Catching Fish- or not.

Day 11

11th May

Another beautiful day at Port Denison. The temperature is set to be 33 degrees- it was 35 yesterday- and there is hardly a breeze. Another day for walks on the beach, swimming and just general relaxing.

I start off the day with a quick trip to the Dongora Op Shop. It looked pretty interesting when I passed by it the other day and you never know what you can find in places like that. In the end I got two lovely jackets for winter- not planning on using them at the moment- and three books- Jimmy Barnes Autobiography, David Attenborough’s autobiograhy and a book on bushcamping with dogs in Australia. Quite some good finds.

The last one has a list of camp sites and caravan parks all over australia that accept dogs and while there are some handy tips they really can’t prepare you for everything. Our dogs are fantastic to travel with. They are good in the car; although sometimes you have to stop a lot more regularly than with kids because they don’t always tell you they need to pee so it’s safe to stop every couple of hours or so. We found that out the hard way on our first trip. Coco had an accident. Took us ages to get the smell out of the car. Luckily we now have neoprene seat covers and a dog canvas that attaches at the top of the back seat, covers the back of the seat and the seat and reattaches at the top of the front seat protecting the back of the front seats as well.

Being in caravan parks can be tough too. In free camps you can often choose where you want to park for the night and give yourself plenty of space but in caravan parks you are kind of limited especially if they are busy. Not everyone will be pleased that you have dogs with you and sometimes we get funny looks with two big dogs but they usually are okay with it when they realise they are super friendly and well behaved.

The problem we have encountered in this park is that all around us there are caravaners with dogs. Our dogs love to socilaise with other dogs but not all dogs are like that. On one side of us we have a finnish Laphound, Shimmer. She likes to sit under their caravan and watch our dogs play. On the other side is Gizmo which I think is a shitzu. Gizmo doesn’t like other dogs, especially big dogs. Gizmo has been terrorised by his neighbours dogs for years with several emergency trips to the vet so it’s totally understandable that he doesn’t like other dogs. As a result we’ve had to shorten our dog’s lead so that they can’t get around our caravan and get too close to Gizmo or Shimmer. That’s okay though, and they all settled in after a few hours and it’s only when they walk past each other that they get a little bit excited.

This morning we took the dogs for a walk along the water front- following my steps from this morning when I went out early and took some lovely photographs of the harbour at sunrise. We hadn’t checked out the shops at Port Dension- turns out there is a bottlo, a fish and chip shop, a corner shop style grocery store and a bakery. Surprisingly Mark managed to get some gear for fishing as he needed some wire traces. He’s been out two nights in a row and lost all of his hooks – and caught no fish. 😦 He thinks it’s because he doesn’t have wire traces which helps prevent the line from snapping on sharp rocks. They didn’t have exactly what he wanted but they had the gear so he could make them.

My husband is quite handy with a lot of things and fishing tackle is another thing he’s good with. He worked out that the knots he had been using weren’t strong enough for the slippery baided line that he was using so he googled some knot tying videos and taught himself how to make a better stronger knot and then he made up his own wire tracers. He’s so pleased with himself that he’s decided he will no longer buy premaid tracers but will, from now on, make his own.

The proof will be in the pudding. He’s gone fishing again tonight and this time he reckons he will catch something. The tide is just right, he’s got all the gear and last night he spotted some large fish hanging around. He just couldn’t catch them because his line snapped and he lost all his gear. We will see.

Meanwhile the dogs have crashed after another afternoon run and swim on the beach and I am relaxing with a good book. Being on holidays is just great. Wish it could last forever.

Fun for Pooches at Port Dension

10th of May

Today is the first of two full days we have here at Port Denison. As we have done a lot of driving and one night stops this trip, and our next ones are designed for us to relax, chill, for Mark to do some fishing and above all give the dogs a chance to run and play.

So far, for most of our trip Coco and Sam have had to be on the lead. We’ve taken them for walks so they have had some exercise but they really haven’t had much of a chance to run and play off lead like they do at home. This has been in part to the long hours we have been in the car, being in the goldfields area where 1080 bait is prevalent and having no off lead dog areas.

Here at Port Dension there are sections of beach where we can take our dogs and let them off lead for a good run, frolic and swim. We can always seem to find a section of beach at least twice a day with no one else on it but us where they can be as silly and energetic as they like without bothering anyone else. Our dogs would love to play with other dogs, however most of the dogs that we see travelling with their owners are little dogs or old dogs that find our two dogs a little too boisterous and full on for their taste.

So this morning we took them down to the beach again. It’s not just the running and swimming and rolling and playing that wears them out. They sniff everything, and I mean everything. Every bush, every bit of seaweed, every shell and they will do it all again tomorrow if we bring them down here again.

After about an hours play they are exhausted and thirsty and Coco has started to drink the sea water so we take them back to the van for a drink and a rest before too much seawater turns her guts to liquid and she is squirting from her rear end. It’s not long before both of them are out cold, stretched out and Sam is even snoring. We will take them out again after lunch when it’s a little bit cooler- the temperature here today is supposed to get to thirty and they will enjoy the fresh breeze at the beach and the cool water of the sea- as will I.

After two runs on the beach they will sleep well tonight and if they’re lucky, and Mark catches some fish, they may even get a small snack of BBq’d fresh fish- if we can manage to part with any.

Back to a Familiar Favourite

Day 9

Wednesday the 9th

We had a slow start to the morning this morning as we knew we didn’t have too far to go. It wasn’t until 9am that we were all packed up, dogs in the car, and ready to leave Galena Bridge. We planned to have a quick stop at the pretty little town of Northhampton just North of Geraldton. We have driven through this town a few times but never had the chance to stop and there are some really lovely historic buildings that I would like to explore.

When we did stop Mark wasn’t much in the mood to go for a walk through the town, getting the dogs out, waiting outside the shops with the dogs while I went inside- fair enough. He did say he would sit in the car with the dogs and wait while I had a look around. I did hop out a look around for a bit, took a few photos of the old convent which is now budget accommodation, but I was very conscious of the fact that the day was warm and Mark, Coco and Sam would soon get hot and bored sitting in the car.

There is a caravan park there so we decided next time we head north, instead of going to Galena Bridge overnight (70km north) we would stop in Northhampton and I could have a longer look around while Mark and the dogs relaxed at the caravan.

We headed off to Geraldton which we were planning on stopping at but only for fuel, but we decided to pass right through. Geraldton really doesn’t interest us much. I guess it is a nice enough town as towns go; it’s by the beach, I’m sure there is fishing and surfing but to us it is more of a large commercial town than a holiday destination. I’m sure there are lots of people out there that would disagree with me and if Geraldton is their kind of place, well that’s great, it’s just not ours. Besides we are planning to camp at a free camp in the Dongara Shire after our three night stay at Port Denison and we like to spend money in towns that supply us with free accommodation, so we decided to stock up on perishables, fish bait and fuel there rather than Geraldton. Incidentally there is a free camp in Geraldton, too, but we notice that a lot of the places like parks and beaches aren’t exactly dog friendly or if they are they are very restrictive.

We pass another place we keep meaning to stop at but never do on our way to Dongara; Greenough Historic Site. We did stop to look on our first trip but I can’t remember why we didn’t go in. I know there is an admission fee and whether we decided that we had already spent too much money that trip or if it simply wasn’t pet friendly. One day we will stop. We did stop for a doggy wee break though. Coco and Sam were getting restless and that’s a sign, when travelling with dogs, that is never a good idea to ignore or you could end up with a very smelly car.

We arrive at Port Denison and set up our caravan at the Dongara Tourist Park. They have lovely big sites that are shaded and are of course dog friendly. I head off to Dongara IGA for some supplies, the fishing and sports store for bait so Mark can go fishing and a stop at the Dongara Bakery for a cream bun for Mark. Seeing how I’m on a new wheat free diet bakeries are essentially off limits for me but Coco and Sam pester Mark long enough and get a small piece each.

Our caravan park is very handily located up against the back beach so we take Coco and Sam down for a walk in the late afternoon. They love it. It’s not a big beach and there is heaps of seaweed- like mounds of it- but that makes Coco and Sam love it even more. They roll in it, burrow into it, sniff it and pee on it. Then they jump into the water for a splash in the surf- there is a bit of a reef off shore- so the waves aren’t that big at all- and then they roll in some more seaweed, then they roll in the sand and then they roll some more in the seaweed and then repeat the process over and over again. Coco and Sam are in doggy heaven.

We don’t stay out as long as they would like as Mark has been hanging out to go fishing. He heads off and I stay at the caravan with two very soggy, sandy, smelly, tired and happy pooches.

Pet Friendly Aquarium

We had heard that the aquarium was pet friendly so we were hoping we could take the dogs on the tour. Not only were pets allowed they were- like on the aristocrat2 cruise- openly welcomed. Denham/Monkey Mia has proven to be quite the petfriendly place. So we pay our tickets and join the tour with both dogs in tow. First stop is the tank with the rescue turtle Donatello and Pierre the Puffer Fish ( along with a few other pretty fish that I can’t remember because the super friendly Donatello and Pierre had all of my attention). Our tour guide was a marine scientist- as are all guides here.

Pierre, while super friendly, has a bite like a bolt cutter so we all keep our fingers to ourselves as he swims up to the edge of the tank really curious and waiting for fish. Coco wants a look but I’m pretty sure that dogs jumping up against a tank would be frowned upon so we don’t let her. Also she is just as likely want to touch noses with Pierre or Donatello and that might leave us with a dog with the end of her nose missing.

Donatello goes around visiting people too- also waiting for fish. Then it’s on to the tank with the super curious and highly venomous sea snakes. But people don’T die from bites from sea snakes because, despite being venomous, they are not aggressive which I am rather pleased to hear. As I am leaning over the tank to take a photo, one of the sea snakes decides to take a closer look at my camera lens and goes almost over the top of the tank. Our guide explains that they are so curious, especially when they see a reflection of themselves, that they can’t help but go for a closer look.

We head over to the tank with the moray eels and try to feed them but the coral trout was so pushy and kept taking the food. The guide offered him to anybody who wanted him and Mark said he’d be happy to have him over for dinner. Then on to the food tank which had all of the yummy to eat fish including Barramundi. We learnt why their is a maximum size limit for them. Apparently, like a lot of fish, they are born male. When the males head into fresh water they change to female and grow huge. These big breeding females are the only ones over the maximum size limit so by making them illegal to keep it ensures there are both sexes in the wild. Interestingly fish that change gender don’t have the gender related diseases that humans do as they can change their sex in order to survive. Handy!

Then it’s time to look at the squid. It’s a beautiful lilac colour around the edges and almost clear in the centre when we get to the tank. By the time we leave it is a muddy brown. Squids have a long beak, then their brain, then their stomach, so any food they eat goes in the beak, through the brain and then into the stomach. Our guide puts a piece of fish in and the squid moves towards it. About half way up it’s beak a mouth opens. For the size of it it is quite a big hole- bigger than I expected and quite a thing to see. Unfortunately the squid was too slow and the fish in the tank got it.

The clown fish and sea anemones are next and we watch as the largest clown fish, a female, takes some of the offered fish and feeds it to the sea anemone. Interestingly and quite icky, the sea anemone’s mouth is also its anus. Eeeewww. The Clown fish are like the Barramundi, they change sex. Only 1 of the clown fish in a family is a female and it is always the biggest clown fish. When she dies the largest male takes her place. Puts a new spin on Finding Nemo doesn’t it?

The Lion fish is in the next tank with a puffer fish. The lion fish is venomous while the puffer fish is poisonous- venom they bite or sting, poison you eat. The lion fish generally eats all other fish in the tank and can have 20,000 babies in just four days! They were let loose in Florida and are now a pest while here they aren’t because they have natural predators like sharks, who have worked out that if you eat the lion fish head first the spines lay flat and you don’t get stung.

There are two smaller tanks with stone fish in them and they are super hard to spot. You could easily tread on one of these in the ocean and apparently the pain is worse than child birth. The ones in the tank were taken from little Lagoon- which I had been planning to go snorkeling in. People don’t often die from a stone fish sting but they do die of a heart attack from the pain from a stone fish sting. Nice!

The next tank is the sting rays and they are super curious and super friendly. The tank is just at the right height and Coco is also super curious but Sam is totally not interested. Coco stands with her head over the water watching the sting rays approach, her eyes at full attention. I’m kind of glad that the sting ray stops to take a look at the little girl next to me because if it did come near Coco, I’m not sure I’d be able to stop her from diving in the water to play with it. Sting Rays don’t generally attack unless they feel threatened- way to go Steve Irwin.

Then it’s outside to the big tank with the golden Trevally, Taylor, Groper, and another fish we called a blue groper but is actually a Blue Wrasse but very pretty. We threw fish out and the golden winged Trevally were super fast while the groper just sat on the bottom wanting to be hand fed. Then on to the final tank for shark feeding time. We fed lemon sharks and a one 3m long shark that I thought was a nervous shark and mark thought was a grey nurse. All in all it was a lot of fun.

Last stop before we hit the road is Shell Beach. Sadly shell beach is not pet friendly. Dogs are allowed in the car park on a lead but there are heaps of signs saying 1080 baiting in the area so I’m not too keen on them being out of the car so I duck out with the camera for a couple of quick snaps.

The sand to the water is a huge expanse and initially it is a little bit of shell grit mixed with sand so I am a little disappointed. Closer to the water though it is all just shells. The beach itself is pretty and the water shallow and crystal clear but the shells on the beach instead of sand wouldn’t exactly be comfortable to sunbath on, although I do see several people doing just that. I scratched and hurt both knees kneeling down to take a photo.

Then it’s back in the car for the trip to Galena Bridge rest stop- a quick stop at the Billabong- red car cafe- for a Decaf Dirty Chai- which I can highly recommend and then driving until we reach our stop for the night

Feeding the Dolphins at Monkey Mia

Day 8

Tuesday 8th May

I am up early to go an try and get in the Monkey Mia dolphin experience. I need to be there prior to 7.45am so I feed the dogs and leave Mark sleeping with them curled up beside him. Dogs are allowed to see the Dolphin feeding but only from the pier and I want to be right there in the water with them so I am sans dogs for this morning. They don’t mind. They have my half- and most of Mark’s half- of the bed so they are very happy.

There aren’t that many people on the road so I am hoping it won’t be too packed but by the time I get to the boardwalk were you meet to start the experience there would have to be at least 100 people there. By the time it is 7.45am and the experience begins there would be over 200 people there. Given that only 5 dolphins turn up this could be a bit of a non event.

We start the experience with a 15 minute lecture- we are not even on the sand at this point and I am beginning to wonder if the dolphins will get bored and swim away. The lecture is valid, I grant you, but it’s full on. Don’t do this, you can’t do that over and over again. They must think we are stupid- maybe some people are. Essentially you aren’t allowed in the water in the dolphin experience area at any other time than the feeding. You can’t touch the dolphins. If a dolphin comes close to you when you are swimming in the allowed areas you must vacate the water. Their license only allows for the feeding of 5 specific dolphins- Puck, Piccilo, Shock, Surprise and Kia and they can only be fed three fish, three times a day between the hours of 7.45am and noon.

The Monkey Mia dolphins call this area their home range and when fishermen started feeding their fish filleting scraps to the dolphins they began to come around regularly. Then everyone started feeding them. The problems came firstly when people would touch them too much and they would get agressive and bite people or bump people. But the biggest problem came with the high calf mortality rate. Calves need deeper water to feed off their mothers and when the mothers come into the shallows to take the food from people the calves can’t feed. Mothers also use the shallows to teach their calves the art of fishing. Dolphins do not give their calves fish. They eat fish only if they learn to catch it themselves. While the mothers were eating food constantly from people they weren’t teaching their calves the art of fishing. Dolphins need up to 12kg of fish each day so the calves weren’t getting enough. So I can understand why there are so many rules.

Finally we are allowed on the sand while the ranger assesses whether the dolphins are in the right state of mind to be fed. I’m not sure how over 200 people would have felt had they not been! Then we are allowed to step one footstep into the water. That is it. And we spend the next 20-30 minutes hearing about dolphins while they swim around reasonably close, catch fish and eyeball us. The information is interesting and the ranger, who is about knee deep n the water in front of us with a PA, walks along the line (we were made to stand in a single line) of 200 people so the dolphins do go up and down the line and we all get to see them and take photos. Then five volunteers come down with buckets and they each have a designated dolphin to feed. They each choose 3 different people, one after the other, to feed a dolphin. They have strict instructions. They are given one fish to hold by the tail and place in front of the dolphin. When the dolphin opens it’s mouth you have to let the fish go in the water so the dolphin can take it. The good thing is that if you are chosen you can take your partner, friend, sister, dad with you if you want. While I didn’t get chosen- a guy beside me and a girl behind me did- I think the people chosen were taken from a fair cross section of the crowd.

The dolphin in front of me was Piccolo- who also had a calf. She was reknowned for not actually eating the fish she was offered. She would come close and open her mouth but not eat the fish. She did that three times. But she loved to eyeball people. I read her profile in the gift shop and apparently she used to bring fish to people, then she would take the fish but give it to another person. I liked her, she was quirky. All in all I was glad I did it. I did wish I had been able to be at the last feed the previous day as there had only been 20 people so as I would have stood a better chance of getting to feed them and, of course it would have been less crowded.

The only thing I disliked was that during the entire experience we were constantly bombarded with the rules. If they said it 100 times they said it 200 times- the same thing over and over again. Having dealt with the general public I do understand that for some people you do have to literally hammer things into them before they start to pay attention. Unfortunately it did marr the experience for everyone else and I heard quite a few people grumbling about it after it was finished.

Dolphin feeding done, I race back to Denham to help Mark pack up the van. The dogs were glad I was back but I’m glad that I didn’t take them. Not being allowed in the water and no off lead running area; they would have been bored stupid. At least with Mark he could take them for a walk or they could chill in the shade. Sometimes, some things just aren’t made to be dog friendly but as places go Denham and Monkey Mia have proven to be one of the best areas for accommodating people travelling with pets.

Cruising with the Dogs

Day 7 Monday 7th May

Today is our wedding anniversary- our 2nd- and we are heading out to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins. Mark is expecting it to be over rated and doesn’t want to get up at 6am to get there at 7.45 am because they do three feeds a day so we can go later. Sadly when we arrived at 8.45 am two feeds had already been done- Dolphins work to no man’s schedule- and there would only be one more feeding if the dolphins turn up before 12 noon. If they don’t then no more feeding.

So while waiting for the next feeding-which could be at any time between then and noon- we took the dogs for a walk on the pier. The dogs were allowed on the beach but not below the high tide mark and definitely not in the water- which was a huge bummer for Coco and Same because they were eyeing that water off with glee.

While walking along the pier we got to chatting with the two girls that ran the Aristocrat2 boat cruises. Well Sam and Coco were the draw card for them and then we started chatting to them too. And here’s a first! Dogs were allowed on the cruise! Initially we weren’t considering it because Mark can get quite seasick but the longer we waited for the dolphins we thought- why not- we might even get to see Du-gongs- so we decided to go.

Getting Sam and Coco on the boat wasn’t easy as they weren’t too keen on the gang plank, but once they were on they were pretty cool about the whole thing and all the other passengers were pretty cool about them too and they got lots of pats, which kept them pretty happy. Typically just as our cruise was setting off, the third dolphin feeding began.

First stop was the pearl farm, which was essentially a house on a pontoon, and we got a quick lesson in how pearls are made. These guys do black pearls too. We pretty much got a quick run down from collecting the clams right through to collecting the pearls. There were some lovely pearls for sale- most of them well beyond my budget but there were some that I liked so I will probably stop at their shop in town before we leave tomorrow.

Then out into open water to look for dolphins and dugongs. The dolphins joined us not too far out but we had to go a fair way out for the dugongs. At first we weren’t spotting any and I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to be our day but then we spotted one, then another, then a mother and her calf and the another three. They were pretty close to the boat, surfacing for air before diving back to eat from the seaweed beds. That made them particularly hard to photograph but it was an enjoyable experience all the same. Mark commented that they just looked like one gigantic dog turd floating to the surface- and I have to admit his description was pretty accurate.

Coco and Sam weren’t all that interested in the sea life. They sat with either Mark or myself and as long as they could see both of us they were happy. Sam was particularly chilled but Coco, being the stress head that she is, got upset when one of us went out of sight.

After nearly 4 hours on the water we were headed back in. A few brave german girls decided to hop in the boom net for an unforgettable experience. There was no way you would get me in there but I took a photo of them because one of the girls was blonde and I guess I could always lie and say the girl in the photograph was me.

Back to the caravan for a late lunch. We decided to skip little Lagoon so I didn’t get to go snorkeling but maybe another time. Tomorrow I am heading back out to Monkey Mia on my own to see if I can get that illusive dolphin experience before we head off. On the way out we plan to stop at Shell Beach and the Aquarium. The Aquarium states that it is pet friendly and the girl on the Aristocrat2 (Jade) said that she thought the dogs were allowed on the tour which would be awesome. Shark Bay is proving to be quite the dog friendly place.

First look at Shark Bay

Day 6 Sunday 6th of May

I got an early start to the day today. Normally the dogs need to wee at 4.30 am when I take them out and then go back to bed until about 7ish. This time I managed to string them out till 6.30 am and when I got up the sun was rising through the clouds, across the harsh, scrubby desert like landscape and so I decided to get dressed, put the kettle on and take some really good photos.

As a result we were up early and off to Denham also known as Shark Bay, just up the road from Monkey Mia the famous dolphin feeding place. Our first stop was the Billabong Roadhouse for fuel- although I didn’t see a single sign of a Billabong but I guess it is a tiny oasis on a long road of nothing so that’s what the name means. We’re seeing different wildlife now. Wild goats were on the roadside at the Billabong Roahouse. They almost looked like minature pet goats- so cute- but the lady in the roadhouse assured me that they were wild. We’re also seeing emus and , like kangaroos, they, too, end up dead on the side of the road. I also learnt of a new type of coffee. A decaf dirty Chai which is a chai latte with a shot of decaf coffee. I was hanging out for a good coffee so I didn’t get one but I will be definitely stopping there on the way back down to try it.

From there on the dirt becomes redder, the bush sparser and more scrubier and the ground stonier. The dirt is so dark red it almost looks wet but it’s not. We turn off to Denham, which is on one of two peninsulas. At a quick pee stop for the dogs (travelling with dogs, pee stops are important. If you miss one the car stinks for ages) Mark finds a hawke skull which we decide to keep. It really is quite fascinating.

It’s not long before we can see water, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other but on either side, due to the two peninsulas, the water is flat, no waves and at times looks like glass. At one point the sky and water meet in a blurry haze so that you almost think that the world ends just there. Flat earthers would be thinking that here was their proof.

We cruise into Denham, which is small, but right on the water. A couple of old fishing shacks still remain but most have been bulldozed to make way for very big, very modern macmansion holiday homes. We check into the Denham seaside resort caravan park and manage to score one of only two available spots for two nights. This place gets busy.

By the time we set up the van I am so hot that I am hanging out for those hot showers this evening. I can’t wait to wash my hair. Although we’ve showered we can’t justify using the water to wash my hair and it is starting to get really yucky. I tell myself that I am going with the new trend that hair really doesn’t need all the chemicals that we buy and that just washing it with water will do. Sooner or later the oil production will settle and my hair will look glossy, clean and natural all without shampoo and conditioner. Except it has been six days already! So. . .really! Hanging out for some shampoo chemicals.

The dogs are hot and panting so we head down to the beach access and the water is aqua and crystal clear and perfectly divine. The dogs go in, I go in and immerse myself and Mark stands knee deep and watches. There are heaps of little hermit crabs and heaps of beautifully formed shells that are empty. I am going to add a few to my collection.

Our campsite at the caravan is on a bed of shells and I have discovered that the famous Shell Beach, where the whole beach is made of shells instead of sand, is in this area so we plan to see that before we go. Tomorrow we are off to Monkey Mia hopefully to see the dolphins plus we are going to stop at Little Lagoon. Snorkeling is a popular activity so I have purchased some cheap, one size fits all, snorkels and goggles so I can give it a go myself.

This afternoon, however, we simply take a walk along the main street with the dogs, I got a few things from the local supermarket- I mean who knew I would need more than one tea towel (actually I thought I had more but I didn’t so I had to buy some)- and I took a walk with my camera down to the beach to take photos of the sunset.

The water here is absolutely gorgeous but I find the town a little bit of a disappointment. Yes it has the most westerly pub in western australia and a new , architecturally designed Discovery Centre which is a cross between a tourist information centre and a museum slash gallery but everything here is so modern that apart from the jetties there is very little character. It’s like Denham has become such a tourist hot spot for fishing as much as for dolphins that big money has come to town with big cars, big boats and big houses. There is nothing left of the little fishing village that I imagine it was. But that’s progress and the money that tourists bring in, I’m sure, is very welcome by the town. And man is their some money. Some of the boats Mark reckons would cost a cool 1/2 million.

Our evening has ended well with a lovely shower- I’m feeling clean all over and my hair is nice and shiny and glossy- a nice BBQ with a nice cooling seabreeze and Mark has managed to find a tv channel (win) on the tv. The dogs settle in for the night and we get to watch tv for the first time in nearly a week.