On Easter Sunday, James and I drove down to the Mornington Peninsula for a stroll on the rocks at Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary. It felt like forever since I’d seen the ocean! The weather was cool and fresh and we somehow had selected a sliver of beach that was practically deserted (everywhere we drove past on our way was crawling with tourists and surfers).

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As it’s a protected area, there is no collecting allowed. Someone had artfully curated a selection of sponges but stopped short of taking them home.
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All the colours were very muted, soft greys and greens and blues and browns, except for this bright yellow sand dune, although it also looks quite grey in the photo. You’ll just have to believe me!
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Seabirds wading. I feel like the one with the big black beak is telling the seagulls to go away and leave it alone!

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Another tiny splash of vivid colour… I was delighted by the beautiful patterned seashells everywhere on the beach.
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Walking on a huge springy bed of seaweed, as we continued up the beach.
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Round the corner we found those fascinating basalt columns that always seem just too perfect to be natural.
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We thought about heading back overland and started to struggle up a hillocky hill, but my fussy shin was hurting from scrambling over loose rocks and I was still in my exercise ban, so we turned around and headed back along the beach, pausing for James to bid and win something he’d been watching on eBay — aren’t smartphones the best!

Then we had our picnic — cheeses and charcuterie and crackers, and pinot noir in plastic cups, and hot cross buns because Easter.
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Whilst we were eating, a family waddled past with three kids and a dad all kitted out in wetsuits, and a mother beaming proudly on, headed out for fun afternoon of spear-fishing. Spear-fishing strikes me as barbaric at best but doing so in a marine sanctuary is truly scumbag behaviour, so I gave them a very dirty look. Then a plane flew over with a stupid Christian banner, compounding my hippy atheist rage, and James had to placate me with more wine.
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Fortunately pagan rites were live and well on the peninsula, as embodied by this fantastic (and huge!) wooden sculpture which had been suitably adorned for the holidays.

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