Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yeah, for no surgery, at this point anyways!

First all, my appointment today, which I had to fight for (mostly due to the fact that the hospital on Sunday didn't fax the paperwork, so when it finally did, of course the clinic was full, but with a little pressure and curiosity from me, and the nurse having a look at my X-rays, they booked me in) went very well.

I had this unnerving fear that I was going to have surgery, but I came out of the hospital with a pretty waterproof (!!!!) purple cast.

The ortho surgeon, who I can't remember his name, was very nice, and he even had a small team come in with him - I guess it was a pretty cool fracture. They are more or less curious as to why my foot is SO swollen, and they where even querying a dislocation. The dislocation was later ruled out by looking at my other foot and realizing that it is 'just me' :) The doctor is also concerned that I may have damaged a ligament that runs along my 'big' metatarsal which basically holds all the other metatarsals together (think of your finger bones, and there is a ligament that holds them all together), which may be causing the swelling. If this is damaged or pinched, surgery will be required. BUT, in order to get a better look, a CT would need to be done. Today's X-rays showed that it is getting better, so the CT is put on hold. I am to return in a week for a repeat xray, and then, well, we'll go from there.

(As for long term, he said a cast for approx. 4-6 weeks, full healing about 3 months, and I could experience on/off swelling and pain for up to 2 years , with probably a need for orthotics - man, when I do it, I do it GOOD)

The doctor took the half slab off and wow, is my foot swollen, and bruised! As Rob said, its 'mingy' and yes, it is pretty ugly! The 'plaster' guy did a much better job of putting a cast on, plus its a full one, and I've managed to pull my foot up a bit, with not that much pain. It still hurts though and I have been given a prescription for Endone (Percocet) but as he said, the pain should get less as will the swelling and I shouldn't need much. Man I can't wait! I have also been put on Clexane, a blood thinner. Because it hurts to move my toes, and I can't move my foot, I am at risk of a clot forming in my calf, as well as I'm on birth control which puts me at more of a risk. So now I get to jab my stomach with a needle every night. Um, I've given hundreds of needs to other people, but never one to myself, should be interesting!

Things are still difficult, and I feel bad for asking Rob to do everything, but it truly is hard!! I tried washing my hair in the sink today, I did it, but not very well. My left leg was burning by the end of it from holding myself up. I think I need to get a big over the should type bag that I can put stuff in - I can't even carry a bottle of water. And I was told I would be in a cast for 4-6 weeks :)

I think its going to be a very long and boring weekend, being Easter weekend doesn't help as there really is nothing to do, and nothing is open. We'll think we'll be going to the movie store tomorrow and stocking.

I think I will also be getting back to my addictive Internet games, at least for the time being as I think I have a valid excuse :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

X Ray

My fractured foot....

Monday, March 29, 2010

and the pain continues....

Well its been over 36 hours since the break, and things have not been easy.

First of all the pain. It is still nothing like I have ever felt before, and I haven't really yet been able to control it. I was only given 3 percocet from the hospital and I was only supposed to take one every 8 hours.......yeah right. I managed to wait 6 hours over the first night, then 5 hours, and after that dose I took a Tylenol 1. Last night was not any better - getting an uncontrollable twitch in my foot is a tear jerker.

Cyd had some left over Codeine and Di-Gesic which I have been taking, but I have yet to be pain free. Last night we went out with Cyd and Tim to celebrate Zoe's mom's birthday, and I was feeling ok before we left. Rob lent me his leg to rest my foot on for the drive, but it was a windy road and I could feel the pain getting bad again. I had finished my percocet by this time, so I took one, just one, equivalent of a Tylenol 3. We arrived at the restaurant and not shortly after I felt completely stoned! Just one T3!!!!! I actually wasn't feeling good, my stomach felt nauseous, yet I knew I should eat, and all I wanted to do was stare at the pretty wine glasses!!! This soon passed and I was able to get some pizza down, and through this whole time, my foot still hurt - not as bad, but still hurt.

Yesterday Cyd took me to get a pair of crutches. This has definitely made mobilizing easier. Hopping to the toilet was never fun and it just caused my foot to hurt more. Although trying to use a pair of crutches at 0230 to go to the toilet, while feeling stoned on codeine, is never fun! Especially where even the slightest touch of my toes, kills.

This is the first time ever, that I can remember, where my life has instantly changed, drastically. I need help with the simplest of things, opening doors - although I CAN do it myself, it makes it much easier someone else doing it for me, putting a sock over my cold toes, I can't even carry much. I tried taking my toiletry bag to the bathroom, and it was just asking for trouble. Thank goodness I have Rob to help me and he is my little slave right now :) I try to do as much as I can myself, but it is much easier and less painful if someone can do it for me.

It is going to be very interesting over the next while as I really can't help out with much. Tonight will be the first time we, or should I say, Rob, has to cook. Not much I can really do, unless I sit down and cook, but even then I can't put any weight on my foot. I guess if Rob takes the dishes to the sink for me I could wash them there? I couldn't imagine this happening to me and living alone, I would be eating delivery pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

So that is the update for now, tomorrow off to the ortho surgeon to determine the next step.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I guess things happen in three's

Unfortunately, three broken bones isn't what I was planning on, my first ever, broken bones.

So this is how it happened. I was putting some things away in the car after just having a shower when I spotted Winnie - the 5 month old labrador, and her owner Cyd. I had a brief chat with Cyd and Winnie came bounding towards me to say hello. She was very hyper and wanted to play, so I went along. I went running down the pavement away from the car and was going to play with her on the grass by our tent. However, I didn't make it that far. I thought Winnie was coming up on my left hand side, but instead she came running on the right, I turned, tripped over the dog, went flying to the ground, and somehow bent my right foot in half. The pain was excruciating, Cyd came running down, the middle of my foot started to bruise and swell, Cyd ran off to get some ice. Rob came out of the bedroom to see what all the commotion was about (I wasn't quiet about this, but I didn't cry either, its was such a weird pain. Now if there was blood, that would have been a different story!) and after putting some ice on it for a few minutes, both him and Cyd helped me to the dowstrairs bedroom to elevate my foot. When I stood up I slightly touched my heel to the floor and felt pains shoot up my foot - not good I thought. I hobbled to bed, elevated my foot, put some ice on it, and took some drugs. Cyd was going to help me wrap it after I let the pills kick in, but after 20-25 minutes of no relief, I decided I better go to the emergency to have it X-ray'd. Cyd wrapped my foot which helped with the pain, and Rob and I were off to the ER. It was the longest 30 minute drive EVER and of course couldn't sit in the back seat as we have all our stuff stored there so my foot was down; it as too painful to even cross over my left leg.
Triage was interesting, all she did was ask what I did, and my name. She didn't look at my foot, do my blood pressure or temp, or ask me what my pain was (she did ask what I took). In fact, not once did they do my vital signs........
After about an hour and a half in the waiting room, and me being in pain, I was finally called in, where we waited again to see the nurse. She thought it was my ankle, but when I told her what happened and where the pain was, she said it warranted an, yeah!!!!! The doc came by, had a look, gave me shit for taking 800 mg of motrin - whatever, it was a one time dose and my foot freakin' hurt! He ordered some more pain killers which it took forever for me to get, and ordered some xrays. A couple of the positioning of my foot sent pains all through my foot and ankle, at one point the xray tech whispered "I think you have a few broken bones", which she later confirmed after looking at them all - but shhhhh, she didn't tell me that!! My foot was plantarflexed and I couldn't move it up, I couldn't move my toes and to even touch them sent pains everywhere. After the painful xrays I got 1 percocet (endone as they call it here) which after about 45 minutes I could feel relief, thank goodness! The doctor confirmed the broken bones, three of them, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal, mid-foot. (Once I get a bit better and can get some help, I'll see if I can take a picture of the Xray.) The ER doc consulted the orthopedic surgeon, we where to put a half slab (half cast) on my foot to stabilize it, and we didn't have to move my foot, which I was terrified of. I am to see the ortho team at the main hospital on Wednesday, they will re-Xray it, if the bones haven't moved they will plaster my whole foot, but if the bones have shifted I may have to have surgery :( another thing that I have not had before, well, that I can remember anyways.
SO, positive thoughts that I won't have to have surgery, and lots of RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevate! Although I will have to go into McLaren vale this afternoon to get some crutches as the hospital doesn't supply them and it was 11pm on a Sunday when I was finally discharged. Making it interesting trying to hobble around and with Rob working this morning, I won't be doing much apart from getting up to go to the toilet. I think I will be requiring quite a bit of assistance, even taking off my pants last night was difficult, but mostly due to the pain.
Oh the surprises life throws at yeah hey??? I guess they make ya stronger, so bring it on!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the harvest

Well, unfortunately I didn't get to help out much with harvesting. While Rob drove the tractor, I helped Cyd in the garden. Not my specialty, but I got to pull out wild plants, ok, I could handle killing things :)
Rob, did get to help with the harvesting, and Cyd and I took morning tea out in the morning, and I got to see how it happened :)

So, it all starts with a tractor, or 2...... and and another tractor that halls this machine.

OK, it was originally explained in simple terms as above, to me, however I didn't quite get it. How did the grapes fall off, how was a 'tractor' supposed to get down the rows and "take off the grapes", how long did it take.

This is how it works. Yes, it does take 3 tractors. One tractor goes down the row pulling a machine that fits on either side of the vines (see picture below). This machine vibrates, shaking the vines, which shake the grapes off their vines. These grapes get dropped into a conveyer belt which then drop into another tractor pulling a bin. (The third tractor follows the second one and takes over when it gets full) The'2nd' tractor is 2 rows next to the first tractor (see pic) and has to keep ahead, and in pace as the other tractor. The pictures below more or less explain it.
I think its one of those things that you have to see to understand.
Yes, the tractors are able to fit in the rows, barely, and make tight turns when they get to the end; but they do have to miss a few rows and come back. In this field of about 10 acres, the owners got 1.8 tonnes of grapes - which isn't very much. About one ton can fit in a bin, and we heard that some bins where filling up ever 2-3 rows in other vineyarda. That is ALOT! Especially if you consider that one bin can pay out at about $10, 000!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, it's pretty obvious Tim and Cyd didn't do that well this year, which is all part of the farming industry. Maybe next year will be better?!???

Tractor 1, that pulls the vibrating/conveyer machine
Rob getting ready for his first tractor run
Does it kinda make sense now??
You can kinda see some grapes falling down into the bin

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The short of it

So this is the short of it:

Arrived in Adelaide, spent lots of money, Rob more then me, Rob needs money, Rob needs work. We make some calls, asked at a couple of the wineries when we went on the winery tour, no luck. One of the job agencies hums and ha's, but noguarantees. After talking to my friend Zoe, she said her aunt and uncle own a vineyard and they would be keen to have some help. We called, and called, and called, but there was never any answer and no returned calls. We thought we had some luck when we met some people at the Clipso, said there was work in Melbourne helping with evens. However after a phone call, no luck. Then alas, got a message from Zoe with her Aunt and Uncles home number (the previous one was their cell phone) and at the same time got a call from her uncle (Tim).

So here we are, at Tim and Cyd's beautiful house, helping out in the vineyard. Why am I working?? Well, why not?!! Rob would like to work for a few weeks, and why not keep myself busy, and earn a bit of cash. It is a bit of a pay cut, and it involves a bit manual labour, but it's not bad.

We arrived Wednesday mid day, and started work that afternoon. We are fixing any of the irrigation piping that runs along the bottom of the vines, repairing any wires that have snapped, and are placing any pegs on the posts that hold the wires up. Lots of walking and lots of hammering. We haven't had to fix too many wires or piping, so just lots of hammering.

Tim and Cyd have been kind enough to let us set up our tent in their front yard and have access to their showers and toilets. They also gave us their camping table to use and a portable fridge, so now we don't have to buy ice every day! They also have a puppy who is so cute!! Her name is Winnie and she's a 5 month old Labrador who has tons of energy! She loves us, mostly because we play with her, and we love having her around!

As for wild life, not much out here!! We asked Tim if he has seen many snakes, he replied no, just a couple by the house....... nice, where we are tenting :) But I have seen 2 spiders, a few caterpillars, a praying mantas and LOTS of flies!!! I have also walked through my fair share of spider webs. YUCK!!! There is nothing that I hate worse then walking through a spider web! There are loads of birds around, they wake us up every morning. And we usually see roo's down by their pond, in front of our tent. We have also heard the horrible call of the koala (sounds like a wild pig) but not seen him yet.

Tim starts harvesting the grapes of Monday and he gave Rob a crash course on how to drive a tractor to help him. I have no idea what I will be doing. I guess I will just wait and see :)

Coming 'home'
Some of the grapes
U can see the wires and the irrigation piping
The vines wrap around anything!
Even each ther if they can!
A spider, a golden orb I think?
The neighbors have some horses, so pretty!
Our tent with the amazing view!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Yesterday we went to Adelaide's 11th Clipsal 500 - a V8 supercar race, Holden vs Ford, and let me tell you, there was lots of vroom vrooom!!

I've never had an opportunity to go to such a race, and when I saw that it was on the weekend we where here, I figured why not! I like most sports and how cool would it be to go to a car race.

We went to the Friday race as tickets where a bit cheaper and spent the whole day at the race! We took the bus from the caravan park and got off down town and as we where walking you could here the cars zooming past, and we where 4 blocks away! We got trackside tickets and wondered the whole day around the track, checking out all the displays as well as different views of the tracks during the races. We also got passes to go behind the pits, and that was pretty cool as well! Saw a couple of the drivers signing autographs and saw crews working on some of the cars. There was tons to do beside watching the races, there were loads of displays of cars, motorcycles, food, beer, and rides! They had tons of booths selling promotional clothes, hats ect, and I broke down and bought a Holden shirt.

There where large TV's set up around the track so you could see the rest of the track action, but of course our favorite spots had no TV's. The spot we enjoyed the most was corner 4, where the cars had to slow down (well, from 220 to 80) so you could get a good view of the cars instead of them zooming past at 240km/hr! Plus, if the cars breaks locked, they went flying past the corner and you got to see them spin their cars around to get back on course!! We saw one small accident, it was with the utes race (the cars that have trunks) where 3 of them went around the corner pretty close together and one got hit and spun around. Just after this we looked down the track and saw a car pulled over to the side, he got out and was calling someone over. It appeared that he had a bit of a fire in the engine. Nothing exciting happened and there was no big explosion, bummer :( I mean that in the nicest of ways!! Its kinda like hockey, you always wanna see a good fight :)

After the races there was live entertainment. We stayed around to watch the hiphop headliner Hilltop Hoods which some of you may have heard the song "Chase that Feeling" or "The noosebleed section". After we heard a few of the songs we knew, both Rob and I where feeling pretty knackered, so we caught a cab and came back. It had been more the 12 hours at the race track and I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!! But what a fun day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barossa Valley, a shiraz lover's dream!

Today Rob and I went on a tour to the Barossa valley, mainly to visit some wineries!

The more I visit vineyards and learn about the valley's and the wine, the more I love it! I seem to pick up more and more information each time I go, and am growing a fond love of wine! Of all the wineries I have been to I would have to say that the Barossa has been my favorite! We went to 4 wineries and at each one there was at least one, if not more, of the wines that I enjoyed, a lot.

First, about the Barossa valley. Originally named "Barrosa" (Ba-ROSE-a) valley after a Spanish name which means 'hills of roses' as it reminded a Spaniard of the hills back in Spain. However his name was misspelled and hence "ba-ROSS-a" valley. Set about 85 kilometres north of Adelaide, covering 10 000 hectors of land, it has produced some of the best Shiraz, in the world. Many of the wines have won the most prestigious awards in Australia, as well as the world. The oldest recorded Shiraz vines are also located in the valley, a mere 166 1/2 years old!!!!! The roots of the vines have been known to go as deep as 90 meters in order to find water as there is minimal rainfall in the Barossa - which is actually ideal.

Some international wineries are located in the Barossa including Yalumba (the longest family run winery in all of Australia), Wolf Blass and Jacob's Creek. All MASSIVE wineries!!!! We where lucky enough to visit the Wolf Blass cellar door and sample some of their most prestigious wines. Wolf Blass started his business after 7 years apprenticing and with only 2 hectars of land. He retired last year on his 75 birthday currently living in a mansion on the beach in Glenelg, well deserved if you ask me! Many people will most likely know his gold label wines and we got to sample this as well as others. Rob and I spent a little extra to sample the 4 time Jimmy Watson winner Cab/Sav, retailing for $130, as well as the 3 time world winner Shiraz. The Shiraz was probably the BEST wine I have EVER had. Everthing about it was great, but at a retail cost of $170, we left with just the tasting!!
The next winery, Grant Burge, a small boutique winery, meaning they only produce wines to sell at their cellar door and to selected restaurants. I enjoy wineries like this as a lot of the times they produce wines just as nice, if not nicer then major wineries, and can many times be cheaper!
Vine Crest was the next stop, a bit bigger, and had some nice Shiraz and Cab/Sav as well!!! They also had a sale on some of their wines, so we dug in, taking a chance as we hadn't tasted them, but for 4 bottles of wine for less the $30, I can't complain! They also had some very very tasty Shiraz filled chocolates, Rob had to go back for seconds!!
The last winery, another boutique, was Kie's winery, a 7 generation family. They had a very unique sparkling Merlot, quite different, and not my favorite, but definitely something different to try! I believe they are one of a few wineries to even make this type of wine. They had a nice Semillon, as well as a Merlot and a Rose. We actually walked away with 4 bottles from that cellar door!

By the end of the last winery, we where feeling pretty good! Maybe too good as I almost felt a bit sick when we got back - I guess you could say I swallowed, and didn't spit, all day :) lol

The tour also included a few other stops, the worlds largest rocking horse, that didn't rock; a lookout of most of the Barossa valley; a dried fruit and nut factory; and the very neat whispering wall. It is the reservoir that feeds the whole valley, and if you whisper against the wall on one end you can hear it 120m on the other end!! Very cool!

All I can say, is if you are a Shiraz lover, and can find any wine from the Barossa valley, try it, and you will surely not be disappointed!
Unfortunately both Rob and I forgot our cameras, so I have not photos :( it was an early 0800 wake up call!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adelaide thus far

We arrived in Adelaide Saturday afternoon after visiting a few wineries in the Clare Valley on the way in. Sevenhills was one of the stops, a great winery set in the hills with a beautiful church right next door. Great wine as well, in fact, we bought 2 bottles! Then we stopped at Eyre valley wineries, another good stop, and bought 1 bottle of wine :) I'm really beginning to like my wine!
That evening we stopped in town, walked up and down Rundle street. I should mention that there is also a massive 3 week festival with a variety of artists, music, art, comedy, ect. as well as a 4 day street festival where the street was closed with street performers, and booths with a wide variety of 'stuff'! We went to an English pub for dinner, Rob was feeling homesick!! Then went to "Alice in Wonderland", a movie that I had wanted to see since I first saw the adds! Man I love Johnny Depp, such an awesome actor!
Anyways, Sunday was just a drive around Adelaide day, check out all the sights, we went to Glenelg beach as well, had a much needed massage, and a beer on the beach.
Monday was the big day. The Womadelaide festival was on over the long weekend - World of Music, Art and Dance where artists from all over the world, obviously, come and perform. When I saw the itinerary and saw that Xavier Rudd was playing, I just HAD to go! Rob had never heard of him but I dragged him along anyways! Monday was the last day of the show and he was playing that afternoon. We where there when the gates opened and pretty much stayed the whole day. Within 2 hours of being there we had seen about 5 acts, all different, and all very good!! One band from the small east coast town of Byron Bay -Fyah Walk (pronounced more or less like 'fire') were absolutely amazing!!! 2 singers, guitar, bass, keyboard, a trombone player as well as a trumpet player - who was a midget!!! There upbeat, fun, makes me wanna dance music is contagious! As soon as the show ended we went and got one of their CD's and later got it signed by the band! Their website, is coming soon and their myspace website is I highly recommend them and check them out, they have a couple songs on ITunes as well.
Xavier Rudd, my hero, played at 4pm, and the area was packed!! He performed with 2 other musicians, a bass guitarist and a drummer/percusionist (Xavier Rudd & Izintaba). These 3 put on such an impressive show. Xavier with his multi musical abilities - an awesome singer, quitarist, harmonica, percussion, drums, and of course his awe-inspiring didgeridoo abilities. He was born in Australia but has spend much of his life in Canada and incorporated a lot of aborignal (Australian and Canadian) voices in his albums, some of which where recorded in Canada. He actually has a Canadian tour coming up, with shows starting in Montreal starting Mid-May. If you have not heard his music, I HIGHLY recommend checking him out!
There was also the impressive Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka Shankar. They have an indian background and the fact that Ravi will be 90 in April is pretty impressive! He is also a composer with his last composition written in 2008! His website is and if you're into something different, check it out!!
The Womadelaide festival was bigger and better then I could have imagined! I really had no idea what to expect, and only knowing one artist it was a bit of a risk. There where so many shows to choose from with 7 stages set up, it was located in the Adelaide botanic gardens, a massive venue, so there was also something to see and do. If I ever have to opportunity to come back I would definitely be going for the whole weekend.

Some of the ongoing entertainment, "Three guys in a tub"
Fyah Walk
The trumpet player :)
Xavier's opening performance

Xavier multi tasking
Xavier :)
Instead of getting a glass of wine, I just got a bottle :)
Such cool instruments at the festival

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sharks anyone???

So the main idea of going 330 km's out of our way to go to Port Lincoln was to inquire about cage diving with sharks. Yuppers, I said sharks, call me crazy, well, I think you might be right.
But first, about Port Lincoln. A small town down the Eyre Peninsula southwest of Port Augusta, a main fishing port - crab, lobster and tuna, of Australia. One of the restaurants has been named to have the best sea food in all of Southern Australia, three years in a row!
There are also a few wineries around the area, the Boston Bay wineries which I found out has wine in the Calgary coop liquor stores - how crazy is that!!! Boston Bay has won 2 Jimmy Watson awards - the most sought after award in Australia in the wine industry, we sampled the 2007 Shiraz winner, I think?!! Another winery was closed, and another one we could not find, then stumbled upon it while visiting the Glen Forest Tourist Farm, but they didn't have much of a cellar door, but we still got to sample a couple wines.
The Glen forest farm has been running for 25 years and so the animals are very friendly! My favorite was the birds, I later became known as the bird whisperer! I had some bird feed on my hand and not long after waiting, I had budgies and parrots eating away. None went to Rob, so I took his feed in the other hand and I'm sure I had 10 or 11 birds fighting away at the bird seed in both hands. One even came up and sat on my shoulder, I wanted to take him home, but Rob said no :(
We took a few hours and went to Coffin Bay, a short 48 km's west of Port Lincoln. A very picturesque bay, with beautiful water and beaches. Unfortunately the tide was low so we could swim. But we had a nice picnic lunch and went for a walk along the beach.

Now, back to those sharks. We did a little research and Port Lincoln was the best place to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. Calypso charters also offered a one day tour where as all the other tours offered along the south coast of Australia where 2 -8 days, and a LOT more money. The one day tour was enough money as it was and we decided that since we where there, we might as well as it would be more difficult to get the PL once we arrived in Adelaide as its about 650km's away. When booking we heard that the shark sightings where hit and miss, and the previous 2 days where cancelled due to weather - kinda sounded like the whale shark tour. Again, we talked and decided 'when it rome, do as the romans'; so we went ahead and booked. We knew it was a risk, but it was one we where willing to take.
March 4th was the big day, and a long one at that. Up at 0530 for a pick up at 0630. After a briefing from the skipper we set off to sea just after 0700. I have to say the food was excellent and they accommodated with my allergies. We where served breakfast, morning tea, lunch, and two afternoon snacks with drinks both hot and cold served all day. Our destination was the Neptune Islands, approximately a 2 1/2 journey on the vessel traveling at 14knots (25km/hr). We met some of the people on board, all from different areas of the world and got to know the crew - the skipper, deck hand, and cook/videographer. I got to play skipper for a bit (heehee) and by 0930 we arrived at the islands. We had a quick look at the sea lions near by - always a good thing - bait for sharks :) and set anchor not far away.
After a briefing on the cage and how things where to work, he asked for 4 volunteers to go first, Rob and I accepted. We put on our sexy wet suits, the cage got put in the water and James the deck hand started chumming the waters - fish oil in two bags off the side of the boat, buckets of fish guts and fish blood put in the water and chunks of tuna strung out on a line behind the boat. We got a briefing on the regulators as this was both Rob's and my first time diving, lots of lead weight put on as he 'wanted' us to sink to the bottom of the cage (thanks) and off in the cage we went. The water was pretty cold and when I first went down I felt like I wasn't getting enough air through the regulator, and the bubbles went up into my mask bring in water as well. I had to return to the surface quickly to set myself up again. I realized that I was breathing more air in then breathing out which was sending me into a bit of a panic. I had to calm myself down, I held onto the regulator as well as the mask, and breathed slowly. It worked and eventually I was able to let go of the regulator and mask, thank god there where no sharks by when this was happening, I would have panicked even more for sure. We kept our eyes out in all directions and could see James periodically chumming the water. Nothing, nada, zip. I could see a fishing line between the cage and the boat that James had set up, and didn't think much of it. We waited, and waited, and waited. Then someone pointed down, I looked, saw nothing. Then someone pointed up, I though we where being summoned up but when I breached the surface, James said, do you see the shark??? I said no, and immediately put my head back under, and there, down below me was a shark (not sure what kind, but not a pointer) that James had caught on his fishing line!!!!!!! He brought it up, but then lowered it a bit as he was small enough that he could have gotten in through the viewing part of the cage (eeeeeeeee). The shark pulled away with a vengeance and hit the side of the cage - closest to me, and scared the shit out of me!!!! We all thought this was a good sign and there would be more to come for sure, but nothing. We where all lead to believe that James was going to tap on the cage to tell us to get out, so we all just waited, looking, getting very cold and my hip started to hurt from having two lead belts on. It got to the point where I had had enough, and when I came to the surface James asked if I wanted lunch, I was like Yeah!!! We all got out and we found out that we had been in there for nearly 2 hours!!! I actually felt a bit nauseous getting out of the cage and almost threw up over board, but it settled quickly and I chowed down on lunch.
In the end, we saw no great white sharks. A HUGE bummer and let down, but that'snature. The crew did take us to Hamilton island to swim with some sea lions. A bit weird as we went to a place where there are sea lions as this is what the great whites like to eat - and now we where going to go swimming with them?!!!?! But it was all good, and the sea lions where so cute and playful! On the way back to port we came across a pod of about 100 dolphins. They all come out to play with us, swimming and jumping with the speed of the boat. The skipper slowed down so even the small ones could play, they he eventually sped up and there where 2 left, then 1, and eventually he took off as well. So cute and so amazing. I had never seen that many dolphins in one place!
We arrived back at port at 1930, and where completely exhausted. We where given a half priced voucher that is valued for a year to return and try our luck again. The crew on board where awesome though and it turned out to be a pretty fun day, despite not seeing the great whites. I would recommend this to ANYONE that is at all interested as I think it is an opportunity of a life time, and I think Rob and I will try and return and do it again - this time I will be a bit more comfortable with the regulator!! Their website is .

The cage we where willing getting into
Where's the sharks?!??
The shark!!!!!!!
The beautiful dolphins
The sea lions!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flinders Ranges

After chilling out for a couple days in Port Augusta, it was well earned, we headed 160km north east to the Flinder's Ranges. We first stopped at the Yourambulla caves to check out some rock art. It is slightly different then the rock art in the Northern Territory, but still the same idea. It was an uphill 1 km walk to the caves, and we could have gone further to see some smaller ones, but it was hot, and we where hungry, so we headed back down. After a bit to eat we headed towards the ranges. We checked into the campground, got some information on the walk/hikes available, and found a quiet campsite in the corner of the campground. There where not many people about as it is off season, and we where ok with that. I was completely exhausted that day so we chilled out in the campground, reading our books and I took an afternoon nap :)
We made some friends that afternoon, some kangaroo friends that is. One little guy came right up to us, smelled us, he even tried to eat my book that was on the table! He headed towards Rob who gave him a cookie, and that was it, he loved us forever. He started snooping the the trunk and the car. He tried to practically get into the trunk, and even after Rob had his head almost stuck in the trunk from closing the lid, he still was snooping around!!!! The little stinker even grabbed my shoes from the car! We closed all the doors to the car, and shortly after, he left. I guess he gave up looking!! I still thought he was cute though and wanted to take him home :)
The next day was a bit over cast in the am, and even a bit rainy. We waited a bit and it started to clear up, sort of. We started a 4 hour hike to the summit of Mount Ohlsser-Bagge at 1100, and by 12:30 we reached the peak. We saw tons of reptiles on the way, a couple spiders, and even a billy goat - I was very surprised!! And at the top, we of course saw more kangaroo's, these ones not as friendly though. Off in the distance we could see a storm, but couldn't tell which was it was moving, and the rest of the sky was overcast. We had lunch and headed back down, hoping the storm wasn't coming our way. Just about half way down we could feel drops of rain, but this wasn't from the storm we saw, another one had developed behind us and before we knew it we could hear thunder. Then, we had a crack of thunder directly over our heads. It scared the livin' day lights out of me and I was on the ground with my hands on my head in 0.23 seconds flat (instinct I guess?!!!) We didn't get a ton of rain, but enough to make the rocks slippery and my clothes wet - so I wasn't all that impressed. It was also a bit chilly and by the time we got to the resort I was very relieved! We stopped in at the pub/restaurant and the semi-final match between Canada and Slovakia was on. I had yet to see a game and was pumped to watch it. I caught the third period, I think it was the best one and was ecstatic that we won!!!! Bring on the gold medal game! I found out later that night from some people we met from Adelaide that USA had won their semi's match and became very jealous that I wouldn't be at home to watch it. oh well, not much I can do about it :(
The next day was overcast again, but didn't look quite as bad, and it didn't rain overnight. We hiked to the Wangarra lookouts, and yet again saw another roo baking in the warm sun, we just can't get enough of them!! These lookouts weren't as good as the previous days, but still a good climb and nice to get the blood movin'!
After the hike we packed up the car and drove to Port Augusta where our next stop was to the southern tip of the Eyre peninsula - Port Lincoln.

Yourambulla caves/rock art
bbq doing some research for me :)
Peak of Mount O-B
Wangarra lookout of the Flinders