When we first moved to Australia, we’d been in lockdown (some of it self-imposed) for most of 2020. We had rarely ventured beyond our own home and yard. The pandemic was still going on and we knew that a lockdown could occur in Sydney as well — Melbourne at the time was well into its record as the longest shut-down city in the world. So we wanted to ensure that, if we got stuck at home again, we’d have something more to look at than suburban fences. We rented an apartment on the Esplanade between North and South Cronulla beaches, right over the ocean pools.
There were downsides. The apartment building was vintage 1970s, with poorly caulked single-paned aluminum windows — strong winds off the ocean were felt inside, accompanied by whistling and howling. This became nerve-wracking during the days-long storms we got as a result of La Niña. In better weather, we were occasionally awakened in the middle of the night by drunk teenagers screaming and splashing in the ocean pools.
But the view was glorious, ever-changing with the seasons, weather, and tides. My office space was a small desk next to the balcony with floor-to-ceiling windows, and I had a lot of early meetings to work with my US colleagues, so I saw many sunrises over Bate Bay, as well as the endless entertainment of surfers, swimmers, paddleboarders, kayakers, and the occasional dolphins.
When we bought our house in April 2022, we realized we’d be losing that view. I set up my old iPhone X on a tripod on the balcony, and began shooting as many hours of video as I could, almost daily from April through early July when we finally moved into our new house. We had an idea that in the new place we’d set up a screen and a video server to automatically play the files so that we could continue to enjoy those views. So far we haven’t got around to any of that, but I’ve started to upload the videos to YouTube. You can see the (slowly growing) playlist here: