September 2003

Click pictures to see the full-size photos.

Aerial photos of Drummoyne and Balmain

Stories from two continents. Peter and Claudia spend the first half of September 17.000 km apart from each other: Peter being in Heidelberg/Schwetzingen, Claudia in Sydney. This, however, not every single day, since her project takes her to Wollongong for a couple of days. Because our Homepage tells stories from Australia, the beginning of this report concentrates on Claudia's endeavours. In other words: On kayaking.

Parking problems on the camp ground

Paddling weekend at Jervis Bay. It is such a great relief for Claudia that her shoulder slowly, very slowly, allows the full range of movements again, that she simply enjoys the fact to be able to kayak again without major restrictions. Andrew has organised a kayaking week-end in Jervis Bay. Together with Kevin, she starts into a long week-end already on Thursday. With a newly outfitted boat (see Monthly Report August 2003) and the security that an experienced and strong partner offers, they go out on the water on Friday, despite a strong wind warning. The trip goes from Honeymoon Bay alongside Longnose Point to the sheer cliffs of Point Perpendicular and further to Crocodile Head. On the way back the wind picks up, headwind from inside the bay! Behind the two only New Zealand, beneath them 100 m vertical cliffs. On this day, Claudia and her shoulder are being demanded, though Kevin claims that he would easily have been able to rescue her in case of necessity. To finalize this day, back in Honeymoon Bay, Claudia does a perfect Eskimo roll – the only one on this wee-end, all other attempts shall fail :-( The other two days on the water are calmer and sunnier. The cristal clear water of Jervis Bay is enjoyable.

Alarm clock? Not necessary – We have a kookaburra!

Rabbit in the moon. The next week-end is again scheduled for paddling, again in the well-adjusted Claudia-Kevin-team. This time in Berowra Creek, where Peter and Claudia did an "overnighter" way back in April. Far from civilization the tents are put up and a camp fire lit (we paddled the the wood with us for 20 km only for this purpose). It is full moon, and the story of the "rabbit in the moon", that shall later spread like a bush fire, is told the first time. Task for all Europeans in Europe: Go out in the next clear full moon's night, duck, and have a look through your legs to the moon, so that you see it "upside down" (that is how we look at the moon here in Australia), and let us know, if you spot a rabbit in the dark spots of the moon.

Back home. The day of Peter's return to Sydney, we have a big BBQ on our balcony. Peter oversleeps the welcome-champagne (with strawberry, yum) and missed out on the first 2 kg of barbequed prawns, but arrives in our time zone soon afterwards. Welcome back home, Peter!

The birthplace of the Mirages

Kayak order. Now, Peter is infected as well. He needs a new, better kayak. The current one is good enough for sheltered waters and calm weather conditions. On the open sea, however, and in rough wind and swell, it soon comes to its limits of controlability. What is custom for car buyers is custom for kayak buyers as well: To fetch the new transport toy directly from where it is produced. The pendant to Zuffenhausen for car buyers is called Gosford for kayak buyers, and the analogon of the smart glassy show room in which newly produced cars await their new owner reminds us rather a backyard workshop. Despite, such external differences are irrelevant. A Mirage is lifted atop every doubt. Claudia has learned from the adjustments made to her boat and has precisely defined every single modification to a standard boat. For Peter, only the choice of the colour is left – everything else is done according to the classical gender roles... Before we forget: The new kayak will be sapphire blue-white-apple green and will be ready by mid-October. A photo will follow in the next Monthly Report.

On the way down

Wentworth Falls Track. After the episodes above it is hard to believe: Not all of our sparetime activities are kayak-related. In the following story, we will present Paul. Paul is a new colleague to Peter who only just relocated a couple of week ago from Germany. At one of his last visits, he had seen the Three Sisters from the visitor's platform. But this cannot be everything for someone who calls Nepal his favorite travel destination. Hence, the three of us descend into the Jamison Valley at the Wentworth Falls. Signposts along the track read "Experienced walkers only" and "Descend facing the wall". Our awards are gorgious pools at the foot of the waterfall, rain forest, and a picnic on the rocks in the river. Again, we are reminded how easily a week-end becomes a short holiday.