November 2003

2 November - Airlie Beach

In the last few days we got quite a lot of exercise. The marina is really far away from down town. The path is half board walk and it runs along the shore line. It is beautiful because it is not straight. Another thing I like about Airlie Beach was that it had a lagoon and it was chlorinated water. We went in the water also at night and I could see with my eyes open. I have tried to do that in salt water. It hurts my eyes.

By sheer coincidence we were at Airlie Beach at Halloween, where there were fireworks. We were downwind from the fire works so a whole bunch of ashes go into our eyes. Aussies are so carefree that you could stand 100 meters away. After a while we moved away and as soon as we moved away, oma called. So we talked to her while watching. There were a lot of loud noises. The finale was great. It began with about 10 to 20 fire rockets going off at once and it went on for about at least 1 whole minute.

4 November - The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays are a tourist attraction and a cruisers paradise . In the right conditions, the coral is great, especially at the places where it has a sign in “One Hundred Magic Miles.”

Some of the things that I have seen:

  • 1 Double Headed Maori Wrasse
  • 5 blue staghorn corals with purple tips
  • 1 bright purple staghorn coral
  • Soft corals
  • Mushroom corals
  • lots of little yellow fish

We went to Nara Inlet. We could not swim. Why, you may ask? It is because Nara Inlet is a Hammerhead Shark breeding ground. You probably know that Tristan and I like to jump off the boat. To be in a Hammerhead breeding ground was a big bummer. And we didn't even see one. We also went to the famous Whitehaven Beach. Even though it wasn't as good as the pictures show, it was as white as it showed in the brochures. Do you know what it is made of? It is made of silica sand. Silica is ground up quartz. The sand was perfect for making sand sculptures. I made a sting ray. It wasn't very realistic looking. Sting rays aren't usually white and it wasn't very well made. Tristan made a very pretty white turtle.

6 November - On the way to Townsville

We were planning on going to Townsville on one overnight, but we ended up going two days. We anchored off Cape Upstart at night. They were not the most pleasant days, but they were still fun. They weren't pleasant because they were rolly and I threw up. It was fun because Tristan and I did a scene from “The Matrix”, called “Bullet time”. We did it by making a harness with a sail tie, then attaching it to a piece of rope. You are trying to lean back, with your knees bent, but the rest of your body is straight, and you kind of float (although your feet are still on the ground). You're leaning backwards at an angle that you otherwise couldn't.

I also played two games. One with mama and the other one with Tristan. The game is called “Reversi”, they call it “Othello” in America. I lost both times.

This is a story I made up for our philosophy class.

A story from Mythology:

Why There Are Hurricanes.

Once upon a time the Goddess Atara had a bad cough. Her mother Sakara tried to heal the cough before it got worse because sometimes they become so violent that they blow houses away on Earth. It might even turn into a real hurricane. All the people put top quality leaves and roots and other medicine in the temple. They want to help the mother find the right medicines.

10 November - Townsville

We are at the Breakwater Marina. We are on pier F. On this pier there were 3 kids right across from us. One called Shayla, who is 5, one called Mackenzie who is 4, and Jaiden who is 8. We fished, we played, we hopped from boat to boat, we helped Shayla's mom bake pikeletts (a kind of pancake), and then Jaiden stayed for a sleep over. Jaiden hates sleeping, so he didn't go to sleep until midnight, and then he was up at 5:30 and went back to his grandma's boat. I was was still asleep. The next day we fed all the kids lunch, and then we watched a movie at Shayla's. It was the first time that I went on somebody else's boat who had kids. I thought it was really nice that we finally made some friends.

We went to the Maritime Museum. We saw boat models that a boat club had put together. That was the most interesting part about it. We saw a video about the Yongala Wreck, which mysteriously disappeared during a cyclone, and they rediscovered it 10 years ago. The builders had warned them that this design was top-heavy and would not do well in storms. You can now dive to it. We actually sailed right by it. You could only see a buoy.

I also went to the swimming pool. Tristan and I got to go all by ourselves. Townsville also has a waterpark. It is like a playground, only there are a lot of things where water squirts out. We were the only kids there on Monday. Of course, the reason is that the rest of the kids here have to go to school. Aren't we lucky!?

19,20 November - Samarai

We are in Papua New Guinea. The passage took 3 nights and 3 ½ days. I was the first to spot land. I said: “I see land. I see land.” Then my dad said: “Land Ho!” It was weird to see land after 3 ½ days. Mostly Tristan and I played obnoxious games and we did also read. It was the first time I slept in my bed every night while sailing on an overnight.

This is the story of what happened at Samarai.

The first time we swam there were about 25 other children swimming with us. We were swimming around a ruined jetty. I made some friends. The best friend I made was named Mary. She is the same age as Tristan. She was funny and always very very helpful. She could swim really well, and she always seemed to be having fun. She was not scared of jumping off everything, but she was scared of doing a cartwheel. I did lots of cartwheels off a bridge and into the water, going into a pencil dive. The water we were diving into was at least 6 feet deep. I invited Mary to the boat, and she came after she asked her mother. She seemed all of a sudden very shy. She goes to a catholic boarding school on a different island.

The people are so nice. We went for a hike to the top of Samarai Island. We got 4 coconuts from a man who lived on the top. He cut the coconuts open for us so we could drink. We were really hot and thirsty. Later on we snorkeled, and I saw

  • a pipe fish
  • 15 clown fish
  • 5 morish idols (plays Gill in Finding Nemo)
  • and the coral was fantastic. The colors were green, purple, deep blue, blue and a pretty burgundy red.
We have a couple of favorite jumping spots at the jetty. I made a drawing of the jetty. Hopefully papa will put it on the web site.

21 November - Leaving Samarai

Today we are leaving Samarai. My mom and dad let us play with the kids a little longer, so we could have a long fun day. We played tag and pushed one another off a bridge. I did lots of cartwheels again. It was fun. We also did canon-balls all at the same time. It was hard to leave because I had made many friends.

29 November - Pitt Bay, Kau Kau Bay, Port Moresby

Pitt Bay

Pitt Bay is one of those places where we wanted to stay a week, but since it is cyclone season, if there was a weather window we had to leave, which is what we did. When we first came a lot of people said “Hi” from the shore, and as soon as we were anchored, some of them came over in their canoes and wanted to trade stuff: pineapples and other fruit for clothes and books and balloons. We said that we would come the next morning and trade. Before we went inside because of the malaria we gave them candies for the children. The next morning we rowed in the dingy to shore and traded. We got to see Roda's house and garden, and she had a pet parrot, which we got to hold. We also got to try a whole bunch of exotic berries. One of them was really sour. She also had a cat and a lot of puppies. After we had done the trading and talked a bit, almost all the people of the village left, besides from the little kids. Every Saturday they go to an island on the other side of the Bay to play soccer and net ball with people from other islands. While they were gone, Tristan and I hopped on the surfboard and explored the Bay. We stopped at a beach and found a giant, giant clamshell. Later on in the day, more people came to our boat, and they all had a lot of fun playing on the surfboards and body boards. A few ladies looked at a “Surfer's Magazine”, because they were wondering what these strange things were for.

Kau Kau Bay

Kau Kau Bay was a remote place. We were planning on doing 2 overnights to get to Port Moresby, but the wind was coming from the wrong direction so we thought we'd better anchor somewhere for the night to wait for better wind. We spend all day there. We swam for a bit and jumped off the front of the boat and played who could stand on the surfboard the longest. Then some people came along in their canoe, and we played with water balloons. We played with them so much that they both popped, and Tristan and I got soaked. These people had never seen water balloons before, so they thought it was the strangest things in the world, and they were touching and prodding it and moving it all about. We left around 5 PM because we discovered that the anchor was dragging. We wanted to re-anchor, but we couldn't because it was getting too dark and we couldn't see the coral.

Port Moresby

It took 2 overnights to get to Port Moresby. When we got there we had to anchor out in the duck pond. They didn't have a space for us that was big enough. The day afterwards we got high winds and the anchor slipped. We were drifting to the wall. We ran to start the motors and rushed crazily to get the anchor up and the stern line loose. In that stressful half an hour we were all running like crazy trying to obey all the orders papa shouted at us. Then we put the anchor down again, and Tristan motored mama and me in the dingy to the office where mama talked to the manager and asked if we could get a berth or go to the fuel dock. We ended up going to the fuel dock for the night. Just this morning we moved to the “work dock” and now ... that is where we are. The wind is still blowing hard, but luckily not as hard as it was, so we're happy that we are at a dock. My mom is very happy that we all worked together so well to pass those stressful 30 minutes.