Dan and Justy Down Under


March 4, 2005


The papers say this is the 5th driest February in 144 years, confirming what we've heard from locals up and down Queensland. The occasional rains have been stormy, but brief or light and brief. The ferocious Big Wet we expected from all research has lost much of its bite. Mind you, the one thing that makes the temperature up there livable is the occasional soak. So, like every silver lining, this one had a dark cloud attached.

I remember waking up our first morning in Cape Tribulation, to the sound of ceaseless rain. I was glad we had over a week to go before our boat trip, because likely the roads would be impassable for days. Hah! We could have left in the rain itself and not had a problem. The major highway on the east coast, the Bruce (or Cook, up where we were) is dotted with small dips and warnings that the road is subject to flooding. They have an indicator system, a measuring stick, that is calibrated to show the depth of the stream/creek/brook/river you are crossing. Some top out at about 8 meters. That was a scary prospect, but purely academic as it turned out.

We've spent the last 3 days flying south through places that were frontiers for us on the way north. When we embarked north we were frankly a bit worried about the heat. While at times trying, it wasn't any big deal at all. We knew the kilometerage (?), but the major dimension was psychological, not distance.

Australia is, as everyone says, a big country. Big in distances, to be sure. Big in contradictions, as is evident when one compares the big cities to the country. Big in heart, as we found out repeatedly from its inhabitants.

But we could still travel nearly the length of its major coast in a mere three days. It was like watching a familiar film sped up. Funny and unsettling.

Here's a 5 minute video of one of our recent dives.
It is in Quicktime (no problem for you fellow Mac folks :):
( no longer available )
Itinerary Highlights
January 20: Winery Tour
21-23: Moreton Bay Diving
25: Australia Zoo
26-30: Lady Elliot Island
February 13: Diving the Yongala
15-17: Cape Tribulation + Daintree Rain Forest
17-20: Atherton Tablelands
22-28: Coral Sea Diving Liveaboard
March 11-13: OzTek Dive Conference: Sydney
14: Fly to New Zealand
20: Poor Knights Islands Diving
31: Mt. Cook
April 2-4: Queenstown
TBD: To Be Dreamed

Digital Pix Courtesy of Shimmivision.com
More Digital and Film Pix Coming Soon.