Saturday, April 01, 2006

It was a dark and blustery day…

Dave finally had a chance to try surfing. “Try” is the key word. Try and try again. After a quick lesson in the Cronulla beach rock pool, we headed out to sea. I thought the hard part would be trying to stand up on the board. As it turns out the hard part was getting “out to sea”. Today was very windy and overcast – too cold for the kids to swim and cold enough for a wet suit. The wind stirred up the current and whipped up the waves so they were coming from all directions. By the time I’d get the board out far enough to catch a wave, I’d be panting so hard I have to wait and rest. Once I caught my breath I’d look for a decent wave – not too big, not too small and at just the right time. Needless to say I didn’t have much success. My best run was my last when I finally caught Baby Bambi and stood up about 20 feet from shore and “iced” it! The whole lesson felt like 10 hours but it was only 2! I think I’ll sleep well tonight.

Afterwards we went to the Royal National Park to an area called Wattamolla. We attempted to enjoy the rock climbing next to the ocean but a psychotic six year old who has no sense of fear thought it would be fun to run ahead of his family at every chance. We enjoy the National Parks so much we bought an annual pass.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jervis Bay!

(click on any picture to enlarge!)
We spent the weekend on Jervis Bay in an area called Shoalhaven. The weekend was arranged by the Exchange Teachers' League so we met up with several other Canadian exchange teachers for a couple of days of R&R. Oma and the Violins thought it sounded like a fun weekend so they came along too.We arrived on Saturday in time for a hike through the forest and along the beach of Booderee National Park led by a park ranger. The highlight of the hike was the lookout over the ocean. As we drove back from the hike we spotted a couple of kangaroos on someone’s front lawn. Then we hit the jackpot! Charlee and Adam were warned to stay a safe distance away but they were in ‘the zone’. Not even a Tim Tam could pull them away. We stayed at the University of Canberra field station - a camp with tiny rooms with bunk beds and a large common kitchen for all to share. After dinner, we hung out by the campfire comparing stories about adjusting to the Aussie school environment. We were visited by several possums looking for bbq scraps.

The next morning Dave, a local teacher who had been on exchange to England, took us on another wonderful tour. This trek much to Adam’s delight, involved a lot of rock climbing. I never saw Adam for the two hours as he led the pack the whole time while I was hanging out at the back of the pack with Vic and Eva (although she’s not even 3 yet, she hiked most of the distance by herself!).

We ended our hike at a secluded beach where the Violins, DeNuccis (from Guelph) and the Graces spent the remainder of the day soaking up the sun and splashing in the water. The area is known to have the whitest sand in the world and the water was the clearest I’ve ever swum in.

Before leaving we decided to go for one last swim. Heidi and I were swimming to shore when a local walked by and pointed at something in the water. To our surprise a 10’ wide Stingray swam by. The kids followed it along the shoreline for 5 minutes before it took off for deeper seas.

All in all it was a memorable weekend. We will return to the South coast several more times!