I’ve been learning about sea lions and seals in my homeschool science lessons. I learned that seals, sea lions, and walruses belong to the order of pinnipedia which means fin footed. We saw them once when we where paddle boarding. I saw its tail splash and then it popped its head up and went under Frankie’s board. After a couple seconds it porpoised (the thing that dolphins do) like three feet from their board and then left. The sea lions are very common and we see them on the rocks by the town beach.
This is Frankie. I just wanted to tell you about a really funny/awesome thing that happened when we were paddle boarding the other day. I had Mum on my board and Addie had Will on the other board and we were heading into shore to drop them off (Mum and Will) when Addie said “MOM, there is a SEAL (it was a sea lion but…) behind you!” Mom was freaking out saying “Are you sure it was a seal!” I couldn’t see it because I was paddling the board trying to keep it from tipping when I saw it jump out of the water about 10 feet away jumping like a dolphin! It was a really cool animal. We don’t have any pictures of it cause dad was turned around when it happened. Addie probably has a better story than me because she saw more of it than me. I was just afraid it was going to tip us over! LOL
Whenever Scott has a few days off in a row, we try to drop everything and go explore. Homeschooling gives us the flexibility to do this, this year while we are away, particularly since Scott works many weekends. We started school a few weeks ago, and I’m pleased with how far they’ve gotten on core subjects. Even traveling around in the vehicle leads to interesting lessons. Yesterday, Scott, our house philosopher, had them working on a big question about infinity 😳 and taught them to memorize all the books of the Old Testament.
I read them my favorite poems and stories by Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson. Clancy of the Overflow was the poem that made me want to live in the country. 😊
We spent a few days in Cervantes, a little over 2 1/2 hours south, a small beachside town with literally turquoise sea. There is a lobster receiving and live packing plant here and we did get to tour that, which was fascinating. China, Japan and Dubai are big buyers of Rock Lobster.
The Rock Lobster is a warm water lobster due to the phenomenon of the Leeuwin current on this side of Australia, making what should be cold water, tropical. This type of lobster doesn’t have the meaty claws but lots of meat in the tail. Of course, we took some back for some surf and turf that night.
The kids tried paddle boarding for the first time and loved it. Frankie particularly enjoyed it, and would have stayed out all day. Scott gave it a whirl and declared it a “warm weather sport” and I sat on the beach and agreed with him (it’s still winter here).
Some of us might be getting old 😆
We also toured the Pinnacles at Nambung National Park, just down the road from Cervantes. Check it out:
These odd rocks’ origin is a bit of a mystery, one theory is that they are petrified trees, another involves the leaching and recrystallizing/concreting together of calcium carbonate. They are a few thousand years old, from a time when oceans covered this land. Whatever they are, it makes for some remarkable viewing. They look like pointy hats growing in a desert. Addie has better pics which I’ll post later.
At 8.45am every morning, trusty volunteers feed the numerous pelicans that live at Kalbarri, close to where the river mouth meets the sea in a treacherous reef-sliced, swirling mass of waves and muddy river water. It’s a beautiful place to just stand around and watch for hours on end, but this weekend we were occupied with other important things such as fishing and pelican observation. Scott bought a surf rod and was determined to teach himself how to cast it out into the waves. He caught a few this weekend, but mostly learned a lot, and spoke to some fisherman who had some more experience. It was fun to watch him cast out, it went a LONG way!
We spent Saturday afternoon on a very fun canoe safari, which took us about 10k along the Murchison River, finishing close to the mouth of the river at Kalbarri. We hopped on a big 4WD bus towing canoes, about lunchtime, and bumped up and down for half an hour on something resembling a track that ran alongside the river. The driver eventually stopped, and asked his passengers if they’d rather push a bus, or drag canoes to the river bank! It’s been a little muddy after recent rains. He was just joking, but we did opt for dragging, and the guys in the group carried the boats to the water. Addie, Frankie and I in one boat and Will and Scott in the other. The canoe guide gave us about ten minutes to figure out what we doing, yell at each other, etc, before heading downstream.
It was wonderful, we saw all kinds of birdlife including some parrots, some wild goats, and something with a long tongue we couldn’t identify from the river, maybe a lizard. The canoe guide, who is also a chef by trade, met us about halfway along our route at the side of the river, where he was busy cooking sausages for hot dogs, with caramelized onions, which tasted delicious after the last hour of shoulder-killing rowing. We finished this off with some jelly donuts from the town bakery, and headed back to the boats.
We paddled for another hour or so, the last kilometer a little choppier with the mouth of the river approaching, but we arrived safely, tired and slightly triumphant! Sorry for the lack of actual canoeing pictures, there was at least a 100 percent chance of all electronics getting completely wet 🙂