After finishing a semester of study abroad at Curtin University in Perth, Australia I had a couple weeks left before flying home to the U.S on the 4th of July. At the end of June I went up the coast to Geraldton, Western Australia, my friend Ross's hometown, to stay with him and his family for a few days. My German flat-mate Julia came along too.
Ross's dad drove and we saw some kangaroos along the side of the road. We stopped at the Pinnacles as the sun was setting.
The Pinnacles at dusk:
Me, Ross, and Julia at the Pinnacles. It was eerie at night!
Riding through the night I remember looking up at the Southern Cross. The stars were so bright out there, far away from the artificial light of any city.
We got to Ross's place and had dinner. The next morning we got up early and a friend of Ross's dad took us out fishing on his boat. We bottom fished with cut shrimp and squid and I caught my first saltwater fish ever, this silver toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus; lifelister #40):
Julia also got one:
Then I got another new species, the Dhufish (Glaucosoma hebraicum; lifelister #41):
Ross caught a samsonfish, which we saved for dinner. It was delicious!
After fishing we chilled at Ross's and checked out the town.
A sunset view from Geraldton:
HMAS Sydney Memorial. 645 people lost their lives aboard this ship, which was mysteriously sunk off the Western Australia coast in a WWII naval battle.
The next afternoon I borrowed some gear from Ross's dad and fished in the marina. These weeping toados swarmed my bait.
Lifelister #42, the weeping toado (Torquigener pleurogramma):
I also caught a couple of small silver trevally (Pseudocaranx dentex; lifelister #43)...
...and this western butterfish (AKA striped whiptail; Pentapodus vitta; lifelister #44):
Then, the following morning, I fished for another couple hours after sunrise in a different marina and along rip rap jetties. I picked up another three small species: the gobbleguts (Apogon rueppellii; lifelister #45), the western school whiting (Sillago vittata; lifelister #46), and the yellowtail scad (Atule mate; lifelister #47).
Western school whiting:
I couldn't fish long that morning, because we were headed on a tour of the coast north of Geraldton. Although I only fished a couple of days in my 5 months of living in Australia I still accomplished 8 new species.
The tour, graciously paid for by Ross's parents, was a blast! Here are some of the highlights:
A pet kangaroo: