We have a great view of the beach from our apartment, and I have a little routine to get there: through our communal café area (greeting as I go), out the front door of our complex (hello to receptionist), left into a dead-end road (avoiding the cars being parked – often by surfers), track across the golf course between two holes (waiting for golfers to hit off, or avoiding stray balls), and voila!
I go in my thongs (flip-flops), hide them under a bush, mark the spot, and walk barefoot on the packed sand. I don’t hide my thongs to prevent a human theft – anyone who would do that needs them much more than I do – but because that part of the beach is leash-free, and some canine might think they make a great toy. And I leave them behind because (a) it’s a nuisance to carry them, and (b) I am forced to come all the way back to fetch them again.
It’s winter and I haven’t walked much lately; and I was earlier than usual the other day. The sand was quite fresh under my feet! Sometimes I find solitary walking is good for my brain, it helps me think out storylines or dialogue, but something was different on my last walk. There were no people around (yet) but early-morning dog walkers had left their trail. I found myself playing a little game about guessing which breed had left the tracks. Dog-tracking lesson 101.
I think this one that looked as if it had pranced across on one foot, was a whippet. Light-weight, long legs, and dainty foot.
I think this one was a toy breed. What we used to call the “fluffies” when I worked in animal pharmaceuticals. Not much distance between the right and left leg, and has barely indented the sand. Watch those claws, though. Think they need a trim.
I took a photo of something I was sure was a large breed, perhaps the Rhodesian Ridgeback I sometimes see. But I’ve screwed up my photos (which I have since deleted from my phone) because this is the same dog as above. At least it proves my hypothesis. This one comes down heavier on the back legs, but there is not much distance between fore and aft.
Later I saw a happy dog enjoying the surf. It was coming in too fast for me to capture its footprints before they were washed away.
As I continued, it was the seagulls which captured my attention. One extremely vociferous specimen offended its companions to the point they turned away from him.
It’s about a half hour walk to the rocks overlooked by our working lighthouse.
Where I observed an incoming car carrier.
And even though I retraced my steps
It moved faster than me, and was soon met by two tugs, who guided it through the well-concealed harbour entrance.
Port Kembla harbour is very interesting to an “old salt”. Ships, under the control of the local pilot, must navigate the narrow entrance through the two arms of a breakwater. The entrance rocks are painted white. Then the ship must turn a hard right, and pull into one of the allocated berths. Port Kembla is industrial, ships bring or take coal, iron ore, steel, fertilizer, grain and vehicles of every shape and size. Berths are not random. So primarily car carriers pull into the wharf depicted in the below photo (source quoted). Which means that from our back balcony, when all we can see is the superstructure, it looks as if they have been “parked” on land.