Thursday, April 19, 2012

Of COURSE we'll take the upgrade to the 35ft Yacht


This is what you think of when you say "I'd rather be boating"
Last weekend we were excited to spend the day out in a boat that one of our friends found through one of those deal sites. This was originally supposed to be a 22 ft boat, however we showed up a bit early and Chris went in to talk to the woman behind to counter to figure out the details. He walked out a few minutes later with the biggest grin on his face after he'd convinced the lady to upgrade us to the 35ft yacht for the same price because of all of "our" boating experience. 

Chris at the wheel
After we were given a tour of the 2 bathrooms, 3 bedroom, multi level boat, they asked if anyone had any boating experience to which I figured saying that I had "a lot" to would mean they let us take the boat.  Everyone else was conspicuosly quiet at this point, but they believe us and he gave us a push off the dock and we headed out into beautiful Pittwater.

View Larger Map

Lion Head 

video
This is a bay which has the ocean on the right hand side and also connects to our old boating area of the Hawesbury river.  

John taking a turn at piloting



We putted along at the measly 10 knots that the boat was goverend to out of the bay and into the river and then pulled up into Refuge Bay for some relaxation and to try our fishing rods.

Linton getting ready for the mooring catch, Hannah on hand with directions

John piloting us in to a mooring, Amy and Simone averting their eyes so he doesn't get nervous
 Unfortunately the size of the boat was a bit of a hinderance to the fishing, however the newcomers to the sport were quite thrilled with their first catches. 

Hannah's first fish

You touch it!

Hold it closer to the camera so that it looks bigger...
After feeding the tiny fish around we made our way back to the dock, which was the part of the day that I'd been dreading all day.  Why oh why don't they just put this thing at a mooring?!  Apparently I was the only nervous one, and the docking mission actually went off perfectly against all of my expectations.

Back at the dock, safe and sound

Although no monster fish were caught, any day boating is a great day, and when you can do it in a 35 ft yacht it's even sweeter.



Sunday, April 1, 2012

100 Dives!

Two weekends ago we jumped on an invite from Jeroen and Raymonda to go for a dive at the bower which is right near home for us.  Although Chris had hit 100 dives on our last trip, I was a few behind and I was excited to do my 100th dive at our local beach.

100!
Conveniently they live in an apartment about 100 meters from the entry point so we suited up in their living room and walked down to the water in our gear.  



 

Although we see people snorkeling and diving around here all the time we hadn't tried it ourselves and were very pleasantly surprised to find out that the diving was really good.  Also, with a maximum depth of about 6.5 meters it meant that we got cold before our air could run out so we had a nice long dive with a lot of great fish and sharks spotted.

Scorpion fish trying not to be seen

Cool shrimp in the foreground - tiny little box fish hanging out in the background

The little fish are using me for protection from the larger fish directly below me
Jeroen was feeding that large fish

We thought that lion fish were only in Thailand - who knew they were in our backyard!

see the video for some footage of this ray swimming around

Wobbiegong shark

Chris doing some fancy footwork to get out of the way of the shark

Don't put your hand down!
Hiding in the weeds
Master photographer Chris capturing the perfect picture of the wobbie
Sergeant Baker fish - I ate your relative for dinner a few months ago...
Lots of little fish



The dive crew post dive - that sun felt good!
video

We finished out the afternoon with a bbq at their place - overall an awesome way to do my 100th dive.