Monday, November 12, 2012
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Black field cricket sings
Over the now gentle paddocks,
That earlier we stumbled and tramped over
Walking the eel path.
Around the campfire
I hear the plaintive refrain
A Gunditjmara songman sounds the name of
An endangered native potato
The cricket shelters
Multiplying in every hollow and crack of earth,
Turned and churned for pasture
Standing guard over the sensuous curve of the waterways
Which echo the form of the Kooyang*,
Are the eloquent messengers of time past
Scar trees , silent witness, still watching
Make his ancient journey
All the way from the Coral Sea
to the heart of this Country.
* Eel in Gunditjmara
Monday, February 06, 2012
Parks Victoria ran professional development day with ranger staff, scientists and volunteers on the fourth day of Two Bays 2012. Many of the rangers were from regional Victoria, so it was a chance to connect across the organisation, meet others and share the different needs of the regions. At the same time, staff were involved in habitat mapping, image collection and biodiversity surveys of both Pt Nepean and Pope's Eye Marine Parks.
Parks staff from the coastal regions in Victoria are spread over a great distance and can sometimes find it hard to be heard. It was a way to give staff both a learning opportuntiy and the possibility to share across many levels of management and across the regions in an informal and fun way.
On the MESA (Marine Education Society of Australasia) site there is a good map and an outline of the five Victorian bioregions that determined the placement of the marine parks 10 years ago.
Sometimes at the beginning of the day I wonder how we get all the equipment on and off the boat...
Seen on the day... in Pt Nepean
Depth of 5m- scattered low rocky reef- mixed algae and sea grass cover [sea grass predominately -Amphibolus antarcticus] encrusting pink coralline algae
Fish [common names]
blue throat wrasse [ male and female]
scaly fin [male and female]
leatherjackets - yellow striped , horseshoe , mosaic
herringcale [ male]
Port Jackson shark
red throat ascidian
Looking at the fortification that has now turned into a very productive marine habitat and base for a large Gannet colony. This was our second dive site for the day.
Strands of Giant Kelp (Macrocystis angustifolia) used to abound around Pope's Eye but is now reduced to a few handfuls of tall strands. This species was abundant along the coastline of Tasmania but has declined to perhaps 5% of the original size. The research about how much faster the Southern Ocean is responding to climate change may be part of the reason.
As the Pelican crew chatted in the following evening, Garry McKechnie realised that Pelican1 had just clocked 50,000 NM, partly due to the fact that we detoured around Chinamans Hat after diving at both Pt Nepean and Pope's Eye. We toasted the Pelican as we celebrated our many coastal project miles in Australasian waters!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
A sharp, warm and breeezy day awaited our Wurundjeri guests for a sail into the Northern parts of Port Phillip Bay. The day was sponsored by Indigenous Partnerships from Parks Victoria.
David Mullins, riding the stern.
On board we had members from three Wurundjeri families and all were welcomed by Uncle Paddy Wandin.
All the young people on board got involved with learning the ropes and helping us get the boat down the Yarra and out into the Bay. The Wurundjeri creation story is about the formation of the Yarra River and how it flowed down to create the Bay. Unlike the Boonwurrung story which has the rising sea levels creating Nairn.Black swan flying near the where the Birrarung (Yarra River) meets the Nairm (Port Phillip Bay). The Wurundjeri
Many of the kids had not snorkelled before, so they were given a lesson first about how to use the equipment and swim safely.
Pelican1 anchored on the edges of the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, but the reef was a little deep to see much. But that did not seem to matter to the kids who were all thrilled to master their snorkelling skills.
They also found a butterfly floating in the Nairn and she was brought back on board, travelling home with us to Docklands at the end of the day. Alice Ewing (a previous Two Bays participant) identified it as the Imperial Jezebel, Delias harpalyce
All the kids mucked in with Anna (Pelican cook) and helped her make a Banana cake, which we ate on the way home.
Pelican1 sharing the river with slightly larger vessels!
Last time the Wurundjeri came out with the Two Bays project, Bob (who was on board) caught an Australian Salmon. It was not for lack of trying but this time the fish were not biting!
Aunty Winnie and Aunty Vicky with myself, Natalie, Aurora and Sharon.
The day was a great opportunity to get out and connect with Sea Country.