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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 19 February 2005

Roadkill camp snorkel

Sarah and I went to Jervis Bay (well Huskisson to be precise) for the weekend, to camp with a bunch of the regulars who are friends with Elise and Michael, as well as a few new people.

Travelling to various places via the Federal Highway, I've noticed a tiny sign that points to Nowra via Tarago and Currawang, which has always intrigued me, as taking the "conventional" route to Nowra and similar coastal locations usually involves hopping off the highway much further north, so on Friday night after work, we decided to try this route, more to see where the heck it went than as a shortcut.

It was a fairly interesting drive on the most part. Probably 50% of it was on dirt roads. We drove past some mines I didn't know exist, some tiny towns (probably questionable as to if they had town status), lots of sheep paddocks, and possibly found a way to get into the back of the intriguing Lake George.

When Elise called at about 9:30pm to find out where we were, there was much laughter in the background from the others who knew the area. Apparently everyone's taken this road once, thinking it is a shortcut.

The downer on the night was towards the end of the journey. We were on a dirt road, and what was about the fifth car we'd seen all night was heading towards us, so I'd slowed down to about 40 km/h, and a bunch of kangaroos appeared, and one hopped right in front of me, and I hit it, and then it got hit by the other car coming in the opposite direction. The other car didn't even stop.

I pulled over and had a quick look at my car to make sure it was still drivable (only minor cosmetic damage to the front grill and a damaged headlight housing thankfully), and then walked back about 20 metres to see what condition the kangaroo was in. It wasn't looking too flash. It had at least a broken back leg, with the bone sticking out, was hyperventilating and was bleeding from the nose and mouth. I dare say it was in shock.

I decided that the best thing I could do was put it out of its misery, which was not something I was really happy about doing, as if you haven't already figured out, I'm a bit of an animal lover. I returned to the car to find something to do the deed with, and the only thing I could think of was the steering wheel lock. So I grabbed that and went back to the kangaroo.

Problem was, I just couldn't do it. I raised it a few times to take a swing at the back of the head, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I ended up going back to get the car to try and finish it off with that. I ran over it once, and as I was turning the car around to head back off in the right direction again, I noticed it was still moving, so I ran over it again. I couldn't bring myself to check again after that. It was the first kangaroo I've ever hit, and Sarah and I were both a bit traumatised from the experience.

So that was our Friday night trip to Huskisson. We put the tent up at the caravan park we were staying in and hit the sack as Sarah was pretty tired.

The next morning, we went to Green Patch beach in the Booderee National Park to do some snorkelling. I was really looking forward to snorkelling as Sarah had given me a snorkel, mask and fins for my birthday and I hadn't had an opportunity to use them yet.

The visibility was a bit ordinary, and there wasn't a lot to see. I saw some small fish and lots of sea urchins. After lunch, we headed to Summercloud Bay, still in the national park, and had some better results there. The highlight being a huge (we guessed about a metre wide) sting ray, right underneath us.

At about 3:30pm a thunderstorm blew over, and so we decided to head back to Huskisson. Sarah and I stayed in the car for a bit, right down on the beach, watching the lightning over the ocean, and saw some spectacular lightning bolts.

When we got back to Huskisson, the others who had gone scuba diving for the morning had gotten back and were already at the pub so we headed there as well (the storm had passed by this point) and had some dinner.

We headed back early because we were tired and had turned in by about 9pm. We were woken at about midnight by Michael (he and Elise had their tent next to ours) throwing up, so something mustn't have agreed with him in his dinner (he had baby octopus, and had an unintended bit of paper in it).

It also started raining at some point after that, and didn't really let up after that, so when we got up we decided we'd break camp after breakfast and head home.

We had a pretty good weekend. It would have been better if we hadn't hit a kangaroo, and it rained less, but both things aren't really anything we had much control over.

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