Topics to Explore

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Well, I feel like it has been a long time since I have posted and so much has happened! Brett and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary, we had our 2nd Christmas as a married couple and we have started to pack up our apt in Port Douglas.

Our anniversary was spent in true Port Douglas style. Brett woke me up with breakfast and coffee, treated me to a day off spent on Sailaway snorkeling, relaxing and snapping pictures and then dinner at Salsa, which is a famous favorite among the local Port crowd! The food was seriously amazing and we spend 2 hours and 45 minutes savoring every bite and bit of conversation! We also opened presents. We had exchanged our big presents early because I got Brett a fancy pair of sunnies for his boat job and he got me my camera which I opened early as well but we still had to get each other a little something. Brett got me a cute t-shirt and I gave him a personalized desk calendar with pictures of us and a fun skim ball to play with in the water! It was the best anniversary I could ever ask for!

Brett and I celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary

Christmas was just as amazing but in a different way! It was fun to have a HOT Christmas spent at the beach here in Port. We made a yummy breakfast, went to a church service in town, opened presents, hung out and swam at the beach all afternoon and went to a BBQ at Marty's house! Brett and I had said that our big presents were for our anniversary and Christmas but of course we still did something for each other. It is kind of difficult to be sneaky when you live with someone, hang out with them in all your down time and share a car but we managed to get each other some gifts as well as wrap them and get them under the tree! Yes, we even had a tree! I got Brett a t-shirt he had been wanting as well as new book. Brett wrapped up some candy, a tabloid magazine (which is a very big deal because 1. he thinks they are a waste of money and 2. magazines are not cheap here), some face wash I had been complaining about not having and the biggest surprise of all, a black freshwater pearl necklace!!!!! I had always figured my husband was not into buying jewelery but seriously he picked it out all by himself and surprised me big time! It is beautiful and I have been wearing it everywhere!!!! I am very thankful and feel very loved!

Brett and I with Santa in Port Douglas

As of today, Sunday, we leave Port in 5 days. AHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOO. We are seriously so sad, bitter, and a just a bit bummed we are leaving so soon. I think if we got the chance to do it over again we would not be leaving so early. We love it here. Yes, we are excited to get on the road to see more stuff but leaving this perfect little town is going to be so painful. I just keep telling myself that we will be back at some point! I wish all of you could have come to visit to see this place! It feels like Brett and I's first true home together, sorry BK Lounge, while you will forever be in our hearts as the first home we built Port is our first home that we have moved to, lived in and moved out of together. There will always be a special piece of our heart that belongs here. We are also sad to be leaving some of our amazing friends. We have met the best of people here. Some awesome couples have influenced our lives and some amazing people have helped up feel right at home!

Brett and I wanted to be able to remember Port every single day so we purchased a painting of Four Mile Beach from a local artist!!
Brett and I with the artist, Alex
Our Four Mile painting! This is literally a picture of our backyard!

It has been raining more which means the wet season is getting even closer! I am sure come mid-January the people will be stuck in their houses due to all the rain but it will still be hot and humid!! I wish that was going to be us :(

We hope everyone had an great Christmas and a nice time with their families! We miss everyone but we will be home for Christmas next year. Thanks for reading!

B and K8

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rainforest Habitat

Because not everyone has facebook, where I usually post all my photos, I figured I would post some pictures for YOU! Brett and I woke up Monday morning and decided to do something a little touristy in our cute little town. We have been hearing so many great thinks about the Rainforest Habitat so we decided to check it out. This is an awesome attraction where you can see, touch, feed and interact with many of Australia most unique animals. As you can see we got to feed kangaroos, wallabies, ducks and birds. We also had an awesome buffet breakfast in a big open air bird sanctuary around 9am and then headed into the habitat area to see all the other animals. All the animals and creatures were really interesting and exciting, especially the huge crocodile. That guy, we did not feed!! It was an awesome morning and totally lost track of time because we didn't even leave until 115pm. We were thoroughly impressed and had such a great time!

I really wish we would have gone sooner because I love the picture of Brett and I both with the kangaroo! What an awesome Christmas card that would have been! It was amazing how tame all the animals were and while they were really gentle and sweet it was really great to also see them in an environment that mimicked their real home as much as possible.

It is amazing how we were able to get right next to the kangaroos and take a picture with them! This little, well ok not little, but sweet roo let us play with her, pet her, feed her and take some pictures. They are so cute up close and have so much personality!

This croc was easily 4 meters or about 12 feet long! He was so stealth looking and moved through the water so effortlessly. I would not want to run into one of these guys in the water. He also had his lady friend with him in the same enclosure and while she was much smaller she was just as scary looking. You can just barely see his teeth but let me tell you, they were HUGE!

This pretty little guy let us get right in his face while he
was eating! He was so cute and friendly! Not to
mention very pretty!

We hope everyone is doing well at home! We miss
everyone and we are sorry we wont be home for the
holidays but I can assure we are having a great time here!!!

B and K8

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

5 months and counting...

Brett and I have been living life as usual in Port but it seems to be getting close to our ending too quickly. We are now thinking about our 1 year wedding anniversary (the 20th), Christmas, packing up, leaving our jobs and heading on the road again! This departure is going to be very bitter sweet. While we are so excited to get back into the van, see more of Australia and pick up Casey, we are also very sad to be leaving fun jobs, an amazing town and such great friends. Oh well, I guess our love of Port will just have to bring us back sometime in our lives.

5 months from today, well our today and your tomorrow, Brett will be having his first day of nursing school in Denver. While 5 months sounds like a long time I can assure you it sounds very close for us. It is crazy to think between now and than we will have hopefully been to NZ, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong, WA and than finally to Denver! We received our Southeast Asia Lonely Planet book in the mail today so I have big plans to start researching and planning our upcoming adventures!

Brett and I have been playing with my new camera a ton and we love it so much! It is a lot of fun to play with the settings to try and make the pictures creative. We have a friend here who is an awesome photographer and after spending a couple of hours at a BBQ with him I learned more than I would by reading the manual front to back. He takes amazing photos of everything, especially kiteboarding. He has made it into a few magazines so I know I am working with the right person! He has given me a few books to look at and enjoy as well as a ton of pointers and tips for trying new things!

We spent Wednesday afternoon at the Mossman Gorge again! It is an awesome swimming hole with some very small but fast flowing rapids. We swam, took pictures, ate some lunch, layed out in the sun, read and just played around! It was an awesome afternoon before having to head into work that evening.

We have been getting a lot more rain than usual and I think it is a sign that the wet season is starting to move in. The rain coming really hard for small bits of time but it is plenty of time to soak everything, create puddles and make it impossible to hear anything because it is pounding our metal roof so loud. We used to love the rain and while we still like it during it brings in a massive increase in the humidity so we always fear when it stops.

Port has been getting a cruise ships almost daily for the last week. We had several boats anchored outside the marina over the weekend as well as The World cruise ship parked there on the 6th. The World is the biggest cruise ship that holds thousands of people. It even has some permanent residence. It would be well worth spending a few minutes to Google it if you have never heard of it. It is massive, beautiful and think, what a way to live life, aboard a cruise ship. Wow!

Since we have a fancy new camera and a few books to read, which are inspiring us, Brett and I decided to get up at sunrise to take some pictures. Plus, all the tour books say how great it is to head to Four Mile Beach at sunrise. We got some amazing pictures and crazy enough we were not the only people up at sunrise. Sunrise was at 545am so we got up, took some pictures, ate some brekkie and took a nap! Great way to start the day!

I added a bunch of photos to the end of this album. Check them out if you are interested!

Thanks for reading!
B and K8

Thursday, December 3, 2009

News from Port

So, our weekly paper came out yesterday and Brett and I are always really good about buying it and reading it to stay updated on the facts. We don't want to be spreading any rumors! Well, some big/interesting have been happening and I thought I would fill you guys in. Keep reading if you are interested.

Last Saturday Poseidon, Brett's sister dive boat, spotted a dead sperm whale floating out near the Agincourt reef. Now this was a big deal for more reasons that one. This if the first sperm whale to ever come into the reef system in the area because sperm whales do not live in our waters. Also, when the boat got closer they realized that the whale had only been dead for a few days because it didn't smell very bad. Now the really interesting part. Poseidon spotted up to 5 tiger sharks and 1 bull shark happily but fiercely munching on the carcass. Yikes. No one got into the water, for obvious reasons but there were a few pictures taken and one ended up in the paper.

A legend in Port Douglas died sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday at 9am. John McDonald was found face down next to his boat in the marina. Apparently John checked all the boats each night to make sure non were sinking and it seems he fell and hit his head and drowned in the marina waters. Someone from the marina found him at 9am Thursday morning. A lot of people in Port are very sad and are missing John. He owned a fishing boat called Wy-Knot. He was also know as an amazing diver and certified over 700 people.

A woman from the US died on the outer reef yesterday (Thursday). She went out on the boat Silver Sonic and unfortunately she had a heart attack in the water and drowned. All the other passengers were rushed over to the Quicksilver pontoon while Silver Sonic took her back to shore. We don't know much about it but I am sure next weeks paper will give all the details. She was very over weight and unfortunately her unhealthy lifestyle did not allow her to swim very well. Not a great way to end your vacation.

On a better note, The Central Restaurant here in Port Douglas raised over $2000 in a single night for their Movember Events. Movember is worldwide event raising awareness for prostate cancer. Many of the men in Port Douglas took part in the event. Men grow out their mustaches for the entire month of November and than the Central held a party on the 30th to vote on the best mo, had a raffle and raised money for the cause. I local guy won and it seems that everyone was very happy to shave off their mos at the end of the month. The local paper, The Port Douglas Gazette, posted new pictures each week of the contestants for the best mo so the locals could see the progress of each guy.

Just thought I would pass on some news, good and bad, from Port Douglas. We hope everyone is happy and healthy at home! We miss you and love you all!

Love, B and K

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The outer reef

Pictures from our day at the outer reef:

Brett and I literally felt like royalty yesterday! We have a friend who works on a boat, Quicksilver, that goes out to the outer Agincourt reef and he said he could take us out as a guest! Let me just start off by saying that this is a very generous thing to do because trips to the reef are expensive. However, this is a slow part of the season so adding an extra two people to the 150 already going on a boat that holds 400 is not really a big deal. It was so most amazing day EVER! This boat, Quicksilver, goes out to the very outermost part of the Great Barrier Reef where they have a pontoon permanently parked out there with tables and chairs to sit at, all their diving and snorkeling equipment, a helicopter pad, glass bottom boats for viewing, fresh water showers, a kitchen and so much more! It is the perfect site to show up at to enjoy entire day out on the reef! Upon entering the boat we immediately started to see other people we know, work with or have a met a few times. Let me tell you how the day happened!

First, our buddy who got us on the boat, another Brett, brought us along as guests so we only paid $22 each for a $202 trip! So, already feeling very special and excited we boarded the boat, got a cup of tea, took our seats and started planning our day! As we were chatting away my friend Amy, who I also work with at The Beach Shack, came up and asked us if we wanted to dive today!!!! Um, yea of course! She set us up with an introductory dive for free, then she walked over with our paperwork and an underwater camera, again, for free!!! Unbelievable. So, already feeling even MORE special we head downstairs in the boat to pick up our stinger suits, which are usually $5 a piece but somehow the lady asked us where we lived and with our reply of in Port Douglas gave us local status so she gave us those for free! The boat hasn't even departed and we are already having such a great time! On the ride out we were wandering around the boat and we bumped into a guy who seemed like he was trying to sell his snorkel trip to a more remote place on the outer reef. His name is John and he is a marine biologist so there is no doubt you would learn a lot on his snorkel tour. we chatted with him for a few minutes and Brett soon realized he had seen him out on Low Isles so we had 3 things going for us: 1. He knew Brett worked on a boat, 2. He is originally from Redondo Beach so we had that in common and 3. We are locals in Port Douglas. All three of these things got us a free snorkel tour each which usually costs $30 each!

Alright, so we are on the boat and let me tell you this was an awesome ride! The boat is huge and so smooth and where it takes Brett's catamaran 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to Low Isles, it took this monster catamaran boat 20! We had a very nice, smooth and leisurely trip out to the outer reef and we arrived before we even knew it! Upon arriving to the pontoon we checked in with our dive instruction, picked up all our equipment and had a our brief intro before our dive! The diving on the Great Barrier Reef is so cool! There were so many fish, colors, creatures and it was simply beautiful! We did our intro dive, which was so much fun, ate some lunch, took a glass bottom boat tour because our friend Brett was driving, went on a snorkel tour to a less busy part of reef, rinsed off in the showers and got back on the boat just as it was leaving!

On the ride back we relaxed, chatted with our German friend who dove in our group and waited until our video was ready to be viewed. Yes, our entire dive was videoed by Amy and we had a chance to buy it at the end of the day if we wanted. It included a video made by the Quicksilver company of life on the Great Barrier Reef, our personal dive and a sheet of pictures of all the individual fish we saw. This set usually sells for $106 but yes, again, Amy is amazing and she gave us everything for free!

It was really amazing. We went on a boat as guests thinking it would be a great day to see another part of the reef and we ended up having literally the trip of a lifetime for practically nothing. We also found it amazing that we knew about 1/2 the crew before we even left the marina so it was first class local service all day! We are so thankful and had such an amazing time!

Pictures of: The pontoon, a giant clam, wearing stinger suits, diving, and Brett and Brett with the boat!

A boat ride to the outer reef for 2: $404
Stinger suits for 2: $10
Intro dive for 2: $280
Snorkel tour for 2: $60
DVD and video from our dive: $106
Underwater camera: $60
Total: $920
Our price: $47!!!!