Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chapter 11 (July 17) Hanging out; playing tourist

Moffat Panorama

I take my time getting to the beach this morning.  I know that they have to bring the rest of the field to the finals, plus there is day needed for team finals, so I don’t have to be at the beach this morning except to watch and maybe do a free surf. 

There are the usual morning showers, but it is shaping up to be another fine day.  I see a really fantastic triple rainbow on the way—it goes red through violet then red through violet then red through violet once again.  I’ve never seen this before.  Of course, before I can find a place to stop and take a photo, it fades from view.

I arrive at the beach, and they will indeed be running the rest of the preliminaries and maybe some semi-finals.  I myself finally get to relax, take pictures, and just hang around with no worries that I’ll be called to compete.

I’m enjoying the warmth and the sunshine, and I wander out to do some photography, watch the competition and poke around in the tide pool.  Limpets and snails are the high intertidal benthic residents, with anemones and chitons appearing a bit lower, just like on the US west coast. There is a surprising lack of shore crabs of any kind.  It’s hard to tell what’s in the lower zones, though—there are clearly barnacles down there (we have barnacles in the high intertidal in the US), and various algae.  And of course there are small fish darting in the small pools.

As I’m poking about, an osprey (I didn’t know that they were found world-wide, unless this is a separate Australian species) flies overhead carrying a fish and lands in a nearby tree.  I go shoot some shots of him eating his lunch.

I get some nice shots from the rocks and from the top of the cliffs of people paddling, and eventually the competition gets called off in the early afternoon as conditions deteriorate.

I decide to drive back to Coolum via the mountains.  There is a road that runs along the escarpment that is supposed to offer spectacular views, with nice waterfalls along the way as well as dirt track through the rain forest that is supposed to be nice.  I head off to do that.

It is a lovely drive.  There are great views over the Glass House Mountains, to the south, and over the shore to the east.  Mapleton Falls is a short walk out a boardwalk from the car park, and the road through the forest is just lovely—don’t see another vehicle the whole drive, except, surprisingly, for a tour bus that passes me as I’m stopped for a look around.  The forest is so very different to what I’m used to—a mix of eucalypts and palms and things that look like some type of ficus.  The bird calls are really exotic, and of course, so are the birds.

I make it home, drop by the grocery store for some food and then past the library to connect to the internet.  I grill myself a steak for dinner, and then collapse into bed by 9.  Tomorrow we’ll be back at Moffat’s to finish up the semis, and then they’ll run team finals on Friday and the rest of the finals on Saturday.

Judges at work…
…from their perch (blue tent) atop the cliff.

And the things they were judging (Men's HP Quarter-finals):

The next heat gets ready.

Watching the action

Cutting back

Slow murder


Glass House Mountains

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