I’ve had a pretty eventful long weekend. Saturday was Australia day and i’ve been at a party socializing, drinking beer and playing some backyard cricket.

This Sunday and Monday I’ve been at the coast (near Batemans bay) with a friend and colleague, Steve from my group (rock physics). He suggested meeting a good friend of his at the coast, Norman, who is currently spending some holidays there in their coastal house. They have an old caravan in the yard where Steve and I could spend the night. It’s about 2.5 hour drive from Canberra to Batemans bay. There we had some good ol fish and chips for lunch before we drove to the house. Once we arrived and I introduced myself to the family we headed for a beach where there is some really good snorkelling. They have two children, one boy of 7 years old and a girl of 2 years old. They were incredibly energetic but very well behaved and entertaining. After scouting the area at the beach (there were some interesting igneous rocks ;-)) I did some snorkelling with Norman and he pointed me towards some really cool fish and even a brown shark hiding under the rocks. Being a fisherman, he knew a lot of interesting stuff. We also spotted a peculiar spiral shaped shark’s egg underwater. That evening we had a lovely meal with shrimps and fish and salad. I was mildy enthused that both Norman and his wife had been following the Australian Open tennis so we watched the finals between Tsonga and Djokovic. It was just spectacular. Djokovic was my favourite and I was pretty pleased he won that battle.

The next morning we got up really early (~5am) to go fishing. Norman brought us to a secluded spot and we caught the most incredible fish. I’ve never done any fishing before but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. The best fish I caught was the eastern blue groper (female). We also caught a red rockcod and the silver drummer amongst a few others. At around 10 am we headed back and decided for a last dive into the ocean. We had a couple bodyboards. I had never used one so I gave it a spin. Basically it’s all about timing. If you get off just before the wave hits, you end up riding the wave to the beach. I absolutely loved it. After that we prepared the fish we caught on the BBQ. They were really good. The different between fish from the market and freshly caught fish was really noticeable. The scraps we brought down to the beach and fed them to a couple of stingray that seemingly live in that bay. They are gorgeous creatures. One was almost a big as a car bonnet! By this time it was 2 pm and Steve and I had to leave back to Canberra. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera so no photos.

On a totally unrelated note, I will be off to Wagga Wagga for a 3 day conference from Tuesday on. The conference title is “Condensed materials and matter”. I will be one of the first to give an oral presentation which is just as well because I want to get it out of the way asap. I’m not a great speaker and in front of ~100 scientists it kinda makes me pretty nervous. First time as well! That’s it for now. 🙂