Thursday, 23 June 2011

There, and back again!

During the last week - Monday the 13th to Friday the 17th of June, I, and my sister and brother, have been sailing on the One & All sailing trip. We drove a 4 and a half hour trip to Port Lincoln the night before, and then stayed on the ship overnight so we helped to clean the ship (in the saloon, which is basically the dining-room) before we went up onto land to be assigned into our watches. My brother was in 'Port' watch, my sister in 'Middle' watch and I was in 'Starboard' watch. On day 1 we climbed the mast, and learned the basics about setting sails. I only started to feel seasick after I climbed the mast.

We then sat down and wrote down our week goals. Mine was to learn how to navigate and to go out onto the bow net, which is the net at the front of the ship. I got to go out there later that same day! Since it was a very calm day, we sat there for probably at least half an hour, it was so nice! Then later on, as we went down to our bunks, we heard the alarm siren go off! I jumped up the stairs and hurried to my watches gathering point. It turned out it was just a drill, so we knew what to do in case there was an emergency. During the talk, my watch leader comes up to the aft deck - the back of the ship, where we all were, and she says 'there's a whale!' we went down and looked and, sure enough, there was a humpback whale! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera at the time and so I didn't get any pictures :( . It was only a small one since the bigger ones have already (or at least started) migrating. After that we relaxed until my first watch, which was from 6pm-8pm. The picture I have here is of the 'helm', basically the raised part of the ship with the steering wheel - it is located on the aft deck

Day 2 - I was woken up for my 4am - 8am watch, and nearing the end of my watch, we anchored at the Neptune Islands. While there, nobody had to do a watch, and so we all watched as the crew fished. Whatever the caught was thrown back into the ocean, but it was all good fun :)
My brother wanted to fish, but he never got the chance, I think another crew member used his fishing rod. After being anchored there for a while, we left, only to find out that while we were there we were off the charts! Nobody else could find us, and they didn't know where we were! They were, literally, two minutes away from sending a helicopter to find us! But we weren't lost so it's all good ;) We also saw another whale, and we also saw dolphins. Once again, no camera = no pictures. I talked to someone on day 2 and became friends with them, we basically just talked about different lifestyles (I'm home schooled, they're not, etc. etc.)

Day 3 -  We were supposed to get up at 11:30pm to get ready to go on our 12am-4am watch, but I sorta woke up at 11:30, as did another member of my watch, and I heard them ask one of the members of my sisters watch, who was on before us, why they didn't wake us up. It turned out that we had anchored, well, actually, we all knew that, and that's what woke us up - it was so loud! We anchored at kangaroo island, and it was at this beach that the first mate hadn't been for ten years! That's how hard it is to anchor there, we were so lucky to go there! Well, we got ready and had a beach day, played some games, did some talking, did some wading in the water (I didn't feel like swimming), and also did a clean up of the beach. After that, we learned how to navigate, I grasped the basic information, and then could kinda put it together but it was hard. There was all sorts of things to consider, the wind, the way the compass isn't pointing directly to the north but a bit off to the side (which is where the actual north pole is) and other things like that. I then went onto my 8pm-12pm watch.

Day 4 - Today was basically our sailing day! No anchoring/tutoring or anything like that. We did some tacking, which is turning the ship so the wind hits the sails when your sailing upwind - basically sailing in a zigzag. And then we also talked and had fun :) . I forgot to say earlier on, we had cleaning stations each day. On day 2 I had the saloon, day 3 the bedrooms and bathrooms (the bathrooms were called the heads and the bedroom was just bunks) and on Day 4 my watch had the deck. It was quite easy, we had to polish all the brass on the ship until they shone, and then we also wiped the seats, the railings, and scrubbed the deck (with a 
hose and some broom things). Today we also had a quiz - with questions about the ship with a couple of other random questions popped in. My watch won (yeah!) It was all really fun!
The picture is what the ocean looked like out of a port-hole in the saloon.

Day 5 - The day we anchored in Port Adelaide! We anchored somewhere else in the dock in the morning, because we weren't going to get into our 'spot' until 3pm. During the wait, my watch had to clean the saloon again, this time with the captain coming to inspect it (every other time it was the first or second mate). One girl spent nearly the whole time polishing this brass pole, and telling everyone who touched it off. When the captain came, he had a quick look, and, without even looking at the pole, said it was very good and gave us a bag of lollies. After that we wrote a letter to ourselves, which will be sent to us in 6 months or so, with a piece of paper with our goals - on the back of our 'goal' paper, everyone in our watch wrote 1 nice thing about us, and that's going to be sent out in 6 months with our letter. After that, we were given a One&All t-shirt, and went up on deck. Some climbed the mast a bit, but I stayed down on deck. A bridge went up (it looked cool!), we sailed underneath it, and then we docked. We were all handed out a certificate to say we have completed the One&All voyage, and we formed a production line to get all the bags onto the dock. We then went to the pancake shop and had a chocolate swiss shake, it was yummy! After that, we went to the saloon while my brother got ready to go, and had a laugh with the crew. I think I should clarify that the crew is not everyone on the ship, just the captain, first mate, second mate, engineer, cook, bosun, and the watch leaders and assistant watch leaders. Everyone else was the trainees. Then we all loaded up in the bus, and went home! It was a great voyage!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A nice surprise!

One evening a young girl was just finishing up washing dishes, with a slight smile on her face, when suddenly she hears her Mum say (quite loudly, but not quite shouting) something from the lounge room. Looking up and turning, she sees her Mother burst through the door. "You've been accepted!" she cried joyously. The young girl stares, bewildered for a second, then it finally dawned on her. A few weeks previously she had sent in an application form and audition CD to apply for a State Music Camp - for which many people apply, but only some are accepted. She couldn't believe it! Grinning from ear to ear, she went to read the letter herself The girl's name was Rosia.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Yesterday was my Pop's 90th birthday. Earlier this week he had a fall and broken his leg, so we went to the hospital to see him (a three-hours drive). When we got there we went into the gift store and bought him a teddy bear for his present. Since he is blind and nearlly deaf, we thought that this would be the best one we could get.
We saw him, said hello, and talked to him for a little and he felt very happy after that. He held his teddy bear, so pleased with his present!
After we left, we dropped my brother off at the One&All sailing ship, and he's off (again) sailing - see him in a couple of weeks!

And, today is my sister's 9th birthday! She's excited about that. Yesterday she got a little early birthday present which was a Webkinz owl. Webkinz is a toy that you can buy. It has this tag on it and after you sign up for an account on Webkinz, you can play online games with your pet and feed him/her and things. My younger sisters love the website! So, you can imagine my sister's face when she recieved her present!

 So yes, two happy birthdays! For a 90 and a 9 year old! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!