Nancy Cove

We slept in after our adventures yesterday, and woke looking forward to a quiet day.

So it was quiet breakfast and reading in the cockpit, quiet motor around to Nancy Cove, quiet walk towards the West End with ospreys hunting and calling, quiet lunch back on Dusky Dolphin, quiet walk towards the settlement where we found a track we hadn’t been on before. The picture shows the swallows that settled on the lifelines.

Then the wind started to pick up and the waves into the bay started to pick up and thunderclouds reared their huge heads. Then we could see much lightening out to the west. After some deliberation we set off for the mainland about 5:15 which left us 45-60 minutes of daylight before dark set in. Someone watched over us because we didn’t pick up any craypots on the prop, didn’t get hit by lightening, and wove in the dark between the many ships at anchor on Gage Roads without mishap, arriving back at our our pen at 8:30pm. Got dinner, tidied up and went to bed.

Adventures 2 days in a row is very tiring!

Rotto Adventure!

Rob and Tris put their heads together this week to plan another of what Blaine calls “Campbell male adventures”! They didn’t know, though, what an adventure it would prove to be…

Saturday morning, VERY early, we all got up to be ready in time: Rob and I left home by 7:15 to be at the boat by 8am. I stayed on the boat and unpacked and stowed while Rob drove to the ferry terminal to buy tickets back from Rottnest for Tristan and his family. Then Tris arrived in his “new” 2001 “truck” (a Jackaroo 4X4). They transferred all the people, food and day’s things to Rob’s little Astra and drove back to the sailing club. They all arrived at Dusky Dolphin around 9am just as I finished getting everything ready for them! Drink and food, plus seasickness tablets for Blaine then we untied the moorings by 9:30am as planned.

Wind was more than forecast as usual so it was bumpier than planned so poor Blaine suffered with her cold as well. In the picture she’s on Tristan’s left, curled up in the sun. Thea went off after an hour or so, so we gave her some drugs too and she picked up again. We knew she felt better when she started to burble once more:-) Once we were in the lee of Rotto the water was much flatter and everyone started thinking about lunch:-)

Which we had before noon – a good spread. Then Tristan, Blaine and Thea disappeared into our bunkroom for a sleep, and Tom settled into his own little bunk for a rest. Rob and I cleaned up, did the dishes and got the dinghy into the water with all its bits and pieces.

2:15 and Rob set off with the first load of people for the shore. By 2:35 we were all lined up at the bus-stop, and the round-Rotto bus came soon after. We all had a good trip right around the island, pointing out bays, osprey nests and other things that Rob and I really enjoy about this very special place.

Back at the settlement we enjoyed afternoon tea, then waved good-bye to TBTA as they set off on the ferry back to Fremantle. They planned to get into Tris’s truck in the ferry carpark once they got there and go home. Rob and I walked back to Porpoise Bay and dinghied out to our boat (about an hour). However we got a call from Tris some time later asking if we’d seen his car keys…we looked high and low and couldn’t find them. So they took the train from Fremantle to our place, got Rob’s car keys and mine, drove my car back to the sailing club, found Tristan’s truck keys in Rob’s car, drove to the ferry terminal and finally got into the truck, drove the truck AND my car back to our place, left my car there, and drove back to their place picking up take-away dinner on the way!

Now Tom loves outings where he goes on a number of buses/cars/whatever, but that certainly beat anything he’s done in one day before!

Family @ the Zoo

This morning we all gathered at the Perth Zoo. Kids were busy running between short spells of watching and admiring the animals and birds in the lovely surroundings they have there now.

And it was good to remember and honour the many wonderful and amazing creatures with whom we share this planet. So many animals like the little capuchins and big orangutangs are under extreme threat to survive as a species, so at least they are safe and cared for here even if conceptually they should be in the wild. But their “wild” is being cut down and destroyed daily…

It amazes me sometimes that the earth still allows us humans to continue to dominate this lovely planet!

After the First Winter Storm

Well it’s not quite winter – 9 days away yet. But on Thursday night the first BIG storm came through! Woken at 3am with screaming winds and hail lashing our bedroom wall and windows. Wet and wild all Friday. LOTS of rain on Friday night.

Then this morning as Rob and I sat in our lounge room having breakfast, I noticed something different about the air, something…clean…and fresh…and full of the rich leafy smell of our garden.

It’s been such a long dry that I’d forgotten how good it was, that smell:-)

And the birds were very happy and very busy!

Mothersโ€™ Day

This morning I picked up my mother about 11am and brought her back to our place for an early lunch with Tristan, Blaine and the kiddliwinks. It is perhaps the clearest view of her persistent tiredness these days that she did not want to be the centre of attention, but rather was happy to listen to the burbling that always happens around our table. After lunch, while Tristan went to hockey and I read to the kids before their naps, Blaine had a good chat with her.

I took Mum to Gordon’s place to be taken over the his sister Bette’s for afternoon tea. She was tired by then so I hoped she would handle it OK. Then I came back and Rob and I went to watch Tris play hockey (the goalie in the big blue outfit!) – I’d elected to have our Mothers’ day gathering there as Jeanette couldn’t come to lunch. It was a challenging game, playing one of the top teams. At one point one of Tris’s team-mates who the group was who keep making a noice whenever Tris did anything. He replied “Oh, that’s my family”. So while Tom and Thea (after she’d woken up and Blaine had arrived with her) played behind us with little hockey sticks, we watched and cheered when Tris did anything good (often) and when they won!!!

It was a good day:-)

Magic Moment!

After a very busy day of cleaning our house and boat, we took time out to rush up to the DNA Tower on the hill in nearby Kings Park to see if we could catch the full moon rising as the sun set in the west.

We watched and waited while others came up and went down the tower, then Rob spied it to the east, peaking over the hills (in the picture with the sun still on the buildings in the foreground) . An English lady was watching, wondering what it was, and I told her that it was indeed the full moon rising. So very soon everyone else there was sharing the magic moment.

As it rose into the mauve of the sunset, the sunset was reflected in the water of the Swan River. Later on the moon was reflected in the river – magic !!!


This old watch looks very ordinary until you turn it over.

The date on the back is the date that Rob passed his final anaesthetic exam in Melbourne and I was there to present him with the watch. The thing that’s always amazed him, and still does, is that I had that watch engraved about 30 days BEFORE the event, before he sat and passed the exam.

How did I know he would pass, without a shadow of doubt?

Well, I guess I just did…

Sadly, now the watch has stopped working and cannot be fixed. But we will keep it somewhere safe to remember the day that Rob made his dream of becoming a doctor, in the way that he wanted to be a doctor, come true…

The Crystal Rabbit

I found this gorgeous little creature in Elwyn’s old bedroom at our place, when I dusted all her trophies and ornaments a while ago. It was a present to her from someone – she loves little things like that.

Sadly when I found him one of his ears was broken and both feet had fallen off. So I packaged him up and took him into town to find a “hospital” which would make him better. That took some tramping around but eventually Proud’s jewellers took him on.

Yesterday I picked him up from his “hospital”. Somehow the jeweller had fashioned a new ear and put him all back together again.

Doesn’t he look gorgeous?

And he’ll fly with me to London in June to join Elwyn in her flat in Fleet:-)

The Way We Were

Today is Howe Synnott’s birthday. He and Rob were friends most of the way through school and have been ever since, whereas Rob and I met in university when we were studying medicine together.

One day early in our courtship, Rob and Howe took me to their favourite crayfishing beach north of Perth. Howe recorded my reaction to Rob’s catch on camera!

When Rob emailed Howe with birthday greetings today, he attached this photo to the email to remind Howe of the way we were:-)