I was awoken by the alarm from my phone. I had set it for 8:30am to be ready for a 9:30am bus that we would catch to SeaWorld. In no time I, along with Andrew, were ready for our adventure for the day. We had looked out the windows periodically to inspect the weather. Grey clouds loomed everywhere*, but the rain was only light. It wouldn’t be for long, but we were content to hang onto this single strand of hope.
Ready to get the bus, I gathered my things together and prepared to leave. Andrew, however, reminded me that it was only just turning 8:30am. I said that I had set my alarm for 8:30am, then remembered that while I changed my watch to the local Queensland time (an hour behind N.S.W. time), I hadn’t changed my phone, as it was buried in my suitcase, and I never got around to doing it after I had unpacked. Shrugging, we sat down and watched some television. Our friend, the extreme weather warning, scrolled across the bottom of the screen. The rain got heavier, and we both thought that maybe we were dressed inappropriately for the weather. We had shorts and shirts on, no jumpers or jackets. I had sandels, Andrew shoes.
After some discussion, it was resolved that maybe we should wear jeans, take some jackets (or, in Andrew’s case, a jumper), and I put proper shoes on. This was the mistake of the day. You see, in normal rain, you expect to get damp shoes, and maybe the cuffs of your pants wet. We weren’t about to experience normal rain. But how could we have known?
Ready, and on time once again, we headed down stairs. We waited for the bus undercover, as the rain was reasonably heavy already. When the bus got there, he asked for our tickets. Andrew and the driver competed in a battle of who could be more confused in determining whether we had tickets or not. I said we didn’t (something I had no idea if we did or not, but told him that we didn’t just to get on the way), and we shelled out for them. It turned out that we didn’t actually have tickets. We sat down and were on our way.
Going back to the bus driver for a moment, he seemed like a Sydney driver to me off-the-bat. He was grumpy and pushing for time and stand-offish. We got a seat right near to him to witness all this. For example, a family got on with a foreign sounding name. He tried to say it, and said something completely different to what one of the family members said. In response to his incorrectness, all he had to say was “Close enough. DO you have tickets or not?”
But, after we had picket everyone up, there was a strange turn of events. The driver got onto the microphone and started making funny jokes about the surrounds, and indulging us in tidbits of information every now and then. The bus-ride from hell quickly turned into an enjoyable experience. The last thing he told us was what the current weather was – 20 degrees and wet. very very wet.
We got out at SeaWorld, and it was pouring down. Rushing up to the ticket booths, we were allowed to go in (much to my surprise). Andrew entrusted me (a very smart decision) with the tickets that we would need to get into MovieWorld. I stowed them in my camera bag. He had brought the magical umbrella that we had found, and we thought maybe it would be enough. 4.5 seconds in the rain, and we were running back to get ponchos from the gift shop. $3 for one. I thought that wasn’t so bad to be honest with you. I know they are just painted bin bags, but to keep dry, I’d have been willing to pay a lot more. Somehow Andrew ripped his. I thought to myself that I was glad I was minding the MovieWorld tickets.
The first thing we went to was the dugong exhibit. I really like these creatures, and took quite a bit of video of them. I took pictures too:
The dugong had a few friends in his enclosure that I snapped as well:
Friend 2 looked a little like a scheming villain from a silent movie I thought. He has the mustache, all he needed was the top-hat, the cape, and the cane.
The next thing we went on was the Bermuda Triangle ride. A quick history lesson: When I was 10, my parents, sister and I all went to Queensland. We went to all the usual things, SeaWorld included. By the end of the day at SeaWorld, everyone was tired and sitting down, but I was going on the Bermuda Triangle ride for the 20th time. I loved that ride back then. It was so cool! I had promised myself, before we left for Queensland, that I would see what it was like 11 years later.
This was the first ride we went on as well. By this time we weren’t exactly bothered getting wet – we were already soaked. From the knees down, my jeans were drenched. And it felt like I was wearing a bucket of water for shoes. My camera bag was dry though, that was a bonus. Anyway, we went on the Bermuda Triangle ride, and it was exactly how I remembered it, and everything I was expecting. It was the, as I put it to Andrew, the tackiest piece of tack to ever tack. I was throughly pleased that I wanted to go on again, but Andrew wouldn’t have a lick of it. I think he was afraid of it. Not only did you get wet, but it was dark, there was fire, and there were robot aliens. I’m not sure if it was the aliens or the dark that scared him, but we didn’t go on again, much to my disappointment.
Following this, we saw the dolphin show. That was rather impressive, but I’d seen other dolphin shows before (in Queensland and in the United States), so I wasn’t exactly blown away. I took many pictures, but the timing was hard to get right, so I’ll only link to a couple. Here’s one where they are doing … something? And then some swimming around, and some more, before the trainers started surfing on the dolphins, then the dolphins threw the owners out of the water like the land-lovers they are.
And after the dolphin show, we watched a seal show. That was quite entertaining. There are a few more pictures than the dolphin show:
Seal on slide
Seal on stage
Exit stage left
Seal steals a box … and runs away with it
A sea lion arrives
On his boat
And does some tricks … and some investigating … and running around
Sitting in front of us at the seal show though was a man. He was in his late 40’s, an Asian gentleman, who was afraid of going bald. He had the comb-over going. Of every hairstyle ever invented, that is my most hated. I despise the comb-over. I loathe it. It disgusts me. Well, this guy had suffered the wrath of the weather. It was windy and it was wet. This was the result. And this. Andrew and I had a good laugh at it. The ‘bulk’ of the hair that was swept over had bunched together, and then blown right over to the other side of his head. But it was also standing up, so this guy was walking round, looking like a a bent antenna was sticking out his head. When he sat down, before I took the pictures, he tried to fix it, but failed. My photos were the result of his attempts.
Right near to where we found ourselves after this, there is the polar bear enclosure. We watched as the bear climbed a tree (and again … and again) and walked around, chilling and what-not. Then we moved onto the shark tank. This, I have to say, was very impressive. The last time I had been to anything aquatic was at Blizzard Beach in Disney World, and we (the family) scuba-dived with fishes and dolphins and the like. That was some time ago – I was in Year 10 at school. So it had been some time since I’d done the whole fish thing. What was more impressive though was that there were sharks in the tank too. I know! Sharks in the shark tank. Who’d have guessed it?
I guess the most accurate way of describing what I felt was awe and fear. Here were these sharks, and I knew they were a glass pane away from me, but I’d seen Jaws and Deep Blue Sea (the latter I regret), and I knew that these things could break through that glass and rip an arm off. Not really, but being so close to these sharks was a slightly scary thing. Many pictures.
At the shark tank, the first opportunity to take an 18 Cup photo presented itself. I rather like this one. I took another, but it is so well suited for a banner that I’m going to not show it until I put it up as the banner.
Anyway, quite a few pictures were taken at this spot:
A better stingray
Stingray from below
A big fish
A small fish
A tropical fish
More tropical fish
Something with a pointy nose
Shark … and shark … and sharks … and sharks … and shark … and shark … and the best shark
Moving on, I navigated (I was always navigating! All the freaking time! I eventually gave up the map, and the responsibility of finding something to do, in the hopes that I could get out of having to make at least one decision) our way to a cable-car thing, and we got it back to the main entrance where there is an amphitheatre-type thing to watch a water-skiing show. We found some real good seats despite there being a whole crowd there before us. That, I’m going to say, wasn’t fluke but Thomas ingenuity.
The show was entertaining, and got a few laughs. There were many women dressed in 60’s bathers. Sometimes this distracted people from watching the water-skiing show. But credit to all the performers they put on a good show, despite their garb in the pouring rain. The best part was the car-boat that one of the guys drove. Andrew missed the start as he ran off to get lunch. His most nutritious purchase was a cherros roll. I think that’s what they are called. Anyway, it’s a stick of hardly any pastry rolled and covered in cinnamon and sugar. Andrew offered me some, and I flat-out refused. I had eat so many of these rolls in Disney World all those years ago that I still cannot eat one.
We returned to the polar bear enclosure for something to do. By this time, we had done nearly everything, got really wet in the process, and had begun to get frustrated with the day. It was, however, well worth going back to the polar bear, as he had started playing a game with a buoy. He would pull it underwater with his mouth, then hide it in a little pocket made by rocks, where it would stay hidden. Then he’d swim back to the surface, wait a while, and go back and pull the buoy back out and chew on it. Then he’d repeat from step one. It was entertaining for him – and for us observers.
Eventually all the work tired him, and he started attacking (in a playful manner) a bigger yellow buoy that had been tethered to a wall for him. I have many photos of that as it was extremely interesting and, dare I say it, cute:
After the polar bear, we went into the general aquarium. Lots of little tanks holding little fishes. I have a handful of photos to show:
Eventually it came time to do something I was told by the Pope (Andrew’s brother) I should do. That was to get Andrew to ride roller coasters. Andrew, prior to this, had never been on one. This (in his mind) justified him not having to go on any that he deemed dangerous. It also justified his fear of them. Regardless, I talked him into going on the one that is in SeaWorld. The Corkscrew I think it was called. It goes upside down a few times and can be pretty intense for a first-time rider. I don’t want to hearken back again to previous trips, but between Wonder World, Disney World, and my other Queensland trip, roller coasters were a ‘normal’ thing for me.
Andrew liked the ride enough to go on it another 3 times. Then we walked off – drenched. On a dry day, a roller coaster might seem a good idea. On a pouring down day, it is a terrible one! We were officially drenched. We walked back to the entrance and wondered that instead of going home at 5:10pm like our ticket said, we could leave on the 4:30pm bus. It was much of a muchness when we spoke about this – it was 2:30pm, and therefore still quite a while to go.
We hopped on the monorail that tours the park, hoping to dry off some. It didn’t help. Then we did some more walking around, and returned to where Andrew had seen a bar/cafe type thing. It was closed, which we were disappointed at back then. Thinking about it now, it could have got very entertaining had a bar been open, and both of us tired, wet, and looking for things to do. I have a tendency to drink fast. I don’t have too many friends that can keep up with me. This type of consumption, I assume, isn’t recommended for a theme park.
Strangely enough, the bar is located on the skirts of the Sesame Street area.
We went down stairs to an arcade where there was air hockey. We played a game, where I simply toyed around with the idea of taking it as serious as Andrew, then just gave up and let him win. We walked around and got wet some more, before we sat down in the lunch area to wait for the bus. Andrew and I were probably at our limits come this point – with the day and each other I think. Andrew gave off the vibe that he thought he was the person suffering the worst that day – there was no reason for that. I probably gave off the vibe that I hated the world – also no reason for it. Either way, I thought that heading off and doing my own thing would give me a chance to take a long needed, relaxing breath.
I went back to the roller coaster to ride it another 4 times, then paid the dugongs one last visit, before walking back. When we first got into the theme park, there were a bunch of pelicans and other random birds, all huddled under trees, trying to avoid the rain. They were so still that I originally thought them fake. This was the photo I took of them when we first passed them, while this was the photo (and this) I took when I was returning to get the bus home. No real change, I thought. This is a photo of the chick pelican that was there. I thought it must be very young, because it didn’t have its proper feathers (is the fluffy coat of feathers a chick has when it hatches called the ‘plume’?), its legs and feet were white (as opposed to the dark blue-ish grey of the adult next to it), and its wings didn’t look like they could carry it in the air.
Right next to the pelicans was a weir-ish thing where there were turtles trying to escape. They trie, repeatedly, to climb up the net that was lining their area. It was strange to watch. Turtles climbing up a wall. Very strange. I’m sure they were breaking some natural laws.
Finally I got back and we watched the start of the water skiing show again, before we chances getting on the bus to get back to the hotel. They let us on, not knowing that we weren’t meant to be on the bus, and they even added our hotel to the list of stops when they couldn’t find it on either route. We did get lucky.
The trip home was a wet silence. We dripped off as we both sat there, exhausted, tired, frustrated, and annoyed. Despite that though, I feel safe in saying we had an enjoyable day regardless. We saw animals, we went on rides, we saw the shows. We did everything SeaWorld had to offer – which is what you expect. And for all of those things, we enjoyed them. The weather was the main culprit for our negativity. We would eventually get over it, and look back at the day with fondness.
But boy was it freaking wet!
* I would like to point out that, as I have finally uploaded the pictures, this and this is what the sunset for the day previous looked like. However, we should have twigged when that beautiful sunset was out one window, while this and this was out the other. The fact that we turned down a reasonably sunny day for a rainy day made us more and more annoyed as the day continued. The city, as the sun went down, looked very nice too.