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Beating cabin fever and anxiety with a walk by the sea ( while keeping away from people )

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

I've been staying at home as much as I can, but as I live in a 35 m2 bedsit with limited light and no outdoor space, I really need to get out into the fresh air for some part of the day just to keep sane. Of course, I have been trying to go to places with as few people as possible and fortunately, around Hobart, this is not too difficult. We are indeed fortunate to be living on a relatively sparsely-populated island with forests, bushland, mountains and empty beaches. Nevertheless, I have been surprised, even when driving through the city today, how many people don't seem to be getting the concept of "social distancing". I worry that things will have to get really bad before people actually get the message, or the government will have to bring the army in to enforce quarantines as in other countries.

But the idea of the post isn't to carry on about the many effects of the Coronavirus. Hell, you can read about it everywhere, and the idea of this was to talk about getting away from it for a while. Certainly being cooped up inside in a dim environment can put strains on your mental health , but you don't want to risk your own physical health or that of others by going out and unknowingly spreading the virus ( 50% of people won't know they have it according to research from Germany ). So, on Monday, I went to Bellerive on a sunny afternoon, and walked along the rocky part of the foreshore, which is far less popular than the beach area. Of course I took my camera, with the aim of taking advantage of the lights, but found myself focusing on a few unexpected elements.

When I go on these rambles, especially at places I'm quite familiar with, I try to find things that are not so obvious. Little details. Or I focus on a theme for a while. On this walk I started by focusing on textures. The textures and colours of the rocks, which are really interesting, and the texture of the water, which at first was more of a ripple ,with smaller waves forming interesting patterns as they hit the rocks and the bright sun kiss the crests of the gentle undulations of the smaller waves. There's also usually plenty of birdlife around - gulls, sandpipers and cormorants traipsing the rocks for tidbits or just resting.

As I walked around the bluff, the waves became rougher and the orangey coloured cliffs were full of interesting caves and indentures. I tried to capture the drama of the waves crashing and spraying over the foreshore rocks. But I kept just missing the biggest waves and became impatient with waiting for the next one which felt like it would never come. A friend told me that when he used to surf he was told that after a big wave you'd have to wait three more before the next one...but I have to admit it took me a while to curb my impatience and not move on.

The only people I saw on my walk were a couple of people fishing off the bluff, which made some nice pictures with the framing of the cliffs and the Casino tower as a backdrop and some nice silhouette shots with the bright afternoon sun.

I walked as far as Bellerive Beach, but with the time approaching 5pm and a few people around I decided to go back, but of course had to get a few more shots of the frothing tides stretching a blanket of suds across the sand.

On the way back, I took the foreshore trail route, but as it seemed to have got to that time when every resident of Bellerive had decided to take the dog for a walk, I went back down to the rocks and started looking closely at all the little things around my feet. Of course when you start to really look it's amazing what you see. Using a telephoto lens , I tried to turn the pockmarks in the rocks into craters or extinct volcanoes.

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