Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 4

Pre dawn wake up for a lighthouse at sunrise shot.  Alas, Yamba was overcast and raining. We were disappointed as the morning just became light. No ceremony. Just dark then light .GRR I gave up and decided to shoot the pub clinging to the hill. We turned to after the cameras started dripping with rain to spy a rainbow over the replica lighthouse. COOL.
Breakfast and headed north. We attempted to find the Ballina RTA to register David's car but failed as we had already passed the shopping centre.
The Richmond River Lighthouse was not where we expected it to be, on lighthouse road but David looked up the hill and saw a white dome. AHA! Found it.

Richmond River #lighthouse at Ballina

Onwards to Byron Bay. As the weather has warmed up and schoolies are everywhere, parking was at a premium. Esp at the gate that states $7 per car past this point. David wanted to take fresh pics so he headed up the hill and after a short argument with some tourists, I agreed to double park as the guy I was parking was going to be a while. After a time, a lady turned up and got in her car. As she was taking her time, and other cars were circling, I asked if she was leaving. "I will as soon as I can get the car to Start" OK.. I started her car and yay! scored a park.  Finally I got to head up the hill. I met up with David and we headed for the most eastern part of the country. For once the museum was open so I stuck my head in. Some interesting stuff there, but nothing about tours of the light itself. Off to the lighthouse keeper's cottage which was also open.

Byron Bay #lighthouse
David had beaten me to the shop and he arranged with the saleslady to buy the copies of the two books I had wanted for ages and even had sourced a rare lighthouse map. WOW! :-) Not cheap. It was scarily expensive. As Byron Bay was infested with schoolies we absconded.Next stop was Fingal Head and its lighthouse. This lighthouse is another little lighthouse. One of 5 (well 4 plus the replica in Yamba) Only 7m high. It is accessible through a shady walk past the beaches. Very pretty place with turquoise ocean and white sand. Bush turkeys run around and David spotted a sea eagle in a tree. He headed down the cliff to the rocks and saw two others.
Fingal head #lighthouse

Heading into Tweed heads, we finally found an RTA. :-) Whist there we picked a random hotel from wotif and checked in, only to head off to Point Danger.

Point Danger lighthouse was built in the 1970s and screams 70s. There is no doubting it.

Captain cook memorial #lighthouse obviously built in the 1970s

The beach below the light is stunning. Its calls to you to swim at it.

Trig point? or marking the border on the headland

Too much sun for me, I really need to move to Tasmania. EVERYONE loves the sun and heat and I hate it. I love my aircon. SO Back to the hotel but we left soon after for David to swim at Rainbow Beach. Sunset shots at the Point Danger Lighthouse

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

northern Lights tour day 3

Not our most successful day, the weather beat us most of the time.
The room's bed was so comfortable that when David left for sunrise photos at the hotel's beach, I stayed put. Only when he returned and mentioned breakfast did I move.
Breakfast was the standard you get at any large hotel.
We headed off with blue skies.

When we arrived at David's surprise, the local aero club, but from here, the day's weather stopped playing nice. The Aero club is grounded as the Chief Instructor is not rubber stamped by CASA so they cannot accept joyflights or lessons. Whilst we were there, I was even offered a job. HA!! NO way I would return to flying for a living. Thats not a way to live at all. I was flattered though. :-) Whilst the lady was talking, the weather front hit. I was outside when it hit. The wind was fierce then the clouds followed. Even the skydivers stopped jumping. SO dejected, we headed up to Dorrigo to the railway compost museum. I am not really exaggerating. Some of the wagon there are being broken down by ferns into compost.
Here, David was in his element, but the winds and the rains followed. We retreated to the Dorrigo Antique centre, mostly trash but a few interesting things.. then the pub for lunch.

As we had run out of petrol, and there were no places that took my lease petrol cards, so instead of heading North east, we went back down the hill and found a small place that took starcard. The car has to be fed too.

Lots of driving to get to our first lighthouse that we would access via road. This turned out to be Yamba. There is so much road work that driving for David is a chore. The constant speed changes are a nightmare.

The Clarence head light #lighthouse
Clarence River Lighthouse is a fairly modern lighthouse for this coast. Built in 1955, it was to replace a tiny 1880 lighthouse that was obscured by the building of the hotel a block away and the soon to be built water tower. The little lighthouse was demolished in 1956 but in 1987 the little lighthouse was rebuilt and is in use as a radio station.
A replica of the Barnett #lighthouse built 1987
We hung around Yamba, taking in the fishing bay, the surfers and even watched a sea eagle float on the winds.
Fishing boats #ships #boats
We settled into a family room at the Yamba Motor Inn. Hopefully up for dawn photos at the lighthouse

Monday, November 19, 2012

Northern lights Tour 2012

Packing went well into the night, it didn't help that I was  out cold for most of the afternoon.
3.00 AM alarm,and we were off to north head to see the arrival of Rhapsody of the seas and the Kokomo (yacht).

Rhapsody of the seas arrives in #sydney taken with  #canon M  David drive to palm beach to see Barrenjoey lighthouse.  We were 3 hours early for the first tour but as I was ill, the walk took over at one hour to climb the stairs. Talk about steep. The Weather was overcast and humid, so I sat and watched the Humpbacked whales frolic in the bay. Of course I managed to get sunburnt. The first tour was at 11am, which is ridiculously late in the day. People had been arriving since 9am with children and leaving when they realised that it was 2 hours before a tour.
When the volunteers did turn up, they were disorganized but very friendly. :-) ALas I knew more about the light then they did. :-( Still for the kids it was a great tour and for $5 worth every cent. The Lighthouse keeper's house is being restored. A stunning house with multi million dollar views across Palm beach.

Barrenjoey #lighthouse

After the tour, we had to race to Norah head to make the final tour of the day at 1330hrs. We made it with 2 minutes to spare and Talked to Sue about the Box brownie in the museum collection whilst we waited for Terry to finish the previous tour. This pair are friendly and knowledgable about the building and the history of the families that had lived here. I wandered up to the car to get a film for Sue for her Brownie and a wedding party turned up. A massive burgundy Cadillac Limo. Of course I had to take photo but I had only a film camera with me and for the life of me, I couldn't remember what film was in it. It turned out to be 50asa B&W. OOPS. Oh well David took heaps of photos.
NExt leg was to Nelson Bay for the Inner light and Point Stephen light house.
Port Stephen Lighthouse was now inaccessible by foot. David spoke to the Lifesavers on duty and later the Maritime, Search and rescue ppl about this and it turns out that the sand bar that acted as a bridge was washed away last October (2011) and the last men who tried to swim it ended up in hospital after being rescued. Highly dangerous thing to attempt. The only way to reach the lighthouse was via charter boat or plane. Rats. Foiled by weather.
The inner light is under renovation so also not open but you can visit the museum and tearooms.
Stopped for the night at Marty's at Little beach. This place is comfortable and close to the beach. Its odd though.. there is no phone in the room and there is noone to check you out at 0830hrs, We had to leave the key in the room.
Diner was at the Golf club. The view from the bistro is stunning. We watched golfers dodge ducks and roos as they played. :-)

My view 4 dinner #golfclub

Sunset @ little beach nelson bay
Day 2
Got to sleep in. Was still sick. :-( But D allowed me to sleep in YAY:-) We had breakfast at the local milkbar which was surprisingly awesome.
Headed up the hill to see the WW2 bunker, but it was closed. GAck.
Off to the next spot. David took us to Seal Rocks and Sugarloaf point Lighthouse.
Sugarloaf point #lighthouse
Stunning location. They have the lighthouse keeper's and assistant keeper's houses for let but its $400 plus a week in summer and the traditional off season is called Whale season so its $3700. Geez I can go to Japan for a week for two ppl on a recent groupon voucher for that. AND have spending money as change.
Next up was Crowdy Head lighthouse. This is so cute!! A tiny tower and two store rooms. It was the last of a series of small lighthouses designed by James Barnet, the others being Fingal Head, Richmond River, Clarence River and Tacking Point.

Crowdy Head Lighthouse
The keeper's cottage was long gone. :-( . This lighthouse had only one keeper. it was automated in 1928.
We headed to Tacking point next. Looked the same as Crowdy Head but this little place was automated in 1919 and de-manned in 1920. Poor little lighthouses.
Tacking point #lighthouse
 The weather had turned nasty now, so David cancelled the next lighthouse for this leg. The wind was very strong. Probably just as well. We headed for shelter of the hotel. Tonight is the Opal Cover Resort.  Instead of paying ridiculous prices at the bistro, we headed up the road to the pub for their 241 pizzas. David ordered me a lighthouse pizza. It was actually really yummy.
Where do I start with this?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


the last few days has seen me at Harvey Norman getting overcharged for toys.
It started out Innocently enough...I had to deliver my laptop For Service,so David and I browsed the store.. I discovered, that i could renew my lease at no additional cost to me and replace the older laptop. My older laptop is a year old and was set up for manipulating photos. The problem with it, was, a windows 7 update broke the software. (it was subsequently fixed)

SO, i renewed the lease, and included in the new lease was a new laptop, (solida state windows 8) 16 gb of RAM to be included, a Samsung S 3 and a free playstation for D (We have one already) lappy bag and a wi-fi point thingy. The only things I really got to take home was the doodad, but this is most useful. ($15 for 3 gb, $20 for 6 and $30 for 10gb) the rest were to be delivered the next day being thursday. Rats.

David went to update his amplifier and I ended up with a fancy pants coffee machine.

So the next day, David and I headed back to Harvey Norman. I pre-ordered the canon M in red. but after an hour, nothing had been delivered, so we dejectedly went to lunch via cash converters. OOPS found a Samsung Galaxy Note 1 so I bought that. (At great expense....) SO I finally had a toy. Of course I didn't NEED it. Depression and shopping, a bad bad mix.

Wandered over to mother's place and installed my aldi coffee machine (mother makes terrible coffee) so I could have decent coffee when visiting. (And D some cocoa) It became clear that I had forgotten the water reservoir FAIL.

I actually, in a lot of ways prefer my aldi machine to the new fancy pants one. The coffee in the new machine all seem to be sugared so mostly too sweet for me. Mother was happy as D fixed a power point and she got papers signed. She also became enamored with the Note. (Don't blame her) Will see if I can get a Note 2 for me and she can have this one.

At some point inthe afternoon I snapped and it will all just too much. Plus the weather had turned nasty so David drove me home. I received a call from HArvey Norman at 1714hrs... I was asleep.. BUT they rang as promised. The lappy and the phone were there. SO I Collected the water thingy for the aldi machine and went back to Harvey Norman and collected the two items, then headed to mother's to drop the stuff off so I could leave the car at the station before heading off to work.

Work was busy busy busy. Lots of works trains and light engines for said works trains. Ugh. Before I knew it, it was home time, so I collected my car then broke into mother's place to get my stuff and FINALLY got home. David was up so we opened the laptop package. I cannot get my head around windows 8. ANYWAY we looked at all the specs and the RAM had not been installed as promised. Well half had been. AARGHHH A phone call to Harvey norman and it was credited as a store credit to use on my camera order. :-/


I went to sleep around 10am, waking up at 1930, having not slept all that well so I was exhausted. I had send the Galaxy Note to Canberra so help Karen diagnose her wi-fi issue... so I had the galaxy S3 to play with . Compared to the Note, the S3 is not as good. Wierd... as it is the flagship phone for Samsung.. I would love to trade it for a Note 2. Or maybe sell it. Am I converting away from Apple Iphones?? Unlikely. In many many ways the apple still rules the roost. BEsides I have my belived shift worker's app which samsung has no replacement for.

Mail in Andiord is hyper annoying..BUT the Note is the mega awesome of phone cameras... Truely amazing. I took photos of David's Cicada with the Galaxy Note, the iphone comaprison was colourless and washed out, the harsh light being too much for the IP. IN HDR, the IP is better, but only because the best app is only on apple.

I had been woken up by a call at 1733, from Harvey Norman, my camera had arrived. what?? Was supposed to be weeks! one day. Hmmmm

Headed to work S3 in hand. Used it for a whole "day" still prefer the Note.

Saturday AM had me waiting in Harvey Norman car park to await opening. I headed in and pulled my long suffering sales man out of his AM pow-wow and he was surprised about the camera's fast delivery too. ALAS the adapter had not arrived. I managed to get two 32gb sd cards included and my store credit was on the invoice but David's scrutiny later on reveals the check out lady didn't deduct the $400 FFS How hard is it for this store to get accounting correct??? I was so tired that I never noticed. Am I doomed to be ripped off $400?? The instruction to reduce the cost $400 was there!!! she just didn't do it.

WELL all that aside the Canon M is a cute little toy. Surprisingly heavy for its deminuative size, the shutter goes clunk like it was made of cast iron. The camera had all the EOS menus and even built in HDR, even though I prefer bracketing and manual processing. It shoots RAW, it has a surprising crop of 1.6, the bigger cameras have this crop, I was expecting a higher crop censor.. tracking AF and like the Canon EOS 550 and 6, touch screen shutter. That is cool! I love being able to touch the menu items instead of scrolling endlessly. 4.3 fps is not too shoddy although I have been spoiled by the 7D and the 5d3...I love this camera. I felt sad for Kevin who was uable to source a white or red M, he will have to settle for the generic black one. :-( The read is a beauty. This little cam is also compatible with my GPS (GE-2) and had its own adorable flash. Its so very tiny!

Not ready for work tonight.. fatigue is dogging me but David came home from Canberra early so we had a lovely meal at Indys, Am a fan of Lamb Saag. YUMM!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Lotsa owls turned up...I have now a huge parliament of owls as necklaces...

Oh! And the shirt if a favourite from Sara -Ezibuy.
Survived the troubles.. They did lose my drug test.. But after extensive time in purgatory, they found it after three days. Geez. Considering I didn't need to take a test, just posturing by management to seem to be doing something. I did get some good info from the trainer,so all was not lost.
Got an iPad mini, I was convinced of its usefulness, even though ppl are bleating about its resolution. I love it. Easier to hold & lighter then the iPad but a huge margin. It fits in my handbags, therefore being handier. I was tossing up the idea of selling my iPad 2, 64 gb, when an old friend texted me with an offer. Win! My biggest concern for me is no cellular. Wi- fi only. ugh my poor phone will be my modem for the next few months.
think i still need a full size ipad for my general laptop use...
Hurricane Sandy was amazing to watch, I used my marine watch app to get a wind image which was very telling...

I was shown this Fibonacci spiral made by the hurricane... So very cool.. Maths is simply amazing..

To cheer my week a Russian Zenit arrived..

Which took me a while to get used to. its a camera i will struggle to focus, but its cool factor cannot be denied.
Also in the mail was a complete Yashica 635 TLR with 135 kit.?beautiful camera.

Works well. I was surprised to find that this is older than the Yashicamat 124 that lives in my house. Both are a dream to use.

Spring has arrived, today being over 34°C the city is buzzing with beautiful ppl, so the yashicamat and I did some street shooting.

The perfect street photog camera, modern times have taught ppl that you lift a phone to you eye.. Not look down at it.. Lol

To finish, am the proud owner of a tee-fury shirt..

Very cool!!
Druey popped over for trivia on Thursday last, the steak was excellent, and we lost at trivia.. Eh, we go for the $15 steak anyway! Good to get out. Dressed in work clothes, it was inevitable that I would spill food, and I did . Grr on a favourite scarf.. Mind you, I have plenty of scarves thanks to and the ones I don't love, my mother seems too.. Had a HUGE leopard print scarf.. Suited mother to a tee! (She took some crocs too )
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Location:Menangle Street,Picton,Australia