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James Lamb
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All who wander... (you know the line - are not lost). All who wonder... are not dangerous heretics.
All who wander... (you know the line - are not lost). All who wonder... are not dangerous heretics.

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This looks like fun, but I'm not quite acclimated to this level of rocky ledges and froth. This was at the north end of Bronte Beach.

I, who have surfed (accidentally) upside down in an enclosed kayak - but there were no rocks and I was wearing a helmet. And realistically, the handrail I banged my hip on in the washing machine of Clovelly Cove may have been more dangerous?!

https://goo.gl/photos/CNPWP9ckU1xq7bVz8

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Noticed a a television show about a more recent iteration of this. And my wife informs me there's also a Melbourne event. 

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Sunday, we were at Clovelly Cove and saw a conglomeration of mystery creatures in the water. With the tide up, the outer part of the cove was like a washing machine - a bit scary but fun if you could manage to stay calm. Towards the shore, the water was a somewhat cloudy with bits of seaweed, and floating on the surface...

Blue bottles - most of us recognized; there weren't that many. No one seemed to know what the other things were. A bit of research... looks like...

Glaucus atlanticus or blue dragon sea slug - these things were small - like flakes of blue lichen floating on the water, but quite colorful. There were enough in the water that it was impossible to avoid them. I was thinking maybe they were baby blue bottles, but it turns out they eat blue bottles. It's possible that I saw one eating a blue bottle and didn't recognize that's what was happening; thinking it was one organism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaucus_atlanticus

Porpita pacifica or related species - I am not seeing an exact photo of this - the ones I see online have longer tentacles, but it's possible that the ones in the water were retracted. They were larger than the Glaucus atlanticus - like one inch buttons having a light inner circle, a bright aqua and greenish ring, and an outer blue ring.

While it's well known that blue bottles can cause a nasty sting, there's a video online of someone handling one, and peoples reactions vary. Sources say Porpita pacifica stings, but not as badly as blue bottles. Some sources say Glaucous atlanticus can be deadly - but maybe only after ingesting blue bottles. Overall, I think I emerged from the experience with a couple of prickly spots - no red marks - and it's hard to say exactly what I brushed up against that caused the pricklies; it wasn't an immediate reaction to anything, but probably something I brushed against while swimming in the washing machine; not close to shore where the creatures were more concentrated.

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Uh oh. It's probably terminal. 

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The Tasman Peninsula has stunning scenery. My sister took a boat tour that visited some of the shoreline rock formations. Cape Raoul (pictured only in the distance in one of the photos) is truly astounding - if you look it up in Google images, you'll see its magnitude. Though the plants and animals are very different, I felt like I was back in Marin County California.

btw - one of these photos is a lava rock (?) that was a bit baffling. It's appearance was of recently landing in its spot; perhaps ejected from some nearby volcanic activity. However, the local volcanic activity occurred millennia ago. I picked it up - it was heavier than expected. Meteorite? I don't think so. There was another nearby rock that was smaller but similar density; out of curiosity I smashed it; the interior was fairly uniform with some rust. Who knows - given the history of the peninsula, a prisoner may have been forced to carry it there.

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Colony or lone hunter? Zero sum game?

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The southern end of the Tasman Peninsula is riddled with caves and rock spires. Remarkable Cave is one that is easily accessible from a parking lot. It has three entrances - one from land; two from sea. There are stairs and an elevated walk, and if you're willing to risk the surf and tides, there is magic inside. (click photo for album) #Tasmania

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We did a quick tour and scarcely scratched the surface; but for a small additional fee purchased a pass good for two years. I've added comments to the info on some photos.

Surprisingly, I believe some administrators at +UTS: University of Technology, Sydney are still following traditions established early on in Australia. This passage in Pack of Thieves? 52 Port Arthur Lives (by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart & Susan Hood) mirrors my experience complaining about an abusive contract employee hired by UTS. I endured threats of expulsion and judicial hearings delayed for over a year. In the end, I was labeled a liar and I abandoned a good portion of my life savings with the sense that I had no interest in giving another dime to an institution that tolerated such travesty.

p.28 Abraham Hood
In November 1831 he was demoted to the labouring gangs for writing an anonymous and threatening letter to the Commandant, an act for which he was also punished with seventy-five strokes of the lash. While the contents of the letter remain unknown, it is likely that Hood was complaining about conditions at the settlement. Several of the men from Macquarie Harbour had already protested that, although they had been sent to Port Arthur as a reward for good conduct, the conditions under which they were forced to work were worse than any they had experienced before. A particular grievance was that grog was not issued at Port Arthur. Whatever the substance of Hood's complaint, he was not prepared to drop the issue. In January 1832 he was charged with making a 'frivolous and vexatious' complaint to the Commandant. For continuing his protest he was sentenced to work in irons for three months. Nine days later he was further charged with disobedience of orders 'in addressing the Commandant out of office hours'.

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Wedged between the liquor store and the gambling hall... children's play area! #practicalconsiderations #Hobart
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Tasmania execution notes (apologies for spellings):
1) suspect large SUV-type vehicle may have added to distress on narrow mountain roads with no guardrails.
2) did not go to Cradle Mountain
3) Mountain road between Launceston and Bennelong Bay is harrowing - see #1 - would have felt much more comfortable on a motorcycle (except gravel in turns?)
4) Lodging not available (full) in Bicheno - 2 nights in Swansea instead.
5) Tasmania is beautiful (see photos separately posted).
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