Spontaneity: Noun – a way of behaving in which you do what feels natural and good whenever you want, rather than planning things first. (Cambridge English Dictionary

Husband woke me this morning with a weather report. To be precise, a coastal waters report and the winds seemed God-given for my sort of day on the water. We always have things stashed in the shed and kitchen, ready for quick decisions, and thinking we wouldn’t be away all day, we packed the bare essentials. Suncream, insect spray, swimwear and towels, notebook and pen. Ropes, spare anchor, gaff/paddle, the legal boxed essentials of first aid and flares etc. and life jackets.

In the kitchen I threw together a picnic basket of a thermos of boiled water, teabags, fruit and nuts, greengage and almond jam and butter and I quickly heated some frozen hot-cross buns which are brilliant for picnics.

We had no set destination but because the wind and swell were in our favour we pootled to the inhospitable back of Maria Island where one sits on the edge of the Tasman Sea and where one can see the Coxscomb (Bishop and Clerk peaks) from the water.

Suffice to say that looking upward is a lot kinder to one’s heart rate than looking down – despite that one is sitting over a depth of 36 metres (118 feet) of dark navy water. And who knows what floats beneath? Maybe king flathead, deepwater crayfish, Mako sharks, White Pointers…


But no matter the beasties, give me the view today to the view last week any day! Green stains from wet weather waterfalls, sandstone worn as smooth as a fold of fabric with falling fresh water.

I found this comment about those unforgiving cliffs when I researched before our hike up Bishop and Clerk last week: “What is so unique about Fossil Cliffs is not only the shear abundance of the fossils, but what they represent…This site is one of the rarest in the world (e.g. so rare that David Attenborough was here) as the fossil-rich limestone represents a productive sub-polar cold-water shallow marine environment, where melting glaciers (from the Ice Age) dropped large rocks onto the sea floor.” http://exploringtheearth.com/2014/11/30/mariaisland/

We wandered along the coast at a bare five knots, looking back at the Miller’s Cottage and Cape Boullanger which became part of Annie’s watershed as I wrote it last week, in Passage. Back to the more friendly leeward side to find somewhere for an early lunch. We ended under the scrutiny of two sea-eagles (the two spots in the sky and which always mean good fortune, IMO) at Four Mile Creek.

It was simply too clear and too stunning not to swim, despite the water temperature having dropped 4 degrees in a month (now 17 Celsius). One climbs back into the boat burning with delicious freshness, feeling as if one has had Life injected straight into the veins.

Even more perfect when, unlike last week with dozens of tourists and boats around, we had the whole ocean, coast and beach to ourselves. Sublime spontaneity.