Gary Muir drops to his knees in the sand of Shelly Beach and draws a big circle. The world. North Pole, South Pole, and there, just under the Equator which he has inscribed across its girth, Walpole.
Here, on the edge of the Southern Ocean, as part of his boat tour, he explains the geological history of Australia, in the global context. He tackles the subject with enthusiasm, knowledge and humour - after all, he points out, Walpole is the bellybutton of the world.
The visitors who stand daily at Walpole jetty waiting to join Gary's 10am to 12.30pm WOW Wilderness trip across the Walpole and Nornalup inlets to the mouth and the Southern Ocean get more than a boat tour. They will be entertained and educated in equal measures and those measures are huge. (It is one of the best $40 an adult can spend in WA).
Gary is a storyteller who explains the local environment and human history, Walpole's global connections, and pulls them together into an inspiring whole.
His family have been in the area for generations. On New Year's Eve, they gathered on the same big rock for the 155th time.
His tour is very much part of the lineage of the place. As he points out in the history section of the WOW Wilderness website, there have been boat cruises here for a century: "The French lawyer Pierre Bellanger of Nornalup Park Homestead, Fabian philosopher Frank Skinner Thompson of Tinglewood Lodge and famous boatbuilder Tom Swarbrick of Rest Point all operated their own tours on the wilderness waterway of Walpole Nornalup National Park."
Soon after boarding the boat, Gary, who before setting up the boat trip in 2002 was, for 12 years, an officer with what is now the Department of Environment and Conservation, and also project leader for the planning of the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk development, gives a useful and hilarious guide to treating snakebite.
The only pad he can find to bind over the bite is a toy numbat, which he'll later use, along with other stuffed toys, to explain the biological workings of marsupials.
There is mention of the 78 species of banksias trees; of the region receiving only half of its usual rainfall this past winter; of the bank robbery in Walpole where the getaway vehicle was a VW Kombi van.
But a big part of the conversation today is the connection between writer Leo Tolstoy and Walpole.
For Walpole might be the centre of Gary Muir's world but his interests and connections are global and part of the price of a ticket on his boat tour goes towards supporting one environment, one community and one global project.
Gary and fellow researcher Yashna Van Kinderen have just travelled to Russia's Yasnaya Polyana. As Gary explains on his website: "Five years ago a case was found in a boatshed containing papers and photos belonging to Walpole's historic Tinglewood Lodge's original owner, Fabian philosopher Frank Skinner Thompson. Included in the case were letters and a book which described Frank's stay with Tolstoy in 1906.
"The case also contained letters and photos from Tolstoy's family and friends including Aylmer Maude (official translator of Tolstoy's works) and Vladimir Tchertkoff (Tolstoy's right-hand man). Research was carried out at the original home of Tolstoy - Yasnaya Polyana - now a national literary museum."
As part of the trip, Gary and Yashna rode across Mongolia on a folding bicycle (authorities wouldn't release the bicycle he had taken with him, so he bought the folder there and swears by it). Gary also spent six weeks in Nicaragua, where WOW helped team member Steven de Geus spend eight months providing technical advice for the modernisation of the cooling system for a hydroelectric plant.
And WOW has been working with Project dieback and designed easy-to-use boot cleaning stations to help control the spread of the soil-borne plant pathogen Phytophthora Dieback.
After crossing the inlets, most guests have followed Gary across the dunes to Shelly Beach, and gathered around in a circle as he has pushed handfuls of sand around his inscribed globe.
We walk back over the dunes to enjoy tea and homemade cakes.
Walpole and Nornalup inlets are calm but Gary's is a wild and entertaining ride.
• The WOW Wilderness EcoCruise leaves from the Walpole jetty daily at 10am, returning at 12.30pm. It is $40 for adults, $15 for under-15s and free for under-5s.• Book through the Walpole Visitor Centre on 9840 1111 or after hours on 9480 1036 or email@example.com. Visit www.wowwilderness.com.au for more on the cruise and the Walpole area.