Out and About

Category: Ships Log
 

November 2016

A busy month of traveling and sightseeing!

In early November, I had to attend a 3-day bootcamp in Melbourne for a start-up accelerator called Bridge to Mass Challenge Australia (for the start-up company our lab directors are launching soon). Since neither Chris nor I had ever been to Melbourne, we flew down the weekend before to check out the city. Melbourne is in the state of Victoria in Southeastern Australia and is located on the coast. It has the feature of either receiving frigid weather from Antarctica in the south, or oven baking temperatures from the Outback to the northwest. Perhaps because of the crazy weather, many people prefer to stay indoors and thus Melbourne is known for its cafes and cultural life. And as we discovered, penguins! We had a very full two days giving ourselves a walking tour of the city, testing out the cafes and checking out the super cute little penguins on the jetty.

 

Out 1

Downtown Melbourne along the Yarra River.

 

Out 2

A lovely dessert cafe in Melbourne's Little Italy.

 

Out 3

There are a ton of graffiti-type paintings along the walls in Melbourne. 

 

Out 4

The cottage of Capt. James Cook's parents. The cottage was deconstructed in England and reconstructed in Melbourne. Kinda crazy.

 

Out 6

Sunset at the jetty and marina at St. Kilda.

 

Out 8

The St.Kilda jetty is home to a large colony of little penguins. Yes, their actual name is "little penguin" (though sometimes they are also referred to as fairy penguins) because they are the smallest species of penguin (Eudyptula minor).

 

A week later I went to Sydney for the next round of the Bridge to Mass Challenge accelerator. I had a bit of time to walk around and got another nice shot of the opera house:

Out 9

 

Then, to top off the month, we squeezed in a dive trip with our lab to North Stradbroke Island to see the grey nurse sharks before they head south for the summer. The grey nurse shark in Australia (Carcharias taurus) is a different species than the nurse shark many people are familiar with from the Caribbean or Baja California (Ginglymostoma cirratum). The Australian grey nurse sharks are not aggressive unless provoked and have no known human fatalities connected to them. However, unfortunately for them, they look rather fierce and thus many shark attacks were incorrectly attributed to them in earlier days. This led to widespread killing and now the population in eastern Australia is listed as critically endangered with only about 1500 individuals left. Hopefully with increased conservation efforts, their numbers will come back again. We also saw lots of other great animals like stingrays, sea turtles, nudibranchs, etc. while diving.

 

Out 10

We spied a koala mom with her joey napping in a Eucalypt next to the ferry station when we arrived on N. Stradbroke Island.

 

Out 11

A grey nurse shark swimming through "shark alley" off N. Stradbroke Island.

 

Out 12

A dorid nudibranch munching algae.

 

Out 13

A barred soapfish, Diploprion bifasciatum

 

Out 14

A first for me - we saw an ornate ghost pipefish!

 

Out 15

Bubble-tip anemone. These are so pretty!

 

Out 18

GoPro selfie of Chris and me.

 

Out 16

The Australian Centre for Ecogenomics diving crew.

 

Out 17

Sunset over Moreton Bay from the ferry as we leave N. Stradbroke Island.

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