Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Reflections on Water

Coming from the west coast of Australia means beaches of white sand and rugged limestone. Water comes in all the variations on the theme of blue, from blue-grey through holiday-brochure turquoise to the indigo of the deepest ocean.

Chesapeake Bay water is the green-black of motor oil, whether it's three feet or thirty feet deep. It teems with life, reminding you of the millions of primordial life-forms concentrated in every drop of oil. It's fecund, biological water, the colour of life. Surprising and mysterious things surface - huge silver fish leap and then vanish; schools of tiny fingerlings are herded by miniature pike; the fins of a ray lift suddenly from the murk; a hideous mud-coloured fish is scooped up by an osprey, briefly astonished to find itself swimming through the clear blue of the sky. Crabs huddle in the shallows, males grasping the females, twin sets of goggle eyes tracking you.

At night the water is oily black, reflecting the red, green and white channel markers in long ladders of light. Sunrise and sunset it is silver pink, like molten metal.


  1. So beautifully written Carol, I could imagine every bit of it. Anthony and I went fishing out in the waters of Eagle Bay last weekend and the variations of water from the boat ramp to where we finally anchored was amazing too. Where we anchored we could literally see hundreds of skipjack trevally beneath us like flashes of silver - like a gymnast with their long ribbons on sticks flicking and twirling their silvery ribbon. We also picked up a whole cuttlefish from the surface of the water which we figured had recently died since spawning (Robbie also saw two in the Gracetown waters the same day), and as we put the boat back on the trailer at the boat ramp a massive sting ray brushed its massive girth across my ankles as I was holding onto the boat in the shallow water. I nearly cacked myself! Glad to see you soaking things up. I think the next step for you is some poetry young lady...

  2. And I could visualise Eagle Bay so vividly from your description - we really miss blue water! Shortly after I posted this, floodwaters poured in from Pennsylvanis and the Bay now looks like a gigantic rubbish dump/ sewage farm. All part of the cycle I guess, but I wasn't moved to poetry...