Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wind through the trees

Finnegan's Wake (our place here - or rather our old place) is in the little notch between Mount West and Arrochar hill - about 100 metres below the notch, the highest house ouside the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal (6000 feet). The notch protects us from most of the wind but it's howling and wuthering through the trees on the upper side of the house tonight (80 foot gums). Go out there, and, if the drop bears don't get you, don't face into the wind...

Wonder what the roaring forties are going to be like. When we were there in winter it was still. But the sculped trees told a different story, methinks.


  1. According to friends, Bass Strait was the worst duty station in the Royal Australian Navy (a patrol boat is permanently stationed there [on a rotating basis] to help maintain security on the oil rigs there). Apparently the waves can get quite ... interesting.

    [And the drop bears will always get you if you don't follow all the necessary precautions. Glad to hear that they are flourishing in SA. Although I expect they are little more obvious over there...]

  2. I hear spreading Vegemite behind the ears will keep you safe from drop bears.

  3. Ian - which way did this basis of theirs rotate? Port to Starboard, Starboard to Port, or bow to stern? Inquiring minds...

    Drop bears obviously also need gum leaves to get their enzyme systems going, as these creatures are only found here among gums.

  4. Melissa - oh really? does vegemite i-snack work ;-)? Can we use you as a guinea-pig for this?

  5. Vegemite i-snack DID indeed work, but then everyone got upset and started calling it nasty names like Vegemite i-suck2.0 and stuff; so they renamed it Vegemite Cheesybite. A little-known fact about drop bears however, is that the word Cheesybite makes them giggle, (kinda like saying "hippopotamus" in a quirky voice to a 4-year-old) so when the NEW new name was announced, their manic laughs were heard on all the Australian breezes.

    You can't use me for a guinea-pig, because I'm a Bovril kinda gal, myself ...

  6. As to how it rotated I'm not quite sure.

    The last time I actually saw the duty boat with my own eyes we were less than 50 feet from colliding with it. The worrying thing for the electronics officer, commo officer, and myself were that we were in a P3B Orion at the time. [The pilots weren't worried about colliding with the patrol boat though – they were trying to generate a miss with a helicopter and the Marlin III oil platform at the time, which is why we almost hit the patrol boat.]

    The expression of the cook (I believe from the clothing) was a wonder to behold as he stood open-mouthed watching 60-odd tons of aircraft slid down it's wing toward him...