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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Snorkelling in the Rain

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 16 September 2016 | Views [537]

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. That’s one of my favourite quotes, and that’s how it’d feel today. I set my alarm for 6:40 this morning but as I heard the rain batter the roof I knew this would be a great day for a lie-in, so I woke up at 10:30 AM. Wow, I rarely do that on holiday. On Norfolk, I usually wake up at round 7 AM and I figured I’d do the same here. Darc left a note for me letting me know she left for work, and I made some coffee. She borrowed a plunger so I could make my morning brew; borrowing is very common on Lord Howe. Finding Nemo must be really popular on Lord Howe as well because the puzzle geocache I found this morning is called “Fish are friends, not food.” Darc’ daughter, Emi loves Finding Nemo and there’s a Finding Nemo curtain at the boat shed where Darc works. Slowly I made my way to Ned’s Beach where I climbed up a ravine to find my second cache on Lord Howe and then put my feet in the water. Hiring of snorkelling gear and body boards are operated on an honesty box system and there’s an option to feed the fish. Lord Howe is small but like Norfolk there are a fair few hills, so walking from one place to another can take longer than you think. As I showed up at the boat shed Darc said I could go on the snorkelling tour even though conditions aren’t really ideal for snorkelling. The sky was dark as we went out to the world’s southernmost coral reef. The fish are an array of vibrant colours and the blue coral is like an undersea pine forest. In some areas the currents were rather strong and I got pushed directly into some coral but fortunately I didn't get cut. It was rather chilly today but a wetsuit helps and it started raining hard and we had to cut the trip short. Freezing my ass off, we sailed to shore where I ran inside for a hot coffee. This is what the sky looked at as I went snorkelling.

Visitors may immediately baulk at bad weather on an island like this but the silver lining to an offseason visit means (obviously) fewer visitors. The weather was so foul that today’s flight flew all the way to the island, tried to land, and had to turn around and go back to Sydney. Weeks ago I was very close to asking to book for today rather than yesterday, but my instincts told me not to. Now I can see why! As I chilled out at home for a bit and made a coffee and a couple of sandwiches, the sun came out! Within two hours, I had a gorgeous view!

My euphoric self had to get my iconic photo; here I'm waving my arms excited I've found paradise at last!

The weather changes so quickly. Darc has dinner at her Aunt Rosy’s every Friday and it’s a buffet. Inspired by Nora (the one who inspired me to travel) I made her famous sweet potato casserole. With the likes of maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla it’s one of my favourite recipes. Most of the dinner guests are vegetarians so there were some exotic dishes like gluten steak, nutmeat pie, and others. A really lovely thing about a small island like Lord Howe is you can often see friends, meet for coffee, or have a communal dinner. Darc and I would chat for a bit tonight over a black coffee for me and a raspberry tea for her. The topic tonight was about rumours on Norfolk. The same thing happens here with rumours and gossip, but sounds like instead of being a rumour of sex in the bushes it’d be sex on the summit of Mt. Lidgbird. Lord Howe doesn’t seem like the place for manic parties where everyone gets so plastered they can’t remember walking home. Speaking of walking I opted for a night walk with the light of a full Moon. When there’s no Moon a torch is absolutely necessary. There are no cows running amok on the roads and no late-night revelers even though it’s Friday. In fact, not a single vehicle passed by as I gathered clues for a geocache. My walk took me all the way past the airport. Tomorrow we’re going to the waterfall, which is said to be gorgeous after a torrential rain. As I lie in bed tonight I can hear the muttonbirds, which sounds like crying babies in the bush.

For my first two days on Lord Howe Island it’s been filled with dreary weather and dark clouds, but the silver lining is that I’m here and loving every minute of it!

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