Friday, October 4, 2013

Photo Safari

4 October 2013

I went on a photo safari this morning - meaning I grabbed my camera and walked along two beaches (and climbed over parts of three headlands) and just took photos of the beautiful scenery, boats, colorful shells, and interesting people.

Our resort is situated on a point - the bures and dorms face a beach that is formed between two headlands.  We walk across a lawn to reach the main building for meals, and that faces another beach, on the other side of the point - and this beach is also formed between two headlands - the two beaches share one headland in common, which is sort of the point of a strange triangle.

Anyway, it was low tide at about breakfast time.  So I started by heading west on the western beach.  It was mostly a sandy beach, with some strange rocky shelves in the middle, then more sand.  Great views looking back at that headland that's the apex of the point, which has a hole in the center - from this side, it looks like it should be named Doughnut Rock.  (There's another resort at the far end of this beach, but our place looks nicer.)

This beach to the west of the point had areas of black sand, from the volcanic rock - so I'd guess some of the rocky headlands or rock outcroppings on the beach were also volcanic rock.

There were great shells - some of the giant clam shells (which, by the way, are extremely thick and super heavy - much heavier than you'd think they'd be) - but this little spiral shell was my favorite.

Anyway, after exploring that beach for a while, I returned, crossed the point, and headed to the other side (I guess east side) of Doughnut Rock - which, on this side, makes a wonderful aperture for looking at the opposite beach, but also, from a distance, looks like an elephant kind of leaning into the hillside - so from this side, we'll call it Elephant Rock.

I love natural windows that capture a view in the middle - just something so fascinating about a huge hole in a rock!

I walked along this beach - less black sand, fewer rocky outcroppings, but patches of weird sand that was almost like clay!

And, of course, more crystal clear water with sea grass and strange curly algae or seaweed or maybe a soft coral - I'm not sure, but it was just pretty, so of course I had to take a photo or two.  And yes, these photos are taken on the surface, looking through several inches of water.  It is that clear!

At the far end of the eastern beach was another big rock with a small doughnut hole, and a tall rock pinnacle.  Which, for the sake of decency, we'll call Finger Rock.  Pointing at the clouds in the sky.

I was able to walk most of the way there, slogging through very mucky sand (they was the part that was kind of half-sand-half-clay) - but I wanted to see what it looked like out there at this point, so I mucked through.  It was interesting, because the rock turned out to be a much redder color than it appeared at a distance - that was a lovely contrast with the turquoise and blue of the ocean.

And I could look back and have a great view of the beach I had just crossed. 

Out at this point, part of the beach was some weird conglomerate rock - sort of large pebbles stuck in a hard sandy mixture that has solidified into a natural concrete, for lack of a better description.  Anyway, this rocky shelf had lots of nooks and crannies, a rocky English muffin, holding tide pools of sea water rather than melted butter.  And in among the tide pools I found some odd little sea stars, who remained snuggled into their nooks and crannies, sticking out a few legs to snag little morsels to eat.  I couldn't seem to coax out the entire sea star, no matter how much I tried.  I poked them with a small stick, I stood and created shade for them, I talked to them - but, well, I didn't want to touch them, I'm not sure if any of these things are toxic.  But they were very interesting to observe.

I headed back, catching a few more photos of our resort across the beach, and just more lovely water photos.

Later in the evening, it was high tide and sunset - the beach was pretty much covered in water, I'd say it's a good 8-10 feet (2.5 to 3 meters) from the low to high tide marks.  

But the area around Finger Rock was underwater, and the small doughnut hole was underwater.  Waves were crashing through Elephant Rock.  So that gives you an idea of the distance between low and high tide.
It wasn't a spectacular sunset, but definitely a nice sunset.  I'll keep looking for the amazing sunset over the next few days.

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