Holly floating at Little Cove // 35mm film
I do not yet know another cure like salt water. When I was little and got a cut on my knee 
from exploring the island I always went to with my pa, I would go to him and 
he would wash my broken skin with salt water, 
and it would heal.

I love diving underneath waves, to feel my body move through the mass of water that is rushing over me. Once I'm under, I look up and can see the white wash crash. Waves form and then they disappear onto the shore. The power of the ocean is unpredictable, every time I step into it I am so vulnerable. If it's a crappy day out there and it's rough, but I'm still swimming, I know that I might go under a wave and not come back up again. Because it's stronger than me, this water. Built in mass and depth, it swirls, spits and slaps up against rocks and sucks and draws currents through the water like a rogue pen on paper. There's something about salt water that has always soothed me. Once I'm in it, I don't want to get out. I just want to lie here and look up at the sky, have water fill my ears and hear only the stirring of sand. It keeps me afloat, the salt clings to my limbs and pushes me back up to air. Everything becomes nothing once I slide beneath the surface, the ocean transcends time and I may have already been out here forever, I'm not sure. I don't mind.

I learnt to swim from a really young age, since I can remember I've been in the water and always felt comfortable being there. My pa, Ron, had a big boat on two pontoons, a palm tree painted on the side and a pirate flag flying on top, called "The Island Cruiser". I was always semi under the impression that my pa was a real life pirate who had battled scoundrels and thieves at sea, hunting for hidden treasure while gliding across the big blue. He even had a large shark tooth strung around his neck that he still wears today, that came from a shark caracas found on a  beach somewhere - but I was certain he had wrestled the shark and plucked the tooth himself as a take home token. I soon learnt that was not the case, and that my pa adored sharks and all sea life. He is a man of the sea, had introduced me to salt water since I was a baby when we would all hop aboard the "Island Cruiser" to explore beaches for the day. The water there was always hot in the passage until the afternoon, but on the other side of the island, it was deserted of all human life, that was where the great big ocean  crashed and howled with the wind. This is where I collected shells and paddled carefully in the shallows. Looking out to huge container ships that looked like ants crawling the horizon and the violent waves were at least triple my seven-year-old self. 

The ocean has remained a massive part of my life despite growing up in the bush, and I don't think that will ever change. However, it has taken from people in my life, and I will always remember that too, but I stand by the big blue and hope my generation doesn't cost it anymore than it already has. The salt water cures broken skin, it soothes aching bodies and minds, the least we can do is respect it and keep it clean from litter and pollution. I try to always remember what nature gives me, it's irreplaceable. 

Ending a day with salt lingering on your skin, a window down in your the car and balmy air consuming your senses brings back nostalgic moments spent floating in the sea. 
Sometimes I was cold, sometimes I was warm. 

I was lucky enough to spend my first week of February soaking up the salty goodness of Byron Bay with Ryan. We packed up his van with my comfiest bed wear and headed South to our favourite place to be together. The days were long and calm, the mornings were all blue skies and sunshine, while the clouds rolled in for the afternoon and brought the cool air with them. Our staples things were breakfast, coffee, sand, ocean, books and sleep. Time was a hazy, soft concept that knew no bounds. My body was light, my head was light, the sun was bright.

We visited my beautiful friend China White in her home town, Brunswick, where we spent hours jumping into the Bruns River, catching up over delicious coffee and satisfying our empty bellies with the best Turkish food around. Luckily I brought a cam with me and here's what we captured. China is now living it up in Sydney, I hope to visit her soon... because she is a babe who knows what's up. 

Love, Chlo x