| Travel Buddy Logs - Victoria's Ventures
|Carnarvon, WA - again!
Am I glad to be back on dry land again or what? 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!
There we were, sailing down Shark Bay in Western Australian waters with the wind blowing strong and steady and everything was looking bright and cheerful. We had just visited the dolphins at Monkey Mia - that was so cool, I even got to feed one of the dolphins - and we were heading to Geraldton, when the weather conditions really worsened. The wind speed increased and increased, whipping up a terrible and the wind backed into the South and blew straight at us! 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 Gettison Cove and wait until the wind blew itself out or changed its direction!
Anyway, after a couple of days we weighed anchor again after the wind had dropped a bit and 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! The wind had backed into the South again, blowing exactly from where we wanted to go! We tried and tried and tried and tried, but we didnít go anywhere. After hours and hours we finally admitted defeat and the captain ordered us to set sail for Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island (which is the westernmost point of coastal Australia), and 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???
To the relief of one and all it was soon announced that we would set sail again, steering a course for Carnarvon and wait in the safety of the harbour until such time we would be able to complete the voyage to Geraldton. But that is a different story altogether and I will keep you posted on our progress when there is any to report!
Hi Mt Victoria kids!
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. I'm very excited about that!
I like Carnarvon. 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 - de-yummy-licious! We have been to a banana plantation - did you know a banana tree only grows one bunch of bananas? 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 milo and chocolate!) we will sail for Geraldton and more adventures! We plan to visit Monkey Mia and Dirk Hartog Island along the way.
Bye for now,
Victoria the inVincible!
We have had an amazing trip around the Kimberley Coast. It is so interesting - all red, rocky cliffs, big tide marks that make the rocks look completely different, and clear blue water. We sailed through the Buccaneer Archipelago (I love that name, it makes me think of pirates and adventure), which is a group of islands (lots of them).
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 and hands and animals, like a wallaby and turtles.
While we were sailing we saw lots and lots of Humpback whales! Some were really close, some a long way off. The first ones we saw were a mother and baby calf that were feeding. They looked like a giant log floating on the water. Neatín liked the ones that slapped the water with their pectoral fins and made big splashes.
We had 4 kids on board for some of this leg - Hannah, Jack, Hannah and Jacqui. They were lots of fun and played with us everyday. I liked playing cards with Jack the best. He taught me how to play Strip Jack Naked and I got pretty good at it. The kids left in Derby and we had 3 high school kids and a teacher get on instead. They were pretty cool and didnít want to play with usÖ probably because they were very seasick for 2 days! It was pretty choppy but great sailing weather. And there were lots of whales and dolphins! That was the best.
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!
This is Victoria, on the Windeward Bound, writing to say hello and tell you about our latest sailing adventure.
When we left Darwin we had a new voyage crew of 6 students, 3 adult passengers, 2 reporters from the Australian Newspaper and a team of 3 from ABC television. ABC is going to make a documentary about the ship and Captain Sarah. I think it is going to be broadcast on September 9th in the evening on ĎAustralian Storyí, I hope you can see it (I wonder if Neatín and I will be in it?)
The ABC people were on board for only two days and they spent most of the time asking us to raise and lower sails so they could film it all. This was good for all the new passengers who had no idea which rope to haul.
After dropping off the ABC crew, Darwin disappeared in the distance and we sailed into the Beagle Gulf.
We headed southwest for Wyndham which is our next port of call on the journey.
After a day of sailing, we stopped at Bare Sand Island. This was a wonderful stop. The island is all sand and turtles come to the island to lay their eggs. The Flat Back Turtles were laying eggs when we arrived about 8 oíclock in the evening and we were able to watch them dig holes in the sand and lay up to 50 eggs before covering them over with sand. They are quite clever and disguise the location of their nest by making it look as if the nest were elsewhere.
When the babies hatch at night, about seven weeks later, they run as fast as they can down to the water so that nothing can catch them.
After all this activity it was very late and we all slept on the sand that night. We saw many falling stars as we lay on the ground.
After leaving the island we headed out to sea to avoid the reefs and carried on in a southwest direction. It seemed to me that as we travelled the temperature dropped. In fact we started to wear heavy jackets on the night watch to keep warm.
We could not sail close to land because of reefs and shoals and so we headed out to sea. The winds were stronger and the sea rougher and almost everyone was seasick, even some of the crew. They lay on the deck attached to their safety harnesses and slept, while I helped to steer the ship.
Our next stop was Port Keats, a river mouth about half way to Wyndham. There is an aboriginal community called Wadeye 8 miles from where we anchored. We had two reasons for going there.
Kiah and Jason performed the Matthew Flinders play for 100 children and the reporters collected a replacement satellite phone which had been flown in as theirs was broken. We stayed on the ship, but heard all about Wadeye when the visit was over.
Everyone who went ashore came back very muddy as the tide was out when they landed the Zodiac and they had to walk through mud to reach the road.
One of the Australian reporters wrote about the sacred three legged crocodile that lives nearby. You may have seen his article in the Australian newspaper around August 21.
Then we were back to sea, sailing southwest again. We sailed into Western Australia waters and the landscape changed from flat mangrove swamps to beautiful red, purple and grey cliffs with many sandy beaches as we passed the Victoria River, which no doubt was named after me!
We anchored the ship and all went ashore to walk on one of the beaches and enjoy the beautiful country. We had a good look for crocodiles, but only saw their tracks. The beach had no name on our maps, so Neatín and I named it Sacred Scarab Beach after some fabulous shells we found on the beach, and a mysterious looking cave we saw from the zodiac.
We are exploring more of the coast for a couple of days, then we will sail 40 km up the Cambridge Gulf to Wyndham where the current voyage crew will leave the ship and a fresh group arrive.
I made a new friend on this leg of the trip. His name is Ron and he is from Arizona, USA. He says ĎHIí to all of you!
Iíll say goodbye for now and write again soon!
Hellooo! Itís meÖ Victoria! Finally getting around to writing to you. Ooh, I have been slack, havenít I? Itís because we have all been so busy and having so much fun.
We had a big adventure when we sailed through the Gulf of Carpentaria. Our steering cable broke so we couldnít steer for a while and we had the first bad weather since ages - almost everyone was a bit seasick!
We came to Darwin ages ago and then left again to sail back along the coast to Arnhem Land. This was instead of sailing to Dili in East Timor. We were all a bit disappointed that we couldnít go there. It would have been very exciting.
On the last leg we stopped at an island where we saw a turtle laying some eggs and some baby turtles that hatched. They were so cute. Neatín and I had fun watching them crawl down the beach into the water.
Weíve been back in Darwin for2 weeks now, 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 - itís much, much bigger than our ship. And we have been out sailing in the harbour too. In fact the crew are out sailing now, but all the travel buddies have been left ashore with Kiah, one of the crew, to write letters to their schools! Itís a bit like having homework but more fun.
Iíd better go now. Iíll write again soon!
I spent the weekend in Southport on the Gold Coast, it was very hot, so I had an icecream on the beach. On Saturday night I watched a movie with the other girls, we shared a tub of ice cream amongst the 10 of us. YUMMY!!!
I am not having troubole ajusting to Queensland time (they are weird up here, they donŪt have daylight saving) as we got an extra hour to sleep. YE HAH!
I climbed the mast on Sunday night, that was an eventful experience. All was going well as Doug (the teacher onboard) secured me to the safety rope. I got up the mast safetly, two students took a photo of me and were about to lower me down when my harness came loose and I fell straight down, right on top of Doug. You should of heard him scream! My left paw hurts a little bit, but donŪt worry, I am a tough bear.
Anyway tomorrow we get into Brisbane, where most of the students and paying passangers are getting off. Most of the crew are staying on, but on Friday there will be a boat full of new passangers.
DonŪt worry I will still be here, reporting back to you on all my adventures.
I better go now.
From the 'sailor' Victoria
|Coffs Harbour, NSW
Everyone is getting use to there new sleeping patterns, with the usually pattern being 4 hours on watch (includes looking out for ships, steering the ship and doing the rounds,) and 8 hours off (eating, sleeping and relaxing.)
We are stopped at our second port of call - Coffs Harbour, they even provided breakfast for us. Some of the students were excited at the fact that they could have Coco Pops for breakfast. We stopped at Newcastle on Friday and left just after midnight (apparently it is bad luck to leave port on Friday.)
We are not even half way through our exciting journey, but I have to admit that everyone is starting to enjoy themselves, and I have even heard some people say that they are feeling sick when they stand off the boat, so they must be feeling better.
I will let you know if anything else exciting happens.
Your friend VICTORIA!!
Would you like to send Victoria an email?
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