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Happy 2008!


Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year celebration. I spent the last couple of days on a boat and I'm happy to be on dry land again. UPDATED...

It was a little too expensive to get back to Sydney in time for New Year's Eve celebrations. My Oz Experience tour had me around Airlie Beach for the holiday but Airlie is reputed to be the party capital of the East Coast. When I'd asked tour guides what their impressions of the place were they'd all said it was a place for drunkenness, sex, and drunkenness. Not really what I had in mind. Fortunately/unfortunately there wasn't a single room available for NYE in town. Instead, I ended up on a sail boat for three days.

I think there were 18 passengers and three crew members on the ship which was tinier than I imagined for such a big group. There was no private quarters and for two of the days, only one tiny bathroom compartment. The rocking of the boat meant staying downstairs was a quick way to get seasick. Just about everyone hung out on deck.

The funny thing about the first day is everyone's eagerness to sunbathe. The antipodean sunshine is said to have no ozone protection. Its evil rays cook you to a nice red pretty quickly. I did my best to slap the 75spf on my face and spray a 30 on my body but our days were filled with napping on deck, strolling along white beaches, snorkeling, and hiking through rainforests. Sun burn was inevitable and by day two, the sting of red skin had everyone hurdled under sanctuary of shade as much as we could manage.

After the recent storms, the diving visibility was horrible, wiping out any reason to pay extra for scuba. We did get in some nice snorkeling. Because of the jellyfish present in the water, we had to wear 'stinger suits' including a hood. As silly as it may have looked, I appreciated the protection from the sun and the fantasy of being suited up for some sort of special forces work. I think I'm more afraid of being stung by a jellyfish than running into a shark. I had a nice moment running into a sea turtle who was devouring a jellyfish in front of me. If I could have shook his fin, I would have. The turtles are the only natural predators of these jelly menaces.

For New Year's Eve, we were dropped off on Half Moll Island to join other sailing boys and girls for the festivities. The fireworks weren't nearly as grandiose as Sydney's show, I'm sure, but a couple of people did have sparklers. Shortly after the stroke of midnight, we shuffled back to the jetty and back to our boat before a night storm brought down the first rain of the New Year.

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1 Responses to “Happy 2008!”

  1. # Anonymous shilpa

    Happy New Year!!  

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filmgen@yahoo.com A 29 yr old filmmaker from California traveled through Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/NZ over ten months from April 2007 to March 2008.



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    TRAVEL ITINERARY

    2007
    April 6:
    Cuba
    April 30:
    France
    England
    Scotland
    Ireland
    Netherlands
    Poland
    Czech Republic
    June 3:
    Spain
    June 20:
    Switzerland
    June 22:
    Russia
    June 27:
    Germany
    June 30:
    Italy
    July 22:
    Greece
    Egypt
    August 9:
    India
    August 27:
    Japan
    September 10:
    China
    October 3:
    Thailand
    October 30:
    Vietnam/Cambodia
    December 3:
    Australia

    2008
    January 23:
    New Zealand
    February 26:
    Hawaii
    March 1:
    California
    Spring:
    Florida, North Carolina,
    New York, England, Spain

    2009
    December 29:
    Iceland
    January 9:
    New York City
    January 17:
    Washington D.C.
    February 18:
    California
    March 18-23:
    New Orleans


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