Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Totem Pole

Well I've been wanting to see this rock formation for over 10 years. The first time I saw a picture of this rock and someone climbing it I was awestruck. Today I was able to visit this magical place...by accident.

One of our friends down here called and asked if I wanted to go seakayaking for the day. Of course I was keen to get out of the house. Lora was excited too because with me gone it meant that she would not be distracted and would be able to get a lot of work done.

I met Dan at his house at a little before 7am. He and two other Tasmanians were taking a high school group out seakayaking for the day. We weren't sure if I was going to have a boat to paddle when we arrived because I guess paying customers come first down here. So I set off on a hike. The track I was heading to made its way to the rocky coast of the Tasman Sea. Carol told me that it lead to a famous rock formation, the Totem Pole. I was stoked! The walk took about an hour and half and was beautiful.

Of course I thought ahead and brought my new camera. Unfortunately, the batteries were dead when I tried to take a photo. Oh well. I kept hiking towards the Pole. I then met two ladies out for a walk and told them of my dilema with the camera. One of them told me to take the ni-cad battery and rub it on my clothes. The static electricity would "charge" my battery. I of course was hesitant to try this but she just waited for me to give it a go. So I did. Guess what. That shit works! I was able to take two photos of the scenery before the battery totally drained. The two scenic shots here, I took. The Totem Pole shots I stole from the internet so you would have an idea of what I saw.

The photos are not great but you get an idea of what I saw. In the picture above you can see the Totem Pole standing alone, water lapping at it from all four sides. If you want to climb this very hard route you have to swim out to it while dragging a rope from the mainland so you can do a rope traverse from the top when you ascend it.

After seeing this climb I am now scared shitless! I can not believe that people climb this thing. The whole spire is only a few square meters at its base and rises over 60 meters out of the sea. It's one of the most amazing rock climbs that anyone could do. Maybe I'll give it a go. I'm just hoping that Scottie, Baldwin, Jack or one of my other rope guns will come over for a visit to drag me up this thing.

Well after returning back to the car I found that there was an extra seakayak for me to use so...I went for a paddle. The water here is even more clear than the water in the Virgin Islands or Panama. Since we are so far south there is no coral but lots of kelp and the beaches are made up of some of the most brilliantly white sand I've ever seen. Since I was unable to get any pictures I'll save this part of Tasmania for another blog entry.

We miss you all tons and of course want to share what we are experiencing with you all. So COME VISIT!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Around Town

We thought we would share some quick pictures of Hobart. Here is our house. You can see Mt. Wellington in the background. Supposedly there is great climbing on the crags lower from the summit, Devil's Tower stlye crack climbing.

A 5 min walk from our place brings you here to Salamanca. There are lots of restaurants and bars here in one of the oldest parts of town. Every Saturaday there is a huge outdoor market here.

This is what the market is like, lots of people and lots of stalls. Here are real live Tasmanians.

About 2 blocks from Salamanca is the harbor. Where we are huge fans of the fish and chips and the fresh fish monger.
A shot from the harbor towards downtown.

Here is the downtown pedestrian plaza. Hobart is a great little city. We can find just about anything we miss from the US here.
We hope you enjoy the pictures. Nothing exciting but most people have asked for more pictures.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I just added this pic so I can put it on Tim's profile.

An older picture of Lora from this summer. We need to post it so we can then use it in her profile.

The local scenery as we are driving to the Teva Lea river extreme race. I took this picture with me new teeny camera, so expect to see many more pictures.

Our practice run. The boat I borrowed was not the best for this run. Luckily I was able to borrow another boat for the next 3 runs.

Morning briefing on race logistics. The whole weekend weather consisted of sunshine, rain and wind. It seemed to change every 15 minutes and in any combination. They say it is normal for Tassie spring.

This was the scene at the finish line. This event is really laid back and in the spirit of the event many of the participants wore costumes. Lora and I decided to use a running of the bulls theme since this was a partner race. You can see Lora's costume in the picture above. The idea of this race is that teams of two race down a class 4+ creek in as fast a time as possible. There were 18 teams with four teams being a mixed male/female team. We were the only married couple to enter the event EVER! We placed 13th overall and placed 3rd in the mixed category. Not bad for only paddling the creek the day before. We are also really out of shape. For being third we both received an IR paddling top and some sweet schwag. I was really proud of Lora. She even had an asthma attack half way through the 15 minute race and refused to stop. Don't worry Shirley(Lora's mom) she did have her inhaler with her so she would have survived.

We met a lot of good people here. They don't know it yet but they are soon to be our NBF's. Saturday night was a huge catered dinner and party. There was singing and drinking going on into the wee hours.

Sunday's event was a first ever slopestyle event down the three largest rapids. On the first rapid I threw my first ever freewheel off the waterfall. I love my new boat (the SCUD, a super short creek boat). The second drop didn't go as well for me. Lora ran all the drops to take video and did not enter the comp that day. We had to leave early to get one of the people riding in our car to the airport to fly back to Sydney.

Here's a picture of Lora styling the first drop.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Moving to Hobart. Our luggage. It was definately quick to unpack the car.

After a month and a half of eating out we celebrated our anniversary by eating in. Homemade pizzas Jamie Oliver style.

Here's my new study, where I'll be spending a lot of time.

We don't have super exciting picts yet of Tassie. We went to our first Tasmanian Canoe and Kayak meeting last night. It just happen that they meet at our neighborhood pub. We'll be kayaking within the next 2 weeks. Then we should have some better pictures to share.