Tasmania: East Coast - Day 15

Sunday, Jan 09, 2005 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Since we wanted to be back at the Penguin Rookery tonight, we made a day trip out of our time on the island going to Adventure Bay, Cloudy Bay (lovely), Cloudy Corner, Cape Bruny Lighthouse, Jetty Beach, and back via Alonaha.

There is a very short 4WD beach run at Cloudy Bay to what is known as Cloudy Corner. The campsite here is quite idyllic. The Pines camp, which is low lying had been flooded out and abandoned and the Jetty Beach campsite was popular with families and those that like beach fishing, or kayaking and sailing. The Cape Bruny Lighthouse is worth the short but steep climb to the hilltop but like most lighthouses these days no access inside.

The timing of seeing the fairy penguins is from sunset onwards for about 2hrs. Since this would probably conflict with Chardae's bedtime, the boys offered to stay at camp with her. Mum and I were very keen to see the adult penguins returning from the sea and so we made sure that dinners were prepared and everyone happy to give ourselves time to prepare and arrive.

Leah was cooked her favourite dinner of sausages and Chardae had reheated vegies, a left over chop bone and a corn cob. David also had his favourite - chicken laksa and just to be sure I got my "leave pass" to see the penguins, I even agreed to let him go fishing while "Popo" played babysitter (although David was given a handheld UHF radio to enable Popo to call for help "in case the baby cried").

I drove the ExplorOz vehicle to the Penguin viewing platform at 8.30pm where we were the first to arrive. We met up with Lee the Interpretive Ranger who gave a talk about the penguins and showed us where we'd be likely to find them and fitting out everyone's torch with red cellophane. Eventually, about 50 people turned out and most stayed stayed until 10.30pm as we did. On the return drive, we had to be careful not to run over penguins, which would be waddling across the road to get to burrows on the other side of the isthmus. I was driving very slowly and soon noticed that I was being followed. Sure enough the vehicle followed us into camp and a man got out and identified himself as UteMad a regular user of our Forum. He and his wife had been on the island for 2 weeks and had just done the east coast. They yet to do the west coast and were booked to return on the same ferry to Melbourne we would be on. David returned from fishing in time to meet UteMad and we gave him a cap, stubby holder, and sticker which I believe was put on the ute.

We had a terrible night with the rowdy crowd being quite obnoxious. Sandy wasn't happy and stormed off to have words with Mr Loud Mouth but this only inflamed the situation. Mr Loud Mouth made it his mission to stay up all night swearing insults at her at the top of his voice. I don't think Sandy was the only one who lay awake dreading he might suddenly ambush our camp in retaliation but by 4am he passed out and we heard no more.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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