Roiling water over Mersey Bluff rocks, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. More images at:

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October 22, 2013

Dear diary,
Today was J’s birthday and as you know, dear diary, we always celebrate our birthdays by having lunch somewhere we think special enough. Today it was The House of Anvers, at Latrobe, where our menu choices included great coffee and a serve of rich, rich chocolate mousse.


A wave breaks at Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe

Being so close to Devonport it was a natural progression to decide to travel that little bit further, to revisit familiar places. Again it was raining - and blowing a gale. Ah, perhaps my penchant, my appetite for booming waves would again be satisfied.

Up on the Mersey Bluff, of course the lighthouse had to be the first intrigue to again investigate, once the hogs-on-rods with bikes neatly arrayed at the base finished their photo op. They cajoled, loudly bantered, posed for the camera (not mine of course, dear diary), their smiles emerging from flapping curly greying beards - then vroom-vroom, vroom-vroom, the cuban heels depressed on the pedals and in a flurry they were gone and only the wheeling of the seabirds overhead - and the howling wind - remained.


A juvenile Pacific gull soars overhead at the Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe

Realising the red stripes on the lighthouse were vertical, as opposed to horizontal, and in multiples, looking like pyjama stripes, the edifice was summarily captured and left behind as greater fascinations lay about on the headland, not least the ancient aboriginal carvings, or the cormorant colony lying mid-water nearby where the birds were sheltering.


A rock carving atop the Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe

Stretching my energy limits further than usual today, diary dearest, I surprised myself with a short jaunt down the pathway and steps. The lookout over the rocks brought satisfying results, and no vertigo leading up to the narrow safety fence as there once might have been. Perhaps determination has overtaken the old fear - and the desire for some great images outweighed the negatives I might once have thrown up. The seascape allowed capture of active water spraying delightfully on, over and above the dark rocks, and the ubiquitous seabirds put on an aerial show for all’s delight. And as for that juvenile Pacific gull who so very thoughtfully landed on a nearby outcrop, to preen and watch and listen intently to the loud youths who came along, with their yarking disturbing the peace, it chose not to rise into the air and fly off to a quieter landing point for all the time I leaned on the rail, eye firmly fixed on the lens, waiting for that rise. So the bird had to be left to its own devices and our return ascent of the steps taken.  


A juvenile Pacific gull takes time to rest and preen on the rocky outcrop of Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe

Being in something of a nostalgic mood, old childhood haunts from holidaying days saw a turn in to Coles Beach. How different it was from the late 50s, when a rough beach track allowed access to the teatree lined, rocky foreshore. Contemporary housing with sea vistas has overtaken the virgin hills of long ago. Tarmac has overlain the gravel, and mown grass and Canary Island palms now line the way in.

Then it was a no show at Poseidon, the sculpture at the mouth of the Mersey. Too wet, too windy, too much for the day. But, dear diary, one must always leave something for another day, and there was much to bypass until next time. So it was a turn of the steering wheel to head out of town. But... but... my dearest diary, there was a ship... A big ship... And it was leaving port... Well, what was I to do, I ask you? Ignore it, leave it uncaptured? Well, no, diary, I couldn’t do that, could I... So a veer into the golden-arches carpark and out again, to turn left and back along to a strategic point to get this great vessel’s image before it disappeared into the misty horizon.

And that was it, dear diary. A happy day, although I’ve mostly told you about myself and what I did, but that’s okay, all was good and you would know that...

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The foreshore, Coles Beach, near Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe
Some lighthouses have none, some have horizontal ones and here the Mersey Bluff lighthouse has vertical red stripes. Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
A juvenile Pacific gull takes time-out on the rocks, Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe
The Bass Strait ferry, Spirit of Tasmania, is in port readying for departure in the late afternoon. Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
The Poppy sculpture is a tribute to the poppy industry and the man who was instrumental in founding it here , Stephen King. Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
This small colony of cormorants take shelter from the prevailing weather off the Mersey Bluff, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.

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