There are many reasons to head out into the field at Macca: for the exercise (rarely); as paparazzi to the stars — the penguins and seals (often); to carry track markers for the rangers (only when they guilt you into it); to pick up marine debris (Keep Macca Beautiful) or for the refreshing subantarctic air. And there is occasionally work but we don’t take photos of that.
You head out in the wind and rain, tucked deeply inside Gore-Tex and merino. You perfect the lean or the zig-zag. No one gets their camera out in the wind and the rain so there are not many pictorial examples of these but the lean requires complete trust in the continuing strength of the Macca wind — keep walking, lean into it and let the wind hold you up. Occasionally fall flat if the wind drops and get laughed at by those walking behind you. The zig-zag is for those who fight the good fight and like walking further — walk on track, wind gust knocks you several steps off track, fight your way back to track, walk on track, wind gust tries to impale you on a track marker. Repeat. Whatever your walking style your beanie and socks manage to get damp at the same rate, in the drizzle and wet grass.
On very rare occasions you find yourself out in the wilds of Macca and something magical happens. The rain stops. There is a hush and you can hear the distant roar of waves and ele seals on the beach far below. The wind has stopped too. The cloud lifts and the horizon expands.
Take a breath and enjoy. Take two breaths and ditch your pack for a moment.
Get out your camera for the magic may not last long.
On Macca, much like in Melbourne, if you don’t like the weather then wait five minutes.
It will change.
The next shower will line itself up and the wind gust will spring up just as you pass a track marker. Dodge, fight back to track. Pull up your raincoat hood again.
But the light dancing between the showers. The peace in the pause of the wind. Those are moments of Macca magic.