5 March 2017
Parking just behind Merry Beach, the sound of the pounding surf reached the 25 walkers well before they headed down to the beach itself. Strong gusty wind had turned the ocean into a sea of white caps, and large dumping waves had disgorged seaweed and small dead jellyfish onto the sand.
Once on top of the headland, south of Merry Beach, the walkers felt the full force of the wind, as they stood watching the waves crashing and foaming over the rock shelf below. After three days of heavy rain, the normally dry track over the headland and through the banksia was now quite waterlogged with frequent puddles.
After a short stop at the lookout along the way, we paused on a grassy knoll above Pretty Beach for morning tea. Then down to Pretty Beach itself to battle a strong head wind as we made our way south towards O’Hara Island. The gusty strong headwind whipped up any dry sand, so with heads bowed and backs bent, we made our towards the neck of sand that normally provided access to O’Hara Island .
But alas, here the waves, charging across the sand spit from both directions, formed a barrier to the rock shelf. We would not be exploring O’Hara Island rock shelf today. So it was about turn, and this time with a tailwind we soon found ourselves back at Pretty Beach Campground. Taking tracks that circumnavigated behind both the Pretty Beach and Merry Beach Camping Grounds, we were soon in sight of our cars. Though the strong wind never abated during the walk, I think it actually enhanced the walk providing a visual reminder of the power of wind and water.