| Travel Buddy Logs - Dunstall's Daring Doos
|Carnarvon, WA - again!
Hi Kids! Dunstall here, back in Carnarvon which feels really weird. We were supposed to be in Geraldton right now, but strong winds and a big swell on this last leg meant we had to turn back. It also meant there were quite a few seasick people but I was lucky and didnít get sick at all!
Hey, do you remember that you learnt all about Australian explorers earlier in the year? I remember one of you wrote an email to me and asked if we were going to visit Dirk Hartog Island? Well, we finally got to see it on this last leg! Sadly the weather was too rough for us to take the zodiac and land on the island but we got to see a lot of it from the sea because we anchored off the southern bit at a place called Steep Point near Gettison Cove, and then we anchored off the northern bit of it in a place called Turtle Bay.
It would have been cool to visit the island. It is pretty big and it is the western most part of Australia. There are neat sand dunes and beaches and big cliffs facing the sea and we even saw wild goats wandering around. I liked it best when it was rough enough for the waves to crash into the cliffs and make huge splashes.
Check out the photo page and youíll see a picture of me with Dirk Hartog Island in the background.
Bye for now, Dunstall
Hi to all you kids at Sorrell!
Minty, Matt and Dunstall here, making a group report...
We've finally made it to Carnarvon in WA. Carnarvon is at the north end of Shark Bay (havenít seen any sharks yet!) where Monkey Mia is and we will be visiting Money Mia next week to see the dolphins.
Carnarvon is pretty cool. It is very different from places north like Port Hedland and Dampier, where there is a lot of mining for iron ore, salt farms and stuff. Carnarvon is where they grow lots of fruit - bananas, mangoes, other tropical fruit, tomatoes, etc. Although it's not mango season yet, all the travel buddies have pigging out on mango smoothies (Minty's fav), mango icypoles (Dunstall reckons these are just it), and chocolate coated bananas (Matt has eaten soooo many of these) - yummmmmmmy!
We have had lots of adventures on the last couple of legs, mostly to do with the ship, as we have been doing lots of sailing. It has been very rough, with heaps of water washing over the decks, so there were lots of seasick crew (and travel buddies). We saw whales and a few dolphins and heaps and heaps of turtles (I think they were green turtles) and lots of birds like albatross and shearwater (muttonbirds).
We've even started to fish off the aft deck and between Peter the engineer, Kiah the blue watch leader and Anne the cook (and all the travel buddies, of course) we have caught tuna, spanish mackerel and a wahoo!
The crew have had a few mishaps with the ship - we got a few tears in the sails, flooded the cable locker where the cables for the anchor live and we nearly ran out of fuel and had to stop at Cape Cuvier for 2 days to refuel. Cape Cuvier is a place where they make salt and there is a HUGE mountain of salt there. When the wind blows, it blows the salt around and it looks like snow!
The thing is we couldnít moor at the wharf (it was too big) so the fuel was put into small containers and thrown off the jetty into the water! Mike and Peter then had to fish them out of the water and into our little zodiac dingy and bring them back to the ship, where we finally emptied them into our fuel tanks! Considering it was quite rough, it was quite an adventure for Mike and Peter.
Now we are in Carnarvon for a few days, making repairs to the sails, cleaning out the cable locker and doing lots of maintenance on the ship (all the travel buddies have been helping). After taking on more fuel, water and supplies (including milo and chocolate!) we will sail for Geraldton and more adventures! We plan to visit Monkey Mia and Dirk Hartog Island along the way.
Catch ya later,
Minty, Matt and Dunstall!
We have had the coolest trip around the Kimberley Coast. Four kids got on at Wyndham for 10 days and they were the best fun ever! Hannah S is 10, Jack S is 6 (he had his 7th birthday on the ship - a few days early - and we got to eat chocolate cake!!!), Hannah C and Jacqui C are both 8 because they are twins. We got to play with all of them heaps - cards games and drawing and stuff on the ship while we were sailing (but not when we were on watch, of course), and collecting shells and exploring when we stopped at Bigge Island.
Hannah S did a story on us (!) for this issue of the newsletter, so you have to go and have a look at it. She even drew a great picture of us, which is in the newsletter too.
So Bigge Island was an excellent time for us, but even more excellent were all the Humpback whales we saw during the trip. Heaps and heaps, some were just swimming, some were slapping their fins on the water, some were leaping out of the water and making huge splashes. That was really amazing!
Now we are in Broome and there is a Pearl Festival on at the moment. Tomorrow there is a big parade through town and there will be giant Chinese Dragons that lots of people stand under (to make the legs) and they hold onto the dragons and make them move. That is going to be so cool.
Hey, is it snowing in Tassie yet? Itís still hot up here, but we canít go swimming because of the crocodiles!
Catch ya later,
Dunstall and Matt
PS Donít forget to have a look at our photo page to see what weíve been up to. And check out the Newsletters that the crew have put together. There are some cool games to play in it, stories about us, and photos as well!
hello everybody, Matt and Dunstall hereÖ
We were just sitting back relaxing on the aft deck watching the sun go down reflecting on the things we've done these past two weeks and thought it would be nice to share them with you.
It is down to the last three days of the voyage now and we are so excited to be able to tell you all about the wonderful things we've done! On the third day of the voyage we arrived at Bare Sand Island where we watched turtles lay their eggs in the sand and it was so much fun because after she had laid the eggs we were able to touch them, which was really cool!
We camped there on the beach over night under the stars and as we were lying there, together we counted at least 5 shooting stars. The next day we returned to the ship and set off towards Wyndham.
On day eight we arrived in Port Keats because Kiah and Jason had to put on a play for the local school kids. That afternoon we both went aloft to have a look at the view which was really beautiful.
We have been to three different beaches in the past three days which were all loads of fun! The best one was the one we went to today because it was full of sand dunes so the students on board from Darwin, in the Northern Territory, raced us down some of them by rolling side ways. Both of us came a dead heat so we won the first race.
Now we are back on the boat relaxing, waiting to lift anchor and head to our final destination - Wyndham! After Wyndham we will be going down the coast to Broome, so hopefully we will have even more exciting things to tell you in our next letter.
We love you all and hope you enjoyed hearing about our adventures as much as we enjoyed telling you!
Matt and Dunstall xoxoxo
Itís me, Dunstall!
A big hot and sunny hello from me in Darwin!! I hope you guys havenít forgotten me. I know, I know, Iíve been slack and should have written before! Forgive me? Actually Iíve been really busy having lots of fun and helping the crew out with lots of maintenance on the ship while weíve been in Darwin. Weíve been sanding and painting and fixing the gaff boom (which had lots of rotted bits that we had to cut out and replace) andÖ well, lots of other stuff.
While weíve been in Darwin, we have been to the Mindall Markets lots of times (itís on the beach and a great place to watch the sunset), saw a movie at the Deckchair Cinema and visited a big navy ship - itís much, much bigger than our ship. And we have been out sailing in the harbour too. Last weekend the Leuwin, a tall ship from Perth, sailed with us as well AND they fired a cannon at us!
Last week we saw dolphins that swam past us and this week there have been heaps of huge jellyfish, which could have swallowed me whole, they were that big!
On Monday we are sailing off to Wyndham, which is the first town we get to when we cross the West Australian border! Itíll take us 2 weeks but there will be lots of time along the way to go exploring on deserted beaches, swimming and looking for turtles. It should be a lot of fun!
Trim is still as crazy as usual but she hasnít fallen in the water for a while. She doesnít like this hot weather much so she mostly sleeps during the day. She hasnít been ashore much in Darwin because we are moored at a place where itís difficult to get on and off the ship. But last week we were at the ĎDuckpondí, where the fishing boats tie up, so Trim was in Seventh Heaven!
Iíll write back soon with more adventures!
Bye for now, Dunstall
Hiya Zak and all the kids at Sorell!
It was great to get your email and hear that Hawthorn won! I had a big smile on my face the whole day. Everyone else teased me, but I donít care.
I am doing fine and so are all the other travel buddies. We are getting more travel buddies arriving every day, so sometimes I wonder if we are all going to fit on the ship! Mind you, the more of us there are the more fun we seem to have!
Today a cool frog called Freddo arrived. Heís orange and green and comes from a place called Nhulunbuy, which is at the very top of the Gulf of Carpentaria in NT. I wonder if we will be stopping there on our way to Darwin?
We are in Weipa right now. Well not in Weipa, the town is miles away, but at the wharf near Weipa. There is lots of red dirt because Weipa is a mining town. This is where aluminiumiumiumium comes from (did I spell that right? I canít remember how many umís there are). But thereís also lots of beaches, trees, birds, fish and heaps of crocodiles in the rivers!
Speaking of crocodiles, Trim had a big adventure the other day. So donít forget to read about it in her log. Sheís lucky to be here!
I will talk to Captain Sarah about stopping at Dirk Hartog Island to look for his plaque. We have a watch leader called Dirk on board, isnít that funny? Dirk was born in Germany. Was Dirk Hartog from Germany too?
Iíd better go to bed now. All the travel buddies are going on an adventure tomorrow and I donít want to sleep in!
Bye for now,
PS Whatís the weather like down home? Itís hot and sunny and humid here. I am thinking of taking off my Hawthorn jumper to help me stay cool, but if Hawthorn are winning I might keep it on.
Today we have been sailing across the coastline of Queensland, we're on our way to Cairns due to our motor on the ship has broken down.
But before that happened we went to Palm Island . While we were there we gave the children and teachers a tour around the ship and showed them how everything worked.
It was a lovely place to be, the only problem was that the tide was out and the boat was sitting on the bottom of the sea.
Not long after that the tide came up and we were out to sea. After a while I started to get very sick in the stomach so I was awake all night. At the moment we
are trying to survey how many sea creatures and flying creatures we have seen on this voyage from Townsville to Cairns. It's has been really windy lately with alot
of waves but it won't stop us from doing our journey around Australia.
We have finally made it to Cairns and all my team mates and myself are waiting for the coast guards to come with a new starter motor. Some of our sails ripped late last night I hope nothing goes wrong because we're still waiting for the motor.
The Next Day
hooray!!! we have just made contact with the Coast Guards and we're all up and going now we're going to Arlington Reef and show our tourists what it looks like and hopefully go for a swim, today while we wait to go to Arlington Reef we are going to be testing the ocean water for many things I hope it all goes well.
Okay it's time for me to go so I'll say good bye and hope to hear from you all soon.
Hello every one,
well today was very eventful. We sailed all night and all morning using the wind and then later on when we were coming in to port here at Bowen we were using the engine and the wind. When we had stopped at the wharf we had people coming in for tours and guess what?!?!?! I was a tour leader. It was amazing fun. I got to meet heaps new friends, little kids and big kids and even bigger kids!!!
Later on when all of the tours were over i got ready for the reception. When we walked over to it there was noooooo people. But after about 5 minutes it was PACKED! I did talk to lots of kids and adults and answered their questions they needed to know and then they decided that they were going to come and visit me again tomorrow but this time ON the ship so then I can give them more tours!!! Well we had dinner and dessert. Yummmmmyy!!! (We don't usually get dessert on the ship). So we all ran back to the ship together and I accidentally fell over on the way... luckily I didnŪt hurt my self. When we came back we all sat and talked and talked and talked about tonight because we had sooooooo much fun!!!
Well I guess I better go and catch up on some sleep!
Luv your buddy
|off Fraser Island, QLD
Hi everyone, Dunstal here.
We've had a very busy few days, and only now do I have time to sit down and write to all of my favourite friends back home. By the way, how are you all going?
Brisbane was good. It was quite strange to go from being out in the middle of the ocean, and then in to the big city. We were moored right beside all of the tall skyscraper buildings.
Brisbane was also where we said goodbye to our first Voyage Crew, and welcomed our new Voyage Crew, who are now becoming quite good sailors. Now that I am one of the more experienced of the crew, I have been teaching the others all about sailing. The other day we stopped at Mooloolaba over night. It was a very hectic couple of days for me, as I had to help Jason, the Engineer, do lots of jobs.
There are lots of different people on this boat, all with different jobs to do. As I go, I will learn more about each of them. The Engineer's jobs include installing fans above our bunks (which we desperately need in this heat), looking after the engines and water tanks, as well as anything else mechanical.
While in Mooloolaba Jason and I filled up the fuel tanks, changed the oil and filter, and also filled the water tanks.
We are currently somewhere off Fraser Island, but we are quite a long way out and can see nothing but water and sky, and of course the occasional dolphin. Tonight, though, we will find a sheltered spot to anchor off the North-East end of Fraser Island ready for tomorrow's adventures on shore.
We are all very excited about exploring the same section of land that Matthew Flinders visited 200 years ago.
That's all for now,
your Buddy Dunstal
Hello again it's me Dunstall reporting from Windeward Bound.
Well as usual I have lots of exciting news to tell you because life on board is just a thrill a minute. Today we arrived at Yamba, a little country town about a 2 hour drive north of Coffs Harbour but a lot longer by sea. We had a pilot come on board to show us the way into the river because the entrance is very trickyas the sand is constantly shifting its position making it difficult for boats with a large draft like us and the other big cargo ships, to enter.
There were lots of people all along the shore to greet us and about 6 sailboats followed us up the river all the way to our isolate jetty by the sugar cane fields. The area around Yamba is full of sugar cane. The jetty where we pulled up was actually an island. The Clarence river is very large and there are lots of little islands around the place.
I went for a walk with some of the crew to a Caravan Park just down the road from the jetty. I was really hungry and had a yummy paddle pop ice cream from the shop. The owners of the Caravan Park showed us this huge mud crab that they had caught this morning from the river right where Windeward Bound was floating. I had never seen such a large crab. It was about 30cm wide and 20cm tall.
I asked the lady how many people live on this island (Goodward Island) and she said about 40 households. SO there wasn't a very large population obviously however children and visitors from far and wide came to see us. We probably had about 300 visitors overall during the day and I was pretty tired by the end of the day after talking to so many people. Actually I began to wonder where all the people were coming from because of the fact that our dock was so isolated from the main poplulation centres.
We had another party on board with members of the Yamba Rotary Club and although I didn't do a lot of activity today I was still exhausted and found a cosy spot on the lounge in the galley for the night.
|off Coffs Harbour, NSW
Hey everyone in Sorell, your travel buddy Dunstall is still on board the lovely ship Windeward Bound and I have another update for you regarding my voyage.
We left Coffs harbour today and tried to sail but there was not a lot of wind so we tended to go very slowly. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was shining like a golden ball and the ocean was a beautiful turquoise colour. I was really tempted to go for a swim but of course I couldn't because I would not be able to catch up to the boat if I did. I am only little you know.
I had been watching Trim climbing up all the ropes and halyards and thought well if he can do it so can I, so in the afternoon I got up all the courage I could and climbed up about 12 metres to a landing called the futtock. ItŪs a pretty funny name hey! It was a really great view from the top though and I could see way out to sea and even to a cute little island with a lighthouse on it about 1 km away. The lighthouse reminded me of the lighthouse from the TV show 'Round the Twist'.
When I got down from the mast I told Trim about my adventure but of course she just said that what I had done was so easy. Nevertheless I was proud of my efforts. Later on we sailed through a whole trail of fish spawn. Doug, the educational officer on board, took a scoop of the spawn in his net and when we looked at the contents up on deck we were surprised to find some very interesting creatures including a mini octopus, a baby turtle, some sea lice and lots of other creepy crawlies.
In the afternoon we saw some beatuful dolphins which played around the bow as we sailed along. After a big day I was ready for bed at 8:30pm and slept in my own bed this time.
|Coffs Harbour, NSW
Hi kids, it's me again your buddy Dunstall
I am having a great time on board. We arrived last night at Coffs Harbour very late and my friends from white watch were in charge of looking after the boat to make sure that the anchor didn't drag. I sat with them and played cards, told jokes and watched Trim, the cat, deviously run around the boat.
In the morning we docked at the wharf and were greeted warmly by a lot of friendly locals who put on a big breakfast for us and in return got to see on board Windeward Bound. After 2 days at sea I was feeling a little bit dirty and enjoyed a nice long shower and got the chance to wash my beloved football jersey. I smelt very nice and I hoped that people would come and give me cuddles again now that I was all clean again.
In the afternoon I went on a big walk to the nearby beach which was really pretty. I also went for a big climb up a hill called Mutton bird Island. It was a great view from the top but I was so hungry when I got back that I ate all my roast dinner in an instant. YUM! You know the food on board is really great. A lot better than what was served on Matthew Flinders' ship the Investigator back in 1802.
We had a big party at 6 pm for the local Rotary Club members and then after that I was so pooped that I fell sound asleep at about 9 pm in Trim's cat basket by mistake.
|near Coffs Harbour, NSW
Hello again all you kids back home in Sorell, it's Dunstal back to talk to you about my trip.
One of the things that has been a little bit different to back home is that I do not have set hours to wake up everyday like I do for school back home. On Windeward Bound we have two 4 hour shifts every 24 hours and so far I have been up late at night on watch and asleep a lot more during the day. So you'll probably find with my journal entries that they'll be a bit about the end of one day and the beginning of the next. So today is Sunday and we're heading for Coffs Harbour.
But before I go on I have to tell you some exciting news. You wouldn't believe what I saw yesterday. At about 6 o'clock last night just as the sun was setting a pod of about twelve dolphins came to play alongside the boat. They were so cute. They came in pairs to dive and swim alongside our bow. As they swam they looked so playful and cute it was lovely. The photographer from The Australian newspaper who is on board with us took some lovely photos with his fancy camera.
At home in Sorell I usually see the sun set behind the hills but last night I saw for the first time the most beautiful sunset over the water as it crept behind the mountains on the coast.
Then I was on watch from 6-8pm where I saw a couple of big tankers sail past and also had a bit of fun sitting on the shoulders of people as they steered the boat. I had a nice long sleep then until I had to wake up at 4am to go on watch again. We had made quite a lot of distance overnight and we were pretty close to Port Macquarie by 8am.
On the boat we are split into three watches - white, red and blue. I am in White watch and at about 9am after breakfast we had a rope race with a member from each watch trying to win points for their colour depending on their ability to locate rigging and ropes on board the boat. Now I have just finished cleaning the bedrooms downstairs and I am about to have a shower I think. So I better say goodbye until I talk to you next time.
From your buddy Dunstal.
|off Port Stephens, NSW
Hi all you kids back home, it's me your Windeward Bound mascot, Dunstal, here to tell you about my days on board Windeward Bound.
We had a lovely day in Newcastle yesterday. Some of our crew put on a play about Matthew Flinders on the dock for children from the Newcastle area. I think they really loved the show and I got patted a lot by the kids as they got a tour of the boat. We probably had about 80 children, teachers and visitors come through the boat which made it quite a social occasion.
In the afternoon I met some more visitors who came on board for some afternoon drinks and nibblies and to wish us all goodluck on our voyage.
We left port at midnight because it is bad luck to leave port on a Friday. As we sailed off into the night I quickly went to bed to get some sleep after a big day. And so I woke at 7am to have my breakfast and then begin my watch at 8am. I helped pull on a few ropes and tried to climb up the shrouds but got wobbly legs about a metre off the ground. So I guess I'll have to get some more courage up when weŪre not at sea or when it's not quite so rough.
We sailed past Port Stephens at about 10am which is where Matthew Flinders sailed past on the 23rd of July 1802.
So I hope you guys are going well at school. I hope you are learning all about Matthew Flinders and his trip and I will talk to you later when I have some more exciting stories from WIndeward Bound. Until then, keep smiling!
Would you like to send Dunstall an email?
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