Day 39 – Denmark to Albany – Whales A’hoy

The night was quiet and still apart from the constant ‘whoosh whoosh whoosh’ of the two wind turbines which make up the Denmark Community Windfarm, I initially couldn’t hear them over the ocean, but once Lach pointed the sound out, I then couldn’t get it out my ears. It wasn’t an intrusive noise, but it was definitely a constant background noise. An interesting thought considering we tell people that they aren’t loud, and these were 8km away.

Trixie joined us this morning by hiding on the ‘playroom’ mattress and the girls were excited that they had been well behaved yesterday that Trixie wanted to come back.

Over breakfast we discussed what we had learnt from yesterday’s excursions, Ava said that she learnt that some people come back from the war and some people don’t. She also said that in relation to the convicts boat, that the captain of the boat and his crew have better conditions than the convicts. Its amazes me what she learns and picks up.

We packed the van up and left it ready for us to pick up later, as we wanted to venture to Green Pools and Elephant Rocks before we left Denmark.  Green Pools is famous for its turquoise green waters and pristine white sandy beaches surrounded by the granite rocks which protect it from the Southern Ocean. The sun wasn’t shining, it was overcast and it was a mere 15 degrees, but off we headed anyway, as it didn’t look like the forecast was going to change for the next couple of days that we were still in the surrounding area. We parked the car and walked down a narrow beach path with rickety steps at the end to see people swimming lengths in this pool, which from where we stood looked like it was about 200m in length, then suddenly we turned the corner and it was about 400m in length and spectacular. A perfectly tranquil calm ocean pool surrounded by granite rocks and perfectly white sand which was shallow out for quite a way. There were 4 people swimming and as Lach put it “those girls have some pace on them”. We climbed the rocks to see even more of the area and just couldn’t stop commenting about how stunning it was. Audrey mentioned that she needed a wee, but we managed to persuade her to wait until we got back to the car park. She had no fear running around the rocks, whereas Ava was more cautious. Having soaked up the views and wished the sun would appear, we left and walked up the hill back to the car. The photos don’t do it any justice at all – we will just have to return another time when we are met in the area 🙂

Audrey proceeded to ask immediately whether she could please go to sleep as she wanted to suck her fingers (bear in mind it was only 830am!), so we said that she can go to sleep until we go to Elephant Rocks, which was about a 2min drive away. We walked up the hill and weren’t sure exactly what we were looking for, apart from a description which someone had given me of “Rocks which look like elephants having a bath”. Sure enough that’s exactly what we saw, from early on in the walk, i thought i had seen it all, then the more you walk you see more and more ‘elephants’. The grand finale for me was when we made it down to the beach and it looked like a baby elephant was having a bath – this was the first of the elephants which Audrey could visualise. Audrey drew a jelly fish in the sand and called it Frankie – random and made us laugh.

The girls had a good run around all before 930am and then when we returned to pick up the van, I gave them morning tea and they immediately fell asleep in the car for the entire journey. Lach and I decided that seeing as we were still early we should head to Discovery Bay to have a look at the Whaling Centre before heading to the caravan park. Ava has been excited about visiting the Whaling Centre since we mentioned it yesterday morning, so when they woke up thinking we were at the caravan park, Ava was ecstatic that we were actually at the Whaling Centre. Albany’s Whaling station is the only complete whaling station tourism attraction in the world. It was the last whaling station to close down in Australia in November 1978 (after having killed 713 already that year), and reopened only 2 years later as a museum. We watched short films in the converted whale oil tanks on Sharks, Whales and Whaling. The girls loved the films and learnt a lot – including Lach and I – about both Whales and Sharks. It bought the industry to life and being able to climb aboard the Cheynes IV, the worlds only preserved Whalechaser ship, was spectacular. The girls were up and down stairs and walking into rooms asking whether this was the captains area as it was smarter than the rest. Also concerned about food and how it was cooked. I think the most mind boggling artefact that we saw was the Pygmy Blue Whale Skeleton, which was 34m long. This was a whale which beached itself on one of the beaches around Albany in 1973. There were many other skeletons too of other whales and even a baby dolphin which they found and have preserved. When we walked off the ship, Ava commented that the ship was really big, bigger than Mike and Moppy’s ship. We agreed and I nearly explained that theirs is a boat and not a ship, but i knew it would end up in me trying to describe the differences between a ship and a boat…i didn’t have the energy sorry Ava, another day. Lach pointed out that the Whales have 4 digits on their fins (which look like finger bones) and the dolphins have 5. I wonder what Ava will say tomorrow when i ask her what she learnt today about Whales?

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We arrived at Middleton Beach Holiday Park around 1pm and the girls wanted to go for a swim, but it was freezing and overcast – they were adamant, so off they went with their noodles with me watching them, whilst Lach went off for a fish (we are literally right on the beach here), neither Lach nor the girls lasted long. So we got the passcode for the family bathroom and in it they had a bath the size of Nanna and Grandpa’s at Eastwood. So we filled it up with nice warm water and once again I scrubbed them. 2 baths in less than a week – we are in luxury.

The girls have found friends and the playground is directly next to us, so they were playing whilst i was freezing cold watching them. I would have preferred for them to have been playing inside in the warm, but they are really loving playing with new friends and they are having fun – which is the most important thing of all. Lachlan keeps reminding me that i rejected some his warm clothes when packing back in Sydney nearly 6 weeks ago….we have definitely had some really cold days and nights, and maybe we should have packed some (or more) warmer clothes. Maybe even a beanie to keep us warm and a blanket to wrap around our legs at night. Who would have thought that in from November to December in Australia you would need any of these items??? I concur that we do. We are praying for a warmer eastward journey, as today we looked at the Sydney weather and were very jealous of the heat and sunshine they are having – today being the hottest day in December since 1972 – and here we are in a max of 18 in WA.

I wanted to note down in this blog some phrases which Ava has learnt along the way and now keeps using at the most perfect times:

  • “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”;
  • “Practice makes perfect”; and
  • “Daddy I know your excited, but slow down”…

They have both also learnt many ‘songs/rhymes’ from my childhood by asking me to sing them, some of them are easy to remember, but some of them i have needed google to complete the words. Ava’s favourite Christmas one (thanks to my dad) is

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, please put a penny in your old mans hat, if you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do, if you haven’t got a ha’penny, then god bless you“.

This of course led onto a discussion of what a ha’penny is etc etc. She loves the song though.

Tomorrow we are going to stay here and just chill out in the local area, maybe head to the beach for the girls to have a play in the sand – no way are we going in the Southern Ocean – according to the swimmers this morning at Greens Pools its around 16 degrees, and in the winter its 13 degrees.

 

One response to “Day 39 – Denmark to Albany – Whales A’hoy

  1. Brrrr 💨. However I do remember some cold days in Sydney last year and in fact one occasion it went from 42 down to 15 in less than 4 hours, but not as constantly cold as you are experiencing.
    The whales look amazing. In January the T Rex dinosaur skeleton in the Natural History Museum is going on tour and is being replaced by a skeleton of a blue whale. 🐳
    The elephant 🐘 rocks are fantastic. Certainly not difficult to spot which animal.
    Such spectacular scenery and so different from region to region. What comes next I wonder?
    Love all of Ava’s questions. Learning more general knowledge on this trip than she will at school and is probably soaking most of it all up too.
    Love you all to the moon and back.

    Like

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