Confronting

I guess I never expected to feel so overwhelmed and emotional visiting the Albany Whaling Station. It is the last remaining fully in tact whaling station and a sober reminder of our cruelty to these wonderful sea centuries. Over 14,000 whales were processed here until 1978. I was devastated.

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Despite the mentality of the time that whale oil and baleen bone corsets were necessary, the sheer level of mechanical application which went into hunting the whale, harpooning it, dragging it to shore, dissecting it on the flensing decks, the blood, the bone, the barbarism was too much to bear today.

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We all stood in silent contemplation of how this beautiful place could have witnessed such senseless degradation. Confronted, we were, indeed.

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A sleepy seal

It was one of those serene and surprising weekends. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit a charming little cottage by the sea. Its owners had kindly allowed us to stay in this place where their own children had spent many happy summers – long ago.

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As we embarked on our little trip, a mere hundred kilometres from the Mount, I did not expect that I would receive two surprises that day.

Daughter Number 2 was to arrive unexpectedly to share this weekend with us. Colin had kept that secret well! It was wonderful to see her especially as she was to spend a precious weekend with us by the sea.

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Seaside walks are a must, even in winter and we had a much needed chat-shop-coffee time. Our walk saw us reach the iconic bathing boxes of the Mornington Peninsula. These colourful sentinels look out over Port Phillip Bay. Blue, yellow and green boxes create a novelty appeal by the sea. Surprise number two. Something caught our eye. Was that an injured animal? A large animal. It was lying lifeless on one of the landings.

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As we gingerly drew closer, a row of plastic tape revealed an important notice.

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A resting seal. Wow! This poor fellow was all tuckered out and had found its way to a most amenable residence. Clever seal! He was gorgeous and oh so sleepy.

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We returned the next day and he was still there, stirring slightly. A wildlife ranger watched patiently over his sleeping state. The ocean, the sand and the bathing box buffering his dreamtime state. Isn’t nature truly beautiful!

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Thanks to everyone who made this weekend a very special one indeed.