rusting away

off duty

ancient defender

rusts away

HMVS Cerberus was built for the colonial government of Victoria in 1870 as  naval defence against possible Russian attack.  This design was the first turrented , motorised ironclad battleship without sails  making it highly innovative for its day. There were two swivelling turrents with 2 ten inch guns in each. Thick armour up to 9 inches, (230 mm) thick covered the ship). The Cerberus was  was not really suited to ocean travel and became uncontrollable in rough seas meaning it took quite some time to travel from Chatham England where it was built to Melbourne Australia. The warship never fired a shot in action and never left Port Phillip Bay.  after its arrival . In 1924 the Cerberus was sold for scrap and in 1926 what remained  , (a hulk) as seen in the photos was scuttled to form a breakwater at Black Rock on Port Phillip Bay.

Since then the ship has been rusting away and settling on the sand . Its a mecca for curious scuba divers, snorkelers and adventurous teenagers. Various signs warn of the dangers associated with entering the underwater holes in the ship or climbing onto the actual hulk.  Since 2005 a local group has been trying to raise funds to save what is left of the Cerberus as a significant part of Victoria and Australia’s naval heritage. This is a valiant effort.

These  images are for a very late contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number  40 the challenge is RUST . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at



what a view

sharp eyesight

seeks pleasure afar

to excite

Maggie and I went walking down along the Black Rock coast path late yesterday afternoon. She had grown up in the bushland hills North of Melbourne  but soon took a liking for the sea. Afghan Hounds are sight hounds and have an amazing ability to spot objects, (often small and furry ) at extreme distances. Her latest tricks down here are climbing up onto rocks along the cliff and looking out to sea  or getting up on the seawall to investigate closer. Her fascination for water is becoming obvious  with her water bowl foot dipping games at home. Is she thinking of seeing how deep the bay in front of her is?  I am glad my Pentax DSLR has anti shake as I was holding Maggie with one hand and manipulating this camera with the other. All the while other walkers and their dogs were passing by. Shadows were deep and the light was failing however we managed to catch a couple of candid shots.

I am finally able to contribute to a double challenge again.

First the image for the one a week Photo Challenge word challenge and this week it is Maggie’s eyesight being extra SHARP.  This is my contribution . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at

Secondly this is my contribution to RonovanWrites weekly haiku poetry prompt challenge 164 Pleasure and Excite. To read all the other haiku responses to Ronovan’s challenge visit




ban the drone

setting sun

needs tranquility

autumn drone

We have been watching and photographing the sunset from Red Bluff  and Ricketts Point for the last week to watch where the sun disappears in relation to the You Yangs. These are the hills on the horizon behind the ship . Jill is curious to see where the sun sets in relation to the You Yangs  when the Autumn Equinox occurs.

Traditionally in pre European times Ricketts Point was a sacred indigenous womens’ site and Red Bluff was sacred to the men.It does not take much imagination to consider possible human physical features in the shape of the You Yangs. Indigenous Australians had strong spiritual connections to the landscape. Most local stories have been lost but there would have been connections to the You Yangs from the women at their site and the men at theirs. Basically the sun sets between the peaks of the You Yangs at or close to the Autumn equinox. We wonder if this was the natural signal for the traditional people to begin planning for movement away from what would be a colder coast as Winter approached and inland to more sheltered areas ?

Of course it takes imagination and dreaming to ponder on these questions. As we marvelled at the setting sun a drone suddenly invaded our space (left of sun and above the bow of the ship) A week ago as the sun was setting before Ricketts Point we counted 5 drones hovering around or moving above the shoreline. Drones have some uses but as toys for idiots in peaceful places of natural beauty they have no place.

fading light


layered clouds

filtering sunlight

at days end


layered clouds


filtering sunlight


at days end

Sunset on Monday night, almost the equinox and a beautiful arrangement of colour looking West across Port Phillip Bay from the Black Rock cliffs. Sadly however I was tucked up in bed when the sun rose so don’t know if it was equal in display.

This is my contribution to  RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 115 Clouds&Sunshine. Read an awesome collection of haiku by poets around the world taking up this challenge go to


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winter waves

testing man made strength

water wins

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These walls along the Black Rock coast have been continually tested by increasingly stronger waves over recent years. each year repairs are carried out. This year they are just holding, a few cracks are appearing but so far ………

This is my contribution to the 52 week PHOTO CHALLENGE, with STRENGTH this weeks word challenging a talented group of photographers from across the globe. Visit this challenge at and find this weeks sharing on Wild Daffodil’s Home page.

winter evening


cold water

gentle rippling swell

evening comes


cold water


gentle rippling swell


evening comes

Sometimes as we wait to discover the sunset display for the evening other natural elements entertain us. A few days ago on the Black Rock cliffs a gentle breeze playing on the bay provided a beautiful pattern across the water surface. Humans are very creative but I suspect all our ideas are out there in the natural world waiting to stimulate imaginations.

winter arrives


evening smog

beckons setting sun

cold night comes


Winter sunsets in all their glory are starting to make nightly appearances over Port Phillip Bay. We are lucky in our part of Melbourne to have a choice of cliffs at Sandringham, Half Moon Bay and Black Rock or the open expanse at Ricketts Point and depending where you watch the spectacle from there will be a new aspect to photograph. These shots follow in sequence over a period of fifteen minutes beginning at 5.05 pm from the Black Rock cliff. The temp was down to about 8 oC by then and dropped to 4 by the bay overnight. This haiku emerged from the sequence for met. I hope you enjoy the combination  and if a regular visitor trust you are not tiring of Port Phillip sunsets.

door of mysteries


from the past

door hiding secrets

to share now



These images show Black Bock House in Black Rock a suburb on the SE of Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne. Thomas Ebden and his family were the earliest European settlers in this part of Port Phillip way back in the 1850’sand established Black Rock House as their claim on the land. There are a number of mysteries surrounding Ebden and what went on in this early days. He was from South Africa and probably brought fixed ideas on how to respond to the original occupiers of this land. He also took up control of quite a lot of land around Black Rock and also central Victoria, (then called Port Phillip) There are certainly unanswered questions about the actual original reasons for building  a stockade as seen in the third image. Who was he going to resist with this? There are no mysteries about the Moreton Bay Fig Tree  seen in the second image, it is old and large. These trees are native to the more tropical climate of North east Australia and was introduced here as a seedling.

Some years ago Jill completed a landscape master plan of the grounds of Black Rock House for the City of Bayside. You can see the fruition of aspects of her work in these images.

This is my door contribution to the 52 week photo challenge ( this week DOOR) accessed at  where you can see some fascinating CHECK photos

snake care


taking care

snakes so fragile

watch your step

Our local council has been putting up these signs at points along our coastal walking paths. Across summer Tiger Snakes have been spotted at a number of locations. This natural element certainly adds to the excitement of a stroll along the bushy pathways that wend their way for kilometres along our local coastline. We do get many international tourists who come to the bay for the sights and may think snakes such as this cute little Tiger snake are another tourist attraction to look for.

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