These are the logs of our son Nick and his thoughts and experiences on our sailing adventure. Sometimes he will type the log entries himself, while other times we will get him to write them out by hand, then we will type them in. Most of these log entries will be topic based and the topic will be set by either Mum or Dad.







December 2009: What Will It Be Like When I Go Away?

Hello I’m Nick. I think it will be a great experience, but I know I will miss my friends that I know. I will like to learn how to fish and catch some Calamari. Most of all I would like steering the dingy. I have always wanted to have a bunk bed of my own. Some of my friends say I am so lucky that I get to not go to school, but I still have to go to school on the boat. My teachers will be my Mum and Dad. I am glad I get our home back to us at the end, as it is big for us to play in and I am used to it.

I am relieved my Oma and Opa are renting it for us. I feel like I want to keep all my toys but I want to but I can't. I have to make piles of stuff to keep, stuff to sell and stuff to take.


Getting to Turkey.

Before we left home on our exciting journey, we had to sort out our toys and we could only take 23kg in our suitcase. We stuck our heavy stuff in our back packs because they might not weigh the back packs, and Dad said we can't complain about it being too heavy. We went on three planes to get here and on all the planes we had our own movie screens.

When we got to London we met Daddy's cousin Lisa and Mark and our friends, the Hart family. We slept there for two nights and Lisa and Mark slept there for 1 night. We saw lots of rabbits and squirrels.

When we got to Marmaris (Turkey) we stayed in a hotel for one night and it was too expensive, so the next day we moved on to our boat. Today it is a stormy day.

On the boat I have the biggest cabin and Dad said I can learn to drive the dingy. We have solar panels to give us power.
Today I used the money I saved from selling my toys at the garage sale and bought a remote control power boat. Its speed is 12km per hour.


22nd February: What is Different Now?

Home

We live on a boat not in a house. In my cabin it is small, but my bed is the biggest bed. I like the beds. My bedroom is called a cabin. I don't have windows, I have port holes and hatches. Our kitchen is very small and we have a little stove. Our kitchen is called a galley.

Shopping

When we go to the shops we go to the town called Marmaris to go shopping. We go to town on the ferry or on a bus called a dolmus. It is too far to walk and we don't have a car. It is fun when I can buy stuff. In Australia we call our money dollars and cents. In Turkey they call their money Lira and Kurush.

Transport

When we go to town we use a bus or the ferry. In Marmaris there are no trains. In Australia we almost always drove the car to get everywhere. Now we don't have a car anymore so we walk or use the bikes. When we are sailing we will use our dingy to drive from the boat to the shore.

School

On the boat we go to Connect4 School. My teachers are Mum & Dad, and there are only two students. We only do school until lunch time which is about three or four hours.



1st March: Our Trip To Capadoccia

On Monday night we went on a bus trip to Capadoccia. It took all night, so we slept on the bus. We didn’t get very much sleep. When we got off the bus a man took us to our hotel and we had a nap because on the bus we only got 3 hours sleep, but the bus took 13 hours to get to Goreme.


After our nap we went for a bit of a hike and lunch on the top of a big hill. We walked through the fairy chimneys. A fairy chimney is a column of rock. We found a fairy chimney that had a hole in it and we climbed in. It was big and it had two rooms. I think there was a way up higher, but the ladder wasn’t there so it was hard to get up into the whole building.

Next we went to the Goreme Open Air Museum. The Open Air Museum is where you see the Churches cut into the rock like caves. We saw about 10 Churches there. We saw them all.

We saw an ice-cream man. He played a trick and made us try to catch our ice-cream, but we only got the cone not the ice-cream!

When we ate tea we sat on cushions on the floor and ate at a low table. We ate real Turkish food and it was really tasty too. My favourite was the sun-dried tomatoes.

On Wednesday we went to the underground city. Its name was Derinkuyu. It was a massive city all under ground. Next we went to Ihlara Valley and there were 400 steps leading to the valley below. We found a cave and went in it. It was a short-cut to the middle of the track. I drew arrows where we were going with a stick. We had lunch at a restaurant in the valley.

Next we went to the Selime Monastery, which was all built into a great big hill like a fairy chimney. Dad and I found a big tunnel leading up and climbed up in it. At the top we were about 600 metres above the road. We climbed up there with a torch up the really wonky dirt steps, and if you fell down you would die! On the way down Dad dropped the torch and then it was pitch black. I was SO scared, but we managed to get down ok.

That night we went to a Turkish Night and watched about 20 traditional Turkish dances. We got fed really good, and it was a really good night out. My favourite part was the knife dance. It was a really late night and we didn't go to bed until about one o'clock in the morning

On Thursday we went on a drive with Ramasan to see a ruined cave-castle in a town near Goreme. It wasn't that interesting, but it was ok and we had fun. We didn't explore all of it, but we explored lots. I think we will have more fun on the boat.

Next we went to Pasabag and looked at fairy chimneys and Dad took HEAPS of photos. We went up inside a fairy chimney and I got stuck up in it and it was SUPER DAD TO THE RESCUE! He got me down in a flash of lightening. Dad is the BEST!

Ramasan dropped us off near Pigeon Valley and we hiked through it to get back to Goreme. We saw a place where they filmed Star Wars, and we found some giant dog prints.

On Thursday night we went home on the bus. It took all night to get back so we arrived in Marmaris on Friday morning.


12th March: Our Trip to Izmir, Ephesus & Pamukkale

On Saturday, Maggie brought us some hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then we took our bags to our hire car. It was SO small! We drove to Izmir and went shopping at IKEA for the rest of the day. We didn't get to bed at the hotel until 10 o'clock at night.

The next day we did more shopping, but we got to go on a bouncy castle after Mum & Dad finished shopping. Then we drove to Selcuk and stayed there for the night.

On Monday we looked at the broken down city called Ephesus. We saw the old toilets they used. We sat on them. They were like drop toilets. There was a line of stone and there were lots of holes cut into it. It looked funny! We also went to the ampitheatre and saw a crane trying to restore it. When I went down to the bottom and whispered Mum and Dad could hear me up at the top. We saw a lot of statues and broken ruins. The last ruin we saw was the odeion. It was like a small ampitheatre, but it used to have a roof. I sang our national anthem at the bottom. When we left Ephesus we drove all the way to Pamukkale and got here at night time. The hotel was really good because they had three dogs. They were very playful – especially the boy because he was a big puppy.

In Pamukkale we went for a walk up some big hills that were pure white and looked like snow. We had to take our shoes off to walk up there to not damage the rock. We could walk in the puddles. The water came from underground near the lava, so it was really warm. There was lots of calcium in the water and when it dries it turns into travertine which is like chalk. We also went to the ancient thermal pool and were going to swim in the hot water, but it was too expensive so we just looked. I found a hand pump that was fun.


Friends

We have met new friends here. Their names are Emile, Peter, Emma, Levi, Maggie, Zoe, Lily, Jordan and Will.

One day we went out with some of them in two dingies. We tied them together and it started off fun, but then we had to get rescued by the marina staff in their boat because it was too windy to paddle back.

When we go to “Happy Hour” at the restaurant we get to play in the marina library after tea and play games in there while Mum and Dad and the other adults talk.

We went to a birthday party for Jordon birthday, and we played games in the kids club room. Levi and Will & I threw water balloons at the girls! We didn't play all the party games because we were getting our water balloons ready.

I like to go to Emile & Peter's boat and watch movies and sit on his bed and watch Clone Wars, and play with Lego and Playmobile toys. We also like to play a game called “sticky, sticky glue”. It is like stuck in the mud apart from you have a jail and a base with a time limit. You have to tag people out of jail.



Sometimes as a treat we get ice-cream and we all share it and eat out of the ice-cream tub with spoons. It is half chocolate and half vanilla. And we had an ice-cream fight and put ice-cream on the other peoples faces!

Levi is a great friend, and he plays “sticky, sticky glue” with us. He is very generous with playing games with us. He is a teenager. We tackle him and he tackles us. We play pranks on him and Will. Will is his friend. We play with Levi every day.

When the yacht “Mehari” left the marina we were sad because some of our friends left. It is going to be like that all the time sailing across the world.



2nd April - Easter!!

Easter is very different in Turkey because 99 percent of Turkish people are Muslim so there no Easter Eggs. We get chocolate lollies, and a chocolate bar, and crosses made out of chocolate sticks instead. So it was very different.

On Good Friday we had communion on our boat and Dad read the Easter story from the Bible. We went on a hike up the mountain with some other people for an Easter picnic. We had to follow dots to find the path. They were red, and painted on rocks, trees and wood. Half way up we had a break. When we got to the top we had lunch then we came back down. On the way down we saw a cave.

On Easter Sunday we hunted for Easter treats hidden around the boat. On our boat we didn't have many spaces to hide treats. Then Dad finished reading the Easter story, and we had communion again. Later we went to an Easter party at another Marina and painted real eggs and played and wrestled in the kids club, then had lunch. After lunch we caught the dolmus back to our marina.


11th April: Our First Sail on Connect4

On Monday we went out sailing. We had to tidy up the boat so we could get to things, then we called the Marina workers to help us untie the boat. We motored out of our marina over to Netsel Marina to get fuel then we put up our sails. The sailing was steering all the way. When we get our autopilot it will steer for us so we can play while we are on our way.

I got to help winch up the sails. When the boat was rocking I kept falling over.

After a few hours we decided to go back to the marina. When we got back the Marina workers helped tie us on, then we cleaned up and went out to play.



1st May: Leaving Marmaris & Sailing the Turkish Coast!!

We left Marmaris and sailed to Ecincek. We flew our “Boxing Kangaroo” flag while we were leaving and it felt good! When we were sailing it felt weird because we sailed a mono-hull yacht in Australia. While we were sailing Chelsea & I played “I spy” with Dad's binoculars, then Dad and I emptied the toilet holding tank, which was a yucky job. On the way Chelsea got sea sick and threw up. I had a sleep because last night I stayed up to watch Star Wars and didn't go to bed until 11:00pm.

When we got there I helped Dad lower the anchor. We tried three places and the last one worked, and our anchor bit in. While we were there, Chelsea and I washed the dingy and went for a swim off the side. I lost all the cleaning stuff over board so I had to swim and get them!






The next day we sailed to Ragged Bay and We climbed up a big hill and found a “castle”. It was only me and Chelsea. I got the scare of my life! I heard a “thud, thud, thud” and I thought it was a bull, so I bolted down the hill hurdling rocks and stopped and hid behind a bush. Then I noticed it was only a flag flapping!

On Monday we were doing school and a big Turkish gulet (traditional timber yacht) anchored next to us and the tourists went swimming and we wished we could go swimming too! After school we went swimming with Mum & Dad, then we dried off and went to a volcano island. Only Chelsea and I went to the island to explore. It was breeding season for the birds, so there were heaps of them flying everywhere. The island was surrounded by volcanic rock. When we got back we started getting firewood ready for a fire on the beach. I helped Mum light the fire and Dad made dinner. It was delicious. I got to put the fire out before we went back to our boat.

On Tuesday, we motored for 9 hours to get from Ragged Bay to Kalkan because there was no wind for sailing. When we got there we saw Tim & Stephanie from “Honu”. It was funny because we saw them back at the marina, and they left before us.

On Wednesday we motored to Kaș. When we got there we took Chelsea to hospital and they took an x-ray and said Chelsea had a broken wrist. Chelsea & Mummy had to catch a bus to Fethiye so they could go to the hospital there to put a cast on Chelsea's arm. Dad & I went and bought the bus tickets for them. While they were gone Dad & I did work on the boat. It was fun with Dad.



On Thursday we caught a ferry to Kastelorizon (a Greek Island) so we could get our Turkish visas renewed when we came back. It took 1 hour to get there. It was boring, but comfy. When we came back I had a swim.

On our way back towards Marmaris, we stopped at a town called Fethiye. When we got there I saw a pool. I was so excited! Chelsea couldn't go in because she had a cast on. We had dinner at the marina restaurant because that was part of the deal. If we eat at the restaurant, we can stay here cheaper.

On Monday, we went to Sakklikent Gorge. The rocks were slippery and Chelsea had to hold on to Dad's hand because the current was strong and if she fell over she would get her arm wet and would have to get a new cast. Dad and I went further up the river where Chelsea couldn't go because it was too deep.

On Thursday we went into town. I was looking at buying a pocket knife but couldn't find the one I wanted for a low enough price.

Every day I have been swimming – I repeat, every day!!


When we got back to Ecincek we went on a tour with some people on a boat called “Mascot”. We went on a ferry to the Dalyan River. First, we got to feed crab to some turtles. And we also got to taste some crab. It was delicious! The next place we saw was the Caunos ruins, where we saw lots of animals. The tortoises were funny. They were butting heads. We also saw some donkeys. They didn't look happy. In a different part of the ruins we even saw a flock of sheep. It was so funny the sheep were inside the ruins of the old roman baths! Further up the river we saw rock tombs in a cliff. We didn't go there, we just drove past to look. Our next stop was the mud baths. It was so good. It was muddy, and we even swam in it. We waited for the mud to dry, then we washed it off, and went for a swim in the hot springs. It was deep and smelly! When we got back to our boat, I had a nice swim.

On Saturday we sailed back to Marmaris, and on the way I caught a tuna! It was about 40cm long. We put it in a bucket of water and pulled the hook out of its tail. It was quite funny, because you're not supposed to catch a fish by the tail!!

When we arrived back in Marmaris they were celebrating the Maratime Festival. We went to the festival, and saw two boys called Salal and Jon. We had met them back in Kalkan. When I saw them I thought “Cool, now I have two friends to play with again!” They were 10 and 12 years old. They were from France, and lived on a boat with their parents too. I liked playing soccer with them, and we played a few games I had never seen before because they were from France.



Visiting a Volcanic Island - Nisyros

On Sunday, 23rd May, we left Turkey and started sailing through the Greek islands.

When we got to the island of Nisyros we got to see a real volcano! It was Jim's birthday, and we hired a car with Jim & Michelle to drive around the island. We went to a Volcano Museum where we saw crystals and learnt that they use sensors and wires to feel the vibrations and pressure. They use antennas and solar panels to send out a signal if the volcano is about to erupt, to let everybody know. We climbed into the volcano too, and we saw steam coming out of it. We were right in the part where it has exploded. We also saw mud bubbling. It was at least 100 degrees – enough to boil an egg on it. We also saw lots of yellow sulphur. Dad told us about a trick he did when he was young. You wrap a tiny bit of sulphur in alfoil and put it in a frying pan and make it really hot. It has the worst smell ever, and if you do it your Mum & Dad won't be very happy!! The next day we went snorkelling over the rocks that were old lava flows. We didn't see any fish, but it was great fun.


Beaches in Greece

While we were in Santorini we enjoyed going to the beach. Lots of beaches in Greece are black. The beach near our marina had black sand and black rocks and pebbles. All along it the cliffs above us were amazing. They had small caves and big caves and medium caves. I loved climbing inside them. It was cool. The cliffs were made of volcanic ash. We even found floating rocks!! They were called pumice, and were filled with air bubbles from the volcano, which is why they could float.

At another beach we went to I saw a: stingray; flounder; octopus; jellyfish; and thousands of small fish! It was scary seeing the sting ray. Nobody else saw the stingray or jellyfish. The reef there was very pretty. When it was time to leave I was very sad because I was having so much fun.

The sand was very hot to walk on because it is black. The sand is black because it is crushed rock from the volcano.

We had so much fun at the beach. One day Daddy was being bitten by little fish. He said it felt like little pinches on his leg. Dad thought it was a crab, but when I dove down to have a look it was some fish circling his legs!


Our First Overnight Sail


Here we were, leaving Santorini, Mum and Chelsea were up on the bow dropping the bow lines while Dad was driving. Meanwhile I was pulling in the stern lines. When we were pulling out the starboard propeller got tangled in ropes. Dad had to dive and cut the rope free. He ended up borrowing a scuba tank. While he was diving I had to help fend off the wall. When we got free of the ropes we left for our overnight sail.

When we left we were bobbing around lots, up and down big waves. It was like a wild ride, but we didn't have to pay for it!

Before we left to sail overnight I was feeling nervous about what could happen, like Jessica Watson when she ran into a ship.

While we were sailing we saw a huge cruise liner that was 30 times bigger than us!

I fell asleep on the cushions outside in the cockpit, then Daddy lifted me up and carried me down to my bed. He said I was “dead to the world”. When I woke up in the morning we were still sailing.

When we got to Serifos we dropped anchor, but we had heaps of problems. The anchor wouldn't hold so we had to … huh, huh? Getting excited? … We had to dive down and get the anchor to bite in. I got to dive in and help with the anchor. In the end we got it to hold, so we would not bang in to the jetty. It worked!!


My 9th Birthday on Kithnos Island

On the morning of my birthday I woke up at 6:00am. Mum & Dad said I could only wake them up at 7:00am, so I was so excited when it got to 7:00am. I dashed in to their room, and on the way I saw my presents on the table and got even more excited! They were still snoozing, so I had to wake them up. When I unwrapped my presents I got: a dive watch that is waterproof from Mum & Dad; a water pistol from Mum & Dad; a book called “Marley: a Dog Like No Other” from Grandma; some Atlantis Lego from Grandma; some money from Oma & Opa; some money from Aunty Angela, Emily & Connor; and a necklace with a cross from Chelsea.

I have already started reading the book about Marley, and there are some really funny bits. There is a photo that says “Have bowl, will travel. Even as a puppy, Marley loved splashing water all over the house!”.

After I opened my presents we had breakfast and I chose pancakes! Then Mum & Dad said I could choose what I want to do. I chose to play in the dingy and drive with the motor. I had fun doing circles and donuts, and one time I turned too fast and Dad nearly fell out of the dingy!

Next we watched two movies in my cabin. They were Chicken Run and Storm Boy. It was funny, because they don't normally let us watch two movies in a row! After the movies, Dad, Chelsea & I went to the beach while Mum was cooking dinner. When we were on the way back I saw balloons on the back of the boat, so I said to Dad, “Full steam ahead!” and I thought to myself, “Hit the gas!”. When we got there I saw that Mum had made popcorn, honey crackles, cakes, fairy bread, jelly slice and lots more. Mum said this was dinner! It was my party. It made me feel special – all the hard work they put into it.


One of the things I liked about Kithnos was the hot springs. Hot water ran into the sea so that the sea was warm. Once, well a few times, I sailed my shoe down the stream. I thought that the rock at the end of the stream would catch it, so I let my shoe keep going. It went straight under the rock and out the other side. There was a lady at the bottom of the stream in a rock pool, and my dirty shoe hit her in the head!! She wasn't too impressed! I said sorry to her, and she laughed. Lucky it was only my “Croc”!