Philip Island – Friday 30th December 2011

Philip Island is about an hour’s drive from Melbourne, and mostly advertised for its Little Penguins. It has so many echoes of the Isle of Wight with town names like Ventnor, Rye, and Cowes. A stern backbone of road with geometric spars create its structure.
Before you cross the bridge, it’s worth stopping to look for pelican. They are fed each day at noon. Today the people outnumber the birds but I’m told that in February and much later out of season, the beach is swamped by them.

They walk with distinct pigeon toes, seemingly without digits pointing in, so the whole foot seems to be balanced outwards.
Today they are not very interested in the huge crate of fish that has been brought to them. They are juveniles and demonstrate a surly independence that you expect from teenagers.

Small children beware!

It’s interesting to watch them scoop up the fish, maneuver it head first and swallow, so you can still see lodged in their throat for a while.

Like shadowy plates, manta or sting rays patrol the shore waiting for the off cuts and, sure enough they get their turn.

At the far end of Philip Island, there is a seal colony. True to form, Australians have built viewing platforms, and a huge visitor centre, complete with indoor observatory – and a cafe!
I did not see one seal but Little Penguins, tired of the limelight and restrictions imposed by the attraction on Philip Island have made their home in borrows along the walk.

At the extravaganza down the road, photographs are prohibited and bi-pedal observers have to pay for the privilege.

The coast line is astounding. A particular colour of ice blue with translucent waves rising up on the ocean side. We take loads of shots trying to capture this beauty of nature but we feel don’t quite encapsulate the exuberance of real life.




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