To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Cruisin'
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 20:11:02 -0700 (PDT)
A forward from those that have started a long trek?
could they be stars? giggle sorry looks like my valium
is really working eh?


From: Sid and Sharon Genaux <
Subject: Cruisin'
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 02:24:35 GMT
Hi everyone,

Well, the Easter/ANZAC day holiday is over and we can
finally get to a library where we can have a little
time. I have quite a bit to catch up on so I'll start
with our time on the 90 mile beach area of Victoria.  
The 90 mile beach is literally that--ninety miles of
golden sand beach along the south-eastern coast. 
Another feature of the area is a network of lakes
along the coast. Some of the lakes are freshwater, but
most are salt or brackish and many are tidal. We took
cruises on two of those lakes.

Our first cruise was on Lake Tyer in Marlo.
The cruise was in an old wooden boat made around 1915
specifically as a tourist boat. It was converted to an
electric engine about 10 years ago. The owner, Bob, is
very keen on conservation and environmentalism. He
also says the boat is very practical.

It is quiet, non-polluting, and cheaper to run in the
long run than a diesel engine.

Lake Tyer is a small lake with lots of wild country
around it. We saw all kinds of water birds and heard
some of the history of the area. But the moment which
will stay with us was when we sailed into a section of
the lake which was populated with Moon Jellyfish. Bob
stopped the boat and the water around us was full of
them. They are dome-shaped and almost transparent with
4 crescent moon shapes on the top. Unlike stinging
jellyfish, they do not have tentacles. They ranged in
size from about an inch to five inches in diameter. 
There was an ethereal, delicate beauty to the sight of
them gliding past us. Our second cruise was at
Mallacoota Inlet right on the border of Victoria and
New South Wales. We went out in a shallow-draft boat
called the Discovery. It only draws 10 inches fully
loaded, so it can go through both lakes and up the
river which feeds them. This was a 5 hour cruise and
included morning and afternoon tea and a luncheon
barbeque. We saw lots of water birds again and a
number of Eastern water dragons. Water dragons are
lizards which are about 2 feet long. They rest on logs
and stones along the river bank. We went through a lot
of territory which is National Park. The banks in some
areas were lined with ferns and were very beautiful
The best part of this cruise was the White-bellied Sea
Eagles. The sea eagles are about the size of our Bald
Eagles. Their adult plumage is all white except for
black edges on the wings. Very impressive looking
birds. Neill, who captains this cruise, has been
feeding the eagles for many years. They know to look
for his boat. He injects fish with air so they will
float on the surface and throws them out on the water.
The sea eagles swoop down and pick up the fish just
off the side of the boat. There are three families of
eagles in the area just now and he fed them all. We
both took pictures of them and I hope they will turn
out. From Mallacoota we traveled to Canberra in the
Australian Capital Territory. We stayed there a week
so we will tell you about that in the next message.

We are staying in a town called Eden on the New South
Wales Southern Coast now. I will try to get another
message out soon and catch up to date.

We are enjoying all the info e-mails from everyone.
And John this is a very good idea on what is recent
and where to go and what to see, many thanks to all on
Birding-Aus email list.

We are having a great time here.

Sid and Sharon

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