At daybreak I grabbed one of the guest mountain bikes from the shed and cycled down the road to Trousers Pt. It took about 10 minutes, not including time spent stopping for photos. I’ve started keeping my camera in my pocket at all times, every time I step outside without it I see something spectacular and kick myself. The sun rises slowly and majestically here and Trousers Point is one of the best places to see it.
Arwen had also made an early start this morning and was heading to the top of Mt Strzelecki. The track to both begins at our back door. I would have joined her but my knees would never have made it. She has inspired me though, I can’t climb a mountain but I can get out of my comfort zone and take a swim. The weather is reaching a top of about 15 degrees at the moment and although I’ve lucked out with perfect sunny days, it is due to change any minute. The water temp is about 13 degrees C (55 F) and I didn’t bring a wetsuit. Challenge accepted.
So I rode back to change into swimmers and then drove back to the beach before I could change my mind. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have stepped right out of warm toasty boots and directly into Bass Straits winter currents without some preparation.
MOTHER OF GOD !!
Let’s just say it was a very quick and verbally colourful swim.
Bless the person who invented hot tubs. I cannot describe the moment I sank into that giant pool of bliss but it was almost spiritual. The water and air here is the purest in the world and I was feeling it. I’m not surprised that people come to this retreat to heal, it makes perfect sense. The cold had taken all the pain out of my knees and now warmth was creeping up from my toes. There was no-one for miles and not a sound apart from occasional bird twitter.
Suddenly I had an epiphany; I wouldn’t waste any more time trying to fix my technology problems. I had a pen and paper and a basic word program on my netbook, that’s more than Jane Austen had. I wasn’t going to get lost, you could see Mt Strzelecki from any point on the island for Gods sake and if I broke down someone would help. From now on I was going off the grid. How liberating.
The museum would only be open again today and then it’s closed until next weekend, so my day was already booked. When I arrived, another friendly lady was unlocking the front door. “Are you Karen?” she asked. OK I really need to get used to that.
“The person who was meant to be here today had a family emergency, they said you mentioned yesterday that you needed the research room again so I’ve just popped over to open up for you.” I kid you not.
So after letting me in to the school room, my angel said “Is it OK if I leave you in charge then?” and left me in my happy place until I closing. I found out later that she was in fact, in the middle of moving house and not even a museum volunteer, just a neighbour. These people just fill me up.
I’ve developed a fascination for the paper nautilus, something I had never heard of before coming here.
Drawers and cabinets are filled with bird eggs and sea shells found only on these islands, these are the details that will make my little story so much richer. I want to honour these people and this place with accurate descriptions, I’m looking for the little things as much as the obvious.
What a gift the museum and its records are, and all only possible due to the many people who volunteer their time. I cannot thank them enough for all their help.