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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Picking up the leaves for Dad.

A couple of very eager little workers helped me clear up some Autumn maple leaves around our house. They lost interest after 5 minutes, but I got a real buzz watching them work as a team.

Lilly, in her pink "beautiful princess" dress rakes up the leaves with a rake twice her size, while Harrison scoops them up in an old plant pot and puts them in the garden bale.

But take a close look at those gorgeous shoes that lilly is wearing. My size-eleven, paint-spattered deck shoes.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

A shipboard view of what it looks like to sail of out Brisbane.

Here's a timelapse video of the Pacific Star leaving port today. I'll try and upload some more ports / ships in the near future.

S.S. "TinnyTanic"

Our trip from Port Vila to Brisbane took two and a half days by sea.

One of the many fun activities we had during the long leisurely sea days was a "Scrap Heap Challenge". Basically the idea was to build a boat out of rubbish found on board the ship, float it across the pool, and have it carry a carton of beer without sinking.

As you can see from the photos below, some of the entries were pretty good. I wonder where they got (or bought) all that junk from!

Our entry was the "S.S. TinnyTanic". (Below) She looked more like a handbag that a ship, but I can guarantee she was made 100% out of junk.

And you can see from the picture below, she made it safely across the pool, with beer on board, and didn't sink!

Hey - how did this picture get in here? I wonder how many tinnies this boat can carry?
Actually, it's the "Pacific Sun", sister ship to "Pacific Star", which passed as we headed back to Brisbane.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Exploring Port Vila

We spent all of Wednesday in Port Vila.

A local Taxi Driver took us around the local area for a few hours.

We made a sweatty climb through the jungle to get to Cascade Falls where we had a cool refreshing swim in the Crystal Clear water.

Our driver then took us to a local village to see how the people here live the traditional lifestyle.

After that we came back to town and caught the free barge across to Iririki Island where we had lunch.

The harbour around Port Vila is very picturesque.

When we came back to the boat, some of the local people put on a farewell dance for us which really impressed the kids.

We're somewhere to the North of New Caledonia at the moment, for a few days at sea before we arrive back in Brisbane on Saturday.

See you all soon.


Climbing Cascade Falls in Vanuatu.
Beautiful clear, cool water in a steamy forest.

A traditional village near Port Vila.
Everyone in the village was so friendly!

Catching the barge to Iririki Island. A free barge from the centre of Port Vila takes you to an island resort where you can swim and have lunch.

The locals give us a traditional farewell. I don't think Harrison or Lilly knew what to do when these Ni-Vanuatu men said hello to them.

Leaving Port Vila, Sailing off into the Sunset.
What a beautiful way to end a busy day.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New Caledonia

We spent yesterday in Noumea. Officially it's part of France, about 700 nautical miles north-east of Brisbane.

The local Kanak people are very friendly. We got to sample some of the French food & wine, as well as see some sights around town and some local dancing and singing.

We woke up this morning in Lifou, a small untouched island to the east of New Calediona's main island. Once again the people we very friendly. They loved Lilly.

The coral reefs here are impressive, so we took in a bit of snorkelling in Jochin bay.

One thing about this ship - you get a lot of exercise. It's two hundred meters long, and to go to breakfast we walk up 5 floors from deck 5 to deck 10. Do that a dozen times a day and you have a pretty good workout.

More news tomorrow from Port Vila!


The local welcoming committee in Noumea. We received a very warm welcome from the locals as we disembarked in Noumea.

A view of Noumea from one of the many high spots in town. If you look carefully you can see our ship in town.

Place de Cocotiers (Coconut Square) in the middle of town. We had a bit of a look around Coconut Square in the middle of town.

Baie des Citrons. The kids had a great time playing by the beach at Baie des Citrons (Lemon Bay) which is a short Taxi ride from the middle of town. There are lots of great cafes here.

Liz enjoys a glass of French wine at a cafe in Baie des Citrons. It's hard work thinking about how to order things in French so we kept it simple :)

Lifou - a beautiful unspoilt village by the sea.
They had to bring us ashore in the ship's tenders (lifeboats) because there's no wharf large enough in Lifou (or deep enough water) to bring the ship in to shore.

Jochin Bay - a great snorkelling spot on Lifou.

Harrison and Lilly check out a local grass hut
I wonder what it's like in a cyclone?

Lilly makes some new friends
These ladies braided Lilly's hair for her. She felt like a princess. I think they wanted to keep her. :)