600. Sunday 22nd September 2019. SWELL Festival, Rock & Roll, Whales and Fingal Head…

Just in case you have not noticed/realised/understood the meaning of the first number of the post each week. Just so it all makes sense this weeks number is 600. That means I have posted an article, mostly on a weekly basis, on 600 occassions. That is the equivalent of a post a day for almost 2 years. In real terms that is at least one post per week for 12 years. Think about that. Hopefully you stay with me for the next 12 years.

Wednesday 18th September

At last the phone account is now swung over to my name, I have a new Samsung Galaxy A30 which I will use as a Hot Spot to provide Internet to the PC and laptop. I retained my phone number and will still use my email address.

All is right with the world.

Or so I thought.

I drove to Currumbin Beach for a look at the Sculptures at the Swell Festival for a second time but mainly to photograph in the setting sun. My first problem was no Internet. Everywhere I walked along the beach, there was no signal.

180918 currumbin alley
Currmbin Alley is included in the SWELL Festival.


Although the time was pushing 5pm the number of children, with or without parents, were moving in front of and playing in on and around the sculptures. The chances of getting a clear photo was almost nil.

180919 currumbin alley rock
This rock at Currumbin Alley gets more kids climbing on it at festival time than it does for the rest of the year.

Unless I waited them out.

What was worse were the children, young and not so young, accompanied by parents, who thought it was a good idea to climb on the sculptures despite at least two signs in front of each piece, printed in large type, asking not to climb on the works. I guess the children AND their parents never learned to read while at school. Or is it simply, the parents do not care.

180919 bower
I am still puzzling over this. I know it is meant to be art but it looks more like an eagle or hawk than a Bower Bird.
180919 ive been everywhere
Called “I’ve Been Everywhere”. So it is basically a tyre which I understand rewpresents travel or the ability to travel while all the spoons have a place name and a location depiction (available at tourist shops everywhere)
180919 mouse
The giant mouse/rat is sniffing the air and enjoying the smell of food coming from the surf club.
180919 nude
Yeah yeah I know I showed The Nude last week. So here it is again.

It was getting on for 6pm, light was fading fast, a chill wind was blowing off the sea when a pod of whales cavorted just off the beach.

180919 whale
Here is one of several whales cavorting off the beach at Currumbin just on dusk.

They did breaches and tail flaps and flipper flops and generally hammed it up for the people on the beach.

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and spectacularly splashes down.
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More blurry whale shots.

That said, most of those on the beach never noticed the spectacle. Unfortunately with fading light and using a hand held camera on full zoom is not a recipe for successful, clear, sharp in focus action shots. Regardless of the negative aspect I felt elated to be in a position to see the whales on their way back down the coast. It sort of made up for not having Internet especially as I was to meet with another person from my photo group with whom I have only ever communicated via Facebook. Perhaps I should arrange a day at Fingal Head or Cabarita Head at suitable whale watching locations.

My Internet problem was solved later when I turned off the phone and re-booted.

Grrr! If only I had thought to do that when at Currumbin. Normally that would be the first thing I would try but today had a mental blank.

Thursday 19th September

Went to a morning tea function at the clubhouse where we had a guest speaker from Emergency Medical Services Pty Ltd. Basically they are selling a SafeTwear pendant which is monitored 24/7 anywhere in OZ including up to 25 Nautical Miles to sea. If you have a fall or any type of emergency the pendant will send a message and somebody will call you (the pendant is like a phone which has a speaker and microphone). If there is no reply they will send an ambulance to the position indicated by GPS tracking within the device. You can even wear it in the shower. Several people came up to me and said I need such a device as I have a reputation for going to adventurous places.

Friday 20th September

In the morning I went to art group for coffee, cake and conversation as well as to show my photos.

The local Telstra store has still not fully transferred my details onto the account as requested and as they promised to do. I cannot access Telstra 24/7 in order to see what usage has occurred. Today I was at Helensvale collecting some photo blocks I ordered and decided, on impulse, to visit the Telstra shop there. I made an appointment and viola, within 5 minutes my details were fully transferred and my new user name and password were set up. They also did some tweaking on the font size on my phone and I was on my way to my appointment at the bank.

So far my new Samsung Galaxy A30 has delivered fast internet via Hot Spot. According to my account I have used 1.2 Gb of data in the last week. Allowing for say, 2 Gb per week that would average out at 14 Gb per month and would be below my 15Gb per month allowance. I will monitor over the next few months. While at Telstra I noticed on their private screen that somewhere in the future I will be offered 40 Gb – at no extra cost I would hope. Maybe then I can stream movies but so far I am not interested in that. My TV and DVD recorder gives me all the entertainment options I need.

I did a download/ upload speed test. When using an ADSL Modem I was getting a download of around 10 Mbps and an upload of 3Mbps. On Hotspot via the Galaxy A30 the download speed is now 37.4 Mbps and upload is 10.2 Mbps. That is  4x times faster using the phone.

Saturday 21st September

Tonight I went to the Guanaba Country Music Club Rock and Roll dance. Top Rock and Roll Band, Dance On, was featured. My friend Frank went a couple of hours earlier so he could get the preferred table for his group of dancers. As it transpires most of the usual attendees were at another dance. Frank’s wife Kay stayed home with Bronchitis so the number of dancers from Brisbane and the Gold Coast was about half the usual number. As you know by now I am a total novice at Rock and Roll so I expected to just be a listener and only join in for some Line Dancing. A couple of ladies had other ideas and got me up for several dances. One partner, a dance instructor, who is nicknamed The Pocket Rocket, took me way beyond my comfort zone by getting me to join her in a Rock and Roll Waltz. I have never done this and was totally at sea as I was twirled around the dance floor. That said, I had a fantastic night and my dance confidence levels just took a huge boost.

Thanks Marcia.

Sunday 22nd September

I had planned to go to Fingal Head today to see the Whales and that is what I did. One of the ladies in the village had eye surgery during the week and is unable to drive and is frustrated at not being able to get out and about. I offered to take her with me.

230919 fingal
Looking south at Fingal Head.
230919 fingal4
This is a tiny island of basalt separated from the headlanbd by only a few metres. This entire headland as well as Cook Island was created by lava flow from the Tweed Volcano millions of years ago. The man with folded arms may very well be contemplating how he is going to get back from his perch as the waves were slaming into the rocks around him from behind as well as from in front.

There was lots of traffic on the M1 but all considered it still took just on an hour to arrive at Fingal in northern NSW. There was a strong wind blowing from the North East which put a lot of chop and white caps on the water. We did see a couple of Whales, way out past Cook Island but too far to photograph. A pod of Dolphins swam along the cliff face, then as Dolphins do, swam out beyond the waves and started surfing. Of course they were surfing where my camera was not pointing.

230919 dolphins
I got to see the Dolphins a biut closer but the move so fast.

When I first visited Fingal Head four years ago, the lighthouse was in good cobndition and there were lots of Pandanus trees.

230919 fingal3
Fingal Head lighthouse.

Sadly vandals have started to tear up the 100 year old forecourt of the lighthouse and many of the trees are dead or dying. 230919 fingal1There are still lots of trees but not as many as there once was. I wonder if vandals have done something or if climactic conditions means the soil is dryer these days. Pandanus on other nearby beaches do not show the same signs of dieback.

230919 fingal2
FRom Fingal Head looking south to Kingscliff in NSW.

We took the scenic route home along The Gold Coast Highway turning off through Currumbin and getting caught in traffic. Today is the last day of the SWELL Festival and there were people and cars everywhere. I am glad I did not plan to come here today.

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