No corrections yet
Beautiful Shelly Beach. (By B.E.C.) There is something entrancing about this lovely beach which lies g about eight miles to the west of Portland. No matter whether the day be rough or fine, there is always something that interests one. s To see it as I saw it over the week end, with a cloudless blue sky and with its miles of silvery-like billows coming in one after the other and the tsunl glistening over it, makes one lose himself in sheer delight. But this time I viewed it from a new angle, viz., "The Now Shelly Beach." I call it that, for I know it by no other nome. But here (some six miles from Portland) is an unlimited supply of shell grit that bids fair to become one of importance as timer goes on. Until recently, it must have been something of a trial to get there, but it is now easy of access, thanks to some good Scotchmen who I understand, piloted the wan for the present owners. The track is by way of the cemetery, but instead of turning to the left, as is usually done to get to the Cape Nelson lighthouse, you follow the telephone line. It was interesting to see tomato plots and large pie melons in behind the roat. A huge wedgetail eagle spread out on the fence of one looked very realistic, and no doubt serves its purpose so far as some "birds" are concerned, but I believe it does not frighten some light-fin gered gentry who visit these parts under cover of darkness I As we passed along the road through dense bracken, now and then could be seen kookaburras and other birds apparently finding in the burnt patches food, probably grubs moving camp, whilst honeyeaters flittered to and fro. One views the sandhills from a distance, but it is not until you get into the country side that you realise the dense under growth that incidentally harburer thousands of rabbits, foxes and other pests. Indeed, it seems hard to realise that, as you pass through the valleys, you are so near Portland and inci dentally the sea. Then all of ; sudden there, spread out before you. lies the ocean and tlhe hold outline of Cape Bridgewater. To the left two stately ships were steaming by Sunday is a favorite time to see them, I am told. Then at our feet i: a terrific drop of three to four hundred feet. Thanks to the pion eers of this new shell grit company, we made our descent fairly com fortably ; I say fairly, for in falling I was caught by "Ben," otherwise I might have had an uncomfortable descent. The shell grit lies at the bottom, and all tirhat is necessary is to land it into the truck, and \rrn old tractor winds it up. "Sometinmes all goes well anci sometimes it doesn't," said my host, Mr. Lachlan MacPherson. The shell grit is then placed into sugar iags, and to my surprise, weighs about 90 lbs., and is readly for transport to market. To avoid a detour we leaped dlown on to the shell bed (not 100 feet) and landed as if on rr feather bed, only ankle deep in grit ; it wa:s a bit of a thrill Ilying through the air with the greatest of case, and I must confess I rather enjoyed it after I had seenl my three companions all land safely. We had a long walk along the beautiful beach for about a mile, and then 1 was taken to see where the fishll men-lland men-go in clech crayfish nmolng the rocks. I .tuck it out, bhut I must admit that thie next time anyone tells me they have beer, out to "The Springs" fishing and come Ihome without anrything, lhedy will have my fullest sympathy. It's simply the hardest walk I have ever" undertaken, yet these men do it and think nothing of it. "Tihe Spring" was welcome, for underneath a tow ering cliff hundreds of feet high there is ai lovely crystal-like stream of pure water. flow we lapped it uon arnd wiped our perspiring-brows ! Ifere one of the party tried his luck oil' the rocks whilst I amused myself watching a little lizard catching small crayfish. Around the corner I peeped over and espied two 'crahs enjoying an afternoon siesta. How they scamripered into the fresh water ienarby as soon as I was seen or heard. TIn passing, it is marvellous to see, the timber cast up on the rocks- enough to build r smnall-sized house .-the flotsam and jetsam of the sen! The tons of decaying kelp ait time. was overpowering, bIlt when you are sight-seeing amonlrgst the rocks you may expect it. It took ns rrn hour to clinmb the sand hills back, and irs the silun sank over Cape Bridgewater and threw its last rays over Shelley Beach, I sust admit T forgot I wasr tired, but no doubt will know al! about that "Mlonday morning feel ing" thie day after. Tile ruan holme showed that rabhibit are firmly established, but Just whal they live on at present is a hit of rr mystery, for everywhlere the ourn side is awaitinRg a good donmpou'r. and tlhen, uwhen thie price of skinr:: goes up. Irunny will he hunted day and night.