It was a wonderfully dark and eerie afternoon when Bear and I stepped onto the sandy shores at Deception Bay in Caboolture Shire north of Brisbane, Australia. Storm clouds loomed overhead, threatening to unload their cargo of raindrops at any moment. Being adventurous souls we couldn’t let such things deter us, so we set our faces into the blustering wind and went for a trek.
Deception Bay is a lovely place, named by a certain Lieutenant John Oxley in 1823 who mistook it for a river due to its unusual shallowness.
Such shallow waters make it an ideal spot for fishing, boating and searching for treasures in the tidal pools.
It’s also home to beautiful mangroves, a thick carpet of roots keeping them anchored in the shifting sands and rising tides. I loved standing on shore gazing out to sea, mesmerized by silvery swirls of water shimmering a gun metal gray in the brooding light.
I’d never seen mangroves before and was quite transfixed by them.
Up close the sand looks like it’s carpeted with ginger root mingling with fallen yellow leaves and cheery green shoots.
The small pool below is known as Mrs. Bancroft’s Bath. The pool was carved out of rock in the 1880’s for the wife of Dr. Joseph Bancroft. The poor woman was very ill and an English doctor prescribed salt water baths. On fine days Mrs. Bancroft was carried down the cliff and placed into the bath as the tide came in. Before this treatment she was only given a short time to live. Amazingly she lived a further 8-10 years. To this day you can still see the holes where a canopy was erected to protect her from the fierce Australian sun.
The mangroves have a rather splendid tropical feel to them, and I had flashes of the old Disney version of Swiss Family Robinson.
When we weren’t traipsing through the sand peering at jelly fish and old salt water baths, Bear and I joined other afternoon strollers on the Cottonwood Walk, a sweeping boardwalk along the esplanade with magnificent views of the mangroves and the sea.
When the skies grew darker we breathed deeply of the cool, sea air then headed back to the car, arriving just as the first raindrops began to fall.
What is your favorite thing to do on a stormy afternoon?