Highlights so far have been:
Diving the barrier reef on Silver Swift with my nephew, Sam, supervising the boat! I snorkelled to get me into it, then got to do two intro dives with very basic skills and holding on mostly to each other in fours with a qualified diver guide. I did have a panic when I took my regulator out and went back to the surface, only from about 6 ft down, breathing out all the way!! After that I was OK but the panic was there, just under the surface but I but held it off fine.
There were fluorescent fish in multi colours, purple, electric blue, yellow and black or green; grouper, angel and a puffer fish I recognised, and a ‘nemo’ clown fish, plus a few bigger ones about 3-5 feet long; lots of sea cucumbers and of course, beautiful coloured corals in yellow, green, pink, lilac and orange anemones!!
Hand feeding wallabies, a grey kangaroo and a koala bear on the Phillip Island trip, watching a sheep shearing demo on an old farm at Churchill Island, and then the natural event of small foot high penguins coming back home with full bellies and to feed their chicks after weeks at sea! Crossing the beach in groups of about 40 they toddled over at dusk, then up paths on a high hill to their burrows or wooden homes built for them. Partners stand on look out, chicks hassle any adult going by in the hope its mum or dad, and the returning penguins toddle on, some for 2km over shore, hill, paths and even the car park!
Meeting Rachel from London in the bar of my Melbourne hostel, meeting again to eat and drink some free cocktails and drinks, even food, from Wes the owner at the Spencer Hotel.
Also the crafty Victoria Market in Melbourne where I bought my new great niece a puppet wombat and hand made sun hat, drank wine and wandered the stalls before eating from the many and varied international food stalls along the sides!
I saw a tall ship, Capt Cooks house from Aytoun in Yorkshire, England.
In Sydney, I visited famous landmarks like the bridge but didn’t climb it, drank berr on a sunny warm day at the Opera House, visited their zoo with beautiful city views as well as local and exotic animals, and shopped for long pants and light sweaters as it was cold when I arrived from Asia!!!