Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hen and chicken reef announces low tide

From our house, a group of rocks (resembling a hen with chickens) exposes itself at low tide, and in doing so tells us whether or not we can walk along the beach to Grossard Point and beyond. In fact, it's possible to walk along the beach all the way to Cowes (the main town on Phillip Island), a distance of about 6 km.

At high tide, rocky headlands block the route to Cowes, but by walking west, you can walk about 4 km before rocks make progress difficult and slow.

It's possible to walk all the way around the island, but this takes several days and the tide needs to be low.

Our coastline has a blend of wide sandy beaches, rocky headlands and rocky reefs. When exposed at low tide, these reefs contain rock pools, and all manner of shellfish, sea weeds and other marine life. Sadly, in the 12 years we've lived on Phillip Island and explored these rocky ledges, the diversity of life in and around the pools has diminished. Pollution within Western Port Bay has to be the culprit.

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