Matthew celebrated his 14th birthday at Lizard Island, located inside the Great
Barrier Reef. It was an exotic backdrop for his party and among the most stunning
waters and beaches we have experienced. We ascended Lizard’s 358 meter mountain
for a bird’s eye view, just as Captain Cook had done seeking an escape for his ship
Endeavour, we snorkeled with a shark and spotted a giant clam. The day before,
Screecher pawed my Maui Jim sunglasses off my face during a mom/dog swim
sending them to the depths of the ocean and devastating me…..fortunately the next
day snorkeling Chris thought he saw them and Matthew, free diving, retrieved the
glasses from 24 feet below! Surprising me with the glasses became his favorite
birthday gift and he became my hero. Just another day in paradise…not… at dinner
the crew harshly reminded me that my last web page entry was one year ago, the
13th birthday party…oops. Is it time for an update?

Currently on passage, UHURU has just sailed through the Gulf of Carpentaria
leaving in her wake the beautiful Pacific and entering the Indian Ocean en route to
Darwin. This will be our last port of call in Australia before the passage to Bali. So it
is now appropriate that I recall the thrill of arriving in sophisticated Sydney Harbor
dressed in her festive Christmas and New Years attire. We were thrilled by the
dramatic and ever changing Australian seascape from Sydney all the way around
Cape York to Darwin. Our communion with nature ran the gamut from crocks,
kangaroos and koalas to opals and oysters, aboriginal culture and the ancient sound
of the didgeridoo [the oldest woodwind instrument in the world] and dining on
Mooloolaba bugs. The azure water [with the exception of the jelly fish and sea
snakes], the Whitsunday’s gleaming white sugar sand beaches and the wine too are
all sweet memories.

But, the sweetest memories are the people and I mean all of the people. The
Australians, fellow cruisers [be they kid boats or couples], family [American and
Swiss] and friends who take time out of their busy land lives to sail with us,
remember our birthdays and come to our side when we request assistance [even if it
is e-mailing the biscuit recipe on the back of a bisquick box]. We have received
detailed instructions from our Aussie navigator friend in Grand Cayman and we
have been entertained in grand style in private homes by locals we met while
cruising in New Caledonia. Locals too, have introduced us to bush pub hopping and
4-wheeling on the beach. We have a new extended family that brought us syrup
from their tree in Vermont and a friend who is helping to get my drivers license
renewed in Grand Cayman. Even half way around the world my friends, since grade
school, high school and a sorority sister, were there for me when my Daddy passed
in July. And those cruisers who blazed the trail ahead of us are an inspiration via
their news letters to forge on around the world.

We have learned to take nothing for granted. And thank all of you.   
Sea Gypsies clean up too!
Click on thumbnails for large pictures
Steve Irwin's 'Croc One'
Some kids hang out at malls, others on their boom
The women of the model jet club
Our good friend Ed Collins on 'Nomadess'
during a Sydney Harbour sunday sail
Learning to blow the didgeridoo
Our friends from 'Roxanne', the Roxies
Fresh oysters off the beach at Cape Grenville
Beautiful Lizard Island