A Shark, a Kangaroo, and a Koala walk into a cliff…

I am slowly catching up on the blog posts I should have written since January! I have stopped posting to Facebook because, well, Facebook.

In late January (2017) my brother Stephen and his wife Donna came to Australia to visit me. While the trip meant a great deal to me personally, and the time with my brother was incredibly special, I’ll mostly cover the visuals and adventures of the trip.

Shark Tank

The big event of the trip was getting into a cage, about a 3 hour boat ride away from Port Nelson, where Great White Sharks could be found.

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You’re going to need a bigger boat. Oh, actually, yeah this one’s big enough.

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The cage that would separate the men (and women) from the sharks

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Why I will not be mooning the shark

After a few buckets of chum, and the head of a tuna were dragged through the water, the first white pointer appeared.

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A view from inside the cage

Over the course of the three hours, we saw three different great white sharks. There would be a wall of fish surrounding the cage, eating the chum that had been put in the water. Then you’d see a great white glide towards the cage. Cool, calm, collected. People say that they are intelligent. I believe a lot of animals are smart. I don’t know if I believe that about sharks. To me, they are simply ruthless hunting and killing machines.

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These are not small animals. The largest one could have been 4-5 meters long.

The strangest part of the entire episode was my reaction when I first saw the shark from the cage. I do a lot of ocean swimming, and there are small (less than two meter), harmless sharks where I swim. I had the strongest urge to leave the cage, to slip between the two bars and swim in the open with the great white. I was shaking when I got out of the tank and into the boat, the urge was so strong.

Kangaroo Island

Donna and I spent a day on Kangaroo Island. My brother had picked a hotel close to the ferry terminal so the day’s adventure was not as brutal as it was for people leaving from Adelaide.

We used Kangaroo Island Odysseys, where both the customer service as well as the tour were exceptional.  Our guide Nikki was all-knowing and a great human being on top of it all.

Despite it being called Kangaroo Island (and myths around the original of the animal’s name), they are not as thick as in other places in Australia. But, they are to be found in a lot of different places around the island.

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It’s those animals that can’t hop, staring at us again

Pennington Bay

We stopped off briefly for a walk along the beach near Pennington Bay.  The color of the water was spectacular.

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Lunch

The tour company has their own Heritage-listed natural bush property, that they continue to restore and develop. Lunch under the trees was fantastic.

Then it was time to walk under the koalas. Previous to this, I had only seen one or two koalas in the wild. By the end of our walk I had seen at least 30. They were often three to a tree. They didn’t seem bothered that you were looking up at them, idly giving themselves a scratch.

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We have incredibly small brains, but we live pretty great lives

Seal Bay Conservation Park

We finished the day by seeing a host of sea lions.

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If I had lips, I’d whistle

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Just lion around. First use of this joke, in history, ever.

Great Ocean Road

I’ve been on the Great Ocean Walk with a couple of friends four years ago, and so have been on the Great Ocean Road, but never stopped to look at all the amazing formations along the coast. 2017-01-27 08.39.42

Stephen and I had dropped Donna off at the airport in Adelaide, and I had mistakenly thought that the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne was beautiful the whole way through. Turns out the first 75% is actually incredibly dull and boring but we had CCR to keep us company among others. Once you hit Allansford the official road begins and the mind numbing highway ends. I would probably recommend just starting from Melbourne, driving to the end of the beautiful section, and then throwing yourself into the ocean.

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The twelve apostles, much like the three sisters, get all the tourist traffic, but I felt like the earlier formations were much more interesting.

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It is truly one of the seven wonders of Southern Victoria.

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