Australia: November 11. 12, 13, 2012 Cairns

Australia:  November 11, 12, 13, 2012            Cairns

The entire group of 187 came together tonight at our welcome reception at the Oasis Novotel.  The reception was lovely with drinks and a bountiful spread of hot and cold hors d’ouevres.  The staff, Claudia, Daniel, Julie and Glenn were introduced to the group followed by our lecturers:  David Eicher, editor, Astronomy magazine, David Levy, comet chaser, Dennis Mammana, sky photographer, Rich Talcott, Sr. editor, astronomy magazine, with Seth Shostak, Sr. astronomer, SETI Institute giving the key note lecture “Is it safe to send signals into space?

On the 12th and 13th we alternated between the two excursions:  Yesterday was the Rain Forest Aboriginal Day.  Wanted a real experience for everyone with Aboriginals and the Brothers Link and Brandon served it up.

We learned to spear our food, hiked the mango grove forest with mud oozing up between our toes, listened to the digeredoo.   Afterwards went on a river cruise along the Daintree in search of crocodiles.  The day ended with a deep rain forest walk with blue butterfiles, giant Jurassic ferns, and crashing waterfalls.  Amazing.

Dennis Mammana, sky photographer, gave an exuberant talk on viewing the eclipse and protective glasses were handed out to the group

Today is was the Great Barrier Reef for the Kangaroo group.  A boat out to the Reef for 3 stops to snorkle and dive.   Swimming with Nemo, a few sharks and sea turtles.  Awesome.

Tomorrow begins at 1:00am as we cross to Green Island for the viewing.

Melita with Expectation of Clear Skies

Photo:  Dennis at the beach on Green Island awaiting the eclipse.

 

Photo:  Hunter Gatherers:  Kirk Palmer

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