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We took a day trip on the water taxi to Stradbroke, armed with only an iPhone as camera.  Back to playing with haiku with these three photographs.

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Bluebottle poses

(with tassels tucked underneath)

as a small pillow.

bluebottle-stradbroke-island

Scattered randomly,

beach obstacles in the sand,

– driftwood as sculpture.

driftwood-stradbroke-island

Skipping over waves,

a kite surfer grabs cross-winds

for the love of speed.

kitesurfer-stradbroke-island

We’re off tomorrow on a road trip, just me, my American travelling companion (henceforth to be referred to as TC) driving a 9 year old Holden Viva called Veronica.

For the next week and a half, I hope to bring you regular briefings on our notes and observations. The route will remain a close-kept secret to all but the driver to avoid accusations of getting us lost.

In the meantime, we broke TC in to some Australian cultural experiences with a couple of nights on Stradbroke Island. A State of Origin football match at the Bowls Club was a curiosity, but not nearly as big a hit as the natural wonders of the island. Here are a few highlights.

Early morning Ibis – Adder Rock beach

early morning ibis - Adder Rock Beach - Stradbroke Island - 2 June 2016

Eastern Osprey – Adder Rock

Eastern Osprey c - Adder Rock - Stradbroke Island - 2 Jun 2016Eastern Osprey - Adder Rock - Stradbroke Island - 2 June 2016 - b

Kangaroo and dunes south of Main Beach

Main Beach - rainy day - 3 June 2016 - Stradbroke island

Roo on sand dune - Main Beach - Stradbroke Island - 2 June 2016

Sooty Oyster-Catchers – Main Beach

Oyster catchers - Main Beach - Stradbroke Island - 3 June 2016

Myora Springs at low tide. No place demonstrates the value and beauty of mangroves as this one.

Myora Springs - 3 June 2016Myora Springs - low tide - 3 June 2016Myora Springs 2 - 3 June 2016Myora Springs 1 - 3 June 2016

 

There was a healthy breeze picking up as the mid-morning car ferry left Cleveland on Saturday. We were on the best kind of day trip, one that’s combined with a catch up with friends.

Car ferry to Stradbroke Island - 6 Sept 2014

The gannets and pelicans were fishing on Flinders Beach. We were blown away by the wind on the North Gorge Walk then finally our patience was rewarded as we saw whales amid the choppy ocean, fin slapping as they headed south.

Windy day - Main Beach Stradbroke Island 6 Sept 2014

Then it was a picnic lunch at Cylinder Beach, some dolphins close in the waves, non-stop talking and laughing.

Cylinder Beach picnic - 6 Sept 2014

Main Beach - Stradbroke Island 6 Sept 2014

The last beach run in the vehicle became a race against the incoming tide.

Brown Lake - Stradbroke Island 6 Sept 2014

A stop at Brown Lake before ice-creams and a small tipple on the ferry home. It was a good day. A very good day.

Stradbroke FerryNorth Stradbroke Island is so close to where we now live, it’s a shame that our trip this past weekend is only the second time we’ve crossed the bay since we moved here.

It’s a magical place to find some space to clear your head and soul.

There is no bridge to the island. That is a good thing. It means you need to make an effort for the journey and book a space on the ferry. So when an invitation arises from friends to spend time with them at their beach camp site, there is no other answer but yes.

Stradbroke Island - Google Maps - FX Hue YellowStradbroke - Flinders Beach Instagram

Stradbroke - camp site 2 - Grunge 01.

The site on Flinders Beach was nestled in behind the dunes where we communed with local wildlife including curlews, goannas, magpies and willy wagtails. Closer to the beach, it was the territory of gulls, terns, pelicans, oyster-catchers and sea-hawks.

Stradbroke - panorama - campsiteStradbroke CurlewStradbroke - goanna - Gritty 13

Stradbroke - Flinders Beach pelicans - Grunge

On Sunday afternoon, we took the North Gorge walk near Point Lookout where we had stunning coastline views and watched turtles and manta rays swimming below. During the season, this is a top spot for whale watching.  Any season, it’s a top spot for gelato after the walk.

Stradbroke - Main Beach 2 - FX

Stradbroke - Gorge walk waveStradbroke - gelati - Grunge

It rained through our second night. Nothing sends you to sleep better than that sound.

If all of the above wasn’t enough, fishing, freshly-caught fish dinners, scrabble, walks on the beach, drives up the beach, crosswords, books, wine and good companions were in the very enjoyable mix.

Friends who don’t live locally beware. When you come to visit us, a trip to the island is at the top of the list.

Scrabble

Stradbroke - twilight beach reflections

Here are three Bush Stone-Curlews we met on Stradbroke Island. Also known as the Bush Thick-Knee, they are remarkable for being able to stand, sit and kneel. Here are a few individual and family portraits. The fourth photo in this series shows one of the curlews demonstrating the reverse kneel.

Stradbroke - Curlew 6 - Tilt shift - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 9 - Grunge

Stradbroke - Curlews 5 - tilt shift - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 4 - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 7 - Grunge 20

Stradbroke - Curlew 1

sunrise over Stradbroke Island -Turin effect

if you are awake

if you are awake and out of bed early enough

you may catch a promise

as the light and warmth expands

to meet this morning

there’s nothing certain in its onset

still

this new day shines for you

to bathe in its light

to use as you might

Lynn Buckler Walsh