Aug 08 2011

This could be heaven or this could be hell …

There’s something about being on an isolated tropical beach that brings out the philosopher in me. With nothing to measure time but the sun, the moon and the tides there’s plenty of time to ponder the big questions in life.

Have you ever thought that heaven and hell were the same place? I’m sitting under a tree on the beach with a cup of freshly brewed latte. Later I’ll get out the chilled Adelaide Hills sauvignon blanc with cheese, freshly made houmous, fresh tomatoes and crisp cucumber.

There are fish jumping in the azure water and further out you occasionally see dolphins.

Doc’s asleep in the hammock slung between two trees.

Last night it rained, so this morning I had a shower in fresh rainwater looking out to the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other.

The crab pots are in, so Doc can have a fresh mud crab or two for dinner tonight.

I know there are other people around because occasionally you can see somebody out fishing, but I have no idea where they are camped.

We’re miles from anywhere. It’s the stuff of postcards and dreams.

And I’d love to go for a swim in the warm, tropical azure waters.

Except there’s a three and a half metre croc out there somewhere. Sort of puts a dampener on things.

It’s a big bay, so the croc can’t be everywhere at once.

But it’s a bit like Bentham’s panopticon – you never know where he is or what he’s watching.

Crocs are predators, and very good ones. That’s why they’ve survived for however many millions of years. They lie in wait and watch their prey. And they’re patient. They wait for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Rule number one (or somewhere between 1 and 10) is don’t keep returning to the same spot at the water’s edge. Crocodiles remember your habits and strike when they’re ready – or hungry.

So I took the coward’s way out. I didn’t go in the water. Just the possibility of croc attack is enough to scare the crap out of me.

In the same philosophical vein, it makes me wonder what I would have been like in Russia or East Germany, when you had no idea who might be informing on you. Would I have just accepted things the way they were? Not taken a chance because I might have been caught?

But that’s waaaaay too much philosophising for a tropical beach. It’s time to get out that sauvignon blanc.

PS : After writing the above, and prior to getting access to upload, we spotted the croc. About 20 feet offshore, right in front of the camp where Doc was fishing and where I wanted to go for a swim. Glad I didn’t!

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  1. […] to the Cape proper. And in case you’re wondering – yes, it was worth all the hassle. Cape Melville is one of those almost perfect places. If it didn’t have crocs, it would be […]

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