Something Fishy’s Going On Here

A list of five incredible things we did before breakfast:

  1. We got out of bed at 5am without any whinging.
  2. We got lost in a swamp.
  3. We acted as guardian angels to a lone baby turtle making its break for the waves.
  4. We skimmed stones on the ocean.
  5. We missed seeing dolphins swimming past said ocean by about .6 of a second because we were looking the wrong way.

Number 5 was, obviously, an incredibly annoying thing.

But that was, quite literally, just the beginning of a big day for the Devereaux clan because we also managed to teach the kids how to throw back shots at The Bundaberg Barrel and, to wear off the subsequent sugar hit, went for a dip in a tidal pool.

We’d stumbled across the Basin Rock Pool earlier in the day when we got lost coming back from the turtles and it looked beautiful and peaceful and was full. By the time we arrived in the afternoon the tide was out and the ocean beyond was rough and roary, but the shallow rock pool was still a nice spot for a quick splash.

We were wrong.

They were only standing ten meters away from us, so I’d noticed the older couple tearing up slices of bread and throwing them at their feet – and I knew the kids hadn’t, because they’d have been instantly suspicious. Then, when all the bread was gone, the man decided to grab the attention of a couple of our munchkins.

“Hey kids,” he called out to Miss7 and Miss9. I knew what was coming, but there was simply no time to warn him to not say what they were about to say.  “Come and look at all the fish.”

“The what?” asked Miss7.

“Fish!” Miss9 yelled as she attempted a better than fair JC impersonation and bolted for the shore.

“AAAAGH!” screamed Miss7, nearly bursting my eardrum because instead of running after her sister she’d climbed up onto my head, meaning I’m on painkillers for a shite neck tonight. “There’s live things in here!” she yelled to where the other three kids were standing knee deep with Tracey.

Suddenly Master11 was as tense as a cadet camp.

“Where!?” he yelled back.

Miss7 would have pointed to where the older couple were standing, ironically, like stunned mullets but her hands were busy cutting of my air supply.

“There’s fish in here!” Miss7 called out to him, looking in horror at the very same water she’d been telling me was so lovely right up until about thirty seconds ago. “In the water!”

That was all the information Master11’s imagination needed.

“A fish just swam past me!” he squealed a few seconds later.

“No it didn’t,” Tracey assured him.

“It did!”

“I’ll prove it didn’t,” Tracey told him, dunking our camera into the water and taking a photo.

“Well?” asked Master11, because his mother had stopped with the camera half outstretched towards him.

So anyway, missing seeing wild dolphins frolicking in the ocean by a smidge over half a second has been elevated to the second most incredibly annoying thing to happen to us today.

Here’s looking at you, kid.
These guys weren’t small either. They were plate worthy.
Prior to that it was all going swimmingly. Literally.


This was Jimmy who, like Gerald the day before, we found madly making his way to the ocean. We kept an eye out for birds for him. Given only one in 1000 make it to adulthood, we might be the only humans who ever see little Jimbo.
After a second morning finding a single solitary baby turtle ‘walking’ to the water, we ran into some researchers from the Mon Repos centre who were releasing twelve hatchings which they’d taken during the night to check and measure.
So we got to watch them work their way to freedom. Found out some really interesting facts too. Like the baby turtles use the time on the beach to switch on their internal gps so they know which region of beach to come back to when it’s time to lay their own eggs in about thirty years time.
This is Tommy-Lee. Apparently it’s important to name each and every baby turtle you come across.
I asked if the babies start breathing when they reach the surface of their nest, but apparently they breath even in their eggs – the shells are porous and let co2 out and oxygen in. Then there’s enough oxygen in the sand the hatchings are climbing up through for them to breath quite happily.
When they reach to waves the hatchings will swim out to the EAC (that’s East Australian Current for those of you who haven’t watched Finding Nemo) and ride that bad boy all the way past New Zealand to Peru, where they’ll spend the first 15 years of their lives.
After that they make their way back to Australia – northern Old – only coming south again when it’s time to mate and have babies themselves.

The lovely people from the research centre let the kids get some flipper from a baby turtle.
If you’re interested, turtle season happens from November through to March annually and there are night time tours which won’t break the bank ($27.80 for a family pass), like the one we did in December where we got to watch ‘Marge’ lay her first nest of eggs (post: So Anyway, This Happened Last Night). There is something addictive about these beautiful creatures.
Turtles: nature’s original motorhomers. I definitely felt an affiliation.
Between us I feel confident we dug out all the TMNT and Finding Nemo jokes we could from the experience. Box ticked.

Oh, goody. More shells. Still, it could have been worse…
…she might have been collecting ‘stones’. Next to the turtle ones, my fav pick of the holiday so far.
Here are our excellent friends, Karen & Luke. Together, we found a swamp on our walk to the beach from the caravan park. Next time I’m sticking to the footpath. Nature. Ewww.
After a couple of early mornings the kids were going rank so we settled into our bus at lunchtime for some quiet time. Well, three of them did.
“Mum, we want to start a band,” said Miss7. “Can we have some saucepans and spoons?”
This machine was hilarious. It made fart noises. I mean it was making bubbles, but they were accompanied by fart noises. Kept ‘the kids’ amused for ages ( I loved it!).
Fart machine on the right.
This display let you mix your own ginger beer. Miss5 kept making explosives. I’m sure it was a coincidence. That’s what I’m telling myself.

We tried all these. I thought it particularly brave to give my kids all that soft drink in a shop full of so many glass bottles.  Trudii was our ‘barmaid’ for the taste testings. She was lovely and didn’t make us feel stressed when Miss5 knocked her cup over. Either time.
My top three: Pineapple & Coconut. Guava. Lemon, Lime & Bitters.
“Up your bum!” There was a lot of Cheers-ing. In any case, learning to count to three in German is a homeschooling foreign language lesson, I’m sure. I’m very proud.
Master11 practicing his Tequila face. I think this was the lemon one. Whatever it was, it earned a fist pump.
Choosing some samples to take home. This bit was nerve-wracking to watch.
They got to choose 4 each on the understanding we’ll be managing their distribution on the bus to ensure we all get a little sleep.

Been amusing ourselves checking out signs around the place:

This is what happens if you go for the cheap sign paint – people eventually get the wrong message. (The No has long gone, although possibly it just moved to the next sign – below)
Don’t even think about whatever you’re thinking about doing.
And then you can start on the rainforests and, once you’ve eaten all your greens, the snow capped mountains for dessert.
How big would the cow have been? Also, don’t look at him phones! No, don’t! Oh, alright you caught us. We were playing Pokemon Go.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

This isn’t a sponsored post, however we were lucky enough to be invited to check out The Bundaberg Barrel, which we found on this list of things to do in the Bundaberg area, about half an hour before we were heading there. We’ll have to come back because there’s still more!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.