Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Whale Of A Tale Or Two

This weekend everyone in the Commonwealth celebrated the Queen's birthday. Basically that means that we get a three day weekend!  Hooray for the Queen.  I believe that's the best way to get anyone to like you; give them the day off.

We booked our GoGet car and headed down the coast to Jervis Bay.  It's whale watching season here!  We had heard that the Queen herself proclaimed the sand at Jervis Bay to be the whitest sand in all of her dominion.  I figured that would be as good a place as any to celebrate her birthday.  Although, I can't find any actual facts to corroborate this claim and I haven't seen them in person but the Whitsunday Islands look to have a lot whiter sand than Jervis Bay.  Hmm, maybe more research will have to be done on this matter.

Town of "Husky"

I just loved this older gentleman painting

Sean in Jervis Bay

We stayed in the quaint little seaside town of Huskisson and naturally they all call it 'Husky'.  Since we were there during the winter months it actually wasn't too crowded.  I saw a lot of locals hanging out at the RSL, the coffee shop that served Veggie Mexican food on Saturday nights?! (it was good by the way but not Mexican) and our hotel.  Speaking of, it was a small hotel overlooking the water.  Pretty awesome.  But the Aussies can party and the restaurant/bar was directly underneath us.  Well you get the picture.  As anyone who knows me can attest I can sleep through anything.  Seriously, I fell off of the top of a bunk bed when I was little and just kept sleeping.  My husband on the other hand...well, let's just say that I was glad we were headed home that morning. Apparently an entire bar filled with Aussies singing Alanis Morrisette's Ironic does not make for good sleep. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?  No.  Get a dictionary, Alanis.  I did enjoy hearing Sweet Home Alabama and wondered how many of them had actually been to Alabama.  Fun times.

My calendar shot

View from our hotel

The Huskisson

Korean War Memorial, "Lest We Forget"

Huskisson houses on the Bay

The Jerringa clan originally inhabited this area of the coast

It was a good place to rest after a morning of driving and an afternoon of whale watching.  I say "whale" watching because we only saw one.  I think our tour guide/driver was tired as it was the last launch of the day.  We found a juvenile whale just outside the bay and proceeded to float around it for over an hour watching it come up to surface and go back down.  They are truly majestic animals and I was glad we got to see it but I was more entertained by the group of young Brits that were by us on the boat.  They gabbed about everything from what clothes they had that were "Great Gatsby" style, to random facts about whales, most of which were not true I think, and a girl would always yell "there it is, saw it first, again" every time the whale was spotted.  It was funny.

Now those are some engines

View from the water

It's a whale!

I also have to give a shout out to the guy we dubbed, "father of the year".  FOTY was very excited to see the whales. He had his telephoto lens ready and got him, his two kids and maybe his mother(?) up to the very front of the boat.  Problem is that the front was shielded from the wind.  Good for cruising, bad for his son who got seasick almost immediately.  The kid couldn't see the horizon and had no fresh air so what does FOTY do when we stop to watch the whale?  He takes pictures!  His kid is throwing up with his head down and he is smiling taking photos of the whale!  At least the mother helped but then it started his sister throwing up because she was trying to help.  Only the dad is watching the whale.  Then after about a half hour the dad comes back over and pats him on the head.  Parenting, he nailed it.

I felt so bad for the kid.  He looked to be around 10 maybe and had his head down the rest of the trip.  I almost went to try to get him and take him up near the captain so he could get fresh air and try to right himself but then I was worried I might start a chain reaction of people getting sick as I think he was covered.  So, I didn't get involved.  FOTY probably got some epic shots of the whale though.  I only have little blips on the horizon.

It was a fun time being out on the water.

The Point Perpendicular Lighthouse built in 1899

There it is, I saw it first. Again!

Calm, flat water makes for a good day

It's staying near the top feeding

The next morning we headed back towards Sydney.  We went through a little town that has taken over on our top places to retire list, Kiama.  Not sure why exactly but we both loved it.  It's on the list for another weekend adventure.  It has a mix of farmland overlooking the water.  As Sean said, "I don't think happy cows come from California. These are the real happy cows." Check it out here!

We had seen a temple on our way down near Wollongong so I researched it and found out it was the Nan Tien Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere.  After our revelry filled night of no sleep I figured Sean could use a little bit of peace and Zen so we stopped.  It was very beautiful and relaxing and I learned a little more about Buddhist enlightenment.  There was a free museum with teeny tiny writings on pieces of eggshell and human hair not to mention the temples themselves.  I've been trying to learn more about meditation and relaxation so it was fun to see.

Nan-Tien Temple
Beautiful view of the Illawarra region of Wollongong

Me and the Pagoda

Fall colors!

Pagoda and Gratitude Bell

Ringing the gratitude bell. 

View down from the Pagoda

View up
We made it back home safe and sound and went for a run.  Great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Coley, I love love love these pictures. Thanks for sharing and glad you guys had a great trip and made it back safe and sound!