaches so I drove to Elizabeth where the wind had picked up considerably. Lucky for me, ‘wind’ is my favourite weather! It’s like having your hair tickled by nature! Having said that, it was a bit rough today and was whipping me quite ferociously with sand. I beat a hasty retreat back to the road and backtracked to an entrance to a trail I spied en route which promised to lead to the illusive Shelly Beach.
The trail itself cuts through the fairly dense bush of the mountain that separates the other two beaches. On one side, where the trail hugs the cliffs edge, the scrub intermittently gives way to spectacular views of the beach below.
I had been warned by both Sandy and the neighbours that it is a nude beach so I was curious to see if there were any naturists with skin thick enough to brave this weather. As I neared the access point, I got my answer from a man leaving the beach who told me I had it all to myself… a mischievous thought occurred… could this be my shot at nudism? Could I really do it for the sake of doing it? I decided to let my imagination be the only thing to get carried away as opposed to my body in the too-rough and cold sea! Instead, I sat a while, ate an apple and read my book as I watched the sun set on this, the last day of my mini-getaway.
Tomorrow I head back to Sydney having accomplished little in terms of the work I was hoping to do but feeling enriched by nature, triumphant in my independence, nostalgic for my happy childhood and bursting at the seams with gratitude for my dear friend Sandy who made this trip and so much more possible!
(One last shameless plug – if you’re looking for an easy getaway, stay at Boomerang Retreat!!!)
- to play Humphrey is to stand at the water’s edge and jump back as the waves come in to avoid getting your feet wet just as Humphrey B. Bear did on his day at the beach.