Hangin'

The iconic pic of a Koala...stress is not an issue for them. It's a good guess that this guy is still wedged in the same spot in his tree

A Sophie In The Wild

While out walking in one of the many national parks in Tasmania, a little 'roo is able to get up close to a rare, wild Sophie.

Griff Diving With The Turtles

We were on the Great Barrier Reef in the middle of the season for turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs. They'd stay in the water during the day (waiting for the cooler temps at night) which made for fun diving encounters.

Speaking Of Fun Diving Encounters

...here is Sophie with a large manta ray approaching. Our guess was 12' wingspan. One of the dive masters at Heron Island has not seen one in four years of diving on the reef and Soph bagged one on her second dive.

Whoa!

A little closer than expected when Sophie turned around. They're so smooth that they move with deceptive speed.

More Wildlife Encounters

In case you can't tell, that's an egg-laying turtle on the beach behind Griff. We woke up at 3:00am and hiked the beaches for two hours (with a naturalist) to watch the turtles come ashore and lay/bury their eggs. Remarkable.

Here's The Elegant Rear-end...

...of that female green turtle leaving her eggs in a pit. Once she's finished, she'll pack this pit tightly with sand and move a few meters away and dig a shallow decoy pit to throw off predators in search of eggs. Either that, or scientists give them underserved credit for digging a fake pit.

One Of Our Diving 'Trophies'

Each day, we created a list of target sea life to see and photograph. This is a Spanish Dancer...a few inches long, paper-thin and colorful...that moves through the water with graceful wave-like motions. A bit like a centipede with no legs. No...wait...that would be a worm.

Another Prize

Griffin, our family marine biologist, will be angry that I can't remember the name of this little yellow spotted box fish, but this little guy was one of our favorites. Maybe 'little yellow spotted box fish' is correct afterall.

Found Nemo

As a testament to the power of the movies, this fish, formerly known as the clown fish (not exactly an esoteric name) now seems to be universally known as a Nemo fish. Here one hangs invulnerable within an anemone, giving us the evil eye.

Happy New Year In Sydney

That's the opera house above Griffin. We enjoyed the fireworks with 1,000,000 (according to the paper) of our closest friends. The temp hit 46 degrees C (115F) on New Year's Day...a Sydney record. Hard to believe we'd soon be heading for the Ice Festival in Harbin.

Sophie Gets A Sense...

...for what life would be like with a man shorter than she. The jaunty pose seems to imply she could get used to it.

Sailing On Sydner Harbor

Our last day in Sydney was spent sailing and swimming in the harbor. Needless to say, Andy was steering the boat...but then who took this picture?

Sydney To Hobart Winner

We arrived in Hobart, Tasmania just as the famous race from Sydney was ending. This is the race in which many sailors died in heavy weather a few years ago. Here are Soph and Griff with this year's winner, 'Wild Oats.'

Our Last Day In Oz

Here is Griff saying goodbye to a wild wallaby we encountered on a hike. Nice to see Griff's parents have taught him to stay clear of wild animals who might be carrying rabies...too busy taking pictures, I suppose.