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  Travel Buddy Logs - Minty's Moments



Carnarvon, WA - again! hello everybody, it's Minty again!
For a while there I really thought we would never be able to set our feet onto firm ground again. Be stuck! On the ship! Forever! Oh, how sick everyone was - not me of course as I am from Tassie and can easily handle rough weather conditions - but almost everyone else! There we were, sailing down Shark Bay in Western Australian waters with the wind blowing strong and steady over our quarter and everything was looking bright and cheerful. We had just visited the dolphins at Monkey Mia and were set to continue our voyage via Steep Point (which is the westernmost point on the Australian mainland) to Geraldton, which lies about 180 nautical miles to the South and East of that point, when the weather conditions really worsened: The wind speed increased and increased, whipping up a terrible swell crowned by even nastier seas; the wind backed into the South and blew straight in out teeth! The forecast was not much better, either: More of the same until after christmas! After christmas! You can imagine how we felt when the captain told us we had to drop anchor at Shelter Bay and wait until the wind blew itself out or changed its direction! Disastrous! Anyway, after a couple of days we weighed anchor again after the wind had receeded and the captain was confident we could motorsail on to Geraldton with the steady Sou'wester speeding us along, high swell and seas or not! How we cheered when we cleared Steep Point and headed out to sea! No more boredom at anchor, the shore so close and yet so far; as you can imagine, we were of course not permitted to go ashore in the little dinghy because of the danger of being blown out to sea in these winds! So it was anchor watches around the clock! And sleeping. Or reading. Eating. Cleaning ship (oh dear!) and whatever you could bring yourself to do.
Now back to the voyage: We sailed straight out to sea, some sixty-odd miles and then turned and started to run for Geraldton. Run... HA ! We crept. Yep, that's right c-r-e-p-t! at the exhilarating speed of one-and-a-half knots. The wind had backed into the South again, blowing exactly from where we wanted to go! Shock! Consternation! We tried and tried and tried and tried, but all to no avail. No matter how carefully we chose our angle of sailing, we could not make any progress worth mentioning. After hours and hours we finally admitted defeat and the captain ordered us to set sail for Cape Inscription in Dirk Hartog Island (which is the westernmost point of coastal Australia), there to anchor off the shore and getting fresh food supplies, water and fuel and then to wait there until the weather improved and then sail for Geraldton. Remember that bit in the weather forecast about "until after christmas"? Exactly! No tree, no pudding, no presents, no family for those who were stuck on board. I mean it was not sooooo bad in the sense of missing the end of the school term, but no christmas presents??? What a shocking thought!
To the relief of one and all it was soon announced that we would set sail again, steering a course for Carnarvon, this hospitable little town where we started our voyage from, there to discharge our voyage crew (who would have to go back to school or their work now, no excuses) and wait in the safety of the harbour until such time we would be able to complete the voyage to Carnarvon. But that is a different story altogether and I will keep you posted on our progress when there is any to report!
Always yours,

Carnarvon, WA 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!

Broome, WA Well, hello you guys!
We have had an amazing trip around the Kimberley Coast. It is way cool - all red, rocky cliffs, big tide marks that make the rocks look black instead of red, and clear blue water. We stopped at a couple of places to look for waterfalls but didnít find any - gotta come back in the Wet Season, I guess.
We did stop at Bigge Island for a day. We landed at a little beach and explored all these caves in the cliffs. There were lots of aboriginal paintings and some of them were of white people with pipes in their mouths. There were also boats (one even looked a bit like the Windeward Bound) and hands and animals, like a wallaby and turtles. Freddo and I explored the cave further back and found a gecko high up on the wall - a real one, not a painting - and a bat!
We had 4 kids on board for some of this leg - Hannah, Jack, Hannah and Jacqui. It was a bit confusing with the names but they were lots of fun and played with us everyday. Jack was my mate and we used to hang out together heaps. He taught me how to play cards, but I wasnít very good and the only time I won was when I cheated (hee, hee)!
Now we are in Broome but we are out in the harbour at anchor instead of being tied up at the wharf. Our engine wonít start and we donít know why, so we are trying to figure out the problem and fix it before we can get to the wharf. Jason and Dirk spent hours last night getting the new batteries in place and then they found out the problem wasnít the batteries!
Looks like there might be some food going, so Iím there!
Catch ya later,
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!

Wyndham, WA Hey Everybody,
It's Minty here I was just thinking about you all and thought I better tell you how I am going on the Windeward Bound. Well at the moment we are at a place called Port Keats where some of the crew members are performing a play for the local school kids. For the last few days the wind has been really strong so we have been moving quite quickly and the boat has been quite rocky! The other morning the sea was really rough and all the school kids from Darwin, in the Northern Territory, were all sick. It was really funny (ssshhhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone I said that O.K) .
One of the crew members, Jason the engineer, went to this small town the other night in a small motor boat to see what was there. He got stuck there because of the tides and had to sleep at the police station. Everyone else on the boat had a good laugh about it. The next stop on this voyage is a place in Western Australia called Wyndham, where all the Darwin kids will be leaving the ship and returning home. After Wyndham we will be heading off to Broome further down the coast. That should be lots of fun. This whole trip has been great, kids, and I will hopefully get another time to write to you and tell you all how I am going. Well Iím going to go now and play with Trim the cat!!!!
love Minty xoxoxoxoxoxo

Darwin, NT Hi Kids!
Bet you thought I'd forgotten all about you, huh? Nuh, uh, uh! I think of you guys every day 'cause I wish you were all here sharing this adventure. We're having so much fun.
Weíve been in Darwin for the longest time, but we finally sail out on Monday! We will be sailing for 2 weeks before we go to Wyndham, which isnít very far away really, so we should have heaps of time to go exploring and swimming and stuff.
In Darwin we have been to the Mindall Markets lots of times, saw a movie at the Deckchair Cinema and visited a big navy ship, the Kaninbla - itís much, much bigger than our ship. I liked seeing their engine room the best, all the buttons and switches and alarms and stuff were very cool!
We have also been on a few day sails around Darwin Harbour and last weekend the Leuwin, a tall ship from Perth, sailed with us as well AND they fired a cannon at us.
I'd better go. We are stocking the ship with supplies and there is still lots to do, lots more corners to stuff things into. I'd better make sure Trim doesn't get to all the good stuff first!
Till next time,

Bowen, QLD Hello from the Windward
I'm having a great time the ship. Everyone is really nice but sometimes they forget to feed me. Trim the cat is being very nice. I hear that we will be going to shore in a few days if there is any luck I will be able to send you a picture of my and a few of my friend on the ship. We came to a town called Bowen and they gave us a free feed and said we where welcome back anytime.
Having lots of fun and hoping to hear from you with lots of questions

Today I climbed up to the sail at the very very top of the mast, it was very scary and i made sure i had my harness on and that it was clipped on as well. The wind was wooshing and pushing the mast around, so i had to hold on extremly hard. When i got down it was lunch time, we had breadrolls with salad.
Some of us were all sitting on the aft deck when there was a cry for help from down below, Trim the cat was hungry and Sarah the Captain was very busy, so off i went down below to feed her. She was very happy and gave me a big hug.
Last night was so rocky, that twice i fell out of bed, and on the second time i bumbed my head very hard and now i have a small lump on my head. But iŪm okay, donŪt you guys worry abut me im having a fantastic time. I lay around some nights watching the stars and thinking about how iŪd like to climb up to them one day. I'm having a great time!!!

Coffs Harbour, NSW Thursday the 7th of March
Today is the first of my circumnavigation of Australia on the Windeward Bound. I spent the morning looking over the ship to find the most comfortable place to sleep. In the end I settled for the galley (kitchen). We had a huge send off with a Navy band playing, a fire ship spraying water in front of us, and three helicopters flying above us. Once we got out to sea
a bit we were divided into our watches. I am on the Red watch so tonight I have to be up helping to steer and keep a lookout from 8 pm until midnight.
Friday 8th of March
We arrived in New Castle at 9 oŪclock this morning where we were enthusiastically greeted. I was grateful to be able to put my feet on dry land again. We spent the day giving plays about Flinders Voyage and rubbing shoulders with the local people.
We also saw several jelly fish. We set out again just before midnight.
Saturday 9th of March
We are now heading for Coffs Harbour. Most of the people are over their sea sickness now but a few still look quite green. I climbed the mast today to take the gaskets (rope ties) off the sails I am learning all kinds of new boat words. It was a terribly long way up and I found hanging onto the rigging quite difficult with my paws. There was a wonderful view. We were also all taught how to tie a bowline, reef knot, and clove hitch. Tomorrow we will be tested.

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