Monday, July 14, 2008

In Australia: Sea, Stars and Sausage Rolls

I've had the family back home in Melbourne, Australia, for the last week. Just shy of two weeks left at this time. We've been having a brilliant time. The weather has been so-so, but we've been blessed with a few good days and as such have been out on various day trips. The kids have been really enjoying themselves - g-d knows they've been spoiled since arriving!

Highlights thus far include:
  • Mum's amazing sausage rolls!!!
  • Getting out to the bay area when the weather has been nice (Williamstown (picture above is view of Melbourne from this suburb) and St Kilda mostly)
  • Driving up around the local mountains/hills (Mt. Dandenong)
  • Catching up with family and friends
  • Seeing the kids experience what I took for granted when I lived here (this has been interesting)
  • Gaining 10lbs through eating all the foods I have missed :-(
Dad and I have also had his scope out. The weather at night has been ordinary, so sadly we could never drive it out beyond the city. But we've had some good viewing from time to time. Omega Centauri is a real high down here, and the views through Dad's 10" were impressive to say the least. We also managed to catch a Jovian transit (Europa to be exact) and this was the first time Dad has spotted one. Another cool event was the moon's transit of Antares tonight. We watched it and Dad was pretty chuffed about seeing the red sueprgiant star emerge from behind the moon. We attempted a photo of it (below) but it's ordinary (Nikon D40 handheld against eyepiece in Dad's scope). But it was a shared experience between Dad and it was neat to show him some of the ins and outs of astrophotography.

click on image for full size

Will post more here after the trip.

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