Saturday, December 01, 2007

Look Ma I'm famous!

Back in October we actually had some rain here which meant the rivers were at a good level for once. I may have mentioned back then that the day after the race we went to run our favorite run, Leven Canyon. It was really high but it looked good to go so most of us went for it. One of the boaters wrote up a little story and submitted it along with some pics to KayakSessions magazine. It probably will not make it into print but it's up on their website right now. Somehow I managed to be in many of the photos. I've attached one photo, my favorite one, that shows me about to launch off a 12 meter drop.Here's the link if you want to read more.

It's kind of funny because I can tell the guy didn't remember my name, he's from Sydney and not a local, because some of the story doesn't quite fit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hanging with Kevin and Karen

Right now Lora and I are hanging out in Far North Queensland. I fly back to Hobart in two days to finish up the last of my school work for the semester. I'm not really looking forward to it. Two weeks ago Kevin and Karen came out to visit us and we took them to see some of our favorite places in S. Tas.

First stop, some sea kayaking near the candlestick. Karen had been kayaking a few times before but it was a first for Kevin. We loaded up the boats with overnight gear and headed over to a little cove to set up camp for the night.

Heading over to camp.

A shipwreck we checked out on the way to camp the first night.

After waking up to rain and having a quick breakfast we started paddling towards the candlestick. Remember a while back I hiked in to this spot to check it out. The little column is called the Totem Pole and is a very famous climb. The paddle across the bay took about 45 minutes and neither boat had any trouble.

Here we are paddling through the crack between the two islands. The swell can prevent people from being able to do this so we were really lucky.

The view looking back at the Totem Pole.

Same view except Kevin and Karen are in the way. Just kidding.

After getting back to the car we then headed to the wildlife park so that they could see the local animals. I think they both really enjoyed seeing the Tassie devils fight it out for food. I know I did.
One of them giving us a menacing look warning us not to try and take its food.

I thought it would be funny to go and hang out with the roos. They were a little freaked out by the whole thing as you can see from the picture. Leave it to me to make totally tame animals get freaked out.

We really had a great time visiting with Jim, Pat, Kevin and Karen. We all ended up visiting Cairns for a few days before they all headed home. One of the highlights for me was a return trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. I think Pat enjoyed visiting another wildlife park. Next time you see her you may have to ask her about the Koalas here. Just kidding Pat. We'll try to get some of those pictures up a little later.

Well it's back to normal life for us just for a bit. I'll try to keep you guys posted as to what the haps are as they occur.



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jim and Pat hit up Ozland

Jim and Pat are here visiting us in Tasmania and soon to be in Cairns. While here in Tas we had some fun even though it was a short trip. First off was a round of golf as promised. We ended up at a really nice course on the water front. My mate Nick came with us for an early round. Jim ended up beating us both but not by a huge margin. It was really a nice morning and I'm hoping to play some more golf soon.

Nick teeing off after Jim smacked a good one over the water.

We then went on a little drive down south after meeting Lora and Pat for lunch. We ended up at the Tassie Devil Park where we watched the Devils tear roo carcass to shreds. These animals are SO COOL! I think Pat enjoyed the live kangaroos better.

At the Devil Park with a couple of cuties.

Some devils.

In a field of roo poo!

Up close and personal.

We then took a drive to the coast where we saw a really cool sea cave that led out to the surf. The local surfers use it to access the waves. It seems really cool to have to paddle out this 50 meter long cave.

Contemplating the swim!

All in all I think both of them realized what a great place Tasmania is and how much it has to offer. I also think they realized why we chose to live here in the first place. Now we're off to see Cairns and meet back up with them.

At the Saturday market.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A few losers in the world still don't read our blog.

Lora was talking with our friend Danielle today and found out that she had never checked our blog. We have been living in Tasmania for over a year and she's one of our closest friends. Can you believe it? She's just now realizing what cool stuff she's been missing out on. Maybe now she'll know what people are talking about around the office water cooler.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Waiting for Tassie spring

Well after finding ourselves in hail and snow we returned home and waited for 2 more weeks for Tasmania's west coast to hit spring. I then finally was able to hit the field again. Things went off without a hitch, but it was still a bit cold at times. Fieldwork in a temperate rainforest is very different than tropical. I got back home 2 days ago, just in time to hang out with Dad and Pat. They arrived this afternoon and we had a great walk around the harbour, a drink at the pub and a nice seafood dinner. We will post more fun as it happens.

Below are some pictures I took on a bit of sightseeing with Anna before she left Australia.

Russel Falls at Mt. Field National Park

I finally got to see a couple of Echidnas up close. They are great. This is a juvenile one, but I have seen some BIG ones too.

Just a couple of shots of the color patterns of Snow gums.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Life in Australia

First off, can you people get the American economy back on track please! It hurts living in an expensive foreign country with a bank account full (ok not FULL) of U.S. dollars. Maybe William needs to encourage the country to spend money again and go out and buy luxury items. It seemed to work before.

For those of you who check our blog you may have been wondering where in hell are we lately. It's been quite a while since our last post. SORRY! Lora's assistant, Anna, went home a couple of weeks ago so I've been out in the field with Lora a bit and working on papers for Uni. We've been stuck out in the boonies and have had no Internet or cell service. Also, since all I pretty much have been doing lately is typing and staring at a computer the last thing I really want to do is type some more. Why oh why do I love procrastinating so much?

Lora's about done with her Tassie sites and will be home in a few days. On Thursday Jim and Pat will be heading over here for a visit as will Karen and Kevin. I plan on playing some golf with Jim. Isn't that what you're supposed to do with the in-laws? Golf seems to be one of those sports which I enjoy every time I go out but then forget about it the next day. This means I never improve due to lack of playing time. Right now I suck so it should be fun.

When Kevin and Karen visit we plan on doing some fun stuff. Maybe an overnight sea-kayaking trip or a quick hike into a cabin in the mountains. You know fun stuff. By the way, Karen got your message today and no you don't need to bring a sleeping bag. We can get all that stuff here for you.

Well now every one knows that we are still alive and well. Summer is almost here and the weather is starting to get good. That means more fishing and longer evenings. Of course Lora has plans for me again this summer. Can you say field bitch? That's what I'm going to be. Oh well, it could be worse.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A few pictures of when William came to visit Tasmania a couple of months ago

Fishing with the family from a "Tinnie"

Just getting around to posting these pictures. William, my youngest brother, came over for about a week and half before the sailing trip. We played some xbox and I took him on a lot of missions around the state. We did some hiking where I think I made him puke, some sea kayaking with the sharks, and a lot of fishing. Can't wait to take the other half of the family on some fun missions around Tasmania.

William and I fishing from the kayaks.

More fishing

Just some boring scenery.

William contemplating life on one of the top ten beaches of the world.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Superheroes seen kayaking local Tassie river

The second weekend of October means it's the Teva Lea Extreme Race again. For Lora and I it's a chance to paddle down a nice river with a bunch of other kayakers. The whole event is a fun packed weekend where we eat and drink lots of food and liquid refreshments and oh yea for 10 to 15 minutes we try to get down a two km section of whitewater as fast as we can in teams of two. Well of course Lora and I teamed up again. How lucky am I to have a wife that is a bad ass kayaker? We really are not that competitive and the true spirit of the event for us is the costume competition.

Last year some of you may remember that we went as a bull and runner from the running of the bulls in Spain. Everyone thought I was a French guy and Lora was a cow. Ok well apparently they do not know about the running of the bulls here in Tasmania so this year we thought we would go as something that no one would miss. As you can see from the photos we went as Superman and Superwoman. Kate and Matt will especially appreciate the fact that the costumes were made totally of duct tape. I spent about 4 hours working on them over two evenings with Lora lending a hand on the tricky S's. Another funny thing is that of course duct tape is expensive over here for some apparent reason so I ended up spending about $70 on them.

We also put coat hangers in the cape parts so that we could bend them up to make it look like we were really fast kayakers. It worked. Everyone really loved them and they looked great.

Here we are below one of the drops on the race. If you look closely at my cape you can see how it looks like it's flapping behind me.

At the presentation dinner we were rewarded for our efforts with $200 to spend at and the knowledge that we may not have been the fastest pair on the river that day but we were certainly the best looking. Besides isn't that what kayaking is all about?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Our 2 Year Anniversary

For those of you that actually have a life and may have let the 1st of October slip by without thinking it was an important day I'm happy to remind you that it was Lora and my 2nd wedding anniversary. We still remember the great party that was our wedding and think of all of the people that made it special whether they were able to attend or not.

Of course most of you will never guess how we spent our day together this year... that obvious huh? Of course we went kayaking! We ended up going down a beautiful section of the Plenty river only 30 mins from town. It's finally been raining here so the river was at a great level. We had a blast. We ended up paddling with 4 other Tassie boaters and enjoyed a 15 km run. As usual Lora styled all of the lines. I'm not sure how she's able to stay a good kayaker when she only gets to paddle 10 days a year.

I've included two pictures... the only two we took all day because the river was of a continuous nature and we were having too much fun to stop and take a picture. The first is of the two of us with our AWESOME dry-suits many of you gave to us for a wedding present. I know I've said it before but every time we put them on we think of all of you and HOW MUCH YOU ALL ROCK!

The second picture is of course the take out. Pretty boring but there you go.

Then we checked into a swanky hotel right on the waterfront in Hobart. We were going to go out for dinner but the two story hotel room was too nice and the restaurant next door did the room service for the place so we just ordered in. It was a great way to spend our day together. A nice river, good food, and a great view of the harbor from our bed.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A little bike ride around the coast

It's lambing season here and they are cute!

The ride we took follows the red line from Cygnet around to Woodbridge and then back across to end in Cygnet.

By now most people would have seen our latest post about the sailing. If you haven't yet scroll down below to the previous post. As usual I probably put too much video in it. I think the slide show at the end is the best part.

On to other things...

Recently Lora and I went on a little bike ride around one of the peninsulas near town. The ride was great and ended up being about a 53km ride. The views were spectacular and of course the pictures just do not do it justice.

With Lora being in such great shape and me riding my mountain bike with big knobby tires, it was tough work keeping up with her. Part way through the ride we stopped for a nice little lunch at a pub/restaurant right on the water.

After a glass of wine and a pint of light beer as well as a small lunch we decided to cut through the inland back to the car. What we didn't know was how steep and long the uphill would be. Along the way we saw a couple of really friendly and super cute lambs that whenever I bleated they would come right up to me. Lora was in heaven and asked repeatedly if we could take one home. See the pictures below to see what I did with one of them.

The local countryside. For some reason I'm holding Lora's bike, not my own.

One of the cute lambs I took home for dinner. O.K. it isn't really! Lora and I bought a rabbit from a country hotel later in the week and we cooked it up. YUMMY!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

So I decided to just put all the pictures I liked and a little video Lora shot using her little camera onto YouTube. I won't go into all the detail of the trip but we had a blast sailing around for 7 days. For those that don't know my parents and youngest brother came over to visit us and part of the trip we rented a 42' Catamaran. Pure indulgence! Enjoy the video.


Monday, September 10, 2007

A few cute photos of Frank and Jennifer during our sailing trip in Australia

We took a hike up above our boat one afternoon and snapped this picture.

Ok I don't usually get to mushy when it comes to my parents. After all they are my parents. However, as I began looking at the numerous pictures taken during the sailing trip last month I couldn't resist putting some up for all to see. It's nice to see them happy together and still in love after all these years. Enjoy.

I still plan on posting a blog about the sailing trip really soon.

Oh yeah, I'm sure I'll get in trouble for doing this but I can't help myself.

This is Lora's and my favorite picture of the two of them.

Holding hands on a walk along a really cool section of beach.

Hill inlet in the background.

Australia's next top model!

The boat was really moving in the 25knt winds and 2 meter seas.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Possums are cuter in Australia

This one go into a utility room and made a mess.

Fieldwork in action.

Anna and I carrying traps into Border Ranges

Danielle, a volunteer at Lamington National Park, and I hanging Flight-intercept traps

Anna hanging traps

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Family starts to arrive

I'm so excited to be picking up my youngest brother tomorrow from the airport. He'll be down here in Tasmania for 10 days before all three of us fly up to meet my parents for a week of sailing in the Whitsunday Islands. I have some fun things planned for his visit but mainly we'll just be hanging out. I'll keep you posted as to what trouble we can get into before Lora gets back home on the 11th.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friday Fishing

I went fishing yesterday and had a ball. Nick and I took a "Tinnie" (an aluminum boat) out for some salt water flathead fishing. Basically you use a double hook and big sinker to drag along the bottom of the water. For bait we bought the cheapest meat we could find, lamb necks. These flathead fish are UGLY but they taste GREAT. It's been a while since I've done any fishing and we had a blast. It was a bit cold but the sunset out there on the water was brilliant. We ended up catching enough for dinner and even was able to invite some friends over to help us eat the catch.

A pic off the internet of a flathead

We breaded them and then put them over a veggie salsa we made and a bed of Rocket (Arugula). As Lora would say... It was Scrumpsh! Sorry to not include any pics but I still don't have a camera since I've misplaced mine a month or so ago.

If you find the word Hobart we were fishing in the bay under the "art" in Hobart.

I'll update the blog in another day or two with pics of our trip to Fraser island last week. It was an awesome trip and so great to see Lora again. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Great Barrier Reef

Anna and I have been working non-stop since she arrived, so as a treat we headed to the reef for a day of snorkeling. We went with Denise and her friend Kimberly who was visiting from the states for a several weeks.

Denise, Kimberly, Anna and Me on the boat ride to the reef

It took just over an hour to get out to the reef from Port Douglas. Once there, the boat moored in 3 snorkeling areas.

The reef

It was great snorkeling. My favorite would have to be the giant clams. They are huge with crazy colors. Along with all the heaps of fish, Kimberly and I saw a good size reef shark.

After our last snorkel

The only draw back of the day was that it started off cold. Both in the water and out. The water temperature was warmer than the air temp, especially when considering out windy it was. By the end of the day the winds had calmed and it wasn't so bad. After the first snorkel Anna's turned purple from the cold.

Kimberly and Denise comparing their toenail polish to Anna's lips

Overall it was a great day. After this we had one more day in the field and then we started our drive to Brisbane and more importantly getting Tim from the airport.