AUSTRALIA has been so cool so far. I’ve really enjoyed being in the big city (Sydney),
but I think its time for me to get in touch with nature again. Since early July, I’ve been
enjoying my summer break, surfing on the beaches in Mooloolaba and cruising up the
coast. The beaches have been awesome and the surfs’ been up! But, sadly, I learned
that there is absolutely no surf once you get further north because of the Great Barrier
Reef blocking all the waves. The only downside to it all is that it has been so damn cold
here! While in Mooloolaba we had the opportunity to visit Steve Irwin’s zoo, it was a very
unique experience (bonding with kangaroos and koalas)! I enjoyed Mooloolaba but was
eager to move north to warmer territory. We had great sailing going up the coast from
Mooloolaba to Airlie Beach. My favorite stop on that trip was Fraser Island. We took a
tour on an all wheel drive custom bus and it was crazy to learn about and see this
amazing sand island, the largest in the world and a World Heritage Site. Our first stop on
the tour was an awesome lake called Lake McKenzie, a “perched dune lake.” We then
went deep into the island to the rain forest and after that we went to the beach which
was a highway/runway. We sped up the beach and the bus stopped and the pilot of a
small plane came onboard to give the passengers the opportunity to see Fraser Island
from above. My dad and I thought that would be sweet and once up in the plane we
chased down a couple of whales and flew over the island. It was awesome.

I had my first watch on the 2 day passage from Fraser to the Whitsundays and the
weather report said 10 to 15 knots so I was pretty happy it wouldn’t be too bad. During
the first half hour of my watch we had no wind. Then during the next hour it kept building
and ended up in the 25 to 30s! So I pretty much got a taste of everything on that one
watch. We even had to reef in the middle of the night because the wind was on the beam
and we were going a bit too fast for comfort!  
Sunset at Double Island Point anchorage, as seen from the top of the mast
Hiking the sand dunes
In front of the wreck of the 'Maheno' on Fraser island
On passage with Chris Darby, our new crew member
Flying over Fraser Island in the co-pilot seat
Fraser Island Beach and sand blows on top of the island, as seen from the air. These sand
blows advance about 2 meters per year. This is how the island was formed over millions
of years, layer, by layer. It is the world's largest sand island and a World Heritage site.