“Mami Wata”, a broken phone and a Bay
We had left the pointed tip at the Devil Creek where many wannabe fishermen would have launched their boats, dinghies and whatever their pockets could afford, into this part of the Wellstead Estuary and made our way to Main Beach. Here we had hoped to drive across the sand bar at the inlet to the Estuary into the Fitzgerald River National Park, saving ourselves from going through the alternate way which is a 45km circumlocutious trip. This was not to be.
Arriving at Main Beach and, just after descending the little sand dune cliff, Saf drew my attention to a notice advising us not to make the crossing except our car was sufficiently equipped to deal with a bog down on the white sandy shores. In her words, she would rather not become a statistics and with that all the plans for the day was aborted. Here we were, holding hands, as two love birds as we walked towards the rocky cliff edges on top of which stood Rock Cairn.
On our left were the deep blue water of the Bay and on the left the white sandy cliffs, We had come to a point where the only way through was to dip our feet into the shallow waters but Saf would have none of that. At that moment, a family of three adults with their furry black dog approached. Saf, took to the little cliff while I waddle through the clear water. Just as I looked back, she couldn’t progress further as her path was blocked by tumble bushes and a little fence. It was at that point she made to descend the cliff and had a little tumble, gripping the edges. I busted out laughing as the family took a cue from her experience and chose the lower ground to waddle across to the direction we came from.
We have come to the sandbar crossing. It looked promising and enticing and if Saf had not been with me, I would have gotten into the car and driven across. The tide was low but not as low as would make Saf comfortable, the sandbar was under three inches of water. We looked across and in the distant could trace out the figure of an individual. Male or Female, we couldn’t tell and neither could we tell what activity was being engaged in, she was that far distant from us. We continued with our walk and, at this point, the white sand shores were wider so there was no further need for Saf to seek for higher grounds, we can avoid the waters from the little rolling waves from touching our legs. We had the beach to ourselves and there was a reason why. The annual pilgrimage to the Bay which will cause this remote town to increase in population from the regular 230 or so people to over 10,000 was yet to start. In less than three days, this beach and the other beaches in the vicinity will be packed with people and the serenity we enjoyed would be gone.
For now, we were attracted by the granite rocks in the near distance. The contrast presented by the blue waters, the white sands and the greyish rocks are best experienced than described. I got on the rocks first and asked Saf to take some pictures. Not as I had expected, shifting positions on the rock for some amazing pose was not without difficulty. Obviously age and flexibility have an inverse relationship which I did not think of as iI climbed the rock. It now dawned on me that, as the needle goes above fifty on the age barometer it is no gainsaying that flexibility is on the decline. I was manoeuvring myself through one of these shifts for a pose when my phone slid out of my pocket and started its descent in obedience to the law of gravity on the hard rock surface. It was that precious to me that, for a second, I considered diving after it. Common sense prevailed and I did not as I probably would have ended up with some broken bones. I mourned my phone as I watched it helplessly sliding down towards the bay water which was waiting for it so that she can apply the “water damage” seal to it. Somehow it got caught in a crevice and the descent to the watery death was stopped.
As Saf approached for her own photo shoot, I told her about the unfortunate incident but all she did was to humour my stupidity – maybe you will consider using the phone case now that the phone is broken!
With pictures taken, we were about turning back to find our way to the car when a lonely figure dashed like lightning behind us and was gone through one of the paths in the bushes. I asked Saf what was that and she said it was the lady that we had seen in the far distance, at the sandbar. There was no way for you to know that the figure we saw was a lady, I had said. Saf explained that following our initial sighting she had been able to see her better and while she was taking my picture observed her as she ran across the sandbar. I told her that the lady must be a “mami wata” and we should investigate closely the footprint, perhaps we can find some remnant fins or scales on the path. It was the search for the “mami wata” that we engaged in until we got to our iron horse and drove back to town. Just on the verge of hitting the Borden-Bremer Bay Road, we arrived at Bremer Bay Resort and lo and behold there was a giant “mami wata” in front of the resort.
Surprising? Well, it couldn’t be out of place to conclude that the lady arrived here before we did. We wouldn’t let the opportunity of solving this case pass us by, so we got out of the car and made for the giant iron cast mermaid. Her hair was golden, the body was brownish while her tail and boobs were painted blue. It wasn’t the best sculpture of a mermaid but it was certainly imposing. It was mid-afternoon and the southern sun was as bright as it could be, radiating everything in sight with as much heat as it could muster. But, the gentle breeze from the southern ocean had a calming effect with its cool and we were experiencing both the heat and the coolness at the same time.
We eventually made our way to the dining area of the Resort. The dark brown interior wooden décor presents an inviting cosy ambience. We ordered lunch and found our seats on the patio outside. Here we could see the ocean in the distant left and high in the mountain was the lone wind turbine with its three giant arms rotating away in a perpetual circular motion. The food was well presented and the accompanying chilled Moscato wine was a delight. Sitting across from us was a mid-aged lady who was eager to engage in conversation with us. We exchanged some pleasantries and got to know she is a long-time resident of Bremer Bay, she can’t imagine living elsewhere. Her family owns the car repair shop in town. In case we were in need of service she jokingly said. Well, we won’t be needing one we had replied, being cock sure of the state of our car.
With lunch done, we made for the Wind Turbine and the closer we got, the larger the steel structure becomes. Getting out of the car, at the bottom of this gigantic structure, we could hear the noisy sound of the long thin blades as they cut through the air. This is the source of energy for the houses here in Bremer Bay. The lookout, made from a steel structure, a few minutes’ walk from there provided an unobstructed view of the road into the town, the town itself and the clear deep blue water of the bay. It was surreal, and the view depicted how nature would like to be preserved.
The drive down the hill on the dusty brown road took us to the tarred Bremer Road from where we made our way to our wood cabin. We parked the car outside, dusted our feet and opened the door. The queen sized bed, well laid with a white bed spread and a tie-dyed duvet was alluring. Inside, the cabin glittered with light brownish maple oak like polished wood that was everywhere the eyes could look. I opened the fridge and quickly gulped cold water from a plastic bottle. By the time I git on the bed, Saf was already asleep.
This has been a marvellous day in Bremer Bay, Western Australia.