https://youtu.be/ZoNX7WX1iX4   We love being outdoors and this can mean many different things, but one thing that it has to be is ‘away’. ‘Away from what?’ you might ask. Well, away from the house. Why? Because we both work from home – and if we are here, we tend to ‘just finish that’, or quickly ‘have a look at this’ . We all know there is a never ending list of chores/housework/yard work to be done, and before we know it we’ve worked away our time that is allocated to rest, relaxation, fun, and down-time. I also have to be careful that my phone is used for photographic purposes only, and to answer calls and texts only if absolutely necessary! Why? My business is very much an online one! And again, I can get caught up with ‘work’ on my phone. I am a firm believer in practising mindfulness, and part of this for me is making sure that my mind doesn’t get so cluttered that my stress levels rise and life becomes one big headache! When I’m at home or work, I simply practise the ‘mindful pause’ (read more about this here) … but whenever possible, I like to give my mind a complete holiday! I always find that both my work and home life benefit from our little getaways. We like to book weekends away in our caravan – and we do this as much as possible. We are blessed that we have weekends both with and without our kids, which gives us the best of both worlds! Family – time, family adventures and ‘kid-stuff’ (which we love – we quite often use the kids as an excuse so we can join in the kid like activities!), and couple time – where we get to do the more adventurous things that the kids might find a little too hard or just plain ‘boring’. We’ve had a bit of time at home lately as we’ve had a few things going on (my parents came up from Tassie for my birthday weekend! That I didn’t mind!) We did take the jet ski out to Moogerah Dam, but that ended disastrously- let’s just say the kids learned a valuable lesson about keeping tow ropes out of jet ski engines!

The kids on the ski at Moogerah

The last trip out before the rope got sucked into the engine!

But, we haven’t taken the van out in about 4 weeks – Australia Day at Cotton Tree was our last escape. We had Cotton Tree booked again for last weekend, but the weather was so terrible we had to cancel. That was so very disappointing! We had friends coming to hang out with us and everything. Sigh. We spent a lot of last weekend watching the torrential rain pelting against the windows and subsequently flooding many parts of Qld, and listening to the howling wind wondering which tree was going to be uprooted next! We were going a little bit out of our minds! So when we woke up Sunday morning and Chris pulled the blind up to be greeted with brilliant blue sky – we knew we had to go, go, go!

Chris and Tony – the Coochie Guru!

Freedom – that’s what was whooshing through our hair in this pic!

                    As soon as the ski was hooked up to the Hilux we headed over to Victoria Point boat ramp where we launched, and then putted over to Coochi where we caught up with our mate Tony before speeding off to Peel Island, which took my breath away as it always does. The magic just never wears off! The day was warm, sunny, perfect – I think you get the picture! Tropical paradise is what I’m trying to describe. Real tropical paradise like you see in movies – with palm trees and everything.

It doesn’t get much better than this!

I climbed on the ski and lay back with my hat pulled low to keep the sun out of my eyes and just ‘was’. This was nature at it’s absolute finest.

We love our drone and took some spectacular shots before jumping back on the ski and heading for North Stradbroke Island – these are just a few. We could fill many pages with what we captured! Stay tuned for our gallery which is coming soon.

  We  then jumped back on the ski, heading for North Stradbroke Island. On the way, we rode past and checked out the shipwreck at Dunwich which is always a popular place with the snorkelers.

Shipwreck near Dunwich

Shipwreck near Dunwich

There was quite a large patch of ‘ocean’ to cover before we reached the shores of North Straddy; some darker choppy bits and some calm, crystal clear waters. We stopped in at Little Ships for a peek and we saw a lady swimming in the water, right in the channel next to the trawlers! Crazy lady … ‘shark bait’ was the phrase that came to mind. We zipped through shallow waters off the coast of Amity Point up past Adder Rock jumping waves and waving to a few swimmers, noticing as we went that a few changes had taken place since we were there. It’s pretty amazing how the ocean waters and tides can impact the way a beach/coastline looks from day to day, let alone from year to year!

We beached our ski, then had to use our muscles to drag her back out to drop the anchor! I love Chris’s tongue in this pic!

Playing in the waves

At Flinders Beach it was time for another dip – a lucky one for me butnot so lucky for Chris! As he was pulling the anchor up a huge bluebottle decided to wrap itself around his wrist, back and stomach! Man did he let out a yelp … followed very closely by ‘BLUE BOTTLE!!’ But before we get to the welts that followed, let’s look at the ‘before photos’ ….shall we?

               He’s in his happy place!

            Yep – now everyone knows we were here!

I went for a bit of a wander … as you do!

 

And I found a lovely spot for a mindful moment!

And now, back to that nasty blue bottle! Chris grew up here in QLD, and has told the kids and me many stories about his blue bottle stings. So for me to actually witness one was kind of intriguing. Apparently this one was the worst of the lot (it was a huge one) but Chris insisted on riding the ski back to the bay (I did offer!). He was pulling at his life jacket as it clung to his back where he’d obviously been stung, and his wrist blew up like a balloon! Not once did he complain, other than to let out a small moan every now and then. I must say I was a little anxious, wondering how I’d go if he passed out. I was imagining wrapping him around the ski, kind of stuffing him in the foot well and trying to ride it back! Chris gave me the run down on neutral and reverse that morning … so I would have been fine! (Note to self – REALLY must get that license sorted!) Thank goodness and luckily for me – for both of us I guess – none of that eventuated as I’m not sure we could have squeezed him into in the foot well! We made it back to the boat ramp in once piece – one big, swollen and quite painful piece for Chris! I would love to show you more pics of his beautiful big red welts, but needless to say, he was not overly impressed when I pulled the camera out! Aside from a little sunburn – we had so much fun we forgot to reapply – and Chris’s fight with the blue bottle, we had a fantastic, memorable, picture perfect day.

 

 

The Moreton Bay regions and the waterways of Brisbane and the Gold Coast are pure paradise. If you own a boat or a ski, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, see if you can find someone who does and be REALLY friendly until they offer to take you out! It’s worth it. It’s really, really worth it.      

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