Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Camping at Cave Beach

Welcome to Cave Beach

To celebrate Amy's and My birthdays, we ventured down to Jervis Bay where we explored Cave Beach Campground and the surrounding beautiful, deserted beaches.

Amy and I set out early Friday with the rest of our party arriving Friday evening with a fire going and a Tyrannosaurs birthday cake waiting to be devoured.  The cake had to be defended from the kangaroos and possums roaming the campground but once it was made extinct we laid back and enjoyed the fire.  Smores soon followed.

Dino cake RAWRRRRRR!!!
Panoramic view of Cave Beach, click to expand

The Cave of Cave Beach

Saturday we woke up to sunshine and juevos rancheros a la Amy.  We took the short walk to Cave beach to enjoy the sunshine and waves.  The sun played hide and seek with us till early afternoon when it turned on full sunburn-inducing overdrive.
A well deserved break after bodysurfing
Cave Beach again
James relaxing as hard as he can

The waves were halfway decent and our mate John spent the whole day in the water on his surfboard, taking breaks here and there to have a beer or sandwich with us on the beach.  At times, he was literally the only person surfing on the beach.  A far cry from the relatively busy breaks of Manly.  Amy also tried out her new bodyboard and she was smiles from ear to ear.

Amy in a wave

That evening we settled in for a barbecue by way of Jeroen and Ramonda as well as having Simone join us with food reinforcements.  Kangaroos were everywhere in the afternoon and some came right up to check us out.

A curious kangaroo
Chris performing a mind-meld

On Sunday, Chris and Delia took a walk with their 3 month old (baby's 1st camping trip) and discovered a brand new beach, totally deserted.  After some chocolate-chip banana pancakes, we ventured out to it to find it sparsely populated with people but densely packed with beautiful waves.  We proceeded to play in the water till exhaustion and sunburn set in and then packed up for the trip home.

Amy bushwacking to a new beach

Worth the walk

Momma Roo with a Joey in the pouch
All by ourselves

I call this side of the beach!
Ryan's Swamp, near the campground
 We are greatly looking forward to going back in a couple weeks as part of the whirlwind tour when Oakley and Amy come out to visit!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa Crawl 2011

Santa can still watch you with his hands full

This past weekend we took part in the annual Manly Santa Pub Crawl in order to prepare us for the coming holiday.  We started off at the Steyne Hotel where we cavorted with reindeer, angels, elves, and wisemen.  There was even some caroling, which you can catch the end of in the embedded video.

Cool, festive partygoers on the balcony

Rise up my people, our time has arrived!

Smiling too much to have been nice all year

Next it was on to the newly renovated New Brighton Hotel for some balcony views onto the beach and more great costumes.

Lastly we ventured on to 4 Pines for some burgers and a nightcap, before returning to the North Pole to crack the whip on those lazy elves.

A pack of Santas

MMM..better than milk to go with those cookies, kids

Merry Xmas!!!

All I want for Xmas is you

Everyone was in a cheerful Xmas spirit and many a glass was raised.

I went as.....Santa and Amy dressed as a very festive Xmas tree, complete with LED lights and a star on top.

James and Debs joined us as Mr and Mrs Claus, respectively.

The view from the New Brighton


Ho Ho Ho!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Table is set and manicotti is served
This past weekend we had out friends around to celebrate Thanksgiving.  It was a first for some of our guests and we took the time to explain its origins and traditions, as well as how America's indigenous people are so much better off today than they were when the Pilgrims arrived.

Best part of the turkey

We enjoyed a feast of manicotti, turkey, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, greens, and ended it all with an apple pie and passionfruit cheesecake.  The manicotti and sweet potatoes were the biggest hits with the newcomers at the table.  Amy and I were saddened and dismayed that people grow up around the world without ever thinking of combining sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  My friend, you have never truly lived.

A special batch of cappuccino stout was also brewed and served for the occasion.

We even had some NFL piped in over the internet thanks to Amy's brother, James and we got to explain the comparatively byzantine rules and play structure to our local rugby fans.

Sunset over Manly, the pilgrims should have kept on sailing
Sunset looking inland

We were treated to a beautiful sunset as the clouds broke from a week of rain just in time for our guests to arrive.

Dig in!

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First summer camping trip of 2011

Ahhh, tough life
Summer has arrived early this year and to celebrate we ventured back to Treachery Campground for some fun in the sun this past weekend.  Amy and I arrived early on Friday afternoon and set up camp for the rest of our expedition, hoarding the best camp site (always, always hoard) and getting the fire going.

Shaping punji stakes for perimeter defense.  These same stakes were later used to toast s'mores.

Splitting wood for the fire, still have all my fingers and toes
Treachery Campground, as I have highlighted in an earlier post is an awesome spot.  It is free form camping so you can set up anywhere in this huge area (once again, hoarding is key) and it has direct access to a massive and beautiful beach.  The last time we were up, the waves were massive and we weren't able to venture into the water.

Climbing the dune from the campsite to the beach.  It is a mountain of sand.

This past weekend though, the ocean must have known it owed us one as the swell was perfect for bodysurfing and swimming around.

We ended up bodysurfing for hours on Saturday.  I managed to catch a barrel for the first time - which is epic.  I have attached a video of this, it is not me but it is here so you can get an idea of what went down.  18, 26, and 30 seconds in are 3 examples.  The water cascading over your head and you shoot down a hollow tube of water was something I had never achieved before:

James, Chris, and Amy (left to right) catching the same wave

James and Chris venturing out for one last session
Chris dropping on on James' wave.  Sorry, mate.

James in the tube

Webs in the wave
James and Chris on a wave

Chris, full speed ahead

The girls watch on as we display our awesome bodysurfing prowess

After exhausting ourselves in the water all day, we took our beaten, sunburned bodies back to the camp site to start a fire and cook dinner.  There is something awseome about cooking over an open fire, food seems to taste better.


After a few more beers, it was time for an encore of s'mores, which have become a regular fixture of our camping (as they should be).

Debs and James contemplating another marshmallow
OK, just one more.....

Mother nature also put on a show for us over the weekend and we managed to see a pod of dolphins, a king parrot, a momma possum carrying her baby on her back, and several dingos.  There were also vaious fish swimming around us as we were swimming around.  Kat even mentioned to accidentally pick one up when she went to pick up a ball that we were chucking around.  We also managed to spot about a dozen shooting stars on Friday evening.
Dolphins, not sharks

We are looking forward to a nice long summer and lots of opportunities to top or fantastic weekend at Treachery.

The view of Treachery Beach from the headland