Happy Christmas with fireworks!

A few minutes ago, we stood on the driveway watching the fireworks on the oval across the valley. It was the cricket club’s Christmas party and after Santa arrived in the fire truck with complete with sirens and flashing red and green lights and after the carols and band, the loudspeaker ordered parents to supervise their children. I zoomed into the stage then tried to capture the scene with a handheld camera. It was hard to get settings right for fireworks and the shutter seemed to be too slow, which made the sky look lighter and amplified my hand movement. Next year, I’ll try to set up a tripod, but at least these shots give you the idea.






This is probably our last blog before Christmas, so wishing everyone Seasons Greetings and thanks so much for your encouragement in following our adventures.

Queenscliffe cruise

Last Monday we did another mini overseas trip. My brother was relocating his motor cruiser from Docklands to the bayside resort of Queenscliffe, at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. He invited us to come along and lend a hand. In so doing, we saw the Port of Melbourne from a different angle.

We set off, passing the new Docklands Hub library:

Under the Bolte Bridge, which towered overhead:

Past the historic Enterprize sailing ship:


We emerged from the mouth of the Yarra River to see the busy modern container terminal:


The city faded into the distance as we carefully avoided ships in the channel of the shallow bay:


After after some tricky navigation, we pulled into the mooring and ate sandwiches on the back deck.

Friend Terry gave us a lift back to Docklands in his limo, and we dined on barbecued tuna on the deck of the apartment watching the lights on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.


French Island – near but different

Today we had an overseas trip in a day, crossing by ferry from Stony Point to the Tankerton Jetty on French Island, Victoria, Australia.

We were participating in a survey with the Friends of French Island.
The island has some unique features:
– It is in Westernport Bay which is a RAMSAR wetland
– The swamps abound in wading birds: the group recorded green shanks, dozens of spoonbills, hoary-headed grebes and various types of ducks, including Australasian Shovellers.
– There are no foxes, therefore the indigenous potoroos continue to thrive.
– two thirds of the island is national park, with abundant vegetation, including over 100 varieties of orchids.

We visited a landowner who showed us a tree that had been shattered by lightning a few days prior. I’ve included a photo.

It is not included in any local government, the 120 permanent residents pay no rates and must provide their own water and power.

It certainly made an interesting day’s outing. The ferry connects to a station on the mainland so you can actually get to it by train.