Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hangin' with the Humpbacks

'Tis whale watch season here in the southern continent and we just happen to live purdy dern close to where they like to play.  Adverts claim "The best whale watching in the world" Well, we went for ourselves and see if this was truly the case.  The verdict is: YES! Up to 7000 of these 40 tonne cetaceans migrate from Antartica to the warm waters of Australia and the south Pacific Islands during the winter and spring. Our local harbour has boats that take trips during the season, (one of the most well known is the Whale One, belonging to the late Steve Irwin's family) but for an actual good look at these guys we drove north three hours to Hervey Bay. As you can see we were in spittin' distance. They are bemused by the boats so they spy hop: stick their mouth straight up so their eyes are out of the water. We also saw many a tail and pectoral slaps, but no breaching. Big fun.We also happened to arrive sort of in the middle of the town's whale festival parade, complete with camels, firemen dressed up like koalas, and heaps of nippers riding on trucks.

Eli also had a good weekend, but he wasn't with us. (this has been happening more and more) He was body boarding with his mates in Byron Bay, New South Wales, about 4 hours south. It was a birthday trip for a fellow year 10er, Cameron. One dad and 4 boys spent two full days in the water catching waves and having a great time. His wetsuit tan line was his souvenir.

We've been hiking with Jill and Angel most days, tackling Kondalilla falls again which is so beautiful I could walk there every day,  Buderim Forest Park, Noosa National Park, and Mt. Coolum. It wasn't until the last day we spotted 'roos (that weren't road kill) but we spent plenty of time looking!   A few days ago we ventured to the wilds of nearby Nambour, planning to watch Melissa perform with her high school orchestra in yet another rife with rules eisteddfod. It was a day with a lot of driving, and we did our best to be there on time, but the two tight lipped bitties at the door wouldn't let us in despite my pleading as the door was closing JUST as we arrived.  We were relegated to listen from the fire escape. Oh well. She's been on stage since she was about three and I reckon we will have another chance to see her perform soon. Um, like this coming weekend with her dance class.....

Australian:Not a mozzie in sight during winter, but still warm enough for a barbie. Eli to mom:  "Can you get me a big bag of lollies from Woolies?" After brekky Jill and I donned our sunnies  and creatively arrived downtown for yoga class and stretched our hammies. And...in addition to the thumbs up for the local favorite bickies, Angel actually thinks Vegemite is yummie.

American:  Mosquitoes did not  interrupt our barbecue last week of local Mooloolaba prawns and Hervey bay scallops.  Eli's gift of choice for the birthday boy was a nutrition filled bag of candy from the grocery store.  Jill and I had some delicious fruit bread for breakfast, and planned to catch the bus, but oops there it goes. Missing class was unacceptable, so armed with yoga mats and sunglasses we thumbed it and within a few minutes a nice surfer dude stopped. We stretched muscles I knew about, like my hamstrings, and others I had forgotten about. In addition to lamingtons, our guests sampled Tim-Tam cookies and Vegemite. This hugely popular Australian condiment can be compared to Spackle mixed with coffee grounds in a jar, and tastes like super salty yeasty bitter paste. I'll pass.

Other weekend activities: local comedy (better than the last one we saw but still wouldn't be mistaken for the pros) my choir singing at at Coolum Celebration Day, visiting the Yandina Ginger Factory where they produce 70% of the world's candied ginger, and stumbling into a cute cafe/vintage shop for a farewell lunch with Jill and Angel. It was great having them, and all our other company too. It appears we have no other guests slated to bunk with us....must mean the end is coming. I won't count the weeks yet. And here's a link I'm passing on (thanks Susanna!) from the blogosphere catalogliving.net It's  hilarious...enjoy.


  1. Wow! Those humpbacks are amazing . . . . Sounds like everything is going fantastically, and everyone is thriving. Thanks for the great posts and photos!

  2. Hi Stephanie-

    This was your best blog entry yet. I guess I like whales and the pictures are great. Tom is so thin