Reflections of Rottnest

copyright 2013 Mia Laing ANZAC Day dawn service
ANZAC Day 2013 saw us at a stunning Rottnest dawn vigil, listening to profound and beautiful words remembering the men and woman who have given, and are still giving, in our Armed and Supporting Services. Dudie has braved the dawn service for many years, usually with one of the girls in tow, but this year we were lucky enough to have my brother with us from Dubai, we were on our boat at Rottnest and I felt the crazy inclination to extract myself from a warm bunk at 5.15am, so we all went. I'm so, so glad I did. It was beautiful. I was touched by the following words by Reverend Michael Wood : Make us a people zealous for peace. Hasten the day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation and where all races and people will live as members of one family. Yes...profound words and certainly a prayer in my heart.
Sentinel Seagulls- Thompson Bay Dawn Sentinel Seagulls Thompson Bay
Rottnest Island turned on another sensational holiday break for us. We were all desperately needing some RnR after a long 12 week school term. The kids were needing time out from routine and technology, Dude from his business and after knocking out nearly 5 paintings since february...I needed a little break too!
Rottnest Island - Geordie Bay. Rottnest Island - Geordie Bay.
We chill big time at Rottnest. Bringing your own accommodation, in the form of a floating caravan, is very conducive to retro and relaxing holidays. The first thing we ditched when we bought the boat 2 years ago, was the t.v. No t.v on board makes for old-fashioned entertainment - the music gets cranked, there's scrabble, reading, reading, reading, long walks, loads of food and afternoon siestas, fishing, swimming and much photo taking. I will not on any account tell you just how many photos I can take over a 5 day break...let me just tell you that it's not normal and a little insane, but they do say, practise makes perfect. Hmmm....there was also a little bit of study this trip. Sadly, Year 11 is like that.
Advanced Maths anyone? Advanced Maths anyone?
Sunset Geordie Bay Sunset Geordie Bay
...and sunsets and sunrises that take your breath away. Thanks to Dudie, we are serial bay hoppers...most afternoons we fire up the engines and chug off to the bay offering us the least wind and calmest waters. We certainly love to take advantage of quieter autumn moorings giving us a vast choice of what view we want to savour and where we want to sleep. Non "boaties" rent the villas that are scattered over parts of the island. They are comfortable, not particularly flash and probably only 2 1/2 starred in hotel terms, but that is part of the charm of this much-loved island. (I've written about Rottnest a few times...Rottnest Island Authority - do you want to pay me?? Huh?? Sponsership deals are welcome!!) and ... and...
Our boat is almost vintage, a little tired and worn around the edges...but very comfortable! Want to sleep like a baby? Yep...that good... well, most nights.
Sunrise Longreach Bay Sunrise Longreach Bay
Twilight Longreach Bay Twilight Longreach Bay
Full Moon Rottnest Full Moon Rottnest
It always astounds me how much of a cavewoman I am....Full moon throws my sleep habits into complete disarray...Hooooowwwlllllll! Add some tides and I'm history.
Relaxing on the high seas Relaxing on the high seas
I just so happened to have a birthday whilst we were bobbing away in our floating caravan.
Pink Paper Packages Pink Paper Packages
I also just happened to buy myself a new camera lens for my birthday...gosh what perfect timing for the family to help me buy it!! Thanks Dude and Mama! I have a Olympus OMD-5. I added the 35-100 f2.8 Lumix to my small collection... weather sealed, beautiful bokeh and with a better reach than the 12-50. (Most of this posts photos are with this new lens.) It still not a huge zoom, but its versatile. Maybe one day, when the bucket list starts getting ticked and safari's are on the agenda, I will have the need for the 70-300 zoom (equivalent to a 140 - 600mm full frame!!), wouldnt that be nice?
Transit Surf Break Transit Surf Break
But, with a reach equivalent to a 70-200mm full frame lens, my new lens was great when the boys headed out to a shallow surf break a couple of hundred meters off the main settlement. It was so busy...standup paddle boards, surfers, paddle ski's, bodysurfers, jet skiers...and mums and dads in tenders keeping an eye on their youngsters. Shark bait comes to my mind.
Clear for landing Cleared for landing
Rotto isn't Rotto without dinner at the pub. Built in 1864, as the summer residence for West Australian governors, it has recently been renamed 'Hotel Rottnest'...but with many hours spent here in my mid will always be the 'Quokka Arms' to me!
The Quokka Arms Pub - Rottnest The Quokka Arms Pub - Rottnest
The parking bay was a little busy! We have seen it ALOT busier. Imagine this with another 25 tenders!
Tender parking Thompson Bay Parking at the pub - Thompson Bay
So with the weather still warm enough for swimming for the less wimpy family members, (ahem..that would not be me) we have arrived home sun-kissed and refreshed. With an atrocious mountain of washing conquered, I am totally ready to start painting again...if I could just make up my mind what to paint. Decisions, decisions. The 'Sock it to Sarcoma' painting has been signed, framed and coming! See you the other side of the school holidays, Mia x
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