Freedom Calling

Posted in: Featured on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Freedom Calling  – Colin Hay

If you hear a voice call out your name
Saying you can stop yourself from falling
And if he strikes you in his fear and shame
Well you can leave him to his ruin

If your dreams they wake you in the night
And your heart it is a pounding
If you cry out as you wake in your fright
And the wind it is a-howling

Maybe it’s time to find another place
Where nobody even knows your face
There is no need to be afraid
For it’s only freedom calling

If your tears begin to overflow
As you walk against the undertow
There is no need to be afraid
For it’s only freedom calling

If you’re sad ‘cause you’re all alone
And your hands they are a shaking
And your miracle cure’s not working anymore
And the flood bank’s close to breaking

Suddenly you’re on an open unknown road
Passing all the heavy, long wide loads
It is time to make your great escape
And you can hear your freedom calling

I want to dive into the sea of love
But my knees they are a quaking
I can see myself high up above
And there’s no time left for faking

I no longer need to understand
What it is to truly be a man
Only when I gave up on my masterplan
Did I then hear freedom calling

Did I then hear freedom calling


The picture of our freedom

Ben found this song very early in our journey and I can still remember the incredible way that it moved us. We listened to it for the first time while sitting in the dark on our lounge room couch. Every word vibrated through me, by the end I was in tears and so emotionally charged that I could have run outside yelling at the stars, the moon and the passing traffic ‘YES I hear my freedom calling, I hear it and I will answer!’.

It has become our anthem. It has rallied us when energy and hope were flagging. It inspires us when the times are hard and our goals still feel so far away. Plus it has bagpipes! And who doesn’t love bagpipes?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I listened to it over the dying months of my working life while walking through busy Brisbane streets crushed in the press of fellow workers, or sitting on the bus stuck in traffic visualising tropical islands drifting by and white sand between my toes .  Thank goodness music these days is digital because if it was on a tape I would’ve played it to death.

I post it so that you may listen and perhaps hear your own freedom calling.


“Only when I gave up on my masterplan, did I then hear freedom calling”



Striped Eel Catfish

Posted in: Marina Life on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Amazing Striped Eel Catfish schooling in pursuit of breakfast

Today I can add another wildlife encounter to the list of wondrous sights I’ve seen while living at the marina. Ben and I first spotted these interesting looking fish hanging out near the docks at the marina entrance this morning. I was pretty pleased with that sighting brief as it was, and thought nothing more of it because not long after that I had to say goodbye to Ben which is my least favourite part of the day.  But later while sitting in the boat I heard unusual splashes in the water so popped my head out the hatch to see the school again.  I grabbed my camera, which thankfully had it’s battery and CF card in it and ready to go, and found the school in the berth next to us.  This time I got to watch them for about 10 minutes as they swam from berth the berth, under the dock and around boats.  Obviously intrigued by my mad dash from the boat the ships cat came down for a look too.

I was fortunate to get these shots, as having photos on hand makes the task of identification much easier.  Although today I didn’t have much trouble, I just Google image searched ‘Stripy schooling fish’ and bingo there they were!  Striped Eel Catfish.  I like it when finding a fish or bird is so easy! Here’s what I’ve discovered.

Striped eel catfish are native to the Indian Ocean, the western Pacific ocean and Papua New Guniea.  Predominately a tropical fish it has been recorded down both the eastern and western coastlines of Australia.   It is the only known species of coral reef dwelling catfish which makes it unique among other catfish species.

Adult Striped Eel Catfish can grow up to 35cm in length and will often lose the distinctive stripes that the juveniles are known for. They have a roughly cylindrical body shape which tapers down into a distinctively eel shaped tail.

Juveniles live in schools of hundreds of fish but as they mature those schools will dwindle in size to considerably smaller groups of around 20 fish.  They mainly feed on benthic invertebrates (organisms that live on the bottom of a water body or in the sediment and have no backbone) algae and sometimes small fishes.

The school I observed today were feeding on small fishes. You could see the smaller fish jumping out of the water in panic ahead of the school.  The catfish would herd their prey between boats and the dock cutting off escape, the water erupting into a feeding frenzy.  It was fascinating to watch.

If you catch one of these guys be careful, apparently they are highly venomous with the forward serrate spines of the dorsal and pectoral fins inflicting painful wounds which may even be fatal. Striped Eel Catfish are definitely in the look but don’t touch category of marine life.


Information sources:

Life under the blue water – http://lifeuwater.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/the-striped-eel-catfish-interesting.html

Australian Museum – http://australianmuseum.net.au/Striped-Catfish-Plotosus-lineatus

Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plotosus


Here comes the sun!

Posted in: Marina Life on Friday, March 8th, 2013

It may not have been a full day of sun but i’m overjoyed to say that for the most part we had a sunny day with blue sky and everything! At least I think it was blue sky, it’s been so long  I was sure I had forgotten what it looked like.

Beautiful blue sky

It’s possibly the most sun we’ve had all March.  I spent more time outside than I have in weeks enjoying the warmth and the relative dryness of everything.

I wasn’t the only one, lot’s of people had come out to enjoy the beautiful weather, including one guy who obviously hasn’t grown out of his love of remote controlled toys.

Great weather for boats of any size to head out for a sail.


Small but graceful.


Out enjoying the sun.


Sunny daze are happy daze indeed!


*click on images to see larger versions


February – A wet and rainy hell!

Posted in: End of Month Recap on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Another month has passed and what a month it was!

Personally i’m glad to see the back of it but i’d be even gladder if March wasn’t shaping up to be more of the same.

In all fairness though, it wasn’t all bad.  Here is the official review.

1.  Made approximately 26 morning cups of coffee for my hard working man and me.  He wakes to smell of freshly brewed coffee most mornings, I wake up earlier to the dolcet tones of an insane rooster (we really must  change the alarm sound). In case you’re wondering  Ben’s mug is the one that says ‘World’s Greatest Boyfriend’ on it! Yep, I bought that for him because he is!!

Much needed morning coffee!

2. Ben took us both clothes shopping, he bought me four nice new dresses. It wasn’t all sugar and spice and four dresses nice, he made me try them all on which involved running the gauntlet of changing room waiting lines, mean changing room mirrors that distort, and dress tags featuring sizes larger than I’m willing to admit that I need.

My four pretty new dresses and one new wallet.

3.  Taught myself to knit, for the third time. Here’s hoping the skill will actually stick this time round.  I started my practice project by casting on eight stitches and learnt garter, stockinette and ribbing plus how to add stitches.

Here is the start of my practice knitting project.

Here it is a week or two later, longer and wider and getting neater.

4. Started a new book and tried again to kick start a love affair with red wine.  I don’t think it’s going to take as i’m a scotch girl through and through.

Red wine and a good book = great way to spend the day!

5. Played dress ups with the cat in a fit of bored mischief making one night.  He wasn’t happy but he endured it like a trooper.

One cute and very unhappy kitty.

6. Watched the documentary ‘Fat Sick and Nearly Dead’ . We were so inspired we went out the next day and bought a juicer and heaps of fruit and veggies! Okay so we haven’t juiced as much as we planned and using the juicer is only an option will we’re living with shore power, but it’s a step in a healthier direction.

Our new juicer and lots of healthy stuff

Tomatoes, carrots and celery = yummy!

The finished juice.

7. Spent a couple of hours in various boating stores, the novelty of which has worn off, so I amused myself by taking pictures. Ben amused himself shopping up a storm, accumulator tank, life jackets, fenders, metal etch cleaner and rust preventing primer.  Me i’d still rather be shoe shopping.

Ropes ropes and more ropes

A wall of shining anchors.

As with good there is always bad

1) While January featured nature’s raw destructive power of Oswald, February has seen her wage a sustained campaign of constant dampness and disillusionment.  Brisbane received 250mm of rain over a period of 20 days, I’ve forgotten what sunny days feel like.

2) We were rudely awakened from our naivety regarding the cost of boat repairs having received two quotes for work we need done to Tygress.  Necessity has meant reevaluating what we want done and what we need done and what we can afford to have done.

3) Earlier in the month some idiot, and I use the term kindly as there are a lot more appropriate words I could use but for the sake of common decency won’t, backed into the Porsche…which we are trying to sell!

If (1) is considered a complete cluster-whoopsie of a month and (10) is considered a month full of happiness, sunshine and success then I’d rate February 5/10. Not a lot of sunshine means not a lot of happiness and financial shocks aren’t that fun either.

How was your February?