Shoal Cape is a magnificent beach just around the corner from Fanny Cove on the south coast of WA. There is a windy limestone track which takes you there, via some steep and very boggy sections that would make you think twice about taking a heavy camper in there. The track opens into a clearing under trees with three reasonably small camp sites, a drop dunny and a sandy parking area at the top of about 100 steps to the beach.
The steps appear to have been a Coastcare project (great job CC) and the landing and lookout points on the way up and down, make it a great climb. At the bottom of the steps, the lagoon is breathtaking. Protected by two lines of reef – one just above and one just below the surface, the aqua blue water is crystal clear and provides safe swimming and snorkeling.
On the last day of 2012, The Driver and I parted company at the bottom of the steps. Fishing from the back line of reef heading west took The Driver’s attention for most of the day. I headed east around to the furthest point of the beach. On the way I found the only other footprints on the beach – and they belonged to emus and kangaroos.
Here, I had the deserted bay to myself for the day. A great way to end the year – a full day at the beach, shade from my new (Christmas present) shelter, Tim Winton’s Dirt Music (my favourite book), 37 degrees and crystal clear water.
I took two long walks over the rocks and out onto the cape. The view was spectacular with a huge bombie pushing up a green room when the southerly swell hit it. One boat came into the lagoon and two guys spent some time spearfishing and diving for crays.
Around the corner I stumbled across Mr Sea Lion basking in the sun. I suspect he was the one who had visited Fanny Cove the day before. We had a three-second Mexican stand-off and then he bolted for the water. It amazes me how they can launch and land themselves from the rocks with the swell and waves crashing around them. Sea lions are such an agile, well-adapted creature for their environment.