Saturday, July 30, 2011


June 29, 2011
We picked Scott up from the airport this afternoon and went down to the Trinity Inlet to see the replica, launched in 1994, of the Endeavor ship while it was in port.   It was an overcast day as we toured the ship that Captain Cook and Mr. Banks sailed on.  Mr. Joseph Banks was a naturalist who funded most of the exploration and collected plant samples as they explored.  Others who joined them on their journey were Charles Green an astronomer and 2 artists, Sydney Parkenson & Alexander Buchan.  The New Zealand 50 cent piece has the Endeavor on it.  The volunteers explained the different areas in the ship and items on board.  There was 39 km of rigging.
Rainy day



Romman size doors
not a lot of space down below
On 29th April 1770 the Endeavor was the first seagoing vessel to reach the east coast of Australia at Botany Bay, New South Wales.  On 11 June, 1770 the Endeavor ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef and it took 7 weeks to repair the hull.  They went to Endeavor River for repairs once it got off the Great Barrier Reef.  Captain Cook mapped the coast line of Australia for 6 months.  A great taste of history for us.

Monday, July 4, 2011

AFL game & Centenary Lakes

AFL game & Centenary Lakes - June 25

Watching and learning
We found Watson's Oval and watched the North Cairns (Tigers) and the South Cairns (Cutters) teams play.  AFL has 4 quarters, each 20 minutes long with stop-start clock so about 2 hours in total.  They get 6 points for a goal kicked through the uprights, 1 point if through the smaller uprights on the outside of the larger ones.  The field is oval and very wide with 18 players per side on the field at a time.  It doesn't seem as rough as rugby, but the players can sure jump and kick the ball with such accuracy.  Players are aged 16-36 years old.  The water boys or trainers can walk on and off the field at any time.  The play is almost constant with very little stop time.  To start the game or after a goal, the ball is thrown up like a jump ball for basketball.  The ball is passed forward and they can run with it as well, every now and then they bounce the ball and keep on going.  The ball seems to never stop and they grab it on the run.  I'm sure there is more to it, but that is what I've figured out so far!!
Yellow goal posts

half time break

After the game we walked through Centenary Lakes and played at the playground.  This park is connected to the Botanic Gardens via paths and board walks.
Water droplet on a lily pad
play time
Another new place to discover
Board walk
Walking through the park
AFL Game

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Festival of the Knob - June 11

Festival of the Knob  June 11

Had to go to this one just because of it's name!  It was held at Yorkeys Knob in honour of  George "Yorkey" Lawson.  There were rides, over 80 stalls selling their wares, crafts, food, entertainment and the crowning of the Queen and King Knob.  They had some interesting competitions such as guess the number of mosquitoes in the  net cage.  We enjoyed a few hours wondering around the festival.
Hailey got a special braid in her hair, while Darby shopped for a gift for her friends birthday.  Everyone picked something yummy to eat, I got a chicken kabob, Brody got a garlic prawn kabob, Hailey had a Freckle ice cream cone and Darby enjoyed a Frankfurter with cheese.  We watched some musical entertainment and the crowning of the King & Queen Knob, check out their crowns!!
Smiles all around!

New King & Queen Knob crowned

Make & year anyone??

Hailey having a braid threaded into her hair

Love their slogan!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cindy Does Sydney in Style

Sydney June 16-19
Pat was waiting for me when I arrived in Sydney Thursday night around 10 pm.  Our adventures started right away as she proceeded to give me the tour of the parkade as we made our way to the exit.  We headed back to her place, which is like Fort Knox with all it's security,  to plan our next few days.

Friday (Day 1)
Took the tram to Circular Quay to see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from the walk along the harbour.  We booked a Whale watching tour, a tour of the opera house and a Showboat Dinner cruise.  Yup a very full day!  We had a lovely lunch at  Guylian Cafe along the Circular Quay before making our way to the wharf to start our activities.
Whale watching:
We saw 7 humpback whales while out on the Tasman Sea for 3 & half hours.  It was difficult to spot their blow holes due to the white caps and the wind blowing.  But we did see a few different pods and the last group of three in the distance were playing up for us.  I've learnt over the years to just enjoy the experience as it is very difficult to get photos.
Opera House Tour:
When we got back we quickly headed to the opera house for our hour tour inside.  A few years back I had seen a movie on how it was built and all the controversy and difficulties it experienced.  So seeing the real thing and hearing it's history again was very interesting.   We were able to enter the large concert hall with the massive organ pipes.  We ended the tour in the Jorn Utzon room, after the architect who designed the opera house.
Showboat Dinner Cruise:
We grabbed a cab to Darling Harbour for our 7:00 Showboat dinner cruise on the paddle boat.  We had an amazing meal with an entree of smoked salmon  & prawns, then my main course of chicken, potatoes and asparagus.  We finished by sharing 3 types of desserts, with ponacota as my favourite.  We were entertained with a one hour show of dancing, music and singing.  We grabbed a cab home to end our fun and full day.

checking out Circular Quay

what a view!!
windy self portrait

view leaving the harbour to go whale watching

Bet you can't guess this place?

Large concert hall

Yummy entree to share

our showboat to cruise the harbour

Saturday (Day 2)
Off for breakfast at Maroubra Beach at the Beachfront Pavilion Cafe.  I enjoyed the yummy meal and my Chai Latte while watching the surfers.  Another sunny day about 18 degrees.  We then walked along the beach collecting tiny shells, and into the water of the Tasman Sea.  We also drove to the Maroubra Rock Pools and Congee beach.  We then drove through Centennial Park and found a parking spot near the Circula Quay.  We walked through Nurse alley and Bloodgers Lane, which is a very historical community, and into The Rocks, which are outdoor market stalls.  I was able to buy a few souvenirs and snacks.
We made it to our bridge climb for 3:00.  We had some training and gear preparation before we actually climbed the 1,390 stairs to 134m atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  There were 14 in our group.  It was very windy on top, but the clear skies allowed us to see the Blue Mountains 90 km away.  As we made our way back down the sun was setting and the city lights were turning on.  This is a must do for anyone going to Sydney!!
  A last minute decision had us grabbing a cab to Star City Casino, a quick bite to eat and then into the Lyric Theatre to see the musical Hairspray.  It was an excellent performance with so much energy!

Bloodgers Lane in The Rocks

Tasman Sea
surfer coming in

It's thumbs up!!

1,390 steps!

134 meters

a great experience

Sunday (Day 3)
We headed out in Pat's car today to tour around.  We drove past 'Pleasant Ave', through Newtown , past Sydney Uni and Victoria Park as we made our way to Paddington Market. There were so many stalls with everything for sale from bags, jewelery, shirts, toys, to food and fresh veggies.  Once we left there we made our way to Laperouse at Botany Bay, with one stop at the Botany Cemetery.  There were very beautiful garden plots and ponds, interesting shrines and small houses/crypts.  Once at Botany Bay we walked along the rocks and collected more interesting shells.  We grabbed some take away seafood & chips and had our lunch sitting on the rocks over looking the harbour and the crashing waves.
Got to the domestic terminal at Sydney airport 45 min before my 3 hour flight home.
Another amazing adventure squeezed into a weekend and a big thanks to my travel guide, Pat!
The Rocks
Cemetery Crypts
Final day of exploring

Beautiful blue sky

Fishing Experience June

Fishing Experience

Scott made his way to his mates place for a day of fishing.   Captain Kevin took Scott and Rod out in his boat to the Great Barrier Reef for the day.  No rods for this fishing expedition, only hand lines, a first for Scott.  They learnt to pull their catch in quickly as there was a shark in the area that was eating half the fish before they got it on the boat.  Scott caught the "Mother-in-law" fish and threw it back!  He did catch some yummy Red Throat Emporer that we enjoyed the next night.  He returned home close to midnight, a very full day and night of fishing on the reef.  He said the stars were amazing.

heading out for a day on the reef
Eski getting full
Red Throat Emporer?

sunset on the reef

ready for the freezer