September 2003

2 September

Waiting for this trip to begin has been rather fun. We have gone to many skate parks and done many exciting things including waterparks and theme parks. However, it has also been a bit depressing because of leaving all my friends behind. During this time there have been many fun things to do and see. Some of these things I would not like to forget. I know that my parents feel the opposite of what I feel. For them this months has not been as exciting as it has been for me. It was mostly working and keeping us entertained.

Probably the best things that happened were the skateparks, theme parks, and waterparks. I went to many skateparks I don't want to forget. The most notable being Runaway Bay skate park, Nerang skate park and The Alex skate park. All of them have a wide variety of ramps to jump off, and great lines. Theme parks and waterparks made up the most exciting and exotic of the waiting times. We went to two theme parks and one waterpark. The theme parks were Dreamworld and Sea World. Dreamworld was more ride oriented and had our favorite ride. Drop Zone is one of two rides on Terror Tower. Terror Tower is 500 feet high. The ride consist of a car that seats 8 and an engine that pulls you to the to top where you wait for 30 seconds before plummeting 500 feet. Sea World is more of a zoo than an amusement park. They have a few rides, the best being Bermuda Triangle, an Indian Jones type ride, only on water, and one very simple roller coaster. They had two of the funniest Polar bears you'll ever see and have a pool with a giant Groper in it. Gropers are huge fish that reside in tropical waters. The are currently constructing Shark Bay, the largest shark Aquairium in Oz. The only waterpark was Wet'n'Wild Water World. For more info see last weeks Journal entry.

4 September

We finally started on our journey around the Pacific.

Yesterday we had our first overnight sail. It was ok except for the fact that I couldn't eat anything without it coming out the way it came in. Because of this I was positively ravenous when we got into port at Moolooba.

The night itself was pretty fun. Nikki and I set up a bed outside in the cabin. I slept there for an hour and then went into my cabin after barfing for the 3rd time. I woke up again at around six and had a brekkie bar, which turned out to be a bad idea, I bet you can guess. When we got on land I had two bowls of cereal and a couple sandwiches

On sunday we finally went sailing with Luke, a friend of mine. We attached ourselves to the safety line and jumped with the waves on the trampoline. We would time our jumps so that we would jump trice as high. When we got back we started to make a boat out of matchsticks and scootered around the area. Later we had dinner with them.

6 September

Yesterday we arrived in Tin Can Bay. We anchored in Pelican Bay. That night we didn't do much, except lower the crab pot in the hopes of catching some. We had miso soup and went to bed. The next morning we had an enormous brekkie: hashbrowns, bacon, eggs and fried tomatoes. Nikki and I attempted do pull up the crab pot, but it turn out that the cord was tangled around the rudders. We ended up having to swim to get it untangled. I had so much fun in the water that I convinced Nikki to come in to. Nikki and I spent the rest of the morning swimming. When it became time to motor through the Sandy Straights we very reluctuntly got out. While we were sailing in the beginning momma actually caught a fish! Unfortunately it was a puffer and we had to let it go.

8 September

Yesterday we went on a 18 kilometer hike on Fraser Island. We were led to believe that there was a lake only six kilometers away. This was very wrong. It was more like 16 kilometers away, one way. We never got there. We asked some guys in a jeep how far away it was, after walking for an hour and forty five minutes, which we calculated was 7 and a half kilometers. They said they had been driving for 10 minutes. This is when we decided to turn around. On the way back I overstrained my ankle and got two blisters. I was forced to walk at an overly fast pace and thought of it as a death march. It was not the most interesting scenery, and, even though it is a sand island, there isn't that much sand, but a lot of pine needles. Because of this I had to walk in sandals. This is what gave me the blisters. The best part of the day was that when we got back we had an enormous lunch and we saw The Lord of The Rings The Fellowship of the Ring.

17 September

Four days ago we anchored at 2:00 in the morning. The next morning my dad made a big brekkie and we waited for the right wind to sail into the harbor in Gladstone. On the way we saw huge army ships coming in. The next day we had a “vacation day'. We walked around town and had a smoothie. The next day was the day of the hike. We hiked to the very top of Mount Larcom. Mount Larcom is 628 meters high. The trail was pretty hard to follow and it was so steep it was more fun going up than it was going down. Later on on that day we say "Pirates of the Caribbean". It was awesome. The first skeleton scene was pretty damn surprising and the acting was awesome. Even though it was 3 days after it opened, it wasn't that busy, because not that many people live here, especially compared to the Bay Area. The next day I got to go to the local Skate Park. The only good thing about that skate park was the fun box. I got huge air over it. Today I went to the best skate Park in the world. It had so many things it would take another paragraph to explain it all. The best feature was the tall banks which you could transfer onto. Right now we are about to leave for Great Keppel Island.

20 September

Two days ago we got into Great Keppel Island after sailing through the night. Around 6 in the morning we saw a whale jump out of the water many times. The whale was clearly black and white, a whale like that you would never see along the Pacific US Coast. We still don't know what kind of whale it was. The rest of the day out on anchor was fairly uneventful, except for the discovery of a small reef Nikki and I discovered while swimming around. Nikki actually lost her flipper in 6 meter deep water (this is 18 feet). She cried for about 10 minutes until papa dove down and rescued her flipper. The second day was awesome. Jeff arrived in his tinnie (this is the Australian name for a small motor boat made out of aluminum) and we went skurfing. Skurfing is a form of wake boarding for Australians who have a surfboard, a ski rope, and a boat with a 50 horsepower engine on it, but they can't afford the wake board. The solution: Use your surfboard! I found it a lot easier than wake boarding, partly because you get up just like a regular surfboard, except for the fact that you are holding on to the rope. Geoff showed us how to get up and carve. Only my dad and I tried it and we both got the hang of it. The first thing to do to get up is scootch your knees up and knee board a little. Then you use both your knuckles to push up and stand. Geoff's board was very small and very sensitive to turning so it took a couple tries to get used to it. I found it amazingly fun and relatively easy to do. Later we went to have pizza with Geoff and some employees at our favorite pizza place, Island Pizza. Because we are on Long Beach, which is on another side of the island and a 20 minutes walk away from the village, we got a ride from Geoff there and back. We rode in the back of the resort's jeep while standing up and dodging trees and poisonous spiders. Yesterday was a day will never forget it.

23 September

This is the second journal entry for Great Keppel Island. Three days ago Nikki and I were kicked off the boat(which was then anchored of Main Beach) with orders to find a snack. I knew the best cheap place to get a snack was Geoff's resort, and we wanted to say hi to Colin anyway. The Aussies have a Kit-Kat made with white chocolate, and these are my favorite. Luckily the little Grocery store by the resort had them and I got one. It is only 1 bar, but it is the equivalent of about 6 normal sized Kit-Kats. Nikki got the all-to-common Snickers. The dinghy wasn't rigged up with the motor, so we paddled the long board (surf board) together. Once we got back we tried to go skurfing with the long board and our little 5 hp motor. No luck. Even with the long board it was too slow. Two days later, I had the attention of all the kids on the beach. Nikki and I decided to go to the beach with the dinghy. On the way back I performed a fancy way of turning around and every boy looked at me with obvious envy. Later on that day we went snorkeling at our favorite spot. I saw 4 giant clams, and one of them was a meter in diameter! The weirdest thing was a Giant Clam that had a green interior! I also saw the weirdest coral. It was neon green and the tips looked like waving suckers. Back at our boat I saw a blue spotted stingray. Today, the 23rd of September, we moved back to Long Beach.

28 September

We are in Keppel Bay Marina, just across the bay from our favorite island. We have been here for 3 days and I have already checked out the local skate park. Good lines, but some of the transitions were a bit tight. Today Nikki and I have been making boats. We actually made a boat that actually worked! Look for it in the next upgrade of the web page. I made a boat from half of a coconut, it didn't work. It just tipped over, filled up with water, and sunk to the bottom. It might be cool if I put my goggles on and looked down at the spot where it sunk. Were are planning to make another one today. I am reading these books by Robert G. Barret. He comes up with really weird names for them, my favorite is Mud Crab Boogie. Good books for kids my age (and older, I say this because of the multiple es-e-ex scenes). They are interesting because they are funny. Yesterday we hiked on some rocks ( i.e. 300 feet). Only one of them had a path. This didn't matter, we just bushwhacked to the top. The view of the marina was awesome.