Thursday, August 07, 2014

Ceilydh: Trapped in the . . . Well, Just Stuck

We arrived in Refuge Bay just over a week ago, planning to spend a few days in the anchorage, deciding where to haul out the boat. We're. Still. Here. We didn't stay because it was pretty or we met nice people. We stayed because the wind is blowing roughly 30 knots and we didn't like the look of the waves. It's funny though, we're refuges from the wind in Refuge Bay. The beaches here are strewn with coral, the forest is dense and inaccessible, and, we are, the only boat here. We went for a quick swim on the reef yesterday, and while it was healthy and beautiful, it was also stinking cold. We're going snorkelling on it again today. Why? Because there's not much else to do. But, I must admit the view from the boat is lovely and it was wonderful to see such a healthy, colourful reef. There's also lots of sea life. There's Yrtle the Turtle, Helvetica the Lobster and Melanie the Soft Shell crabby snaily shell-like-thing. And of course we mustn't forget Daisy, the sleazy, villainous dolphin responsible for all the muggings and robberies in the area. And for those of you that are no doubt wondering, no, being stuck in an isolated, windy anchorage has not made me lose my mind. It's just done something strange to my creative streak.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five year crusiversiry

The 23rd of July was our 5th crusiversiry. In two more months, I’ll have lived on a boat for half my life (I was born on my parents’ first boat). I’ve grown a bit since we left in the July of 2009 (where did that cute little 7 year old we left with go?) and I’ve met many amazing people. I’ve swum with sea lions in the U.S, I’ve wandered through sun baked desert in Mexico, I’ve foraged for fruit in the Marquesas, I’ve dove in crystal clear water in the Tuamotus and I’ve gone to school in Australia. I’ve done more than I could possibly dream of doing. And the best part? My parents and my cat, Charlie, have been along for every step of the way. Here are some photos of every year on the water.

The year we left and now

The Gulf Islands

Christmas baking
Australia Zoo

Starting school

Leaving Brisbane

The Enchanted Butterfly Forest

Trees filled with gently fluttering butterflies, sunlight shining through their gossamer wings . . .  Lovely fantasy, right? Well it turns out that in the town of 1770, they really do have a butterfly forest. The town is home to hundreds of blue tiger butterflies. We were going on a hike up to see where Captain Cook’s ship, the Endeavour, sailed in, in, you guessed it, 1770. As we were walking, we noticed a few bright blue butterflies. We kept walking and burst into a butterfly blizzard. Not exaggerating in the slightest. The trees were hung with butterflies. They looked like strange, exotic fruit. There was a deep gully just off the path and at the bottom, trees that were so thick with butterflies, the trees looked dead, the butterflies disguised as dead leaves. I managed to scramble down the dusty incline with the camera and snapped a few pictures. Ta-da! 
Our first glimpses of the butterflies . . .
Butterfly Blizzard!
More butterflies . . .

Hundreds of butterflies adorned the trees . . .

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back on the Water

After two and a bit years in the beautiful city of Brisbane, we have officially left to seek new and exciting adventures, which, I, the author, shall tell you, the reader about in this blog. Are you excited yet? If you aren’t, TOO BAD! BECAUSE I AM!! Brisbane was lovely but I think I speak for my entire family when I say we are insanely glad to leave.

Charlie the cat, however, is rather annoyed that we’ve left the comfortable place that he grew to love. He’s also irritated about the whole motion thing and we’ve had to explain to him that when you SAIL, you MOVE. He’s improving everyday though. He doesn’t run and hide when the engine starts but just lies on the couch looking upset. The other day I’m pretty sure he was laughing at my dad and I when we went to clean the bottom of the boat in fourteen degree water. When we got out, we were shivering so badly we were having trouble walking and it was quite a while before we thawed out. 

We are currently sailing through the Great Sandy Straights and it will be quite awhile before we leave Australia. I’ll be starting homeschooling in a week or two and I’m quite excited to start chemistry and quantum physics. I’ll also be doing the novel study of Coraline and the film study of Spirited Away, (part of the same curriculum as my Aussie friends!).  I’ll continue to post on my blog as much as possible. Bye!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Leaving Brisbane

 Our time in Brisbane has been a little over two years. Some might say that that's not very long in the grand scheme of things. To me however, it's been a lifetime. I gathered an amazing group of friends.
So, Dara, Kathleen, Evangeline, Emelyn, Loz, Lily, Bianca and Chloe, this post is for and about the wonderful gift you gave me when you became my friends. I haven't even left yet but already I miss you like crazycakes, (and all the other wonderful, special, beautiful friends I've made here). When I first got here, I was a geeky, (still am), awkward, strange, lonely, scared and shy kid who had been confident in her own environment but confronted with a new life, retreated into my shell. My friends have transformed me and I just want you to know how much I love them for it and for their weird and wacky personality. I'm crying as I write this, my babycakes, my small, blonde, drowned rat, my Romollo, my confused green blondie, my adorably giggling friend, my weirdo that is Chloe, my Kafweenie and my smart-as Bianca. I will miss you unbearably and as I hugged my friends for the last time tonight, I know I'll see you all one day. Stay weird, stay short, stay confused, stay creepy, stay hyper, stay smart, stay romantic and stay wonderful. I miss you.  


Sunday, April 14, 2013

I’m Baaack!

G’day mates! I haven’t posted in a while and for that I’m truly sorry. I’ve been very busy, you know, running a joke shop, circus, horse camp, all the normal things.

To start with I am very proud to announce that my friends and I have started a joke shop! Jokes Via Ceilidh. We sell shock pens, fake gum, fake pencils and fake blood. Real wide variety, isn’t it? We have made (let me add this up) a grand total of (that can’t be right) $2.20. Oh. Well that was just the profit!

What next . . . (Let me consult my notes) Ahhhhh, yes, Circus! Well I have been moved to (drum roll) 7 hours a week! 3 times a week. I am learning cloud swing, a type of rope that is suspended from both ends. You do all sorts of tricks on it.

And finally, Kiah Park Horse Camp. I was there for a week. I rode a sweet black mare called Minty for most of the week; but she was so stubborn that I rode a lovely chestnut gelding called Zumba for the rest of the week. Zumba and I took 4th in barrels, bounce pony and horsemanship. We got 3 ribbons that looked very handsome around his neck. We went swimming in the dam, I was so cold, my teeth were literally chattering. There was a flying fox where you would go skimming across the surface of the water like a skipping stone.

I’m in 7th grade now and I’m the vice captain of my school house. (I get a badge and a-a-a, well I get the badge). That’s pretty cool cause I’m a school leader and I get to boss around all the little kids! (No, not really). Anyways I will post again soon and so long for now!

Friday, July 06, 2012

My Day as a Zookeeper

this is a barn owl called Milo

this is a wedge tailed eagle called Omega

this is a sea eagle called Illuka

This is a barn owl called smudgee

This is Tanami the dingo

 me and Utopia the koala
utopia agaian

Hello again. It's been a while. Yesterday I went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and took part in their 'junior zoo keeper for a day' program. We got to learn about animals such as platypuses, dingos, cockatoos, koalas, and many other types of birds. We made clay toys with nuts stuck in them for the cockatoos to play with and eat. We cuddled koalas, held barn owls and pet barking owls. We cleaned the dingos enclosure and hid bits of meat for them. We sorted through meal worms and earth worms for a tasty lunch for Barak the platypus. It was a very full day. I had a very good time (even though I had to get up a 6:45, blargggg!). The employees all took very good care of the animals and they obviously love them a lot. The Koalas were sleepy and cuddly and would snuggle up against you. The dingos were excitable and happy and leaped to greet you. The Platypus was energetic and could stay underwater for over 2 minutes! We fed kangaroos and looked at tiny joeys. I thought it was a great program and I really enjoyed myself.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life in Brisbane

Hello everybody who reads my blog!
I'm sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I've been pretty busy. I am now in school at New Farm State School in Brisbane as some of you may know. I have to wear a uniform (arggg!). 

It is much different from home school. The bell for the start of school rings at 8:35 am and the going home bell rings at 3:00 pm. I used to get up at 8:35! Things are busy and my mom is writing a book so the whole family is working hard. We were recently in Airlie Beach on a trip with my dad. We got a TV in our hotel room which was extremely exciting. (When you haven't watched TV in almost 3 years watching TV is thrilling). 

 We also went to Moreton Bay with our good friends Totem. While there we went surfing down the big sand dunes on boogy boards and we had an Easter egg hunt on shore. Good bye for now and happy belated Easter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

New Zealand

Hi everybody!

I'm sorry I haven't wrote a blog post for a while. We've been in New Zealand for the the past two weeks doing all sorts of cool stuff. We went white water rafting and my parents rafted down the highest commercially rafted water fall in the world. It was 25 ft tall. I did not get to go down that bit (thankfully). Then we went for a soak in a mud bath and slathered sulfur mud all over ourselves. The next day we went horse riding over beautiful mountainous terrain. After wards we drove to hobbiton where parts of upcoming hobbit movie were filmed. Then we went sailing on Lion New Zealand, the 80 ft MAXI yacht that Sir Peter Blake sailed in the Whitbread round the world race (now the Volvo race). When we came back it was my first day of school. Today is my second day. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Australian Drop Bears – A Menace to Tourists and Residents

Warning,Warning! Australian Drop Bear population has shot up during the last year! Drop Bears are a cross between a koala, the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, and a Tasmanian devil. The Drop Bear is at least 3 times as big as a normal koala and normally reaches to a man's thigh. Drop Bears have sharp claws and huge fangs. Drop Bears tend to live in eucalyptus trees, waiting for the unwary tourist or kangaroo to cross beneath their branches and then they drop onto their prey, thus the name Drop Bears. To find out more about Drop Bears go to the Australian Museum. 

Drop bears are a very real threat. Look up, stay alive.

Here is a picture of a drop bear found on a Mountain Bike rider's forum

Monday, January 09, 2012

Charlie the Cat is Home!!

CHARLIE THE CAT IS BACK! It's a cat, it's dog, no I was right the first time, it's a cat! And not just any cat, oh no, it's Charlie the Cat! Charlie the Cat has been missing in action for nearly a year, but he's back from his 11 month long vacation with new found courage to face the hardships of life afloat. When he left to go live with my grandparents I was so sad. I felt as though my best friend had deserted me. And now after 11 months of hissing at dogs and hiding in a cupboard, after 3 plane rides, a month of quarantine, several car trips and 1 dinghy ride he finds himself back where he started his long, long trip. He isn't very shy and he seems very happy. He remembers his old hiding places and he remembers not to fall over board. I'm so happy to have him back. And he's happy to be here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Christmas in Oz

Hi everybody! We're in Brisbane, finally ready to settle down for a little while. We are spending Christmas with Connect 4.

They celebrate Christmas in the summer in Australia, which is kind of funny. It's really cold here! Sometimes it drops below 20 C! We'll be in Brisbane, or  Brissie, as the locals call it for a while which should be fun as there's a really nice park here and town is about a two minute walk away, not a hour long bus ride. I'm happy about getting back to civilization but also a little sad at the thought of this leg of the journey being done.

I'll miss the happy, simple island people who we spent so much time with in Fiji and Vanuatu. On the islands when anyone saw you they would stop, smile, and ask your name. Here, every one rushes by you with a frown on their face. Brisbane seems like a really nice place and I hope I'll be able to go to school here. A bunch of my friends are going to be living here on their boats which'll be cool. I'm happy to be here and I intend to make the most of it.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maia in the Land of Oz

Hi everybody!

I'm finally in . . . Australia! We're 15 miles away from  Brisbane. We're sailing there with our friends Connect 4. Recently we went to the Australia Zoo and we cuddled koalas, fed kangaroos, and held crocodiles. 

 We spent an entire day there. It was so amazing to see all the hundreds of animals so healthy and happy. At the kangaroo park you didn't have to line up and be shown the exact way to feed the kangaroos, they roamed free all over the park and you could find one kangaroo that you liked and  feed him for awhile and then move on to another one. The kangaroos would stand up and curl their paws around your hand that held the food and look all around them with their intelligent little eyes. They looked like little people when they stood up. 

 One of the things I learned there was that all animals are individuals and they all have feelings. I've been sailing for two years and I saw so many amazing animals, sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays . . . But their homes are disappearing. People pollute so much and if we don't stop and try to save these animals, they'll disappear.