Poseidon Down Under!

|   Ciara Kelly  |

 

August 2023  | Melbourne, Australia

Hey everyone, how are we all?

4 months here already and July was definitely a jam packed month. At the start of the month, Melbourne Shamrocks (my camogie team) played in the Championship final, and I am proud to say we won against GarryOwen. For some of the girls, this is their 3rd Championship win in a row, obviously it is my first. It’s fantastic to play senior camogie out here as it is a higher standard than I was playing at home. It is very competitive (i.e. fighting for a jersey) and very physical. My teammates are from all over Ireland and were extremely welcoming when I attended my first training session back when I landed. I am delighted to say I am the proud owner of an Australian camogie medal. The season is over now but will restart January/February time as we play in the 7s and 9s tournaments. Apparently, they are loads of fun so looking forward to them. Unsure if I will enjoy playing matches in the Australian summer heat…

Towards the end of the month, Brendan and I flew to Perth and Brisbane to watch Ireland in the Women’s World Cup. We watched them play Canada in Perth and Nigeria in Brisbane. What an experience that was! The number of Irish who turned up to support the ladies. The atmosphere at the Canada game was electric. We were constantly singing and chanting. The highlight was seeing McCabe’s corner goal as we were standing right behind the goal. The stadiums were mainly green for both matches (especially against Nigeria as Nigeria are also green). 1 of the photos I have attached is with Tazuni, the official mascot of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. She loved striking a pose.

When we were in Perth, we went to visit the quokkas, the happiest animal in the world. We saw these cheeky chappies on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth. They are extremely inquisitive and are happy to walk around your feet and pay no attention to you. They are native to the island, roughly 10,000 inhabit the island, and they have no predators. Living the life, I think. We even saw a little joey peeping his nose out of his mother’s pouch. It was extremely cute. Rottnest Island is only 24km and you can cycle around it, get a tour bus, and even go swimming off the beaches. I definitely want to go back.

The final photo is Tangalooma, a resort island where Brendan and I did sand tobogganing down a 70m high sand dune (that’s an 8 storey building that you do have to walk back up after sliding down!). It was such an adrenaline rush. We managed to fit in 5 slides down before we had to go home. Sand got everywhere and I mean everywhere. It was extremely funny afterwards to see each other. We also did a quad tour around a sand adventure park where we took high corners, circles, and a ride along the beach (we picked a late time to watch the sunset). Finally, just before the 7pm ferry we sat and watched the dolphins come in for a feed. That was a cute experience to see the dolphins swim around and again, catch the sunset while being fed.

Think I have managed to fill you in on everything that happened in July. This newsletter was a long one so thank you for reading it if you’re still here. We are now looking forward to our big trip to Singapore, Kuala Lumpar, and Bali in September. I will explain more in that newsletter.

Best of luck to all club members receiving both Junior and Leaving Cert results. I am sure you all absolutely smashed it and we are so proud of you. If anyone is wishing to study in UCD, I am happy to offer any help regarding orientation/general knowledge and if you want a job on pool deck as a lifeguard, let me know.

 

Love,

Ciara

May 2023  | Melbourne, Australia

Hey everyone. Good to catch up with you all. Hope everyone is well and enjoying the beautiful Leaving Cert weather at home. Wish I could say the same but unfortunately, it is winter over here, so I have been wearing my winter coat, even my hat!

The above photo is from Brighton Beach where they have loads of beautifully painted beach huts that I think the homeowners own. Some of the designs include dolphins, waves, the Australian flag, etc. They are pretty to see, and I can understand why Brighton would be extremely busy during summer.

I have been employed by the Sea Baths for a month now and have been in Australia for 2 months already!! It has flown by, and I am glad to say, I am enjoying every minute of it. The only downside is that I miss my car. Like at home, public transport can be hit or miss here (I had to run to work one day as my tram never arrived).

On the 28th May, Brendan and I experienced our first earthquake. It was a very weird feeling as we were both very confused as to what was going on and why we were being shaken. Turns out a 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit Sunbury (1hr drive) at 11:40pm. According to news articles, tremors were felt as far north as Bendigo (2hr drive) and as far south as Hobart in Tasmania (15hr trip). Again, according to the news, it is the strongest earthquake to have hit Melbourne in 120 years! Thankfully nobody was injured, and no damage was caused.

Best of luck to all club members who are sitting the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert this year. To Leaving Certs, congratulations from graduating secondary school.

Love, Ciara xxx

March 2023  | Melbourne, Australia

Hello everybody and welcome to my first ‘diary’/’blog’/’update’ on my life in Australia. Melbourne is absolutely beautiful. From the little adventuring I have done, due to the sheer size of Melbourne alone, it holds beautiful architecture, scenery, and little hidden gems.

As you can see from the above photo, I got my first job in Australia as a Swim Teacher in St Kilda Sea Baths. The pool is 25m, heated, and is filled using sea water directly from St Kilda beach, right on the doorstep. When in the pool, the window at the back overlooks the sea and it is an absolutely breath taking sight watching the sunset during my night classes on Monday and Wednesday. Each level is named after sea animals (Sea Dragons, Starfish, Jellyfish, Octopus, Bottlenose Dolphin, Stingray) you can find in the Port Philip Bay. We then also have Squid Junior Squad and Gummy Shark Senior Squad. We also have adult lessons on too.

John will be happy to hear that I have been researching lifesaving clubs out here to join. Elwood Lifesaving Club appears to be the most promising as they do both pool and beach competitions. They also do IRB ‘Inflatable Rescue Boat’ which looks really impressive. They hold carnival events across the country to compete head to head to see who the ultimate IRB champion is. That might be an interesting skill to add to my bow.

I’ll try to keep my updates as regular as possible. Hope everyone is well back in Ireland and congratulations to everyone who competed in the Branch competition. Special mention to Emily Crean and Anna McGloin for winning the Junior Girls category and Bailey Crean and Abby Cahill for winning the Junior Boys category. Poseidon is on the rise!

Love, Ciara