Dolphins and Pelicans Welcome us to the Beach

Trip Start Dec 18, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday dawned bright and . . .  cloudy. We still went to the beach at Nelson Bay, and we had a great time! Some highlights were Liam calling the dolphins in, observing enormous pelicans up close, and eating delicious seafood.
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. Chris and I like the fish just as well, and Andy's favorite is the calamari as well--though the prawns are a close second for him.
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. Houses are listed on-line, a 15-minute viewing is scheduled (sometimes with very little notice), potential renters drop off completed applications either at the viewing or immediately after, and property managers and owners decide upon a renter. You can't make application on a house without viewing it--the catch 22. We're hedging our bets right now. Several of the houses we've seen will be okay. There are more with viewings scheduled this next week. The number of houses available are as low as five or six one day, and then there are half a dozen new ones the next day. The amount of time a house remains available is very short. We're in paid housing until July 21, but we don't want to wait much longer to make sure we have a house.Our furniture won't be available until sometime around the end of July. Ideally we'll select a house this week that becomes available mid-July. I don't want to spend the next few weeks looking at houses each day.
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!
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Deanna and Graice Deck on

Wow dolphins that is so I hope you find your house and we really hope you feel better Melinda. go to the dr. Miss you guys
Deanna Graice and Malachi

Katy on

Enjoyed the pictures. Hope you get well soon.
do you have a cold or what?

Karen Probert on

Great update! Thank you, Melinda. What an adventure, which will soon become your routine. It's not surprising you are sick with all that you've been managing. Enjoy, rest, and be well.

Auntie Mo on

Hi there! So glad that you are there safely, exploring and settling in. Liam is the dolphin whisperer for sure - that is a great story and I can just hear him in those pictures! I am very jealous of the seafood aspect, haven't had a binge in awhile, since we haven't been to either coast lately. Andy, you must play Words with me - I am waiting :) Melinda - go to the doctor! I bet Chris is happy and relieved to have you all there - Love to you all - Auntie "Moo"

Jenny on

Liam, I bet you have a real connection to the Dolphins!
Andy you must be in awe of all the new sights!

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