So, how was your week?

The difficult one-finger hand-stand push-up. What you - well, I - do when no mantas turn up mid-dive.

Me? Finally had a story I’d written about taking up hockey published in the Sunday Age (thanks, fellow rookie Michael Coulter) but had flown north and landed on a remote Barrier Reef piece of sand with some trees and eight-billion noisy birds, Lady Elliot island, so I didn’t have any phone or web access.

Seems like it got a decent response. The headline: “Puck life”. An f for a p and my reputation as a sunny optimist is gone forever. (Even if, in reading back this blog, I spend far too much time in the f life mode, given how 90 per cent of my life rocks.)

On Lady Elliot, I did my second tour of duty as an Earthwatch volunteer. Not as many manta rays as in September, but I had one face-to-face beautiful encounter, which made the week worthwhile all on its own – plus, it was a never-seen-before very large (read: five metre wingspan) female so I got to name it. Introducing Lana Del Ray (see what I did there? Ray and Rey? Working on so many levels … well, two). I cut together a highlights video of her, but Youtube chopped out the music (Lana Del Rey: “Blue Jeans”) because it suspected copyright breach. Those spiders don’t miss a thing.

So I’ve cut together a broader highlights video of the week underwater, if you feel like a break from hockey. It only goes for six minutes. You’ll drool with envy. Lana Del Ray is the manta in the close-ups. The sharks kick in at about 3.49, if you can’t bear to watch six minutes of fish and other critters.

So that’s been my week. Now back in civilization and happily exhausted.

In other news, my footy team, Richmond, apparently looked good in the pre-season competition. The Red Wings’ astonishing home-winning streak is now at 22 wins and has broken all NHL records. Physically spent from the north, I lay on my couch today and watched a replay of the historic 21st straight home win on Gamecenter on my Apple TV. It was brilliant. The crowd at the Joe in the final minute was out-of-control loud and excited. I got emotional listening to the fans, now able to imagine being there. And of course they played “Don’t Stop Believin’“. One day I will hear that song in that stadium. (But no, Detroiters, I’m not coming anywhere near the city or the Joe while the streak remains! You can relax.)

Closer to home, the world junior speed skating championships will retain a hold on my home rink, the Henke, for another week or so, so I plan to go to Sydney for work and then non-work shenanigans before classes start again.

For now, I need to sleep and will hopefully ditch my usual yearnings for happy dreams of manta rays and Stanley Cups. Let’s go Red Wings, let’s go.

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