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Kelp Beds and a Catastrophe


Monday I woke at dawn, and got into the domestics, tidying the ‘Love Shack’, and went down to the bakery early whilst I waited for the wash to finish. I decided I didn’t feel like straying far, so went north a little then out along Manuka Rd to the shore. This involved going through a closed gate and onto the kelp tracks – all fine as long as you close the gate again. I went left a ways, and parked near a rocky outcrop, where seagulls circled wildly.

I discovered some great treasures – more crayfish bits, sponges and bright lichen. Apparently there is another rotting dozer along here somewhere – I’ll have to come back to discover that. The overcast day was wonderful for taking crisp photos, but I was getting very dizzy bending down on the rocks – I wonder if it is a barometric pressure thing or something? I’m used to a bit of light-headedness, but this is a bit much!

After a break at home, I went back down to British Admiral Beach, and followed the kelp track out to the point. Scrambling over the rocks, I went further and further out, until I was seeing actual kelp beds – kelp still attached to the rocks, so they move magically in the tide. I lay down on the rocks and was happily engrossed in this movement for ages. I realised that this was the vision of kelp I had seen in Tasmania, which I hadn’t yet seen here – where the kelp stipes bend gracefully out of the water and over with the weight of the fronds. I wanted to take photos through them, but they were too much underwater – but high tide was at 4pm! I returned, but was disappointed that the tide didn’t seem much lower, however I was able to get a little closer. The rocks aren’t slippery, but the tide was a bit capricious, and soaked my feet a few times. I pushed my luck, and crept out further, then I couldn’t outrun one wave. It only came up to my thighs, but was enough to get my camera in my oilskin pocket slightly wet, which was enough to kill it. The old bag of rice trick hasn’t worked…so far. If only I’d put it in the chest pocket………

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