Dolphins and Pelicans Welcome us to the Beach
Trip Start Dec 18, 2011
23Trip End Sep 15, 2013
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Port Stephen is a large bay about one hour north of Maitland, where we will live. There are many beaches along the bay. A narrow channel enters the bay between two striking heads that rise far above the surrounding landscape. Southern Right and Humpback whales enter the bay (a protected area) on their migration north during the winter (now) and again when they travel south with their young babies in the summer.
We decided on a low-key day because I'm still sick (it's getting irritating), so we began with great seafood at Bub's Co-op. Liam likes the fried calamari and the seafood sticks--they seem to be a processed conglomeration of crab and fish
While playing in the sand in the afternoon at Little Beach, we saw the whale-watching boats passing. Some go out of the bay and some stay in the bay. After a while we noticed dolphins coming nearer to the beach--very near. At low tide, the beach is large but the water level drops quickly. For the boys it goes from knee-deep to swimming depth in just a few meters. While Andy was building a castle, Liam began calling the dolphins over. They came! In fact, they came to within about 5 meters of the shore! Several nearby families came closer to watch the dolphins with us. Every time the dolphins seemed to swim away, Liam waded in and called them closer. They called back to him--we heard their high-pitched squeaks. We had to remind him that he couldn't go swim with the dolphins right then--the water was too cold and too deep for him.
Some more highlights from the week:
We enrolled the boys in our first-choice school (Rutherford Primary)
We gathered all the documentation necessary for me to buy and register a car--another Honda Fit (called Jazz here)
We got library cards and library books
We looked at rental houses and submitted applications for a few
House hunting is an interesting process
Chris is going back to work tomorrow, and the boys and I are going to begin exploring. Once I feel well (which might involve a trip to see a doctor), we're going to Sydney for the day, going to a few more beaches, going hiking in the high country to the west, and working to get our bearings.
We'll keep you posted!