Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kangaroo Island Arrival

Got up early and drove down to Cape Jervis (southern coast). The drive was absolutely beautiful, but a little drizzly. Beautiful coastal scenery.

When we saw the ocean (first time to see the “Southern Sea”), I got a little worried. It was really choppy & windy. How would this ferry ride be to Kangaroo Island? We were scheduled for a 10AM trip but got there early so we hopped on the 9AM. Lucky, because we heard later that the 10AM got cancelled due to the rough seas we were about to encounter.

Drove our car onto the ferry & went up to the lounge. Immediately realized this trip would SUCK! It was impossible to stand up without toppling over. The huge ferry was like a toy boat on those waters & we were on board. Oh my. About 1/3 of the passengers lost their breakfast on the way over. It was really bad.

After we arrived on the island, we spent about 30 minutes in the visitor center in Penneshaw to get over the seasickness. We drove around the island for a bit, then went to Kingscoate to go to “Foodtown” grocery store and stock up on some food. There aren’t a lot of restaurants on the island, and our hotel was on the far side of the island with no restaurants nearby. We had an in-car picnic by the Kingscoate Wharf, watching the boats tumble in the waves and wind. The weather was still pretty grey & drizzly.

We made our way back to the south shore and headed to Seal Bay. The weather was downright nasty. It was as rainy as a Texas thunderstorm. We just had to hope that the low pressure system over the island would move out quickly like the forecast said.

We lucked out! As we approached Seal Bay, the rain stopped, blue sky became visible, and a rainbow came out J

At Seal Bay, we had just missed a tour, so we got our passes & walked down the non-tour boardwalk. It was a long winding path down to the beach & immediately we realized how many seals really lived here!! They seemed to be everywhere. Moms & pups sleeping, boys fighting, big groups lounging together. We spent a good 25 minutes just observing their life out there. It was then time for our guided tour. We were the only guests on the tour! We met up with our guide Michelle down a private path. We had to pass a cranky seal & 2 sleepy seals on our way down. It was kind of intimidating. With our tour guide we got to actually walk along the beach, just a few meters from the seals. They were just adorable! There were several groups sleeping in piles, we saw a few leave for hunts and a few come back. They hunt for 3 days then rest for 3. Saw a pup play in the surf, a bull roll down a dune & get covered in sand. Lots of fun J We thought about the fact that there nothing but water between us & Antarctica! It was a very cool tour.

After Seal Bay we started towards our hotel, the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat. We were warmly greeted by reception (and also by a fire in the lodge!) and made our way to the courtyard & our room. We appeared to be the only guests out of 24 rooms (but 2 other rooms filled up later). We got settled in, had a grocery store dinner, went back to the lodge to check the internets. Whenever we walked around we were greeted by lots of wallabies and possums (cute possums, unlike ugly TX ones). Turned in early again.

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