Thursday, June 26, 2008


G'day from Fiji!!

Currently we're moored off Wakaya Island, a small private island that we are not allowed to visit but can dive the reef. It's all private villas and expensive resort, but the best stuff is under water. Also, they've got free wireless internet access which is why I am posting.

The diving has been fantastic. Lots of beautiful soft coral, very healthy reefs with lots of fish life. The Americans on the boat are all behaving themselves, in fact they are enjoying themselves so much seeing all this wonderful Western Pacific sealife that they've never seen. Most have only dived the Carribean so are being spoilt here. It's kind of fun rubbing it in that all of this is in my backyard.

The kava here is not as strong as in Vanuatu. We have had one kava party on board, and were planning a village visit this afternoon but there has been a death in the village so no kava tonight afterall.

The internet connection isn't good enough to post pictures, sorry.

Must go, time to go diving with the mantas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why's it taking so long?

The reason I am not already swanning around SE Asia is upon me. Before the world as I know it fell apart, I booked a diving trip to Fiji, and tomorrow I head off to the South Pacific Islands for 10 days of fun in the sun. 2 days in a resort, 7 days on a luxury liveaboard cruising the waters, 3-4 dives a day. Is gunna be tough!!

The laptop has been cleared of clutter, the video housing has been given the once over, batteries charged, bags packed.

See y'all in a cuppla weeks!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesdays on the river

It began on a Tuesday, the 17km walk around the Greenough River which is now a much loved part of my week. Sally and Sheridan accompanied me from the start, but have now gone off to explore the Flinders Ranges in SA. Then Kate and Curls turned up after their trip around Australia, having decided to move to Geraldton like the rest of us crazy windsurfers. So Kate joined me last week and brought along Molly, one of her dogs, Mutley being out of sorts with a torn claw. This week, however, Hazel and I had the place to ourselves.Sometimes the going has been rough, particularly early on when I was coping with both being unfit and those blisters, but now it's a pleasant walk that takes between 3-4 hours depending on how often I stop for photos. There is lots of birdlife on the river, from the largest pelicans I've seen to ducks, cormorants, ospreys and sea eagles. And lots of jumping fish.
There's been a bit of rain, so sometimes the track has been very heavy with mud and the river ford has been flowing strongly and the river mouth has been breached. Once we swam across the rivermouth, other times we've decided just to walk for 2 hours then return the same way.

The rain has encouraged the plants to begin flowering, such that every week there is something new to see.
There's sometimes a cyclist, some fishermen or a local resident to be met along the track, and there's evidence of campers, campfires and excessive drinking and dumped cars. But that must happen on the weekends because it's just me and nature on Tuesdays.

It's a little treasure down there, and every Tuesday it's mine.

More photos

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gardening days

It's that time of year in Geraldton when it's a delight to be outdoors pottering in the garden. We've had some nice regular rain over the last 2 months and the soil is doing its usual nasty trick that it does round now: pretending to look and feel like real soil! It's a dirty trick, because it lures me into thinking I can actually grow plants in this impoverished, sandy, hydrophobic material. The large pile of empty pots is testament to years of futility.

But I've learnt a few things, like only plant trees/ shrubs and bushes during May and June when it's cool and wet enough for them to establish roots before those wicked easterlies and hot summer weather hits. Water well once a week for the first summer and then they're on their own. I use grey water for this.

Expect one hot easterly to wipe out half your new plants. Yep, it's possible to have a perfectly healthy green shrub about half a metre high in the morning, and return in the evening to a brown shrivelled twig. Build wind breaks if you want to avoid this.

But at this time of year it's just glorious. Blue skies, wispy clouds, pleasantly warm enough to spend the whole day outside in a t-shirt (as compared to summer when about 10-15min is the max before needing to stop for an icey glass of water and a spot of shade! I no longer garden in summer, at all.).

I've spent the weekend planting more natives on the front verge, and refurbishing the second chook run. And popping some wetting agent through that nasty sandy soil so it behaves a bit nicer and my plants don't cark it. The vege patch is looking nice, with lots of eggplants coming on, though something's been eating the parsley and broccoli. Might pop some tomatoes in this week. I've planted a Ruby Red Grapefruit tree in the second run, well protected from those pesky scratchy chooks till it establishes itself. I've also got a Fig to put in.

Ah, the joy of getting one's hands dirty!