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.