This day started at 2:00AM with the ringing of Dick’s cell phone, which, in our sleepy state, we did not find until it had quit ringing. It shows a text message from our daughter so we call her to be sure all was OK. She had just responded to a text we had sent much earlier and we are still not sure why the phone rang.
In the quiet of the lodge, we have no trouble going back to sleep. Dick gets up and works on our pictures and this blog. After breakfast, Carolyn prepares the blog for download through January 27 and we head into Albany to find internet access.
The sky is not as heavy as yesterday and shows promise of sun later in the day. It has rained overnight which is a good thing since the house is dependent on a cistern supplied by rainwater only.
We go to the Albany Backpackers Hotel and buy internet time. What with all the 20 and 30 some-things moving in and out, we feel our age. We spend two hours downloading Quicken, checking email and uploading several days worth of blog contributions and pictures.We then explore downtown Albany. It is a pleasant place but not much to see as downtown areas go. Dick buys a bottle of wine and Carolyn takes photos. As is so typiical of the towns in both Australia and New Zealand, Ablany has a nice old church in the center of town. We then head out northeast to Two Person Bay for a picnic lunch. This is a nice crescent shaped bay with a white sand beach. There are nice picnic facilities and only one other family, who are down a ways from us fishing. Carolyn walks to a small stream coming out of the brush looking for shells. We head back into town about 3:30PM and decide to head out to Frenchman’s Bay to see the sights. After stops for the Gap and the Natural Bridge and watching the waves roll in from Antarctica, we stop at Goode Beach on Frenchman’s Bay. Quite frankly, we have never seen prettier water anywhere in our travels. Picture a white sand beach and bottom with crystal clear water that presents itself as turquoise green over the shallow areas and blue/green where the water is deeper. This is in one of the major harbors of SW Australia. They must be doing something right! This time Carolyn can’t resist the call of the beautiful water, so she goes wading and shelling. The water is cool but really very inviting with the sun out.
Since it was still cool and a bit overcast this morning when we left, we left the lodge sun screens open. Consequentially the house is hot when we return about 6:00PM. So, we open it up, do some laundry, have a cocktail, listen to the birds and begin to fix dinner while things cooled off. Tonight, Carolyn fixes lamb chops with her mustard/garlic glaze. We do not have any bread crumbs, but neither of us notice.
We finish dinner and clean up the kitchen by 9:30PM. The light from the sun is nearly gone and the stars are out in a cloudless sky. The orange, new-moon sliver has just disappeared below the hills to our west. The outside temperature is in the low 70s and, after a shower, we sit out on the deck and examine the night sky of the southern hemisphere. Dick thinks he finds the southern cross and is surprised to see Orion’s Belt. He thought that was a northern hemisphere constellation.
The night sky is simply magnificent. Dick has not seen a sky like this since looking up from the floor of the Grand Canyon in 1988. There is not a cloud to be seen, except on the horizon toward Antarctica. The winds are almost calm and there is no light pollution. It is inky black with the sound of surf crashing on the rocks over 1km away. Such Grandeur!
We have all been told that there are billions of stars, but to see them, or a small fraction of them, takes our breath away. How one can look up into a sky, such as we are privileged to see tonight, and not believe in God is beyond our understanding? On bended knees we give thanks for the opportunity we have been granted this night. We will remember this night for the rest of our lives!