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Yet again I am trailing my companion and his new obsession – this time intertidal pools and their creatures. Yet again, I am finding a new fascination, different from his, but no less absorbing. It's a long time since I've scrambled and lowered myself by bottom: last time it was on a rocky ridge in pursuit of rock lilies.

Yesterday at low tide I put on my joggers and one sock (the other one mysteriously vanished) and braved the rocks at the north end of Potato Point. I've always worn walking boots for such adventures and I was surprised by the lightness and grip of my unaccustomed footwear. I traversed the sharp vertical extrusions of rock and the wet slipperiness with growing confidence. I lowered myself, jaunty but still cautious, towards a long pool and rock-hopped across the base of a chasm, before clambering back up.

I was rewarded by rock faces enticing my eyes and my camera: slate-blue with elegant lines and primitive designs in bisque or pale khaki; patches of particulate red; rough brown with veins of quartz running like a necklace; honeycombed grey.


There were also rockpools, nestled in crevices, submitting to the invasion of waves, drawing the reflection of my hat out of nowhere and refusing clarity to underwater creatures: a colony of eight black starfish, a large black anemone, a slug-like creature with an iridescent patch on its back. I was faced by a photographic challenge, as I always am in a new environment: rainforest, snow and now through water. At least I have confidence that if I take a thousand photos, I'll get a few accidental good ones, and maybe learn a few tricks.