Friday, November 14, 2008

Adventure Mondays

With so much of Port Douglas' employment based around hospitality and tourism, it's rare for people to work Monday to Friday. With Jane's two part time jobs and my working week set from Wednesday to Sunday, Monday is the only day off we share. So Monday is the day we try to do the things that you should when living in a place like Port Douglas. So forget the housework and get out there, it's "adventure Monday".

There's an old bullock/horse trail that runs from behind Port Douglas to the top of the ridges to the west. It's known as the "Bump Track" and Jane and I decided a walk to the top would be a suitable adventure Monday activity. It was steep and hot but worth the effort. It took us two hours to make it to the top. This shot is taken at a lookout on the way down. If we look hot, that's because it was bloody boiling!

Mossman Gorge is a great place to cool off after a bush walk. Now the ocean is so warm and the pools are well above 30 degrees, the freshwater streams are the most refreshing place for a dip.

This is running creek which we encountered about halfway along the Bump Track.

The Low Isles are an hour's easy sail from Port and a great place to snorkel. We have had a couple of trips out there. This day provided us with the best conditions so far.

It actually took us a few month to get out for our first dive. I think we are starting to get fussy about the conditions. With the wind blowing mostly from the south east, it can be surprisingly rough on the way out. Above: Jane posing with large soft coral. Below: Jane posing with medium sized, (some would say soft) husband during our safety stop.

Barron falls in the hills west of Cairns, near the town of Kuranda. We can't wait to see them in the wet!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Living Creatures

Port Douglas isn't exactly the wilderness, but it has brought us in a little closer to other living creatures compared to downtown Kensington. Below is a selection of a few of our animal encounters (minus the cane toads, of course).

Spotted and Harlequin Sweetlips are a common sight on the GBR. They are a great looking fish and can get pretty big. Very impressive when they are in shoals.

My favourite living creature putting her head in front of the camera on a recent trip to the Low Isles.

Sometimes on a dive the patterns of the corals impress me as much (or more than) the fish life. I couldn't quite get the colour, but I loved the shapes these made against the other hard coral.

Don't think they're not out there. This fella was about 2 metres long and just gliding into the water near the Daintree River ferry crossing. As it warms up they spend more time in the water and less catching the sun on the banks.

No need for an alarm clock with these guys around. 5.15 am and again in the afternoon they go crazy in the palm trees out the front of our place. Often my first words in the morning are "That's it, get my gun" but I am sure we will miss them when we leave. I took this shot with my 300mm zoom. Bloody hard to get the little buggers to keep still. Anyone who can take good shots of birds is doing better than I.

With my little underwater camera it's hard to capture the amazing colours of the reef. This soft coral was in shallow water with lots of light. It was the most vibrant blue/purple which changed as it moved in the current.

Jane's favourite. We came across this cuttlefish out on Opal reef. He was pretty curious and entertained us with a change of colour, throwing a bit of a light show before blending into the background. They are amazing animals, I especially like them lightly fried with a very cold beer.(sorry Jane). Photo by Jane.