Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wildlife Bits

Current Location: Southport - Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Current Position: 27º56.81' S 153º25.39' E
Next Destination: Land travel

If it isn’t obvious (by the fact that we are still here), we quite like Southport and the surrounding area. It is a terrific spot: the anchorage is well protected, calm and usually quiet; we are near the city; steps away from an amazing beach; surrounded by attractions; bus transportation is excellent; we have wireless internet on the boat; and have made quite a few friends. Chris is especially liking that he doesn’t have to keep a serious watch on the weather. Partly due to our prolonged stay here and an offer of a free berth from some friends, it is looking like we will land travel from this area to Sydney (and probably as far as Melbourne & Tasmania), instead of taking the boat south. To a non-sailor (me), this sounds like a fantastic idea!

Last week we bussed it to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. After goggling over the cute koalas, we went to check out the kangaroos and wallabies. We had no idea that we’d be able to walk through a huge field area, where the ‘roos and wallabies would greet us (looking to be fed of course). There were hundreds of them just milling around. It was an amazing experience to feed and pet some of the bigger kangaroos, whose forearm muscles were bigger than my calves! The joey’s (baby kangaroos), were adorable. It was fascinating to watch them climb in and out of their mother’s pouches, and entertaining to watch them flop about as their mother hopped along!

Chris was taken up with the ‘bits’. The ‘bits’, if you haven’t guessed, are the male’s “boys” or, more anatomically correct, the balls. He was actually quite concerned for the poor guys, whose ‘bits’ hung like a pendulum, ready to swing at the slightest movement and getting quite an arc should the guy actually hop somewhere. “They should have a pouch for them, like the female’s have for the joeys”, he told me. He proceeded to redesign the kangaroo’s anatomy, allowing for better support for the ‘boys’! If you ask me the kangaroos didn’t really seem to mind, actually the pendulum-like design allowed them easy access with their short arms, so they could proceed to grab, scratch, and play (in fact we saw one using his like a punching bag; swatting it back and forth)!!! And then there was their ‘members’. I was feeding one kangaroo, when Chris says, “oh look this one has a joey”. I looked and said, “uh no, honey, that’s something else”. “Whoa you mean that’s his ….”, “Shhh, there are kids around!”. In all honesty it really had looked like a joey’s tale (see the joey’s didn’t tend to hang in the pouches head up, all proper and cute like in the pictures, rather they just hopped in, and tails, feet, ears would be sticking out, while the head might remain hidden). Perhaps Chris should’ve been a veterinarian, as he was soon discussing the shape and size of the members along with the pendulum designed bits. Ahhh yes, it was an interesting day indeed!!!

Since cruising I’ve become kind of a snob about seeing animals in the wild versus contained … but this wildlife sanctuary was terrific. Plus some things are better seen behind bars and in cages .. like 10 of the top 10 poisonous snakes and gigantic crocodiles!

On the personal news front, the other big event of the past week was (is) that Chris and I are now “officially” engaged! He finally proposed! We still don’t want to get married until we can be home with family and friends, but it is exciting to be ‘official’!

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