Wednesday, 27 October 2010

More Whales!

Good morning,

I seem to have been neglecting my blog recently, OK, well not neglecting, just not posting every week. This will be a short post as I really haven't done anything interesting (again).

As the name of this post suggests, I saw some more whales! Last Friday it was such a glorious day that I decided to ditch uni early afternoon, go down to Coogee, and do a spot of whale watching; I was not disappointed. Once again, I had to wait a few hours for them to turn up, but once they did, they put on a show for me. The display started with a mummy and baby whale, on their backs, smacking their tail fins up and down for ages. This was then followed by another whale doing a few jumps. Obviously I had my new camera with me, so I snapped away; pictures below. On Saturday, I also went to the beach to have a bit of a photo geeking session with Laura (my now-official co-supervisor, and fellow photo geek)and saw another whale. This time it was further away so it wasn't worth photographing. I swear I am now some sort of whale magnet.

On Sunday I had my second ever thanksgiving. It's early I know, but we had it between the Canadian and American dates - plus during last years thanksgiving, it was apparently 30C+ in Sydney so the host (Karin, a fellow PhD student), thought it would be much more comfortable to have it earlier without the heat. Good food, nice people - a very pleasant day.

So here are those pictures:

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Hi guys,

Firstly let me apologise for the long delay in updating you all with my happenings. I have had a pretty hectic few weeks for a variety of reasons, namely:
- house hunting
- moving house
- helping on field trips/marking
- uni work

...which all left me with little time to do much else, let alone update you all. Now the business has subsided, I will be able to bore you all to death.

I thought I would firstly begin with an exciting post about some whales I saw. So on Sunday, after spending 5 hours at uni slaving away with Matlab, I decided to head down to Coogee (the nearest beach), and chill on the rocks over viewing the bay. As I have mentioned in a few previous posts, I have been hoping to see some whales, so I thought this would be the perfect location to do so! I should mention that the previous day, I once again saw some dolphins, so this was also a good sign. After a good 2 hours, I was about to give up, when, in the distance, I noticed a spout (if that's what you call it), meaning there was a whale!! WOOHOOO. Now, this whale proceeded to tease me for ages; I saw the spout once or twice, then for the next 15 minutes or so I saw nothing. After I was just about to give up for the second time, I just happened to look over to the far side of the bay, when I noticed not only one whale, but three, jumping out of the water (not in unison - now that would have been amazing). The whales put on an awesome show for me (just for me), it was a magical sight to behold. After playing for sometime in the far end of the bay, they moved closer, and were probably 100m or so away. All of a sudden, one of the whales jumped again, literally right in front of me. That was the highlight of the event; I didn't capture it on camera, but I saw it, and it was absolutely amazing. As I was leaving at sunset, I notice many more whales in the horizon, so my task of seeing a whale, was most certainly achieved.

Well that turned into a bit of a ramble. So in conclusion, my patience in waiting to see a whale, most certainly payed off! Some photos (of course) below. You will have to excuse the blurred effect on some pictures; there was a lot of sea spray on my lens and I didn't have me cleaner with me.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Day 237!


I just worked out that it has been 237 days since I left England (the first time); doesn't time fly! This week has been pretty eventful with activities such as house-hunting, attending Sydney Uni bush walkers meetings, and Antarctic medicals being the most exciting (plus obviously slaving away with Matlab). After stressing about the medical for a few weeks now, my time came on Friday to head down to the city and face the dreaded Dr. Having rarely been to the doctors, and definitely never having a full-on medical, I was apprehensive to say the least. My fears (at least for the moment), were put aside by the very friendly nurses who took my blood, checked my eyesight, hearing, gave me an ECG, and checked my urine sample. I was, however, not very impressed with the radiography department when I went for my chest x-ray; they were pretty rude and barely said two words to me - you best come over and teach them a thing or two Michael! It was then time to see the Dr. who went though some forms and generally checked me over, and after 2.5 hours, I was able to leave. Everything was generally OK, but I won't go into the details here for obvious reasons. I'm not sure when I know if I will be able to actually go to Antarctica; I imagine it may take a while for the results to come though, then to send them to Tasmania etc.

This weekend is a bank holiday, or as the Australians like to call it, a "long weekend". In typical fashion, this means the weather is forecasted to be pretty bad, with a fair few showers/thunderstorms. This obviously didn't stop me going out on my usual walk, but this week, there was a difference, I wasn't on my own! SHOCKING...! I have found myself a new friend from the CCRC who has also bought a new DSLR (hers happens to be better than mine, but to be fair, she is a post-doc so has more money!) . We met for breakfast (how civilised of us) with another of her friends who again, has just bought a DSLR (he is another of the post-docs husband), and off we went on a walk with the sole purpose to take lots of pictures, play with the cameras, and generally geek-out about photography. We must have looked like right idiots! It was great to get out again and use my camera, and even better to have found some friends who have also just started out in photography; hopefully I can learn a thing or two from them. It wasn't a very successful trip photo-wise, but as I said last week, I am still learning. Here are a few of the better pictures; still no whale shots!

A bird of prey which was sat eating a lizard- I know the bird isn't in focus but it flew away straight after this shot was taken so I couldn't get another.