Up over the windy road to Port Chalmers, our little port on Dunedin Harbour. Drive down the main street of Victorian buildings and the old pubs where sailors once spent wild afternoons and nights, and there , imposing over everything, is the container crane!
Round the narrow road to Aramoana on the sea. Right at the harbour heads. Across from the narrow harbour entrance are the hills of the peninsula and the lighthouse buildings high on the hill at Otakau.
The mole, a rocky construction built a hundred years ago to stop the entrance silting up ,still boasts the old Jarrah hardwood frames that the engineers used to stop the fierce tides washing away their hard won spoil.
Its spring here, but the wind is bitter on the mole, and the sea is cold. The waves slide in in perfect straight grey-green lines up to the sandy beach.
I scramble down from the mole to the beach. There is a mound of thousands of conical shells at its base-protected from the wash of the waves- snap! Further down the beach there is a grey furry mound; the corpse of a seal-its teeth bared in death, its fur half molted and the smell of decay.
The seagulls are arguing over a pile of fresh delectable seatulips lying on the sand. A black oystercatcher seabird watches them argue -perhaps she is there to mediate?.
The sand is impossibly smooth after each wash of the waves- a broken crabshell-artfully placed in the sand and glowing in the sunlight catches my eye.
On down the beach a rocky granite ridge leans into the surf-a hollow eye somehow carved out of its steep wall. A young woman shelters from the bitter wind in its lee-she does not smile.
Back down the beach to the mole again and the warmth of the car-its beginning to rain.