Rachel Down Under!

Here’s a good one…

Posted in Australia, Sydney by rssmith218 on November 17, 2010

So a Russian, a Kiwi, and a Canadian are all on a boat….

….and week two of fieldwork is underway! Last week we made our way up the coast, north of Sydney to Newcastle and the lovely Port Stephens, which you can see below.

Our little research vessels were no match for the enormous ships of the Newcastle port, and I was glad to withdraw to the calm mangrove stands of Port Stephens.

Plus, I got to leave my invertebrate duties for a bit to join the international group shown in the pictures above. Lera and Andrew co-captain the fish team of our field crew, and I hopped aboard their boat to help out with some fish trawls. Photo credits to Lera.

Working hard…

…or hardly working?

Fish trawls are definitely more exciting than deploying experiments off the invertebrate boat. For example, look at this catch!



porcupine fish,

and inflated porcupine fish, oh my!

As much fun as it is to be out in the field catching poisonous fish, it definitely doesn’t compare to a weekend of camping in Jervis Bay! Jervis Bay, a “jewel of the NSW coast,” hosts expansive bays, rocky shores, and beautiful beaches, including the beach with the whitest sand in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Take and look, and see what you think…

Pretty white, huh? (though maybe not as white as my stomach?) But perhaps more impressive than the sheer whiteness of the sand, is the fact that these beautiful beaches stretch for miles and miles and miles…

We visited several beaches during our stay, including Hyams Beach (shown above), Cave Beach (with a real cave!), and my favorite, Murrays Beach. The water was surprisingly warm, and I took advantage of the clear water and the good weather with an afternoon snorkel.

Beach explorations were followed by hiking, and a trip to the “ill-fated” Cape George lighthouse, a lighthouse where, according to the nearby signage, “two wrongs don’t make a light.” You can read more about this doomed lighthouse here.

Lighthouse in shambles!

Aisha and I camped within the Booderee National Park, and even though we were in the “wilderness,” you can see that we weren’t alone…

Yep, that is a kangaroo- with a little joey in tow! And no, that is not our tent in the background. Our tent was sturdier, though Aisha will likely attest that it was not that sturdy. Aside from being ridiculously cute, these kangaroos were also set upon causing some mischief!

Hey, get your nose out of there! Speaking of getting out of here, its time to head out for a field trip to Port Kembla, a harbour with a reputation for being seriously dirty. Guess I’ll see when we get there!

2 Responses

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  1. Lenore said, on November 17, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Oh, I’d give ’bout anything in the world to be sitting on that white beach with you right NOW!!

  2. Lisa said, on November 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Wow, everything looks amazing over there. Sounds like you are having some crazy (and educational) adventures. None of your invertebrates are poisonous, right?

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