Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas . . .

View from our home - storm's a comin'!
Merry Christmas!  It's summer here in Oz, and WE HAVE COMPANY!  (Ok.  I'm trying not to get over-excited, but we don't get a lot of visitors to this hemisphere. . . )  Shon's parents, Dave and Debbie are here to visit.  We are ecstatic (and not just because they brought American food!)  They arrived on Wednesday, two days later than planned, thanks to delayed flights.  We whisked them off on a road trip to Bundaberg, just hours after they arrived. 
Boogie boarding Rainbow Beach - the surf was rough and I'm still finding sand. . . 

We stayed in a beach house on Rainbow Beach for two days, and drove up to Bundaberg, to the Mon Repos Turtle Sanctuary, to watch sea turtles lay their eggs at night.  It was amazing.  It was a busy night in the turtle rookery.  By 8 o'clock, there had been 6.  There had only been 2 turtles the entire night before.  Our turtle was a 200 lb, young 30 year old female, laying her second clutch in her first breeding season.  (Sea turtles don't reach sexual maturity until they are 30, and as far as we can tell, they live to be about 80.)   We very quietly (no electronics or lights) watched her dig a hole with her back flippers, lay 100 ping pong balls-like eggs, fill in the whole, tamp it down with her body, and crawl back to the water.  The whole process took about an hour.  It was amazing.  We were able to take photos for 30 seconds after she laid her eggs.
Turtle laying eggs.  Ranger in background.

The turtle in the background.

She was in pretty good shape, though she had barnacles and marks on her shell where crocodiles tried to get a nibble.  Another turtle that was laying eggs near by hadn't been so lucky, and only had 3 flippers, most likely from a shark attack.  The rangers gave her a hand digging her hole.   It was amazing, and the whole family learned a lot about this endangered species.  We would love to come back in 8 weeks and watch the eggs hatch.
The kids and Grandparents.

This has been a very rainy summer, and we are having a rainy Christmas as well.  That didn't stop us from swimming and having a barbecue Christmas day.  My favorite part of Christmas was our Skype marathon.  I could almost taste my mother's cooking, and I sang along with my sisters in our annual sing along (though that was a joke - I was 1.5 seconds behind everyone.)  We love our family.  Skype is good.  :-)

From the words of "An Aussie Night Before Christmas:" 

Happy Christmas to all and goodonya mate!


Julie said...

That is so amazing! Wow-- what adventures you guys are having! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year:)

beck said...

That was fun to Skype. Singing with you was awesome. Especially my solo. I always knew I could shine.

Juli said...

Beck, I bet you especially loved how I was 1.5 seconds behind you. Hey, from my end, it sounded great!