March 28, 2013

A Sketchy Post

I have always liked drawing, but I have never been much good. I have always been able to hold my own doing technical drawing sorts of things, but I have never really tried doing anything with  perspective. Until now that is. I bought myself a sketch book, and have decided to give it a go. I have started with trying to sketch some nice scenes from photos I have taken. Here are the results.

The first one is the Sydney Opera House, and the second is a rough adaptation of an Italian landscape. I have been working on another few and I will post those when I am done.

March 26, 2013

Campus K Craziness

So, funny story...Yesterday I was in the inaugural Cairns Campus K, a one kilometre race around the Cairns Campus of James Cook University. I was doing it mainly for the free lunch at the end. Now the funny part of the story is what happened the next day. The Cairns Post liked a picture they took from the finish line. They decided to put it on the front page. That photo happens to be one of me in a sprint to the finish with the first female runner to cross the line. It is a pretty funny photo, and I think it is hilarious that it made the front page of the city's paper!

Here it is in all its glory!

March 22, 2013

Viewpoint Vista

From somewhere on the road to Port Douglas. This is where rainforest meets the sea. A spectacular sight to be sure!

March 20, 2013

Sunrise at Clifton

This morning I woke up early. I usually wake up early compared to when most people wake up, but today was early even for me. I was out of bed at a quarter to six. Since I was up, I decided to walk to the beach to see the sunrise. It was a very good choice. Here is picture evidence as to the fact it was a good choice.

That is me by the way. I put my camera on a time delay.

The morning light is just so warm!

Walking along the beach just as the sun rises is simply divine. The sand is warm from the water, warmer than the air. The water lapping at your feet is even warmer. The air is cool, well it is still probably 25, but that is cool for here. The sunrise is very brief however since we are so close to the equator. Within a few minutes of the sun coming into view, it is back to its hot blazing self and it is no longer cool, and not quite as nice. The moral of the story is to go to the beach about 20 mins before sunrise and walk along the water's edge. It is amazing in every way.

March 17, 2013


Today's selection of photos are from my university. James Cook University has several campuses throughout Australia's east coast, as well as one or two campuses in Asia. The campus I am at is the Cairns campus. With about 4000 full time students it is a very small campus, and it is also a very nice campus.

It is nestled up against the hills going up to the tablelands. The surrounding rainforest sneaks its way into the campus along the creeks which run through the grounds. To walk between the furthest buildings from each other takes at most five minutes, almost all of which is along covered walkways which provide shelter both from the sun and more importantly the torrential downpours which occur almost daily, and sometimes hourly.

This first picture is from between two of the main academic buildings looking up towards the hills. When it rains, you cant even see that hill the rain is so thick.

This is the walkway to the lab buildings. This is one of the many bridges on campus over Atika Creek.

This is just a pretty flower.

On the way from the labs to the library. Can you see the picnic table?

That is looking back at the shortcut path from the labs to the library. It is quite green.

This next one is looking from the library towards the main academic buildings. You cant see them, but they are there on the other side of the creek.

This is the main hang out place at the uni. This is where there are ping pong table, giant chess and jenga, a bar, music, the bookshop, cafe, and the refectory. It is called the Boathouse.

One of the seating areas on the way to the boathouse from the library.

The Deck Cafe overlooking the creek.

And finally, the creek. When it is not raining, there is not much in the way of water in it, but within a half hour of it starting to rain, it starts running, and if it rains for a while it really runs.

It is a pretty nice little campus. It is a bit far from the city, but then again, there is not all that much to do in the city if you are not buying a reef trip or drinking, so it is all right! But now I really should get to doing my essay brief....

March 16, 2013


I still have not written anything about Europe, but I did go for a walk on the beach this morning! And I took lots of pictures! Here they are. Now just to make you a little bit more jealous, the first picture is from about a 5 minute walk from my house, the closest part of the beach. I then walked about 2 km towards Palm Cove and back. Enjoy!

Jealous yet? Any takers for coming to visit me? I hope you enjoyed those pictures. I took them all this morning before about 9 am, it was already about 30 degrees. The ocean is just a few degrees cooler than that.

March 14, 2013

A Post!

This is my beach. This is where I come to sit in the mornings. Looking down the beach to where it starts to curve is Palm Cove. I suggest a google image search of that.

I know I said that I would work on some more posts, but I have yet to do so as you can probably tell. I have been busy geocaching. I have gone out every day for the past week, and on tuesday I hit 100 caches. I did it with pretty tricky puzzle cache.

That same day actually, I went on a bit of an adventure with my geomorphology class. My practical group went out to get some soil samples for doing our reports. Instead of just walking out and grabbing any old dirt, we drove a ways south of Cairns to Gordonvale and collected samples from a couple of cane fields.

It was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun with the mattock, just digging holes randomly. Right after getting back I went out and played ultimate frisbee with the uni's club. It is a lot of fun, but man oh man is it a lot more running than I have done in a long time! We play again today.

I will try to do some more in the way of posts from earlier in the trip, but they might just end up being photo montages. The main issue is that I do not have internet at home, I have to come to school to use it, and when I do that I don't want to sit there and write.

March 05, 2013

School Has Begun!

I am now on my second tuesday of school. I have figured out where everything is on the small campus. It is tucked into the rainforest with hills covered in lush green going up on three sides. The rainforest extends down through the campus along a couple of creek beds which fill with water when it rains.

When it rains, oh man does it ever rain. If you feel a drop, then another drop you seem to have about 20 seconds to get under cover before the deluge begins. It rains so hard here that it takes about 30 seconds for a shirt to get completely soaking wet as if you have jumped in a pool.

Luckily for us students, there are covered walkways between all the buildings on campus. All of them except the bus shelter. That is a thirty meter dash away. The good thing is that while they are madly intense, they rain showers are usually brief.

I have developed a bit of a routine for school. I wake up early with the sun, sometime around six thirty usually. I walk down to the beach and read around seven or seven thirty. There are very few people about, just a few joggers usually. I am back by about nine, and before jumping on the bus at about nine thirty, I jump in the pool for a quick swim. Some days I have lots of classes, others not so many, but I have been staying at school most of the day, hanging with friends and doing homework.

Today in my geomorphology practical we played with dirt. We played with dirt from four or five places around Cairns. When I say we played with it, I kinda do mean just that. There was no assignment for the exercise, and all we had to do was get a little bit of it wet on a little dish, then match up the color of it to a color palate. We then added a little bit of this dye stuff, then some other stuff to see what the pH was. Again that is just holding up a little color pallet to match the color the stuff turns.

The most fun thing was the last one. Finding out the texture. You take a big bunch of it in your hand, and slowly add water to it until it sticks together. You then squish it out of your hand until it falls off a bunch of times, and the average size of the piece that falls off tells you how much sand vs clay is in that sample. It was a lot of fun.

Now that I am settling in, and I am a little bit more into the rhythm of school I think I will start finishing off writing posts about my travels. I still have the latter half of Switzerland, as well as Wollongong and surrounds, The Kangaroo Valley, and Byron Bay. After that I think I will have done some more exciting stuff here, so I will write about that!