10 January - 2004 So FarOn New Years Eve, we saw fireworks, of course. If I may say so, they were really bad compared to the K-Fog Kaboom in San Francisco. The fireworks were almost all the same and there wasn't much of an order to them. Never the less, it got an applause.
Here is some really big news: we went to the Great Barrier Reef ourselves, had lots of fun ands saw lots of cool creatures! I'll just name the highlights. First of all, we were not alone in this adventure. We had friends with us in a catamaran called Chaotic Harmony. Nice. We had a lot of fun jumping and riding around in our dinghy with the kids. They had something we did not: they had 9 kids onboard, as well as four extra adults. The second highlight was Michaelmas Cay, where we had to struggle to go to sleep over the deafening sound of about 3 thousand birds squabbling over who's nest was who's. Most of the island is a national park, so there is only this little area where you can look at the birds. The snorkeling wasn't very good, but that's because I didn't even snorkel, so I have no right to say that. The third high point was Vlasoff Cay. Although this was the last stop, it was also the best. The highlight of the highlights were the giant clams. I saw at least 5 of the things, and they were all as long as a car bumper and as deep as a medium sized tire. They were quite amazing, as they came in blues and greens and purples. Once the day was nearing the end, Chaotic Harmony left back for Yorkey's Knob, while we stayed the night and made our plans for the following day.
Today it has been 4 days since the parting of ships. First we sailed south to Mourilyan Harbor, and spent a night there. Next was Cardwell, which actually had a marina, and we stayed there for two nights. The marina had a really nice pool nearby. It was rather small, but there was a little man- made waterfall you could sit under, and various rocks to jump off. The day before yesterday, we left Cardwell to motor down the Hinchinbrook Channel. Our first destination was Gayundah Creek. We did nothing much, as there are stingers and crocs in the creeks. It was a pity we couldn't go in the water as the temperature rose to a shocking 36 degrees Celcius (around 97 degrees Fahrenheit). The next morning I saw a Box Jellyfish floating by our boat. Right now we are motoring our way to the Palm Isles, specifically Orpheus Island.
21 January - Townsville AgainHere we are, in Townsville. Again. This time we stayed longer than we did last time, but we saw and did different than we did last time. Here is a quick list of what we did.
Castle HillCastle Hill is a relatively small mountain with two large faces on the side that points to the marina. There is a road to drive up if you are lazy, or a two kilometer walking track to the top. The walking track skirts the edge of the faces and gives an awesome view of the cliff. The trail eventually comes to a fork, where you can walk to the top, or take the path down. If you know how my parents think, then you probably know that we went up. After the fork there is about 200 meters of stairs, then a quick walk on a road, then more stairs, then the first of two lookouts. The first lookout has a plaque that has lines pointing to where things were, and the distance they are from the plaque. On the platform we also saw a bug that was yellow with brown spots and stripes. It's head looked like that of a locust, while its body looked more like a beetle. The walk, no I mean run and jump down was much more fun that. Nikki and I would run down the steps, and whenever there were two or three steps we would jump and continue on like nothing had happened. Nikki only fell once, and bruised her shin. I never fell once. I suppose it was because I had the go up and down stairs at least twice a day at school. The Castle Hill walk was really fun, even if we did whine, but I still won't want to do it again.
The DownsWhile we were on the G finger, we met Jeremy, who is working on his own boat to cruise the coast. While we were talking we discovered that he was from Davis, a couple of hours drive from Pacifica. Later on we met his wife Christy and his kids: Thomas, age 8, and Dacey, age 5. Thomas was really nice, and we made a spoof on Lord of the Rings with him fighting me with sticks. We have it on tape and we will send it to everybody on a disk sometime. Two days later, we went to their house for dinner. While we were there we played in his room and watched View from the Top. Before we left, we begged the adults to let us go to the pool, but they said it was too late. Two days later, we took them for a sail and we were invited for a sleep-over. When we got to the apartment, we went swimming immediately, and had fun in the pool for at least an hour. When we woke up in the morning, we had brekkie and found out that Thomas and Dacey had two really cut Budgies, called Aust and Ralia. We played with them for a bit and then put them away so they didn't die of fright. Once again, we went in the pool, and once again, we had lots of fun. The day after the next we had another sleep over, which was essentially the same, but with a few differences. 1) Jye, Thomas's neighbor, stayed with us too. 2) We saw A Knights Tale. 3) We had pizza and sushi. Jye is 9, and he reminds me of Kaj. These friends are one of the reasons I don't want to leave Townsville.
26 January - Hamilton IslandHamilton Island is one of the many Islands in the Whitsundays which has a resort on it. We spent one night there, and we did 2 or 3 things out of the many things to do there. There is a shooting range, a Go-kart track, a driving range, Mini golf, and little golf buggies instead of cars, to name a few. We played a game of mini golf and rented a buggy. We got a buggy for an overnight which, for us was from 4 at night to 9 in the morning. There are no gears, no doors, and no seat belts. They say not to let kids drive, but momma and pappa let Nikki and I drive whenever there wasn't a lot of traffic. There are about 5 swimming pools, and we went to the ones we thought were the best. One of them had a swim up bar, and the other was 3 meters deep all around. They were both un-heated, of course because it is still really hot here. The Mini Golf was the most tropical one I have seen in all my years of Mini Golfing. It was decorated so it made you feel you were in a jungle. I lost, with 81 points. I got a little better at the end of the game. Normally I'm much better. Then again, I haven't played mini golf since this summer in Holland.
On the second day at Hamilton Island we went on a two and a half kilometer hike. Combine that with too much left over pizza and 32 degrees and 82% humidity, and you get Hell. Or heaven if you are my dad. We hiked to the highest peak on the Island, after driving through the early morning buggy rush hour. I had many stomach cramps on the way up, and when I got to the top it looked like I had dipped my T-shirt into a swimming pool. On the way back I ran down so I got as much breeze as possible. Later on that day we left Hamilton for Thomas Island.
I am adding another book list, and I will again two months or so from now.
Tristans Second Book List+=Bad ++=O.K +++=Great ++++=Excellent