Point Plomer || Film photographs and words by Birralee Hassen

I woke early on a Saturday morning to make the five-hour trip south of Byron to Point Plomer. It was still dark and my mind still sleepy as I cruised along the highway, listening to Bon Iver. About forty minutes into my trip and I realised that I had forgotten my short board and my wetsuit. “Damn”, I thought, “I can’t turn back now and add on another hour and a half to my trip. Surely someone will have spares for me to borrow.” I continued on my way, distracted by the spectacular light show that was taking place out my left window, the sky to the east beginning its transition into day. My feet were cold, the inside of the car reflective of the misty morning that closed in around me. I readjusted myself so that I sat on my left foot, keeping it warm while my right stayed on the accelerator. A change in music to take my mind off the temperature, I leaned forward and twisted the volume button up to maximum. I sang loudly, cold air flooding my lungs with each inhalation, warm air expelled from my mouth as I filled my van with the sound of my voice. My singing stopped abruptly as I passed a police car heading in the opposite direction. I glanced down at my speedometer, realised I was in a road work zone and let out a sigh as I saw the police car slow, turn around and start flashing blue and red from its rooftop. “Sorry, I was singing” didn’t seem to cut it as an excuse, and my case probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I couldn’t find my wallet when asked to present my license. “Just got a $260 speeding fine”, I texted to my friend Lizzy before pulling back onto the highway, “Yewza, I am nailing today”.  

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I picked Lizzy up along the way and we continued south, our mouths and minds moving at a faster pace than our vehicle covered the road. We conversed, as we often do when we haven’t seen each other for a couple of weeks, at a million miles per hour, not quite finishing one topic before moving on to the next. As many verbal bases covered as we could possibly cram into a three-hour journey, we pulled off the dirt road and turned left at the familiar sign that reads Point Plomer in white block letters. Hugs all around, we were greeted with smiles and my sister laughing as she stated, “As if ten AM is too early to have finished a bottle of champagne”. 

Point Plomer on the long weekend in June is a tradition amongst our friendship group. It is a form of celebration, remembering the life of our main gal Jess’ Dad, Graeme, who passed away a couple of years ago. Every year we assemble the troops at his favourite camping spot, share waves on the point and drink beer and champagne underneath the Pandanus tree that was planted as a physical reminder of a man loved and respected by all who knew him. It’s one of my favourite weekends of the year, and I’d forget my wetsuit and get a speeding fine ten times over to be there.

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We practiced yoga on the beach in the morning, sand beneath our toes and gazes pointed seaward. ‘Appreciating the beauty all around us’, I chose as the theme for our little class. “Look to the person either side of you and let them know something you find beautiful about them. And then close your eyes and take the awareness to the internal and find something that you find beautiful about yourself.” Maybe I was cheating because it is such an easy task in a location like Point Plomer. Or maybe I inadvertently was teaching an underlying lesson of truly noticing what is directly in front of you. We stopped the class at one point to excitedly watch the dolphins getting airborne, leaping from the water and torpedoing through the air above the waves before crashing back into the sea with a splash. 

 

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Birralee Hassen