Day 02 – The Storm Within

Tripod Dunes - Golden BeachEven before my eyes opened, I could feel the pain of a migraine rippling through my head. Some people think a bad headache is a migraine, they are so wrong. The pain is uniquely different to a regular headache no matter how bad it is. I slowly opened my eyes to the world. Right now the pain was manageable and I could still function but I wondered how long that would last.

Every part of me wanted to pack up and get going. As I got out of the car, I wondered why I’d gotten this migraine. For me they are usually caused by a lack of water, which is why you’ll never see me without a bottle in my hands and if I ever forget it, I go into a quiet panic. However I’m sure I drank enough the previous day. I seemed to have slept quite well too, and the car was surprisingly comfortable. Then I realised I’d slept with all the windows shut. I‘d thought enough air would be able to get into the car but maybe I was wrong. It was the only solution I could think of.

I finished packing up the bedding and set the car up for the days driving. As I sat in the drivers seat ready to go, I stopped myself and had words... “What are you doing you wussy bitch! So you’ve got a little migraine, so what! People have achieved great things with much worse afflictions! Get your lazy, fat arse out of the car and go explore the area! At the very least go check out the ocean you’ve been hearing all night!!”

Who can argue with that?

I got out of the car and made my way down a narrow track through the scrubs toward the sounds of the crashing waves. As it turns out, I’m glad I hadn’t attempted walk to the beach the night before, the sandy track was riddled with uneven rocks and uncovered roots. I would have surely damage myself in some way.

The walk was not doing any favors for my head either but when I finally climbed over a sandy hill and saw the view before me, it all became worthwhile. I hadn’t actually realised until now, that the Sun hadn’t risen. I could tell from the glow in the horizon that it was only moments away.

Instantly I kicked into photographers autopilot. I turned and sprinted back down the track careful not to lose my footing. I made it to the car and retrieve the camera and tripod. As quickly as possible, I raced back to the beach. Thankfully I had made it in time and the Sun still hadn’t broken the horizon. Quickly, I set the camera on the tripod, found my shot and waited for the perfect moment to click.

A few minutes later and the magical moment finally happened. It struck me that I had never actually seen the sun rise above the horizon before, there had always been some kind of obstruction such as trees, hills or buildings. I guess, technically, I still wasn’t truly seeing the Sun break the horizon, as there were some low clouds just blocking the visibility. However, it was still a magical sight. So magical in fact, that I almost forgot to take the photo. Thankfully I came to my senses in time and got a series of shots that I think turned out quite well.

Golden Beach SunriseClick Here To Purchase Image
After standing in awe of the spectacle until the sun had well and truly risen, I decided to go for walk along the beach hoping that the fresh, crisp air would clear my head. Still obsessed with the sunrise, I continued to experiment with shots as I walked. I got some photos down at sea level and then clambered up a sand dune for a different perspective.

A different perspective is certainly what I got. Now picture this for a moment. I’m standing on a beautiful, empty beach, there’s a light cool breeze moving the air around me like a gentle caress, the mesmerizing golden Sun is rising above the horizon, casting orange glows on the backlit clouds and shimmering reflections across the calm waters and the small waves are crashing gently on the shore, making a sound that can only be compared to having your ears massaged by angels. The moment was amazing but my mind was distracted by thinking of an old song by Ween that I hadn’t heard in quite a while... “I’m waving my dick in the wind.

Dick on a BeachThe hilarious sight before me kind of overpowered the moment. Someone had obviously been down here the night before and built this giant sand-knob... Balls and all... I had to laugh... Thinking back, I wished I’d gotten a photo of me standing next to it, as you just don’t get a sense of the scale. From balls to tip, it was probably about eight meters long. It was at this moment that I realised this was going to be an interesting trip, full of surprises.

I began to make my way back along the beach and was struck by another surprise. Another magical display was taking place before me. As the Sun rose, it was beginning to warm the surface of the ocean. As far as I could see, wispy, white tendrils of steam rose up and danced across the water’s surface. If it wasn’t for the migraine, this would have been close to a perfect morning.

Steam of the Golden BeachClick Here To Purchase Image
As I climbed the hill that lead back to the car, I turned to take in the view one last time. With the additional height, I could now see further into the distance and made out a faint but strange looking object on the horizon. I switched to the telephoto lens on the camera to try and get a better view. At full zoom I could only just make out what appeared to be a drilling platform. I couldn’t believe I actually spotted it with a naked eye.

Lonely Rig

I made my way back to the car and put the camera and tripod away. My head was pounding, the crisp air had made it worse. As I got in the car I noticed the slightest smell of gas. I wondered if the gas tank had been leaking all night and that was why had this migraine. I opened up the back of the car and pulled out the gas tank to check it. The tap was definitely shut and even after closely sniffing all around the tank, I couldn’t smell any gas.

I packed everything away again, got in a car and started off on the second day of my adventure. I wondered just how far I would get before this migraine consumed me and I would be forced to find a dark quiet room to haul up in.

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  • Melissa Stanford

    ha! Love the part about the “sand knob.” Such a glorious morning, ruined by the best moment of humor ever. Love it, love it, love it.

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  • Flash&Flair Photos

    Nice one again James!! I know what a b*tch and how excruciating a migraine can be, been there, done that, unfortunately! I like the photos in this entry a lot!! Incredible job done. I couldn't help but LOL with your graphic description of a certain body part. I guess an opening line in the pub like: 'Would you like me to dust the sand off your knob' would be a little too cryptically though.How's things these days? It is a bit quiet from your side?? Are you well??Cheers, Marion

  • Heather

    Yes, indeed, you and your water bottles! Hopefully I didn't bring on the migraine of the other day! Blame it on Melbourne pollution after spending a gloriously cold day in Ballarat ;-) You always capture the moment — both with your photos and with your words!

  • James Cole

    Thanks Melissa.
    It was pretty funny and I got a good laugh out of it at the time. I would love to know who built it though..

  • James Cole

    LOL, I think if I was to say that in a pub I’d probably get kicked straight back out again..
    Yeah, things are good. I’ve been getting quite a bit of video work the last few weeks. Hence the delay in responding and why I’ve been quiet. I get a feeling it’s only going to get busier from now on.

  • James Cole

    Thanks Heather :)
    Yep, carry ‘em everywhere. No, not your fault but I like the idea of blaming the Melbourne pollution too.

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    Great posts.. The photos are all so nice.

    I really love this one.