Sunday, September 6, 2009

Springtime in the suthern hemi

Some things I love about Australia
1. The plugs are smarter, and all have on/off switches
2. There are 4 traffic lights per intersection (compensation for the liberal use of yellow?)
3. Roundabouts are fun and add exciting uncertainty to the daily commute
4. My favorite bird lives here (Rainbow Lorikeet) and eats outside my window
5. Its so sunny and beachy
6. You can split lanes on a motorcycle
7. MotoGP is coming in October (and I'm going)
8. The casual diving is fantastic and semi-tropical
9. Downtown is full of nice old buildings, and I work in one of them
10. Summer is coming and we won't need wetsuits to go swimming for the next 5 months

I saw a golfer loose his golf bag on wheels down the slope outside our kitchen window this morning. The grass was so smooth it didn't even tip over. Just kept on a roll'in in the true springtime way.

I recently dove Botany Bay NP south of Sydney - It's an amazing dive that is 1/4 treacherous, 1/2 beautiful and 1/4 dynamic. It's dynamic because you start out flying in a deep boulder field after you jump in off a ledge that varies from 4' to 10' off the water depending on the tides. Then as you swim out there are short kelp beds the home the Weedy Sea Dragon, the motivator of this dive (no luck there) - after a ways out you're in 30' of water and the kelp gives way to a bald ledge covered in colorful sponges, not afraid of heights as the ledge drops off another 30' down to 60' with excellent light even in low-vis conditions (seattlite speaking).

This is the sponge garden at the end of the kelp, and a seaslug living there:

As I dropped over the ledge I exhaled to exaggerate my descent and have an overview of the wall, which was so exciting I had to equilibriate myself back up it to pick off these shots of all the small life struggling in the muck.

When I landed on the sand at the bottom of the wall I saw a writhing mass of Pajama catfish. I followed them across the sand at their slow, edibly-cautious pace. Waves of data traveled across the encima (no better word in english) in a time-tested struggle to be in the middle of the bait-ball.

Another pair of the ever-interesting cuttlefish came my way (then reversed tack) and I got a nice vid of one mimicking a white sponge, meticulously adopting the same black "holes" as it passed over.

This post is dedicated to Einer, Bart (no dragons this time) Selz, and my SeaLife DC1000 camera.

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