Last year it was recommended by my brother and his wife that if we were to travel to Albany we should check out Shelley Beach.
So, during our Christmas holilday break last year we decided to go and check out this "beautiful secluded beach".
Unfortunately it wasn't secluded when we arrived - seeing more than a dozen or so tents and campervans parked in the bay's carpark, add to that the fact that the waves was crashing on the reef and it really wasn't all that beautiful or secluded. Thankfully I was able to capture some great photos of a carpark that looked down at the beach (apparently this area was where hang gliders take off from).
Here are some photos of Shelley Beach...
- This was the carpark that was on top of the hill where the hangliders leapt from (although there weren't any such daring hang gliders today)
- Shelley Beach.
- Looking to the left (due east) from the same spot as the photo of Shelley beach above we can see Albany's wind farm.
- I don't know about you but hang gliding doesn't really appeal to me when the bottom looks as treacherous as this!
So we didn't get to stay too long at Shelley Beach, but thankfully I was given a tip to go to Mutton Bird - a weird name for a beach, I must say, but it was awesome!
- Here we are walking down to the beach of Mutton Bird, thinking that we've probably just been had.
- But lo and behold it was beautiful! It even had this island not more than 100 meters off shore (as you can see in the background).
So, being the explorer that I am I decided to go and swim to it and check it out. Now, as you can see the water is crystal clear, yet around the island is this dark ring of what I initially thought was seaweed.
Here's a better shot of this dark ring my father...
- My father walks out to the island... note the darker water between the beach and the island.
Anyway, as I walked out to the island (as my father did above), I saw a branch in the water that had sunk to the bottom. I grabbed this and began dragging it with me. Eventually I got to the edge of the dark ring.
Okay, I hate swimming over seaweed, but at least I've got a branch in my hand to protect me from anything that might grab me.
I then started to swim and as I was swimming I opened my eyes under the water and suddenly saw what I was swimming over... and it was something far worse than seaweed!!
It was friggin deep water!!!!
Now I don't have a fear of deep water, or, at least I thought I didn't, but I do have a fear of big black things that may swim underneath me in that deep water... that's what I feared the most. At least with swimming over seaweed you can calm your mind by telling yourself that it was just seaweed that grabbed your leg, but when something grabs you while you're swimming over deep water... !!!!
So I held onto that branch a little tighter yet because of it's branches I had to only swim slowly over the deep water.
Thankfully I got over in one piece... and so did the branch (which has probably been blown back into the water), but anyway...
Having now hit the island I decided to do the next most dangerous thing and climb to the top - yep, I tried to be a hero. Now if deep water didn't loosen my bowels, then walking through scrub with nothing but a pair of boardies on was dangerous because of the snakes that lurked around, and not to mention a large albatross that made sure I wasn't going anywhere near her nest.
Amidst the prickles and thick scrub I eventually made it to the top - Mount Everest eat your heart out!
- Mutton Bird island (yes that's me in the photo, not just a tree with two branches - clicking on the image will expand it)
- The old man follows and sees what all the commotion is about.
Swimming back over the deep was a little easier. I didn't have a branch holding me back this time... just my father.
11 hours ago