Mutton Bird Island

Saturday 6 Feb 2015

Before Ruby went to Coffs Harbour, she contacted a potential housemate called Toby on social media. After she arrived, she and Toby met up and decided that they would commit to finding a rental property together.

On Saturday morning we went to Urban café where Ruby and Toby filled out applications for rental accommodation while Susie and I had a leisurely brunch and watched the locals wrangle toddlers and teenagers. Since the weather was pretty ordinary, we took Ruby and Toby out afterwards to see the movie ‘Spotlight’ at the local cinema. This was an apt choice for someone launching a career in journalism.

After the movie we went on a walk past the picturesque harbour to Mutton Bird Island. It is a large treeless mound covered with burrows fashioned by thousands of Short-tailed Shearwaters, or “mutton birds”. The wind was blowing a gale, and Ruby ran along the paved pathway trying to take off like one of the eponymous inhabitants. We rested for a while on the windward side of the island, musing about the future and gazing out towards the horizon.

5 Feb flight of the muttonbird
Flight of the mutton bird

We took Ruby and Toby out to dinner that evening at an Indian restaurant on Harbour Drive. The restaurant was clearly a popular destination, and the tables spilled out onto the footpath outside. We got to know Toby a bit better as we shared a sample of vegetarian dishes, and polished off a bottle of good Shiraz.

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