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. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hello Australia!

Hi! We are on the last 100m leg of our journey to Australia. While in the South Pacific we've traveled 7350 m. Tonight we'll have arrived in Bundaberg

I'm learning morse code for fun right now so here's a message for anyone that can read it. .-. .. --. .... - -. .. -- .--. .- ... .. .. -. --. -- -.-- ..-. .-. .. . -. -.. … -... --- .- -

It's going to be very nice getting to Australia because there's going to be fresh milk, celery that isn't $2 a stalk, cheese, apples, and FLOUR THAT DOESN'T HAVE BUGS IN IT! Trust me, having flour without bugs in it is a big deal. My mum wonders where I'll get my extra protein but I'm not too sad to say adios to the bugs, to be honest. Our ETA, ( Estimated Arrival Time ) is at 1:am and we'll anchor in the quarantine anchorage. A lot of my friends are selling their boats in Australia and flying home so I'll have to say goodbye to a lot of friends.

A ton of my old friends went to Australia last year so I'll get to see them and that'll be really cool. We're going to be in Bundaberg for week or two and then we'll move down to Brisban and go to visit Sidney and pick up my cat Charlie who's arriving in Australia a bit after us.

Getting back to civilization is going to be amazing. Hot showers, fresh food, super markets . . . It's going to be awesome but weird. I'm really excited.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011


Hi! I'm in Vanuatu. Before I got here I had no idea what to expect. Would it be like Fiji or Tonga? Would it be anything like French Polynesia?

Vanuatu is a very interesting place so I'm going to give you a bunch of random facts about it:

We've gone to a lot of villages and have been given fish, paw-paw (papaya), pumpkin, bananas, and coconut by the locals in exchange for T-shirts, canned goods, and fish hooks.

Instead of the whole country speaking 1or 2 languages, there are over 100 languages spoken in Vanuatu! Each village speaks its own language.

The Vanuatu people used to name the months after different types of yam.

Every year at the yam festival, men jump off a 15-story tower with vines tied to their ankles to ensure the growth of their yams.

When we were anchored off a island for the night we saw flocks of Dugongs, They look a lot like manatees. ( I fail to see how old time sailors could have ever believed these blubbery creatures to be mermaids, what happened to the long flowing hair, the sleek,shiny tail?)

Another time on a island called Epi we saw so many sea turtles that I started ignoring them.

I wondered what Vanuatu was like and I found out that it is a unique place all of it's own.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011



I'm in Vanuatu right now. A lot of you probably have never heard of Vanuatu. It's in the middle of the ocean and it's a group of islands. It is, in fact a whole country of its own. I bet a lot of you are thinking "wow, a whole country I never knew about". We went to the most amazing water fall yesterday. There countless pools of cool, clear, water with minerals in it. You could get the best back massage in any pool. You can climb up the water fall and it isn't tricky. The people that own the water fall have put hand rails up the falls and scraped away the algae. I could have spent days there, it was that amazing. I shouted for the sheer joy of being alive and healthy. We swum and floated and slipped and slid. We charged up the falls like little kids.
We had the best day ever. Just our little family.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

 I just saved thanksgiving. Again. The day before thanksgiving I asked my mum when thanksgiving was. She checked on the internet and found out . . . THAT THANKSGIVING WAS TOMORROW! Quickly my mum radioed our friends Connect 4 and invited them to Thanksgiving supper.

We celebrated with our friends with lots of fun and tons of food. Our menu included roast chicken, (we passed on the $113 turkey, we didn't think our friends would mind chicken) mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and apple pie. 

We ended supper by telling each other what we were each thankful for. It was a lot of fun.

                                                    Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

School in Fiji


I just visited a Fijian school. Compared with my old school, Emily Carr, this school was tiny! The rules were very different than the rules at Emily Carr. Some of the rules were “beware of falling coconuts” or “get in the school boat professionally”. Also, almost none of the children wore shoes. If I went bare foot to school in Vancouver I'd injure my feet!

 When we went to the school we brought textbooks, books for the school library, and pens and pencils for the kids. They were very excited about having visitors. We were shaking hands and high-fiving kids for ages. They were very hard working and very happy. The school goes from Grade 1 to Grade 8. Kids from three surrounding villages go to school there.

 We had a really fun time and met lots of great kids, the school is really nice and the kids are very proud of it.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Time in the Yasawas

Hello everyone,

I just came back from an amazing dive and I'm going to tell you all about it. We set out in our small dinghy toward the reef with our friends on Connect 4 following in our wake. While I was waiting my turn to get my gear on, my friend Chelsea and I went of to explore a bit. I was free diving down and I started to get out of breath, wow, that's weird, I thought I'm only at about ten ft. I turned around and looked up, I had actually gone down 25 ft. The clear water had fooled me into thinking that the bottom was much shallower than it was!

I went back to the dinghy and got my gear on. The my Dad and I went down to the bottom. There were brightly colored fishes, flashy coral, and clear blue water. We had a beautiful dive. We dove at Navadra and I would recommend going there if you can. If you're a beginner and you want a cool dive I would suggest Navadra. It's in the Yasawas in Fiji.

Last night Connect 4 and us had a big bonfire on the beach. We set of fire works and explored and made secret hideouts. It was really fun, we had a great time.

This morning, after I got up I saw a huge cruise ship coming in to the little harbor, it was crazy! It was called Captain Cook Cruises.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Racing in Fiji

My dear readers. 

Good morning, afternoon or evening. We just returned from crewing on a 41 foot catamaran during a race during which we were all supremely soaked. We’re at Musket Cove Regatta Week. Yesterday my team won at tug-o-war. Tomorrow we’re going to a pig roast.  We came in 3rd  in the race and we had lots of fun. The start of a race is kind of weird because everyone’s sailing around and every time you turn around another boat looks like it’s going to ram you. I was inside for most of the race so I can’t provide a very accurate description. We sailed around the island, got very wet, and had a lot of fun.

Sorry to say this blog post isn’t very long. I’ll write a longer one soon.
See you later!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Places I Love

My grandma asked me about my favourite place since we left Canada. I don't have a favorite place so here are my favorite things from each place.

THE U.S.: I really loved Christmas time. We were in Newport Beach (in California) for it. I didn't love it just because I got great presents, (although that was pretty fun) it was fun because of all the little secrets, decking out the boat for Christmas, cutting paper snowflakes, singing silly Christmas songs, and the feeling of merriment.

MEXICO: I loved La Crez and I met my friends Mairen and Siobhan and soon we became inseparable, sleepovers every night, eating ice creams, going to the market together . . .We strengthened each other and we became best friends.

MARQUESAS: It was a big change from hot, dry Mexico to the humid, misty Marquesas. Instead of sandy ridges there were towering lush, green mountains. We arrived very early in the morning, at about 4:00 am. We went back to bed and I woke up first at 6:00 am. I went outside and I saw huge green mountains and endless mist. If the explorers saw the same sight I did, I almost don't blame them for wanting the islands for themselves.

TUAMOTUS: We met so many great friends there. Dinner was almost always spent laughing and joking with another family. I loved how many potlucks and meals we all had together. The weather was perfect and every day was an new adventure.

SOCIETYS: I loved hanging out with my friends and going shopping in the Carrefour (a super market) with them. I liked going with my mom to the pearl shop and looking at buckets of pearls and deciding which pearl to do what with for which friend. And I loved the strong scent of fresh flowers in the morning from the shore.

COOKS: I liked motor scootering with our friends, except my dad and I crashed and that wasn't so fun. I liked going to see the giant clams even though we almost sank. (The dinghy was over loaded). It was fun going to shore in my kayak by pulling myself along the shore line. Everyone on the island was very friendly.

TONGA: We were in the first calm anchorage for a long, long time and as the sun set my parents and I swam towards the sandy beach. We played there for a while then we swam home.
That night I felt complete, a family.

FIJI: I really liked swimming in the water fall. It was so cold! In one place the rocks had worn away a natural water slide. There was a big bump about 6 ft down and it looked like it was really going to hurt but since you were airborne for the last 6 ft it didn't matter. It was really fun and I had a great time.

Our friends Mark and Val just left. Mark taught me to scuba dive. Our other friends Jen and Peter are coming with their kids Anja and Cara. We're going to Regatta Week (a big cruising get together with games and barbecues) so I guess this list will just keep growing.

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Birthday Diving

Hello my dear, dear readers. It's another beautiful day in Fiji. And it's almost my tenth birthday. What more could one want, right? But I also get to go scuba diving for my tenth birthday. Contrary to the common belief, scuba diving does not make you feel like a fish. Not at all, at least not at first. At first you feel like a puppy that's paws are too big for its body. But it's amazing, seeing all the coral and fishes and being able to inspect them for a while. Sometimes you soar, sometimes you sink, sometimes you rise. It all feels great.

Friday, July 08, 2011

My Ukulele

Hi again! It's me Maia Selkirk with another interesting story to tell. Anyways I'm learning to play a instrument. Try to guess what type. Still don't know? All right I'll tell you, a ukulele!

I'm taking lessons at downtown Papeete at Pedron Music, and after only 2 lessons I can play a song.
My ukulele is made from smooth honey colored wood from the miromiro tree. It's shaped like a electric guitar and it's a Tahitian ukulele and has a high clear ringing tone that sounds like a stream running over some rocks.
It's kind of easy . . . so far. My teacher's name is John and he's been playing ukuleles since he was a little boy. He has a double ukulele which is 2 ukulele's stuck together and during a song you can switch back forth between ukuleles.  


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Tahiti! (with pictures by Maia)

The black sand beaches
Hi everyone! Here I am again in Tahiti. Yesterday we went on a guided tour of the island and stopped  at, Point Venus, The blowhole, the spring waters, the black sand surfing beach, the light house (I had a large, delicious slice of chocolate cake at the light house).
the spray from the blowhole
 Then we stopped at the botanical gardens to look at all the beautiful flowers and have a cone of refreshing boysenberry ice cream. From there we went to the fern grottos  and then we went home.

just a few of the beautiful flowers
 Ruth, our guide, told us many interesting facts about the culture, for an instance did you know that when a Tahitian child misbehaves a common punishment is buying and planting a tree. The worst punishment is planting a banana tree. When a child is told that they have to plant a banana tree they dissolve into tears and screams. When we asked Ruth why it was so hard she said “because you have to dig to china”anyways it's time for me to go . . . soooo so long for now!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Landfall Tahiti

Pictures, phonecalls, email etc soon--but just wanted to let friends and family know we safely arrived Tahiti last night and anchored at Point Venus with WGD and Britannia. Piko is further into Papeete. We're pulling up anchor and heading further into the city now.
We hear there is a four lane highway.

For other cruisers following in our wake, Point Venus is an excellent night time entry/departure point for Tahiti--it's wide open and flat calm.

* Happy Graduation to Colleen and Happy Birthday to Carolyne!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cook'n---Marquesan Style

Hi people! It's me again! Today I'm going to be talking about cooking breadfruit fritters, a modern dish with a traditional Marquesan ingredient. If any of you wherever you are can find a breadfruit here's the recipe.

Mash 2 cups of soft raw breadfruit into a bowl. Add 2 eggs and mix in flour till it holds together well. Drop by teaspoon into inch deep hot oil. Flip with spoon when golden brown. Drain and serve.
Serves 3 or more.
 When ancient Marquesans cooked with breadfruit (they made poi-poi--a sticky, tangy, fermented dough like substance and also roasted it on a fire) the mashing part was done with a mortar and pestle, but we found a food processor much more effective and quicker.

After dinner we used another local ingredient to make our dessert . . . BANANAS! Here's the recipe.

Take 1 banana per person. Slice down the center of the bananas and part them so you have halves. Place the bananas in a frying pan with lots of butter let cook for three minutes then flip. Sprinkle with sugar ( lots of it!) and cinnamon (not lots!). Now glug rum all over the pan, (and now for the really fun part . . . ) SET IT AFIRE! After the fire goes out sprinkle with lime juice, (VERY IMPORTANT).
Serve with yogart.
I hereby conclude that the dinner was yummy.

Monday, May 16, 2011


My Christmas presents went to La Paz (where we spent Christmas) but we had to leave before they got there. Then our friends on Adios III  picked them up in La Paz and sailed them to Hiva Oa where they left them in a pizza restaurant. We were going to go to Hiva Oa but our rudder broke so we went to Nuku Hiva, 100 miles away from Hiva Oa. Our friends on BLUE MOON picked up the presents for us, and brought them to us in Nuku Hiva.

For us down here in the southern hemisphere it's winter but the months are the same so Christmas is in the summer. And in Australia they go and have barbies on the beach for Christmas, (barbecues, although I did like the idea that they barbecue barbies)  

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog and . . .  Merry Christmas in May!


Marquesan Horses

Marquesan horses were imported by Admiral Dupetit-Thouars from Chile in 1842 and he gave them as      gift to Chief Iotete. The horses were small but strong and their decedents are still living in all the big islands. They're still a very important part of the culture. You can see Marquesans giving their horses baths at the beach, watch people ride their horses down the main street, and see foals dancing around with their mothers. Up in the mountains wild horses gallop to their hearts content, their only visitors are the occasional car. Their colts grow up to be just as wild and free as they are. Some are tethered at the edge of the road, content to graze peacefully. You can see wild and free horses or quiet and meek horses. I think they all love their new home.

A local bathing his horse--pictures by Maia

Monday, May 09, 2011


Hi! I'm back! That's right, me the amazing, crazy-but-wonderful Maia Selkirk is back! We have safely
crossed the biggest ocean in the world with only minor mishaps! (Although we did lose a rudder)

We're in NUKU HIVA with our friends on WHATCHA GONNA DO. Nuku Hiva is very green, lush, and beautiful. It rains a lot here. I am attempting to learn French.
We visited some ruins with big, scary, dark pits of despair.(Which are actually sacrifice pits)  

We can't go swimming here cause there's a big old shark here. I saw his fin coming towards the dinghy at the dinghy dock when I was sitting in the dinghy.

                BYE TILL NEXT TIME!

                           MAIA SELKIRK!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

South Pacific Planning

We're leaving for the South Pacific. In a couple of weeks. And my mom hasn't even started provisioning! As you might have noticed, we're not super prepared. Our friends on SAVANNAH left about a week ago. Let's just say not every thing's completely normal, for an instance after this blog post I'm supposed to design and make a float for our man overboard pole. Not a normal school day, huh? Anyways I'm kind of sad cause we'll be leaving a lot of really good friends like Hotspur and Windfall but we'll meet new ones and find old ones. All in all it's a pretty good life.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Questions for Maia

 Maia's mum here. A while ago (a really long while ago...) Maia invited her readers to ask questions. But because I'm terrible about tracking comments we missed the fact that several families asked her things. So, better late than never, here are her answers. Feel free to ask more, or re-ask other things I've missed... And I promise to look this time—they make a great home schooling activity.
When did you learn to drive the outboard? 
I forget. It was so long ago!

 Did Charlie the cat settle in easily?
Kind of. If you count hiding behind the water maker for 2 months easily. And he was seasick for the first few months.

 How did you feel when you left stuff behind?
It was hard but not as hard as leaving my friends behind.

Does your life vest bug you? 
Not really because I only have to wear it out of the cockpit in rough weather or at night. (Maia had to pass a swimming test and swim 3x around the boat in wavy/windy conditions to be freed from day to day pdf wear.) But we had to try a lot of different life jackets to find one that was comfortable. 

What scares or bothers you about living on the boat?
Nothing except for storms.

What do you like best about living on your boat?
Waking up every morning and having a new back yard. 

Do you miss having friends around all the time?
Sometimes, but I have a lot of cruising friends.