January 2004

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10 January 2004 - New Years

In Cairns on New Year's Eve we went to the lagoon with some friends and saw fire works . The names of the friends are: Estelle, Baden, and Fletcher and of course their mom and dad, Catherine and Gavin LeSeuer. JohnJohn was also with us. I never saw the fire works because I was too tired. I was asleep on a towel. They tried to wake me up but I didn't want to wake up. After the fire works Estelle came to sleep over. I was happy.

Two days later, we went to the Outer Reefs with the LeSeuers and some of their friends. We met them at Upolu Cay and Tristan and I swam straight over to their boat. We stayed on their catamaran while we sailed to Michaelmas Cay. We visited this little island and saw and heard millions of birds. We also saw a whole bunch of eggs and one chick. This island is a tern breeding ground. The whole of the Great Barrier Reef is a National Park. Catherine fed everyone a spaghetti dinner on their boat. There were 11 kids and 8 adults total. We spend the night at Michaelmas.

The next morning we went to Vlasoff Cay for the day. This Cay is a small sand island, maybe as big as a classroom. There is coral surrounding the whole entire island. Instead of taking the dingy, my mom and I snorkeled to the island. We saw some humuhumunukunukuapuaa! This is the Hawaian name for a kind of triggerfish. They call it a Reef Trigger Fish here. They reason why I like these ones in particular is because they have a blue neon line above their eyes. We saw a large sea slug that was about as big as a size 6 shoe. I was very well camouflaged on a rock. After you had spotted it and you would look away for a minute, you would not see it again.

We spend a couple of hours on the island. I build in the sand. I was working on a town, but I didn't finish it. Then my dad came with the dingy and the surf-and boogy boards and we all played on them. We went back to the boat for lunch. Tristan and I had a hot dog on their boat. They left a couple of hours later and we ended up staying there for the night.

The next morning our trip south down the coast started.

21 January 2004 - Townsville

The best thing that happened in Townsville was having two sleep- overs at the Downs apartment . They have two birds named Aust and Relia. They are both budgies . Both times we watched at least two movies. If we were not watching movies we were swimming in there pool. At night the pool is nice and cool. There is an 8 year old boy named Thomas and and 5 year old girl Dacey. They are funny and nice. Each night Tristan and I slept in the family room upstairs. The first night the other kids slept there too. The second night Thomas and Jye (his neighbor) slept in his room. The second night we had pizza and sushi for dinner. The biggest surprise about them is ... they come from California!

26 January 2004 - Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, Australia

At Hamilton Island you can rent golf carts. If you drive, or even walk, around you will see millions of buggies, as they call them. We rented one of them also. It was really cool to have one and sit in the front with mama. Kids aren't really allowed to drive, but we got to anyway, in places where there wasn't much traffic. On the island are a general store, a shopping mall and a resort that let's you swim in it's pools without actually staying there. What I thought was cool about the Marina there is that instead of having extra moorings for when they are full, they have extra docks that are anchored in the extra space. So instead of one boat, you can have four tied up there.

The island also has great walking trails and great views. We went on a hike to Passage Peak. When we got to the top we saw a magnificent view. It really looks like all the land has just been flooded and only the top of the islands are still sticking out. This is actually how the Whitsundays were formed. On the same hike we stopped at a lookout and saw a lot of reefs all around us. There an annoying horse fly bothered us.

I would like to go to Hamilton Island again.