June 28th, 2006

Amy got her pictures back (not of Nicole) from the weekend in Brisbane that I mentioned last entry. Here is some pictures of little Cooper!


Hurray for Socceroos!

And Amy with Coops,


Tiny Baby

If babies aren’t your thing, I uploaded some photos from the ‘best of the summer’ surfing on Picasa Web Albums.

June 27th, 2006

Still only half way to saving up to buy a digital camera, so I am relying on others to supply me pictures or take them with my big camera whenever I take it out. So it’s with thanks to Nancy and Marcus that half of these pictures are on here (they are also reflected on Marcus’ site).

I took my big camera up to Brisbane weekend before last as we went up to see Amy’s sisters little baby, Cooper. A smaller version of Mr. Felix. However, when I got there I must have left it switched on in its case as the battery was flat! Which was a shame as I got no pictures of Coops and I also went on a ride down the Brisbane river in Amy’s other sisters fiancee Wade-o’s boat which was good fun.

Last week was a bit mental with fog coming in over the harbour to prevent the ferry for leaving. A the same time a car had not puts its hand brake on properly and was left half way across the road after rolling down a side street –


Nice Parking

At the weekend Global Surfari was putting the surf report at around 2ft and sunny (as it has a new weather feed) with low winds, so it was a good chance to get out there! Although it has been more than three months since I did my injury my shoulder has only recently gone back to feeling how it used to before I dislocated it. Last surf was a bit of a right off because it was hurting too much. This surf I felt much better but now I think I have more of a psychological battle to get over than an injury one as I was afraid to really catch anything, even though I’ve been thrown around by big waves before. Next session (which will hopefully be this weekend) I am going out on my trusty dahlberg as I am more confident with that although my arm power for wave catching has dropped loads I’ll hopefully work that back in before the summer. Jon from work also came down for a little surf which was great.


Marcus, Jon and myself at Manly Beach

That night we went to Greater Union cinemas to see Da Vinci Code in “Gold Class” – a special cinema with about 30 seats and luxury recliners which have electric buttons to make them into beds. We all wore standard day time clothes to the cinema, but when we got there people were dressed in their best clothes and drank sparkling wine from champagne glasses, we felt like commoners! As for the movie, it is ok if you’ve read the book, good to see all the places mentioned in the book and the merging of times when they were in London was brilliant (which you’d understand if you have seen the film).


Amy, Simone, Nancy, Stu, Marcus and myself at Bondi Junction

Honolulu Hawaii, USA born actress Nicole Kidman and Whangarei, New Zealand born country singer Keith Urban got married in our home town Manly, Australia on Saturday. Amy has had an illness for the past four days which meant she couldn’t really leave home, so it was a surprise to see her running around the flat in excitement when five helicopters starting circling near to our flat for the start of the wedding. After I told her we could not go out in the car and drive up there because she was in her pyjamas she did this –


Amy having a tantrum

After the tantrum was over I finally conceded and drove up to St. Patricks Estate, a 2 minute drive from us. We got out the car and walked to the entrance of the estate where a crowd had gathered. One minute later and Nicole was driving past, Amy, still in pyjamas ran up to the side of the car and took a photo. I did not take my camera as I didn’t want to look like paparazzi but I hope Amy’s picture comes out well. She has one of those old fashioned cameras which you have to take to a shop to get developed, so I’ll put that on the blog when the time comes around or Amy might even put it on hers as she is yet to make an entry!


St. Patricks – Nicole’s Wedding Venue – Manly

The picture above was taken by Nancy from their balcony, a great place to spy on the wedding. Well that is it for now except for a quick Happy Birthday to Andres who is the grand old age of 25!

June 12th, 2006

Amy returned safely from her trip around the world to be whisked away on a trip up to Myall Lakes! Simone and Stu came up with us to stay at the Myall Shores resort again (which is brilliant). We stayed in a lodge which had a spa bath right on the water front, it was very very nice –


Amy, Simone and Stu in the Villa

On the first morning the wind was still quite calm so I tested out my brand new radio controlled plane (a very cheap one as I am bound to break it). I couldn’t get it to fly though even though I gave it a good try –


Radio Controlled Plane Take Off / Crash

We had pancakes for breakfast that morning kindly bought by Simone and Stu, Amy had a go at cooking them –


It’s not that burnt Amy!

We took off in the morning and went for a run up some sand dunes, we also ran down them which was more fun as it didn’t take all the energy out of you (I collapsed half way up one and then starting sliding down again so was forced to continue). We didn’t take the camera on the dunes as sand gets absolutely everywhere! I still have loads in my pockets and shoes!!

I thought I would show the guys and gals how cool the new car was off road, so rather than risking it, I took it down the track that I went down last week. However, it didn’t go quite to plan as last time –


Stuck???

Kind of reminded me of my novice attempts at 4WD here. The guys behind were very helpful, I took a long run up and tried again, only to get stuck again as there was an oncoming vehicle! I thought it was a bit strange as I got everyone out the car, one of the dudes in the car infront gave me a push backwards. I noticed that not all the wheels were spinning. I checked the 4WD gear and gave it a little nudge forward, which actually put it in 4WD (the light was on the dash it just wasn’t fully in)!! So I was doing it all in 2WD, hence the reason I was getting stuck in easily to traverse places!

We took a visit to Seal Rocks where the wind was about 40 knots and the rain was hitting the car sideways. It was great fun driving in those conditions. Seal Rocks still looked really nice, there were some nice little waves coming in as well. One guy was out on a mal, I was considering going out myself, I watched water ripples which looked live a wave going towards the guy and sweep his board into the air!

We drove back through the rain and also through some non-rainy spots to the resort. This letter was awaiting us –


Living on the edge

The letter told us that food hampers were available from the shop and activities were available in the conference hall of the resort. It all seemed like a little bit of a money spinning scheme by the resort and were not surprised when the next day was spent doing things like this –


Stu swinging at Salamander Bay

and..


Amy and me at Salamander Bay

We drove around Nelson Bay and had a nice lunch there at a cafe. We then had a quick look at the ocean (which was fairly wild) and then went to One Mile Beach which looking at it I’d say was approximately one mile long –


One Mile Beach

That was the end to a marvellous weekend, no surfing though which was ashame but that can wait for some nice calm waves and calm weather!

June 6th, 2006

Mike sent me the pictures from Andrew’s 30th party today, there were all so good that I’ve represented them here as a collage.


The Highlights

Bhang Lassi were pumping out some tunes to a large audience and Matt Bass was laying down some soothing jazz classics over the top with his Saxophone. As you can tell by the bottom left picture it got heavy as the night went on when Rach started dishing out the Tequilas!! We all chipped in to get Coosters a very nice guitar for his birthday which you can see him attempting to play in some of the pictures. A very good 30th party for a very nice guy.

June 5th, 2006

After playing around with all the levels with the other pictures I took at the weekend, I’ve decided to create an entire new section of g2007 as this could turn into a new hobby of mine!

I played around with the levels and curves from some Astrophotography guides I found on the internet so here is the shot I put on the Myall Lakes entry with some modification –

This next one is a shot through the trees of the sky –

And the final one I’ve highlighted the Southern Cross, which is the stars you see on the Australian flag. You can see the blurring motion of this one appears to go around in a circular motion, not sure if that was just fluke because of me moving the camera slightly or if its the rotation of the earth –

I worked this out using the excellent free application ‘Stellarium‘ which I matched up with the image (by reducing the constrast to find the constellations). From this it is possible to work out what all the bright parts of the milky way are –

In the first image the bright white dot I believe is Ptolemys Cluster!!

June 4th, 2006

After a hard weeks work what better way to celebrate than by taking a trip up to Myall Lakes. Rach and Mike worth both taking their friend from England on her way to New Zealand on a little trip about 3 hours North, a short distance South of Seal Rocks. I went up with the trip with them, taking the new 4WD for its first trip off road!

The drive up was very very wet and windy and went a bit slow. When we got to the last town (Bulladelah) it was late and the bar next to the bottle shop was in full swing party mode, the local drunk kids asked us to ‘wheelspin off’ as we left, we did it making their day / week / month.

In the morning we woke up to find our beautiful resort, here is Rach and Mike in their walking gear getting ready for the trip –


Rach and Mike with the Villa

Before we went out we made some tea and ate some biscuits (we hadn’t got any breakfast food yet) and it attracted loads of birds to our balcony. There was even a bird I had never seen before come and visit but first there was the Kookaburra.


Mr Kookaburra

Also there was this little guy which I have not identified yet –


Strange Bird

After a visit from all the birds in the area we headed off for a walk entitled ‘Rainforest Walk’ it was a lot like the rainforest. It reminded me of the popular hit TV series ‘Lost’ so was a bit scarey at some stages!


Lucy and Mike on the Jungle Walk

At the end of the walk there was a beautiful view over the lake to some hills, we were intercepted by some ducks that were begging for food. We did not give them any as they need to fend for themselves.


Erin with the two ducks

We then went on another walk, Rach and Mike are big walkers so we did a 10-20km down a track to a supposed old fishing village, that when we arrived wasn’t what I would have expected (just some boats and a few wooden shacks, I was expecting men with beards smoking pipes wearing big pullovers).

We went shopping and then headed back to the ferry. The wind gusts were getting very strong but that didn’t stop us stopping on the way back to climb a sand dune. It was a bit freaky on the dune, it was getting dark as well. I took my camera up and took this photo, it looks like the surface of the moon when the flash went.


Very windy sand dune!

That night Mike pulled out his new device used for recording audio in out to mp3 (as well as bring his drum pads). There and then the face of music was about to take a new direction when we thought up some new beats to lay down, however, the device was puchased in USA and the powersupply was at the wrong voltage! Musical milestones were not going to be passed that night so we watched Bridget Jones instead.

When it got dark we went out to see if we could see the stars, we were quite a long way from any big towns with lights. Erin told me that the ‘bulb’ function on my camera allowed me to expose a picture for as long as I wanted. I was surprised when it passed the 30 second maximum that the camera sets, so this picture was taken with my camera at ISO 1600 and exposed for around two minutes. It was so amazing to look at it after it was taken as you might agree –


The Milky Way from Myall Lakes

The next day we got up and went for a trip to Sandy Point. When we got to the beach Erin was talking about Whales and Dolphins when we spotted some surfing the swell!!


Dolphins in the Waves, Broughton Island in the Background

Here is Mike taking a picture of the girls with the Islands in the background –


Mike, Rach, Erin and Lucy

No weekend outside of Sydney can be concluded without some serious off roading. We didn’t actually go too much serious because there were too many people in the car. So we just drove to a 4WD parking area near the beach (where the above photos were taken).


New Car off Road

and again..


Splash!!

Because the trip was so good and as Amy didn’t get to come (she is in London now) we are going up again next weekend when she gets back! A great weekend, shame it had to end!

June 1st, 2006

It sounds like Amy is enjoying her trip around the world, especially when its 30 degrees in New York right now and about 10 degrees here in Sydney winter!

This weekend I am off to Myall Lakes for some kayaking, biking and possibly some surfing (if not of the water variety but the sand dune type!).

Anyway, this post is to mention that Google teamed up with Earth Day Network to create the google maps ‘Have a Green Summer‘ page.

I noticed GlobalSurfari.Com traffic increase quite a bit since yesterday (thanks to Google Analytics) and that is because Google/Earth Day put a link to the site on the Los Angeles page (see red arrow in image below) !

Thanks!!