On an early morning hike I past two women heading to the beach with their surfboards. Wind swept over Port Phillip Bay, but still the waves were no higher than thirty centimetres. Further ahead was Station Pier Cruise Ship Terminal where the Queen Elizabeth was docked. Cars crawled past to enter the ferry that would later sail to Devonport, a journey I’d taken in my late teens.
A couple of hundred metres ahead was the old terminal, Princes Pier, where pylons stretched into the bay, but only a part of the pier remained along with the original building I had once walked through to head to Tasmania.
Port Melbourne had been inhabited by the Yalukit-willam clan for thousands of years before Europeans invaded in the 1830s. They thought of the area as a silent wilderness until thousands of immigrants arrived during the gold rush. Princes Pier, then Railway Pier, was constructed in the 1850s with a railway line that extended into the bay for loading and unloading imports and exports. It was renamed in the 1920s after a visit by Edward, Prince of Wales.
Not far past this point, I turned back. I’d calculated that by the time I returned, my quota of steps for the day would be completed.