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  Travel Buddy Logs - Neat'n's Narrative



Carnarvon, WA - again! Hello hello hello, this is Neatn!
How's everything at home with you children? Gee, I've been thinking of you a lot lately - and you know why? Because I miss you all terribly having been away for so long. But the good thing is, if you look on the map or chart, that we are actually not too far away from Adelaide anymore. Ever so slowly we have made our way around this vast continent and we have in fact covered more miles on this journey already than there are left to sail into my home port. Many, many more, actually. That will be fun when we sail into Adelaide! Will you be waiting for me on the wharf and wave when we come alongside?
Anyway, just to let you all know we are still on the surface of the ocean, sailing on, and having heaps of adventures. Now you know that I am not too good at writing letters, but I will tell you all the stories and many more upon my return. If I would write them down now, all of them, that is, there would actually be no time left in the day doing all the things I have been telling you about.
Sailing down the West Coast is very difficult. There are very strong winds out here and they are mostly blowing from the direction we want to travel. Sailing ships cannot sail directly into the wind, you know, so there is lots of tacking ship (which is pretty much zig - zagging into the wind. Take a sheet of paper and a pen and figure that one out!) which is very tiring. Sometimes we seem to be stuck in the same spot for hours and hours, sailing, but not going anywhere. A sailor's lot is a hard lot, that I have learned, being one myself now.
Our last shore excursion was to Monkey Mia, the place where you can pet and feed the Dolphins in shallow water. That was great! And we played beach volleyball and tackled each other on the sand. Later we had a hot tub. That was soooo good, because it was soooooo cold and windy that day and on the ship we can only have showers. When we came back to the ship it was getting dark and it was quite spooky out there on the water in this little dinghy. Quite amazing how the driver always finds the ship, even in the dark. When we got back the cook had already prepared our dinner and we could eat straight away. Yum! After that it was straight to bed for me, I was so tired.
And I am tired now, too. Time for me to go to bed and say good bye!
Always, Neat'n

Carnarvon, WA Hiya G3 and G4!
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, mango icypoles, and chocolate coated bananas (my favourite). Did you know that a banana tree only grows one bunch of bananas? Victoria and I think they look weird, because the bananas look like they are growing upsidedown.
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).
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 lots of milo and chocolate!) we will sail for Geraldton and more adventures! We plan to visit Monkey Mia and Dirk Hartog Island along the way.
Neat'n the Naughty (no, not really)!

Broome, WA Hi all you kids in G3 and G4!
Howís the weather down in SA? It is warm and sunny here and we are finally in a place where we can go to the beach and swim safely away from crocodiles - Cable Beach in Broome.
I am about to get off the ship to go and watch a parade in Broome for the Pearl Festival! It will be so cool. There will be these giant dragons which people stand under (to be the legs of the dragon) and they make the dragon move with their arms. I canít wait to see it.
It is nice to be in Broome after being on board for so long. We left Darwin a month ago and we havenít had much time on shore, so itís good to be able to explore a place like Broome.
The last leg was very interesting. The Kimberley Coast is very dramatic and beautiful, but I would not like to be stranded there on my own - there are no people or towns and very little water. I was glad just to look at it from the ship and stop at a beach for the day.
We got to see lots of Humpback whales, which was just great. Victoria liked the whales with new calves, but I liked the ones that made lots of splashes. They are huge whales, so they make a BIG splash!
We had lots of kids aboard on this leg - Hannah, Jacqui, Hannah and Jack. They came on with their families and they had a great time. So did all the travel buddies because the kids played with us lots. It was great to make friends like that. Hannah and Jacqui have even sent their own travel buddy on the ship. His name is Chandler and he is a red bear. I think he will be lots of fun.
Better go now.
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!
See ya later, alligator. In a while, crocodile!

Wyndham, WA Hey guys!
Howís it been?
I just want to tell you how much fun Iíve had on this last leg from Darwin to Wyndham!
First stop was Darwin. I took Victoria to the famous Mindil Beach Markets and checked out all the interesting stalls.
Then we sailed to the Bare Sand Island and after we left Darwin, I got to steer the ship.
On the island we watched flatback turtles lay eggs and turtle hatchlings scurry down the beach to the water.
Then we headed for Wyndham but the seas were rough and just about everybody got sea sick. But the rough seas meant there was lots of wind and we ended up going so fast that we sailed straight past Wyndham to the Kimberley Coast of Western Australia.
Here we are going to beaches that no-one has ever been to before and swimming in our own little paradise. I made a new friend his name is Don and he is a baby croc. His dad is so cool, he can swim faster than the boat and I get to surf on his back.
Any way, I have to go know because Don wants me to meet his friend Robert the baby sea eagle. Iíll write to you later.
Love Neatín.

Darwin, NT Hi Jessica, Robert, Letisha, Kierran, Aaron, Sarah and everyone in G3!
Have you missed me? Iíve been having so much fun that I keep forgetting to write! I hope you donít mind. It sounds like you have all been having a great time on holidays yourselves.
Jessica, I donít think Iíve ever been to Cape Jarvis but I know we will visit there on the ship when we get there next year. Do you think itís a cool place to visit? Aaron, it would have been great to see all those movies in the holidays with you. We saw a movie at Deckchair Cinema here in Darwin. It was cool because itís outside and during the movie we saw animals climbing in the trees and a plane fly overhead.
Robert and Letisha and Kierran, 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 and visited a big navy ship - itís much, much bigger than our ship. We have also been on a few day sails around the harbour and last weekend the Leuwin, a tall ship from Perth, sailed with us as well AND they fired a cannon at us.
Sarah, we havenít seen any crocodiles on the trip so far and Trim says she hopes we donít. She thinks they want to eat her! I reckon it would be cool to see one. Victoria is really good. I still think she is cute and I think she still likes me. She is so much fun! Victoria says Hi!
Iíll write again soon, so write back, ok?
See ya, Neatín

Hey G4, guess what? Itís me! Neatín!!
The crew has been telling me to write for ages, but Iíve been having too much fun! We sail out of Darwin (where weíve been for 2 weeks) on Monday, so I thought Iíd better at least say Hi! Besides I got your last letter about your trip to the zoo. Sounds like you all had lots of fun.
We havenít had a teddy bear picnic on board yet. I will have to suggest it! Still, we do get to do heaps of other 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 - itís much, much bigger than our ship. We have also been on a few day sails around the harbour and last weekend the Leuwin, a tall ship from Perth, sailed with us as well AND they fired a cannon at us!!! Victoria was a bit scared but I gave her a big hug and she was better (I still like her a lot, sheís great fun).
I said Hi to Victoria and trim for you. They say ďHi Back!Ē. Hey, tell Mrs Hawke that Iím glad sheís back!
Iíll write again soon, so write back, ok?
See ya, Neatín

Weipa, QLD Hi Everybody in G3 and G4 and Sampanati!
Neatín here, in Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria, that is!
Youíll be glad to hear I havenít been seasick in ages! I have been making myself very useful on the ship too. All the travel buddies and I help set the sails and the other day, when we were sailing up Cape York Peninsula, we had a work day and I got to help tar the ropes. It was lots of fun because it was so messy! We cleaned ourselves off in seawater because we only have enough fresh water for cooking and drinking and short showers (30 seconds)!
Boy, have weíve been having some great adventures on this trip around Australia. Trim and the crew and all the travel buddies are lots of fun and we have a great time going on adventures at all the ports we stop at.
We had a whole day to explore Thursday Island last week. Thursday Island is so far north itís fallen off the top tip of Australia, which is why itís an island! When we got there we had a bunch of people give us a welcome dance. They wore the coolest masks. And then a bus took us for a look around and even to see some huge cannons that sit on the highest hill. I got to sit next to the cute bear, Victoria, who I told you about. Sheís grrrrreat.
Trim had a big adventure of her own the other night. Sheís written all about it in her log, so check it out.
Tomorrow we are going on another adventure and weíve been told to watch out for crocodiles, so I wonder where we are going?
Iíll write and tell you all about it in the next few days. Iím looking forward to hearing about your trip to the zoo.
Bye for now,

Brisbane, QLD Hi Everybody,
It's Neat'n' here. I've had terrible trouble getting on board the Windeward Bound, but it's alright, I'm here now! It all started when the plane was delayed getting into Sydney. By the time the taxi driver got to the right wharf (he didn't speak much English), the Windeward Bound had already left!
I then had to make arrangements to get to Newcastle which was to be the first port of call. But I don't know the area and it took longer than I thought it would. I got to the wharf just as the ship was pulling out! I was in the middle of running down the wharf yelling for them to come back (they didn't here me) when I saw the most stunning bear sitting on the aft deck. So I wasn't looking where I was going and ended up running straight off the end of the wharf and falling in the water with a big splash! I dried myself off and made for thr next port of call, Coffs Harbour. But I mis
sed the ships again by seconds. This time the Captain heard me call out but the ship had to leave with the tide and couldn't turn around. I saw the cute bear again. I decided not to try to reach the ship at Yamba as I would probably miss the ship again. So I made my way straight to Brisbane. I got there early and spent the day checking out the city sights before joining the ship in the afternoon. I also got intoduce to that cute bear! Her name is Victoria.
That's all for now. I'll let you know how i'm going once I've settled in properly.
Having fun, Neat'n

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