South Cape Bay was a great walk today; good weather, beginning of my holidays, lots of interesting things to see. Walk description is here, and really hasn't changed much, except see below for changes to the beach itself.
The first interesting thing though is just beyond the registration shelter where you will come across this space-age de-contamination station. It's like a little adventure-playground for grown-ups. In fact, you have to pay attention to the instructions. It even sprays your boots with disinfectant.
The sea appeared quite calm as I arrived at the bay, but there were continuous, orderly ranks of large swells marching in from the Southern Ocean. The surfers were there too, catching a wave regularly.
The beach has remained storm-ravaged since my last visit. It seems to have even less sand, and the large berms of shingle remain at the western end. I think this would be dangerous to cross in a high sea. It is interesting to consider that all the rocks on the beach have been moved into their current place by the water. Some car-sized boulders have clearly moved about.
Nice to see they've spent so much building a four-lane highway to Cape Hauy, a track which was always in quite good condition, and could have done with a bit of hardening around the edges. Meanwhile, there are no steps off South Cape Bay, and no action to properly build an alternative. As a result, there are at least two ways across the steep slopes adjacent to the collapsed steps, one of which is adopting the classic southwest "bog" identity with great alacrity.
As the waves broke below the large shingle berm towards Lion Rock, you could see them flinging boulders about. I could see boulders up to at least 15cm in diameter being flung into the air. These LP-sized boulders have been delicately placed on the top of the berm by earlier storms.
The Native Pigface (Carpobrotus rossii) is out. This plant is on top of the cliffs where the track arrives at South Cape Bay.
The Christmas Bells (Blandfordia punicea) are just about to bust loose. This plant is quite close to Cockle Creek.