Monday, January 12, 2009

Tasmania (Saturday)

With the conference officially over, but one day until the plane left the airport, we decided to explore Hobart a little. The day started with breakfast in Salamanca (see a theme yet?) with Tim, Kate, Jérome and Marc. Then after they left for more collection work, Marc and I headed towards the market. What a busy place... but as luck would have it we ran into three other echinoderm people. Even a crowded market place is a small world. After wandering around the city for a little while, we headed to the sea shore. We walked along it, even when the beach part ended and we had to start climbing over people's boat ramps. We ate our lunch outside on the porch of the casino. There were a bunch of sea stars lying on the beach, so I took some pictures and then we through them back in the water. We past a bunch of sailboats that were between races... one had the coolest sail - a skull and crossbones on it. More sea stars. And many other things. It took us quite a while to realize that the animals burried in the sand and covered with pieces of shell were in fact anenomes. (we found some open ones in tide pools later on). And we tried to come up with hypotheses of why the tunicates were only found on one side of the rocks... (Mine is that they are on the south side of the rocks, which is where the shade would be during the day as the sun passes to the north. This would help prevent dessication in the sun during low tide.) It was a fantastic day, sunny, but cool in the wind (and there was a lot of wind...) After about 6 hours we found ourselves back at Salamanca where we bought more strawberries and enjoyed the last of the sun before meeting some friends (the belgians) at the pub. The 6 of us had a great steak dinner and then went back to my apartment again for more wine (one of the Belgian girls lived in my apartment too). People started to drift off to bed, but Séverine helped Marc and I stay awake since we had to leave for the airport at 3:30am and sleeping only an hour or two didn't make sense. Eventually she too went to bed and we packed our bags and left Hobart. (both going to Melbourne on the 6 am flight, but on two different planes... go figure).

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