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Until next time

August 23, 2013

It’s been six months since we returned from our adventures in the South Pacific and Australia, so it seems well past time to put a cap on this page. Thanks to you all for joining us on our travels. Julie has posted her final poem–for now–from our adventures, but you can always check out more of her work by following The JulieBook. Don’t stop following this page, either—we are always dreaming of the next journey, and we’ll be sure to update here when we set off on our next adventure.

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Open at nightfall

June 26, 2013

Night Circus
“Not for children”
The sign should be posted
definitive no for youngsters
drawn to the curling columns,
cartoonish front panel of the
spiegeltent exterior…

continued at The Juliebook.

You say tornado, I say cyclone

June 5, 2013

Taken by Storm
We both describe the wall of water
ensnared in our cliché like anyone
caught by rain so intense it
erases original thought…

continued at The Juliebook.

Tail tracks

May 9, 2013

Goanna
He stalks through rain-starved grass
four stubby, talon-tipped legs propel
five feet of body and tail
light flecked like shadows across his path
disjointed footprints
swaying tail track in his wake…

continued at The Juliebook.

Healing rays

March 27, 2013

The Dive
(for CB)
Jam rocks in her pockets
Hunch her back with the final hour of
silver-encased breath
twenty extra pounds
add twenty years of age…

continued at The Juliebook.

Magnificent mantas

March 14, 2013

When there’s a cold, gray day splattered by graupel out the window, I feel happier looking at our final photo collection from our adventures. Hopefully you’ll feel the same way when you view the shots of gorgeous beaches and clear, blue waters.

The Hawaii portion of our trip couldn’t really be called a stopover, even when set against the prior few months of travel. It was in some ways an afterthought, in some ways an opportunity to drag out our return to winter, and in some ways just the perfect time to visit with family and friends. We flew from Sydney to Honolulu, where we met my sister and Gavin, as well as our friend Nicole and her infant son Dylan, to all board a plane to Kauai. We spent a few days there staying with our friend Julia, her twin 4-year-old daughters, and their very Porter-like puppy—whose exile to the backyard kept us from popping up our tent for George to hide in. Instead, he rallied for trips to the beach, a coastal drive, and an entertaining Valentine’s Day party at the local bar.

From there we flew to the Big Island, where the grand reunion began—”grand” because all of Gavin’s grandparents were on hand to be entertained by the little G man. He did a fabulous job, as you’ll see from his dominance of the album. It was our last chance to see him and Kristy until they and Adam move back to America in a few months, and we both will miss our little buddy.

But we had one final highlight from our trip: a night dive with giant manta rays. We talked my dad into joining us as a snorkeler, so the two video clips below feature both angles. This is one of the few times we would ever want to be diving in the same area as a lot of other people—because that’s what makes the dive so spectacular.

Here’s the scenario: Snorkelers hold onto lit floats from above; divers sit on the ocean floor shining powerful lights upward. The light attracts plankton. And the plankton attract mantas. They do backflips in the water column between the snorkelers above and the divers below, mouths open wide to capture plankton with every turn of their 14-foot-wide “wings.” I’m still trying to find the words to put the experience into a poem. For now, enjoy these:

Photos:
Hawaii: The last stop

Videos:
Mantas: Snorkeling with Rich
Mantas: Diving with George and Julie

Manta!

All video was filmed by Ocean Wings Hawaii; manta photos were taken by the same or captured from the videos. You can learn more about the specific mantas we saw and about the Big Island’s manta population in general at their website.

Current Location

February 23, 2013

Home! After nearly 4 months, we’re back on the U.S. mainland. To be precise, we’re back in Montana, in Julie’s house, curled up like Porter dog next to the wood stove. Because it is cold! There was more snow in the valley when we left in October, but it’s definitely winter here. It’s going to take our bodies a few days to adjust to the new climate. And Julie a few days to find where she packed away all of her winter clothes.

The last leg of our trip was excellent, if a little wetter than expected. We ducked most of the rain during our stay with our friend Julia on Kaua’i, but the north end of the Big Island was stormy most of our time with family there. By heading south toward Kona, we were able to find a great little beach for Gavin and get several snorkeling sessions in with Julie’s dad. But the highlight of Hawaii was a night dive with manta rays–unbelievable! We sat on the bottom of the ocean, shining powerful flashlights up toward the surface to attract plankton, which in turn attracted several manta rays up to 14 feet in width. We’ll have another round of photos and hopefully some manta video to share with you soon.

Porter and his wood stove.

Porter and his wood stove.

Current Location

February 11, 2013

Goodbye, Sydney. Goodbye, Australia. Goodbye, Southern Hemisphere. It’s finally time to start making our way back to the United States and home. But you should know by now that we like to take things slowly. So we are stretching out the trip a bit longer with a little tour of Hawaii. First stop is Kaua’i, which should be an adventure because we’re flying not only with Kristy and Gavin but also with our friend Nicole and her 10-month-old Dylan to visit another friend who has twin 4 year olds. Then it’s on to the Big Island with Kristy and Gavin, where we will meet my parents who’ve already flown in from Washington for some family time. How do I talk George into these things?

Melbourne and More Sydney

February 11, 2013

It’s been raining in Sydney the last couple of days and Kristy and Gavin are already in Hawaii, so we’ve been spending some of our indoors quiet time digging through photos. You can check out our Melbourne series and this year’s Sydney collection here:

Melbourne: The Great Ocean Road
Sydney 2013: In the new year

Enjoy!

Whitsundays

February 11, 2013

You’ve all read (of course you read them!) our posts about our adventures in the Whitsundays. But if you prefer photos to words or just want to see some pretty pictures, check out our Picasa album from that portion of our trip:

Whitsundays: Sailing and storms

If you’re interested in the carange from Cyclone Oswald along the mainland coast, scroll to the end of the album or, for video footage, check out the clips in this thread from Sailing Anarchy.