Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Australia has great ginger beer, vegimite and bread that doesn't taste like stale sponge cake. Just one aspect of Oz I was looking forward to.Down in Batemans Bay, we avoided some of the heavier rain that landed up north. In the mean time we tried a bit of fishing, first attempt since I was 12 or so.
To my amazement I caught a few. This one is just a "tiddler".
But this one was almost the size of a bridge. We think it was a mutant giant Bream.
There are some great places to snorkel down here. I didn't take my camera with me this time, since it filled with water last time... Did get to swim with some stingray, parrot fish, more bream, some blue and yellow fish, and Nemo.

This morning I had a brief conversation with this chap about US currency value to the local dollar, "Cheap as" he shook he head "cheap as..."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas from Newcastle

Its been a quiet week in Newcastle. I've been doing a little town touring, shopping, swimming and riding around on a bike. The weather has been georgeous. This is Merewether a fairly famous place to fly. Their are many places to launch and land, Dixon Park, Strzelecki. Saturday was the day to fly but having just arrived I didn't really have my gear ready. I rode out to Nobby's Head and up the Hunter river a bit until I was thoroughly lost. I ended up in amongst what I have been told is the biggest coal port in the world, with most of it going to China and Japan. There looked to be a storm brewing so I headed back, catching the mamatus clouds on the way back.
And this has to be the biggest pool I have ever swum in!

Monday, December 21, 2009

2 beaches, 2 seasons, 2 hemispheres

With most of my stuff stashed here and there - thanks Ryan ;) I took one last 2009 run around Santa Cruz. The air was quite clear at sea level after the snows. That afternoon I left for SFO. Thanks for the lift Brian :) After a stop to say Hi to the Moyes folks and check out the glider I plan on flying at Forbes, I arrived in Newcastle. This is one of the launches in Merewether, and where Tinks last flew. I just about melted from the heat the first day, I was happy to learn that it was a *hot* day, and not just me. Its great to be here :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

moving out, moving on.

This adventure started a few weeks ago. I stopped by Paris and Toni after flying some Tandems from Mt Tamalpias, and the next day bought a trailer I had gone to look at. I didn't feel like I had done enough homework for the purchase but time was short and the time was now. I bought it after a bit on research, Santa Rosa seems to be a head quarters locally for cargo trailers (I say local but its 2.5 hours away). Anyway I drove away with it, and headed straight for Kragen to fix the electrics issue. I was expecting the 4 conductor connector. Thankfully the swiss army knife came through and moments later I was legal. I was a little worried about getting the thing up my driveway. It is a steep tight turn. Now I am worried about getting it down the driveway loaded without it pushing the back end of my truck into a Redwood. Mean while I am getting rid of lots of stuff, and packing the remainder of my things into the trailer. Some things are difficult to get rid of. Like all these postcards stuck to my fridge, sent in the last 4 years. And this historic pin board that hasn't seen the light of day since I moved in. Captured digitally is much more accessable, share-able and takes up far less space. I've even gotten rid of all but 2 photo albums, scanning them first (you may have seen some on facebook). Back in Europe, my Dad got some face time in this nice video from St Andre. He is flying a Tsunami, Rigid La Mouette (I think?)

Hangliding in Saint Andre Les Alpes - Oct-09 Mark Taggart