Monday, April 18, 2011

Moreton Island

I think this will be my last of the Australia posts. So- all of you readers that have been holding back on the comments- now's your last chance.

 Did I mention that Australia just kept getting better and better? 

Our last full day in Brisbane- we got up early and set off for Moreton Island- the most amazing little island off the coast.  We took the 'Dolphin Wild' cruise and loved every single second.  The crew was hilarious and so nice.  And the views were unreal.  The best I've ever seen in my life.

The boat ride out was about an hour and was really really fun.  It was pretty choppy and I loved it.  I think even Kent enjoyed it- thanks to the dramamine he took first.
on the way out to the island - Dolphins came and 'played' with the boat.  They rode the wakes- and jumped around for all of us. It's like they were paid or something!!  It was my first time seeing dolphins in the wild. I loved it.

Quite the impressive animal!  I really wish that I could have touched one!!!
After a few dolphin sightings we got to go boom netting. Maybe this was my favorite part of the day. It was sooo fun.  That's why I'm including about a zillion pictures of it.

They suit you up and throw you on a giant net behind the boat!
At first it's all fun and games.  They drive around and you play in the water-

 and then they start getting faster and faster.
we got on the net with three Brazilians who were about our age and wanted to be as crazy as us and then I almost died. Okay- it wasn't that bad- but it was pretty insane!
 We loved it so much that when a few other people had their turn- they let us on again.  Check out the water - I've NEVER seen water that color!! and the views!!  Maybe everything seemed so much brighter and more vibrant because we'd come from five months of drearyness!

This day was probably the hottest we had- so the swim felt wonderful.

After boom netting we anchored down and they fed us lunch. It was pretty tasty- if you like giant prawns with ridiculously long feelers. SICK. Do you see that long antenna hanging down out of the picture.  Kent actually liked the critters. 

I didn't even try them.  I tried lots of new fish on the trip- I didn't feel the need to eat these.  Luckily they had chicken, too.  Can you see my sunburn already coming through? I had just reapplied the sunscreen.

After lunch we got to go ashore and conquer this beast. It doesn't look tall here- but do you see that red little circle at the top of the sand? Inside the circle is a person.  The dune was humongous. Monstrous!
Here I am halfway up the dune yelling to Kent that we need to beat the other two guys to the top.  I had sent kent back down from that point because I'd forgotten a camera and I really wanted pics from the top!  We beat the other guys even though they had quite the head start.  I was pretty proud of us :)  It was ridiculously hard climbing up sand that steep and that high. 

But- of course- the top was well worth the effort. 
Coming down the sand dune was just as great.  You just run and jump and soar. It's a little like flying.

After scaling the dune- we took some time to enjoy the water and play around a bit.

And then finally set off on our last adventure for the day- snorkeling in the shipwrecks!!!  They've got an amazing reef that has grown all along the wreckage. 

I'm a novice snorkeler (it was my first time) and I was a little nervous- but all went well. I'm still not sure if I could do the scuba thing- but the snorkeling was amazing.  We saw sharks- coral growing along the shipwrecks- and a plethora of fish.  We took rolls with us and let the fish come up and eat out of our hands. It was crazy and a little creepy.

The day ended with a great dinner and a run to the store for lots of tim tams. If you haven't had a tim-tam slam- you haven't lived!  Tim-tams are great little chocolate cookies that are all over Australia.

I may have a few more pictures that pop up- but for now I'm finished!  The airplane ride home was 14 hours and quite pleasant. I had my own little tv with an unlimited choice of movies and tv shows, a great shoulder to sleep on (thanks, kent!), and not another care in the world.  Even a cramped long plane ride can be amazing when no toddlers are involved.

It was the trip of a lifetime and the Australians are some of the nicest people on the planet.  Going on big trips like this can be so stressful! You stress out that you shouldn't go. You shouldn't spend your hard saved money. You shouldn't leave your kids with other people for nine days (okay- so I never really felt bad about that).  You know- the list goes on. But I don't regret a single bit of it!    So again thank you to EVERYbody for making it possible!  Thanks a million Dave and Michelle! and thanks mom and dad so so much. Thanks to Pat and Brent!  to Metta and Clair.  To all of kent's sisters and nieces and nephews!


Linz said...

Awesome!!! I am totally jealous!

Michelle said...

COMPLETELY awesome!! What an experience of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing those spectacular memories with us. You are a great blogger/documenter/writer/photographer. :)

Those Tim Tam cookies really are to die for. Mmmmmmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

HowellAZ said...

Well, I can say after reading all your Australia posts that I definitely want to move there for good. Of course, I am married to someone who is afraid of spiders, so I'm not so sure I could convince him, but I would go in a heartbeat. I'm sure I would just spend all my days on the sunny beaches without a care in the world (man, I need a vacation)!

Laney said...

sure hope your tetanus shots were up to date if you snorkeled around those rusty ships. How far was this little island from the mainland?

Kent and Leisy said...

laney- probably under 45 miles. and I did get a few gashes on the ship!

Jessica said...

Dolphins are my favorite creatures and those pictures are so neat. Thanks for sharing all the fabulous pictures with us, I feel like I took a vacation too!

brittani c. said...

As my parents always said: "money is just money." Spending it on great memories is probably one of the best things you can do with it!

Laney said...

I can't believe Kent ate those nasty things. Ugh. I dry heave just looking at them. Were they raw?? Were they alive?

M- your favorite said...

I am so glad you guys had a great trip. It has been fun looking at all your pictures! The tropical areas are amazing! I Miss my little buddies.

Eline S. said...

Wooow! Beautiful photos from the dolphins!!

Gio, Tasha, and Bella said...

Wow! So awesome that you guys got to go by yourselves. Like a well deserved second honeymoon! I love it. You have some amazing pictures. The water was so gorgeous.

Kim T. said...

I have so enjoyed your pictures and hearing about your trip! What an experience!

Emilee said...

So cool! I am incredibly jealous. What a fantastic trip!

Renae said...

This post has sent me over the edge! It's so beautiful! What a fun day. THanks for sharing.

Hutch's Blog said...

This looks seriously amazing. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time. The pictures are so pretty.

Thanks for mentioning your worry about spending your hard earned money but not regretting it. I NEED to take a vacation to somewhere besides Utah this next year -- even if it costs me all my savings. I'll save over again!

Delaps said...

What an amazing trip. How great to see Dolphins up close!

Kent and Leisy said...

Laney - Those prawns were alive and wriggled the entire way down... Okay, they weren't. But you did have to rip the heads, tails and scales off before eating. I want another one right now! They were tasty!! - Kent

yaya said...

Wow, your pics are amazing! I love the dolphin shots...and you both look so happy and just chillin' enjoying yourselves! What a wonderful opportunity and the kiddos probably enjoyed time with family as much as you enjoyed being away!

Justin and Jules said...

Seriously so jealous, and not just about Australia, but about just being able to leave the kids and be with the hubby! Mark my words, once Carter is one, you will see a vacation on my blog! Glad yall had a good time.