“Leave thine home, O youth, and seek out alien shores: a larger range of life is ordained for thee. Yield not to misfortune; the far-off Danube shall know thee, the cold North-wind, and the untroubled kingdoms of Canopus, and the men who gaze on the new birth of Phoebus or upon his setting: he that disembarks on distant sands, becomes thereby the greater man.” Petronius
For the past 4 years, the soundtrack of my life has been the rhythmic movement of the ocean here on the crystal blue shores of Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast. Standing on shorelines waiting for the dawn, or tracking the path of green waves as they fold into rocky coves, every day holds the promise of new discoveries as the ocean moves between tides. For a decade of my life I lived among the rolling hills and river valleys of the Central West, NSW – a place where fog is born, and where the icy dawn was my companion for many days. These were days of earth and sky, small towns, and fields of gold beside quiet country roads. From shorelines and dark hillsides, I have been fortunate to witness and capture nights of wonder – the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the nebulous blue dust clouds around the Pleiades, the Milky Way as it arches across the sky, the paths of stars as they circle the celestial pole and the blue magic of bio-luminescent shorelines – trying all the time to convey the emotion of those moments. And when Petronius talked about travelling to “Alien Shores” he wasn’t thinking of deep space – he was encouraging people to sail away from familiar things, the comfort zone of home and experience the wonder of other lands. Here, I try to tell you stories also of places that I will remember now all my life.