Monday, 31 August 2015

Another fab weekend!

This past weekend was a good one. Friday evening I went with Greg & Michelle to play pool & drink Guinness after work. The pool contest was close, and may require a rematch. The Guinness drinking was really nice - but potentially not an excellent plan before my dive in the morning..

Saturday: Got up at 5.30am to prepare for a dive - not feeling completely on top of the world. But I had a Berocca and several cups of tea, and once we'd hit the water I wasn't feeling quite so terrible. We dived up round Halifax park to do the deep dive. This site is closer to the mouth of the bay so when the tide really gets going it is very very strong - as we felt on our way up, when we did a little underwater climbing to crawl our way out. I really enjoyed this dive - got my buoyancy a little better, saw lots of critters, fed some urchins to the blue groupers (this is allowed because they actually have a culling license for the urchins because they are harming the reef), and saw lots more nudibranchs! 

Relaxing after the dive
Later in the day Doug, Jenny and I went for a short drive to the Gan Gan lookout and had a look at the stunning views from the top. The Rotary Club of Nelson Bay were actually recently involved in the refurbishment of this lookout, and I have to say it looks very smart!

One of the views from the lookout

After this we went for a bit of a wander around along some beaches and round the marina. Whilst on our wander we came across a lovely gentleman who was exercising  his turtle and drinking his whisky. I got to hold the turtle! (but not the whisky)

This might be one of my life aims now - to be able to take my turtle
out for a drink at the beach on a sunny Saturday afternoon 

On the Sunday I had a lie-in! And then I went to visit Geoff Diemer's oyster farm and he gave me a tour of how it all works. It was really interesting to see everything in context to the industry rather than just from a research point of view. I was shown the young oyster nursery area, and talked through the process of moving them around throughout their life.  We also went out on the boat and had a check of the oysters out in the bay - and I tried a nude oyster super fresh! I still think I prefer them a little warm and with a bit of lemon though.

Where the young (very tiny) oysters spend their days
The machine which quickly grades the oysters into
different sizes
Not a bad day to be out on the boat looking at the oysters!
About to try an oyster fresh from the sea
(I am pleased that I can make my face
look this ridiculous)
Geoff kindly donated to me a bag of oysters to share with Jenny & Doug - which we ate immediately when I returned home. We threw them on the barbecue - which makes them open (saving the process of opening them by hand and risking stabbing myself with the shucking knife), and then used the lemons from the tree in the garden to season them once they were hot. I am actually really warming to oysters now - probably not a taste I can afford to get used to.. And we ate our oysters with a couple of G&Ts made using the limes from the garden. A really excellent end to a lovely weekend!

Dinner :)

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