Thursday, June 22, 2006

May 18 - We had brunch with my cousin A and his new wife S (they got married in Nov) to celebrate mother's day. It was really good to see A as the last time I did I was 7 yrs old.

After brunch we walked around Brisbane for a bit and ended up at the Queensland Museum. As it turned out to be free to wander around we did for a while and saw some exibits such as Australian wild life, transportation, etc. Then we walked back in the direction of A and S's house and stopped at a Buch Tucker resteraunt. We ordered the platter w/ crocodile as it looked to have the most variety. I don't remember what everything is, but the meats are emu, kangaroo, wallaby, possum, and crocodile. We agreed unanimously that wallaby is not a good animal to eat. I enjoyed the emu and crocodile. Also on the platter are finger limes (they taste like lemon and lime and are quite nice. we found bigger ones later), lilly pillys (the small red ones that are also in the salad. they taste a bit like apples when you're chewing but have a distinct cinnamon gum after taste.), bunya nuts (also in the salad - they kind of taste like dry, raw potatoes :P), duka (in a bowl, looks like crushed up nuts and leaves...and that's what it is. esp good w/ the lemon myrtel in it).

When we got home we watched Alex and Emma.

May 19 - Today was another rest day as the weekend was going to be busy. We went to the post office to mail more post cards, did some grocery shopping, and started planning our drive down the coast to Sydney. We also watched Rabbit Proof Fence and The Usual Suspects.

May 20 - Today we started our open water dives. We were diving at Flinder's Reef, the southern most tip of the Great Barrier Reef quite close to Morton Island where we were earlier in the week. I was really excited and scared about these as I'd never been diving in open water before. As a result I felt quite sea sick, which I'd never done before. I made it into the water on the first dive, but as we were practicing some skills w/ the instructor I lost my regulator, panicked, and ended up going straight to the surface. I spent the rest of the day throwing up every 15 min - half hr or so. It wasn't the most pleasant day ever, but the instructor was really helpful. He got me back in the water again, not as far under, just to get used to the idea and get over the fear of having almost drowned myself. Note to self: you actually can throw up through a regulator w/o a problem. On the way home we got sea sickness medication in the hopes of better luck tomorrow. PI, on the other hand, managed his dives today just fine and saw quite a lot of interesting fish.

May 21 - Much better luck today, I made it into the water twice like I was supposed to (ok, not quite as I was supposed to, but twice anyway). On the first dive I saw giant clams, 2 wobegong, flute fish, a ton of different wrasse, tiny electric blue fish, bat fish, sea cucumbers, tons of choral, and a bunch of other fish I don't know the name of.

While back on the boat for lunch we saw sea turtles. They're HUGE! A lot bigger than I was expecting.

On the second dive I saw a potato cod (also huge)

clown fish in anenome, another wobbygong, a lobster, a lot more of the same fish and choral, and found a cowry shell.

May 22 - Another rest day. In the evening we went out behind where j works and looked for kangaroos. We found one right away, but the pics didn't come out very well. We later found 2 or 3 more (hard to tell if they're the same ones in the dark). There are quite a lot of kangaroos around that area. Koalas too, but they're a lot harder to spot since they don't really move much and are high up. One wandered into j's work once, though, and they had to shoo it out again.

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