Breakfast followed by a few games of the word game Banana Peel! That’s a different start to the day!
Games are a good way to get to know people and the Melbourne friends like their games and they always invite us to join in.
I followed up with another few games of backgammon with Tony. One game s spectacular win. The next a spectacular loss!
I joined the eco tour of the lodge. Led by Cameron it is a great part at Pinetrees Lodges daily working life. The gardens have gradually been redesigned by Cameron who seems to be a man of many talents. Very in touch with the environment he talked is through the garden, water collection and usage, the electricity, food provisions, staffing and general running of Pinteees. He was so engaging and knowledgeable.
Suddenly it was nearly midday and our lift to Neds Beach was waiting.
Carol our driver volunteer took us on the regulation 20km per hour short 10 minutes drive to Neds on the opposite side of the island.
We snorkelled around the coral with the large blue fish. We spied lots of other coloured fish – no wonder as there are 450 species and 90 types of coral. Steve even had one nibble his toe.
We shared our delicious fish & steak BBQ with Phil and Jo – a couple of scientists now nursery owners from Wagga. So much fun and so interesting.
Another swim and snorkel then a rest under the trees, reading before our longish walk back to Pinetrees. These longer walks are difficult for Steve but he does it ! We had intended to stop for drink at The Crooked Post for a drink but it had a sign saying closed for Discovery Day.
Discovery Day is a big day here at Lord Howe. Feb 17th celebrates their discovery in 1788 some 234 years ago by and named for Admiral Lord Howe by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball of the British navy. The island was first settled in 1834 and became a supply station for whalers.
There are now about 350 people. A small 3 teacher school. Many of the families are 5th generation including the family who still run Pinetrees Lodge.
The celebration involves a fun sports day on the cricket oval adjoining the school. There are running races , sack races, three legged races, oldies races….. you name it there is a race. There is a break for dinner – which usually involves a big fish fry!
We called in and enjoyed a beer while watching the little kids do their running races, & sack races, urged on by parents and friends. This involves almost everyone on the island. I saw Cameron from the Pinetress eco tour. His two young children attend the school which has around 30 students. When they reach high school they either get home schooled or fly away to boarding school.
It’s looks like a fairly close knit community though like all small places it would have all the usual problems.
We stayed until the Dinner break – a bbq / fish fry in the school playground and went onto our own delicious dinner on the deck. Tonight a seafood bisque and strangely I broke my fish habit and had the confit duck!
Tomorrow a boat trip to Ball’s Pyramid- something Steve has been so keen to do.