Monday, September 27, 2010
The surf report is good. I haven’t been back to Noosa in a while for the fun longboard waves, but the dumpy beach break out front here in Peregian has actually offered some decent rides. Beach breaks are always faster and more exhilarating than point breaks and river mouths like Noosa; it’s a different kind of adrenaline rush. The beach breaks here are really steep, it’s like a huge wall of water suddenly pitching in front of you, and if you don’t make the turn, you get thrown straight into the sandbank below. On the other hand if the turn is made properly, you have a good 10 seconds of perfect face to do a few sharp bottom carves before the waves either plays out in the rip channel or explodes in your face (never a good thing). We had to sighting in the surf this morning of large fauna. The first was one of our very own humpback whales, which surfaced maybe 300 meters or less from our position in the break. This was followed by a much more frightening sighting of a bait ball being chased by possibly several sharks, initiating the end of our morning surf session. A major thunder storm has been forecasted later this week, so we may have some days off to go surf some nice clean southern storm swells behind the protecting headland of Noosa. Let’s hope the wind will be offshore.
Just as a note in case I use this blog for future reference, the lorikeets here are almost all of the Scaly-breasted variety; unlike Straddie and northern Queensland with the Rainbow Lorikeets.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The study is very complicated, and has never been attempted before in such a large scale. Here’s what will be happening in a condensed version, I just realized that it won’t make much since without illustrations so I won’t go into much detail. There will be 8 main platforms for data collection. Three land based stations for tracking whales visually; either from compass and reticule binoculars or with the theodolite (basically what we did in Straddie). These observations will then be plotted in the Cyclopes software developed by Uncle Eric. We will need to plot all whale sightings in the study sight, along with every behavior of a focal follow pod (A pod that has been tagged).
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Instead of giving me a ride in the cab however, they decided to hold me in the plastic hold in the back, similar to the plastic that playground slides are made from. I sat there for at least 20 minutes with bright LED lights illuminating my face, while the offices looked at my ID…looked at me…then back to the ID. They were actually really nice about the whole thing, and I didn’t put up much of a fight. After I was cleared from the crime, they dropped my back at the YHA where I was staying, and wished my luck with the whale watching hippy job. Of course I didn’t have a key to get in, and had to break into a building after all (ironic isn’t it).
That was the Gold Coast in a nutshell; at least I got a few stories out of it. Yesterday I parted ways with Zeus and Ed, while Kevin and I decided to check out the surf seen here at Noosa Heads, another famous longboard wave on the Sunshine Coast (north of Brisbane). Today we had our first surf, it was waist high and glassy, just what I’ve been looking forward to for the past month. The rain is now well south of us, and the water is a comfortable 65-70 degrees. Tomorrow I hope to buy a decent board and surf my brains out over the next week before the study starts on Monday. Dave (my boss) is meeting me here on Monday for a morning surf session, followed by a big grocery shop in preparation for the 60 volunteers and staff of HARC. Science, Surf….I forgot about boats…and I’m sure some good company.
I put a photo of me in my PPE just because it’s funny…and the platypus (the best picture I have of it) since they are cool.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I’ll post my new address here shortly so you people can send me interesting letters and gifts from home (thanks Kelly for the CD). If anyone could somehow figure out a way to ship good Mexican food to me that would be great, it just doesn’t exist in the land down under. (Image): in the background behind the ungly wife beater is the coal terminal and holding site, the trestle is the far strip offshore on the right hand side. You can almost make out the blast rig to the right of the trestle.