This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC) .
Today’s travel notes
There’s a heat wave on in Sydney, Australia. If you like the heat, this is where you should be. Weather reports say we’re the hottest place on the planet this weekend.
This is when all savvy Sidney-siders hit the beaches. Shelly Beach is one of the best. It’s all happening: scuba-diving, snorkelling, swimming, paddling, stand-up and sit-down canoeing, splashing or just plain lying around.
Shelly Beach is part of the Cabbage Tree Bay reserve, at the quiet end of Manly Beach. Unlike the rest of the Sydney ocean coast, Shelly Beach points north rather than east. It’s tucked away in a little fold of the coast and has a character all its own.
The book I’m in
the witches of chiswick, by Robert Rankin.
Ha ha, very funny, especially if you’re an erudite worm like me.
Introducing Naught, my stunt worm:
Actually, Naught is a copy of me, clad in laminate so that I don’t have to risk the wrinkling, colour-leeching and sagging that inevitably result from an extended dunking.
Naught is not bad at bobbing about. Here’s an underwater scene at Shelly Beach. The bobbing bookmark makes a less-than-convincing entrance near the end of the video:
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Not that this worm is in need of flattery. I’m quite aware of my own worth. I’ve named my stunt worm “Naught”, in honour of another underwater wonder, the Nautilus. And also because “naught” means “nothing”, and although Naught may look like me, he isn’t me and therefore he’s really nothing at all. (I just needed to make that absolutely clear.)
We didn’t find Nemo, nor even Captain Nemo, but Naught is a good alternative. And he seems to have found a mermaid:
There are lots of different fish in the water too. The TC managed to catch one or two in her camera lense. Here’s one:
Here’s another, pretty if you like that sort of thing:
Here are a few silver and striped specimens, perhaps in search of Nemo themselves:
Next up is a blue groper. There are few fish that have caught my interest, but this one does have a good quirk or two. A groper sees a sex change as part of the normal scheme of things. Rumour has it that all gropers start out as girls. Then, when the whim takes them, they turn into boys at the flip of a fin. Boys are blue, girls are greeny-yellow. They can live as long at 35 years, so they have plenty of time to choose their favourite colour. They can grow to about 60cm long. This one is blue so I guess it’s a boy. He’s followed by a flotilla of fans:
Here’s an “artistic” photo of a shoal of tiny little fish that swam round and round the TC, moving too fast to get a good picture:
Above water, Shelly Beach is all go too. Here’s a view from the west side of the beach, looking north towards Manly:
It’s a family beach, with a somewhat disquieting atmosphere of stormy prettiness. Kookaburras and cockatoos wheel above, gropers and other finned things swoop below. Sandwiched between is a layer of swimmers. And Naught, the bobbing bookmark. Any undercurrents are, on the whole, on their best behaviour. The overall effect is intriguing rather than menacing. Most days, anyway.
Here you’re on the west side of the beach looking east:
Now you’re in the middle of the beach, looking north towards Manly:
Here you’re standing on the rocks at the east side of Shelly Beach, looking west across the beach:
This photo is taken from the rocks on Shelly Beach, looking north towards Manly:
The TC made a short video to show it all happening at Shelly Beach. It reminds me of a page from a beginner’s language course, with people doing all sorts of things, contented smiles on their faces and useful little bubbles with the French/German/whatever words describing their activities. But luckily for you, there are no speech bubbles on this video.
As the camera pans past the rocks on the west end of the beach, you will see the well-known Bower surf break. It’s popular among Manly surfers, because it’s one of the last breaks to close out in big surf and offers the cleanest right handers in Sydney. That’s what they say. Take a look:
Meanwhile back home, it’s very very warm. Sydney is treating us to a heat wave. The tree ferns are suffering:
Poor old Drool really wanted to go to the beach too. I told him he’d sink like a stone. Or at least like a faux stone. Drool and Naught have one thing in common — there’s not much real about Drool either:
That’s all for today dudes.