I always skulk along the Tangaooma beachfront with my hackles up and bile in my mouth (somebody call an ambulance!).
It just plain irks me that a resort can own a beach. On an island that’s almost completely national park, where one can wander relatively freely, you’re informed that all the land down to the low-tide mark, here where they used to haul bloodied whale carcasses ashore but now feed off the bounty of tourists, is privately owned:
Still, not meaning to sound judgmental, but I don’t “get” how a lot of people interact with nature, either…
..or why palm trees connote “resort” and “holiday”, here where they’re not even indigenous.
Most of the storm was somewhere over the Pacific, but the gloom and some of the rain lingered. Here’s the view looking back at the boat:
Taking this shot, a white-haired fellow going down the jetty to greet a new boatload of wallets barked at me:
“Hey! Get back away from those birds! This is a wildlife protection area!”
Oh, the bitterest of bile! But I bit my tongue, as a confrontation at the beginning of a walk can linger as clouds of fury in the walker’s head for hours. “Alright,” I answered, and he mellowed, inviting me to take my pictures from the jetty. There are no signs advising of any special status for this area — the same area where tourists are encouraged to hand-feed dolphins at dusk.
I suspect my backpack made him nervous. It does that, sometimes.
But I soon forgot my brush with jackboot authority (actually, he was wearing thongs), and pounded south along the smooth, wet sand, leaving Paradise behind. I was now in a starfish Dead Zone:
The site of a starfish or sea star stretched out on the sea floor as you wade ashore is one of the delights of landing at Moreton. You occasionally see the odd dead one…
..but as I moved south today…
..past Tangalooma Point and on to Shark Spit…
..I passed through areas where their desiccated corpses were strewn along the high-water mark in their thousands…
..and the sharp, fishy smell of death was almost overwhelming:
Mechanised cavorting is restricted in this area to protect the local fauna:
A pandanus palm, loaded with fruit which is typically dispersed by water:
Empty beaches, unmarred by tyre tracks, were mine for three or four hours of walking:
Progress was erratic, however, as there were so many stops to squat with my camera:
This species of volute is quite common along this stretch of Moreton…
..so common I constructed a temporary installation (count the “arms” of my shell-star — I’ll be recalling the number in my next post):
A sea urchin shell, partly furnished. Some day I will live in a house like this:
A second front of dramatic weather was approaching from the mainland:
I looked forward to another splendid show…
..but it was all bluster and theatrics, and passed over without further fuss.
I moved on, through a littoral zone often thickly piled with sun-bleached echinoderms. I’ve done some research online, and can only speculate (as a rank amateur) that the floods in January, which deposited vast quantities of fresh water and sediment in Moreton Bay and wrecked seagrass beds, must have had a catastrophic impact on their population (as it did on turtles and dugongs).
These last ones are recent casualties, of course, still brightly coloured — perhaps their demise was natural:
The sun seemed on the verge of breaking through the cloud ceiling. I looked in vain for a sheltered place for lunch, passing countless more of these defeated stars, some, where the waves had dragged them back and forth across the sand, leaving star-trails like comet tails:
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote