335 Wood Valley Bay SW, Calgary, AB T2W 5Y6, Canada

Leaving Calgary

I’m finally going on my trip after two years of waiting. Right now I’m flying over BC on my way to Vancouver…I requested the window seat but all I can see is clouds😒.

Beautiful British Columbia from the top!

Okay, coming into Vancouver, the skies cleared.

Sunset over the Pacific coast.

Next flight is Vancouver to Sydney! \240Gate D52

Shop B/261 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

I made it to Sydney, Australia. Everything is very big here, or at least it seems very big. \240We are staying in a two bedroom apartment hotel for the next three days. \240Tomorrow will be a tour of the habour area, then in the afternoon we will walk to the aquarium.

Our toast to Australia! ❤️

🛩Now about the flight… we were late leaving Vancouver… at about 1:30 pm we were served a dinner meal. None of us could eat it because it tasted dreadful. \240I tried to sleep but a little kid kept on screaming most of the night and when the kids stopped the flight attendant came on the PA to say we were going through turbulence so we were to fasten our seat belts. Through all that, I managed to sleep a bit. Fortunately it was dark outside and cloudy.

🏙 Coming into Sydney was the first time I saw land since leaving Vancouver. I got a good sense of how big the Pacific Ocean is and how long the distance is from Canada to Australia.

We had dinner at Mr Wongs. To find this restaurant you have to walk down a narrow alley. It’s weird because this highly recommended restaurant opens into an alley. The decor in Mr Wongs was rustic and industrial. I liked it. The food was extremely good. I finally felt full again.

Papa and me just outside the doors of Mr Wongs.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

It was an early start to our morning. I was awakened at 6 am with breakfast at 6:30 and then off on our first tour of the day.

Our first stop was the Sydney Observatory. From here we could see where the first convicts who were exiled to this area, landed. We learned they weren’t all criminals, some were police officers who had tarnished their record in England. They met up with the French at a shallow bay north of Sydney called Botany Bay. The French decided to leave because they couldn’t find fresh water; however, the boatload of vagabonds continued southward only to happen upon a deep long habour which became known as Sydney.

This is a fig tree. It was on the grounds of the Observatory. You can’t eat the figs. It’s a really neat tree.

Our tour continued all along the habour. On a number of stops we saw the famous Sydney Opera House. We also saw a crew preparing for the Red Bull cliff diving competition. It sounded intriguing… people jumping off cliffs into the shark infested waters of the Sydney Harbour. The sharks in the habour are mostly bull sharks because they can handle salt and fresh water.

We drove right to the eastern most tip of the Sydney habour, right where it opens to the Pacific Ocean. On Boxing Day there is a famous yacht race from Sydney to Hobart, Tasmania. I could just imagine 200 yachts coming through the narrow harbour opening and racing past the point where I was standing. It was nice there.

Our next stop was Bondi Beach. There were quite a number of surfers in the water. There is the famous Bondi’s Iceberg Club here. People come here every Sunday to swim, even in winter. In Winter the pool is filled with ice. There is a show filmed on Bondi Beach about life rescues, called Bondi Rescue. I think Logan should come here and get a job as a life guard.

Our driver dropped us off at the Sydney Aquarium where we spent the next few hours.

We saw the Australian lung fish that my dad wanted to see. Apparently we are related to them.

I could see a striking resemblance.🤣

We saw stingrays. We were in a tunnel that went under the water. We watched the rays approach us and then swim over us. They appeared to follow each other around in the large tank.

Next, we walked over to the shark tanks. I got see my favourite shark, the Wobbegong Shark. The shark tank was like the ray tank in that we were beside and below the sharks. We were right in the aquarium.

We walked back to our hotel and rested.

Blue Mountains

At a ridiculously ungodly hour, I was rudely awakened. I ate a McDonald’s muffin that Papa and I had bought the night before and we were on our way to find our tour guide. We headed towards the Blue Mountains for the day.

Our first stop was the Calmsley Hill City Farm. I got to pet a Koala. The fur felt like a thick carpet. There were two Koala on the farm. They were brothers.

There was a wombat. There isn’t too much to say about this wombat.

The farm had a two week old goat named Stevie. He was born blind. He was very cute.

We went to the kangaroo and emu pen. There were several joeys hopping around. There was one Joey hanging out of his momma’s pouch. He was obviously too big for the pouch as his feet hung out, but his momma still carried hm around even though she could barely walk with him in her pouch.

From here we headed further west into the Blue Mountains. They are not really mountains. They are more like big hills, but they are blue. The eucalyptus trees exude an oil which is released into the air. The light filtering through the oil filled air makes it appear blue.

We went to Wentworth Falls. We descended 222 steps down to the falls. The guide was excited because there was water cascading down the slope. Apparently the falls have been dry for a number of years, but with all the recent rain in Australia, the falls actually had water. All those 222 steps we walked down, we now had to walk back up.

We visited a rock formation called the Three Sisters. The guide told us an Indigenous story about how three beautiful young girls were turned into the three rocks.

After lunch, we proceeded to the Blue Mountains Botanical Garden. There were so many really neat flowers. There was also this really rare tree, called the Wollemi Pine. Some refer to it as the dinosaur tree, because until 1994 people thought this tree was only recoded in the fossil record. There are very few, around 40, Wollemi Pines in existence.

Wollemi Pine

We really lucked out. It was a gorgeous day!

Tomorrow we are off to Brisbane.

295-273 Edward St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia

Today was a travel day. We flew 840 km north. I am now in Brisbane.

We walked to the Botanical Gardens from our hotel. There were many fountains and some wildlife.

This botanical garden had the most unusual trees.

We saw the Banyan fig tree again. It is a most unusual tree, almost spooky with its long roots reaching for the ground.

The Jacaranda trees were in bloom. They were everywhere. Their purple-blue flowers are most striking.

One of the most unusual trees was the Peepul Tree. The Peepul Tree is also known as the Bo Tree. It is regarded as the tree of wisdom. The Peepul tree is sacred to the Buddhist faith. The really neat thing about this Peepul Tree is that it was full of bats. I regard this tree as the bat tree.

We went for dinner at a restaurant right across from the Botanical Gardens. I ate a whole lamb shank, a baked bombe (which is a fancy baked Alaska), and washed it all down with two Shirley Temples.

Tamborine Mountain

It was a reasonable morning today. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the food court below our hotel. We were picked up at the front door of the hotel and headed south of Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain.

Our first stop was a natural bridge and a cave with glow worms. As it was daytime the glow worms in this cave were invisible to us. They were there but we couldn’t see them but the walls of the cave did look slimy. Glow worms are nocturnal. They produce luminescence from their butts to attract insects. We learned that glow worms don’t eat the insects that they catch on the long poisonous strands they exude, rather they suck the blood from the captured insects. You see, glow worms are too lazy to eat the insects.

In the cave

After lunch, at Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard, we visited a frog and insect exhibit. We saw a couple of stick insects. They look just like twigs. Here’s an interesting fact about stick insects, they are related to cockroaches.

It was here that we got to go into a cave to see glow worms. The cave just looked like a starry night with thousands of little points of light. The more our eyes adjusted to the dark, the more lights we saw.

Some more fun facts about glow worms… they are cannibals. They eat some of their offspring and they will eat each other should one get caught in the sticky threads, called snare, they exude. This happens when males go looking for a female at mating time. The female glow worms die 48 hours after laying their eggs. The male and female glow worm mate for 30 hours. Our guide described it as a rough 30 hours. 😂

We left Cedar Creek Estate and drove down the road to a place they had a skywalk. The skywalk went through the upper canopy of the rainforest. It was very interesting seeing all the trees and vines. Parts of the walkway were a swinging bridge, very high up in the air.

Our day on Tamborine Mountain ended and we went for Thai food in the evening.

Australia Zoo

The koalas at the Australia Zoo were so cute.

I finally got my long awaited koala cuddle. This little guy dug his claws into my arm and my shoulder. I had a good hold of him so I wouldn’t drop him. They showed me how to hold him before they handed him to me.

We watched as a Tasmanian Devil ran around its pen. It never stopped moving. I think it lives up to its reputation as a bit of a whirlwind. Tomorrow we fly to Tasmania; I don’t think we will see any as they move too fast.

There were several dingos in the zoo. One was white. There was a keeper cleaning their pen. They acted like dogs do when the vacuum cleaner is going.

We walked through the kangaroo enclosure. I touched a kangaroo. It was really soft. This little guy came up and stood beside me.

It was a free zone where you could walk among the kangaroo. One kid got punched in the face by a kangaroo because he was bugging it too much. It was funny! The kid looked shocked. 😂

I finally saw Popcorn the Binturong. Well this one wasn’t Popcorn, but it reminded me of Popcorn.

There were many crocodiles at the Australian Zoo. I guess that stands to reason because Steve Irwin was known as the Crocodile Hunter. I was really looking forward to seeing Robert Irwin at the Crocodile Show, but he never showed up. So sorry dad, I can’t marry him. 😂

I saw a wombat. I like wombats but they don’t do much. They look funny, like over grown rats without a tail.

We even got to go over to the zoo hospital. There were no operations in progress, but there were several patients in the hospital. One of the attendants brought one of the patients, a Joey, for us to see.

It was a good day. 🥰

Ground Floor, Grand Chancellor Hotelhobart, 1 Davey St, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia

We are now in Hobart on the island of Tasmania. Our hotel is on the waterfront.

View from the hotel

I am looking forward to our tour tomorrow. We are going to visit Tasmanian Devil National Park. That should be interesting 🤔

Eaglehawk Neck

What an exciting day.

We rode a bus for about an hour from Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck. Here we boarded a boat for a three hour tour from the water. We all had to wear a long red waterproof cover. The cover had a hood and it went right down to our feet.

We saw dolphins, in fact a whole pod of dolphins with babies. It was really neat to see the babies and to watch the dolphins jumping out of the water.

The highlight came when we saw humpback whales. I think we saw four of them. Two of them were a mom and baby. Humpback whales migrate to Tasmania at this time of the year. They come here with their babies to feed. It was really hard to get a good photo of the whales as they surfaced at unexpected times.

The coastline from Eaglehawk Neck to Stewart’s Bay in Port Arthur was rugged. I loved the color of the ocean so I took a lot of pictures of the water.

On the way Stewart’s Bay the wind picked up and the water got very choppy with big swells. We were sitting at the front of the boat and a large wave came over the front of the boat and soaked us. My hair and face were drenched with sea water. I could taste the salt on my lips for a long time.

After lunch we went to a park called the Unzoo. I liked the concept of this zoo. The animals there can leave, but they don’t. They just hang around, probably because they are fed there. There are eight Tasmanian Devils. We watched as one was fed. I like them. They are so funny looking.

I got to feed a bird. It looked like a parrot. Nan and I forgot the name of it.

I went out onto the ocean and learned I don’t get motion sickness, even in rough seas. This was such a fun day.

Russell Falls

Today was a relaxed day as it was just the three of us and our guide, Adam.

We began our tour at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary cared for wildlife that had been orphaned or injured. I saw some Devils. They were lounged out in the sun. It was quite warm today and the animals seemed to enjoy the warm sun.

The echidnas are a weird looking animal. One of them had only three legs, so he would not be able to be released back in the wild. I took a video of him hobbling about.

From here we drove to Mt Field National Park. We hiked to Russell Falls. Along the way we saw the beautiful Tree Fern. They first appeared 251 million years ago. There are fossil records of them in Antarctica.

Russell Falls comes down in three levels. It is really beautiful.

We also walked to the top of the Falls through the tall eucalyptus trees called Tall Trees or Swamp Gum. They are incredibly tall. Some are over 72 meters.

I liked this day. I prefer small tours, even though yesterday was very exciting, it was a lot of people.

Maria Island

We spent the day at Maria Island. Maria is pronounced ma-ri-a, not mar-e-a. Maria Island was once a penal colony, but today it is a National Park. The only way to get there is by ferry and once you get there you have to either walk or cycle. We walked. We decided to walk to the Painted Cliffs, about a 4.7 km walk.

As we passed by an open field we saw a bunch of wombats in their wild natural habitat. Wombats are marsupials. I wanted to go to Maria because I learned they had wombats there and I was not disappointed. There were a lot of them.

One of the wombats I walked up to to take a photo ran away from me. It was proof that wombats run very fast even though they look slow and somewhat awkward.

We walked a very long way to the painted rocks.

I saw some very neat shells in a tidal pool but I couldn’t take them as this is a National park.

We walked back to the small village of Darlington, which is where the ferry terminal is. We got to the location where we were going to eat lunch and the skies opened and it poured rain. We got very wet walking back to the ferry, even through our rain gear.

It was another calm day with just us and our guide. I really liked the wombats.

Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Today was a travel day.

We said goodbye to Hobart and made our way to Adelaide via Melbourne. Everything went well and our luggage even arrived in Adelaide with us.

We are staying in a spacious apartment hotel with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We have a washer and dryer so I am going to do some laundry tomorrow as it is a chill day.

We walked to an Italian restaurant for dinner. I had lasagne, but it wasn’t as good as grandmas. Then I had tiramisu for dessert.

Tomorrow we will go to the opal mine.

Unique Opal Mine - Australian Opal Jewelry Adelaide

We went to the Opal Mine in Adelaide. I really wanted to go to Coober Peddy, to the real opal mines, but they had not reopened since the beginning of Covid. So I settled on a jewelry store that had a simulated mine in the basement.

I learned the opals are found in underground seams like this:

Opals are actually quite rare. The rarest and most precious of opals is the black opal. It is only mined in a placed called Lightening Ridge. Nan and Papa bought me a pair of black opal earrings.

73 Scenic Dr, American River SA 5221, Australia

We are on Kangaroo Island.

We left our hotel in Adelaide at 6 am this morning, that meant a 5 am wake up. After a drive past vineyards and olive groves down to the ferry landing, we boarded the \240ferry to the island.

Once on the island we headed down to Sea Lion Cove where the sea lions were waiting for us.

There were a lot of babies.

The most interesting thing about these sea lions is they can rotate their back flippers from a swimming position to a walking position. They walk on the sand as opposed to dragging themselves around the sand.

We saw koalas in the wild. We saw a few that we were quite far away. See if you can spot the koalas. I found two of them in this tree.

However, in another location, a koala came right up to us. Actually she was trying to get passed us. As she passed us she posed providing us with a great photo opportunity.

She has a red tag in her ears because she was sterilized. The island has too many koalas and that is how they control the numbers.

We saw an echidna cross the road. Our driver slowed right down and pulled over to let it get to the other side and to safety. I didn’t get a picture.

We saw a lot of kangaroo and wallabies in their natural habitat. They are quite small and very cute. Some had joeys.

This kangaroo was caught grooming itself—scratching its armpits. Nan said it looked like Uncle Robbie in the morning.

We hiked through a very narrow rock formation to a beach. The sand looked and felt like brown sugar, only it was white in color.

Our tour guide made us an Australian gourmet lunch. I even tried the fish; however, I didn’t care for the texture. It was all served on white linen table cloths in the bush.

As you can see, Papa was up to his teasing antics.

Today I turned 15 years old, twice! Once when I woke up and the other time when it turned midnight in Alberta.

For my birthday dinner, I had kangaroo. If you were served kangaroo and you didn’t know it was kangaroo, you might mistake it for lamb or beef, but if you knew it was kangaroo, you would not make that mistake. It has a distinctive taste. It tastes good.

My birthday cake was a cheesecake. Nan wanted me blow out the candle but it was fake.

It was an unforgettable birthday.

Flinders Chase National Park

Today we went to Flinders Chase National Park. We saw the Long-noses Fur Seals in their colony at Cape du Couedic. These sea lions are different from the ones we saw yesterday. They have thick fur so when they go in the water their skin doesn’t get wet.

We went to a rock formation called Admiral’s Arch. Here the sea water has cut through the rock.

We also walked through a granit rock formation called the Remarkable Rocks. They were pretty remarkable.

We are on the ferry heading back to Adelaide. Tomorrow we fly to Alice Springs. Our car arrives at 4 am to take us to the airport.

Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, an IHG Hotel

Our morning started at 3 am which has left me disoriented all day. We are in Alice Springs.

The rains have disappeared and the Australian desert sun has taken over. The landscape is unusual in some ways, but in other ways it feels familiar. It is sort of like driving through coulees around Lethbridge. There is scrub brush and a lot of rock outcrops. The soil is red.

Now, there was something most interesting at the airport here. There are hundreds of planes just parked here. They cover many kilometers. The planes are from many different airlines. Our taxi driver said that many airlines parked their unused planes here during Covid because they don’t rust in the desert. He said that many planes have been flown out, but there are a lot here still.

While we were waiting to get our room, Papa and I went to The Alice Springs Reptile Centre. I forget the names of some of them.

This one came right up to the glass.

This Blue Tongue Skink came to greet me. I got to hold one of them. It felt like I was holding a block of wood. This was the first lizard that I wanted to get as a pet but I am glad that I did not get one because they feel so weird.

This is a Gidgee Skink. It is neat looking. It looks a bit like a pine cone.

This Knob Tailed Gecko’s eyes remind me of a frog.

This Frilled Neck Lizard’s back legs were not hanging on to the log. They were just dangling. It was weird how it was just balancing.

I held a python. They like warmth, so they wrap themselves around the warmest part of your body. Pythons can smell you through their tongue. I don’t have a picture of me holding the python, but Papa has a movie of it.

Tomorrow we board a bus for a 6-hour ride to Uluru.

Desert Gardens Hotel - Ayers Rock Resort

We are in Yulara which is where the hotel is located here at Uluru. \240

We travelled from Alice Springs to Yulara across the Australian Outback.

The outback is red soil, scrubby trees, and grass. People here lease land in the outback and pasture their cattle here.

We stopped at a couple of interesting, well sort of, places for stretch breaks.

Our first stop was Stuart’s Well. I found this camel somewhat surprising.

Our second stop at Erlunda was somewhat less dramatic.

This is not Uluru, but many people mistake it for Uluru. This is Mt Connor or Artilla. It is a very big rock and much more squared off than Uluru. Like Uluru, it holds spiritual significance for the Indigenous people of this region

We finally arrived at our hotel and had a bit of time to rest and get organized for an event that evening. We went to a dinner and show called Sounds of Silence.

You can see Uluru over my left shoulder.

We were greeted by a guy playing a didgeridoo. This was so neat. I didn’t know what it was when he first came out. It was interesting how he played it.

The dinner was a buffet with kangaroo, an alligator salad, lamb, and other things. This is when the thunder and lightning started

As the sunsets over Kata Tjuta you can see the storm clouds gathering. It was cool seeing the lightening across the sky and hearing the thunder roar, but it was just a bit too close.

Did you know that the moon is lit from the bottom in Australia.

All-in-all the Australian desert doesn’t really fit with what I imagined the desert to be. It is kind of like Lethbridge and the surrounding area.


My morning started very early as I wanted to see the sun rise over Uluru. As luck would have it, it was one of those rare rainy days in the desert. Our hike to the Mutitjulu Watering Hole at the base of Uluru was wet, cold, and windy.

As I hiked to the Watering Hole I could see Kuniya the woman python guarding the watering hole.

Animals come to drink here, year round.

We also saw the teaching cave where young boys come to learn to hunt. They hide in this cave and watch the older men as they hunt the animals that come to the watering hole.

I could see rock art on the side of the cave .

As the rains began to lift, the views of Uluru changed too.

It was totally worth get up at 5:00 am for this experience. It was beautiful and awe inspiring at the same time. I had the realization that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Today is a travel day.

We said one last goodbye to Uluru as we departed for Cairns.

We managed to get a direct flight from Uluru to Cairns. We had been scheduled to fly to Cairns through Melbourne. That connection never made sense to Papa and Nan, so when Papa saw a sign in the hotel that indicated there was a direct flight to Cairns, Nan went online and bought three tickets on Qantas. That meant we got into Cairns shortly after 5 pm rather than midnight.

Coming into Cairns was interesting. Suddenly the clouds broke and there was a mountain beside the plane.

The sun was just setting as we landed. I liked the way it made the mountains stand out as the lights of the city became visible.


Tomorrow will be a busy day as we go to the jungle.

Daintree River Experience

Today I went to the Daintree Rain Forest which is about a 90 minute drive north of Cairns. The rain forest was incredibly hot, so hot I thought I would die. It was also incredibly humid and although I sweat, the sweat did not evaporate. It was lush with vegetation. It fact it was stunning, but I wouldn’t want to live here.

It was always a relief to get back into our air conditioned bus.

We went on a boat ride down the Daintree River looking for crocodiles.

I spotted a young one lying on the banks.

Mangroves line the river. The roots stick up above the surface of the water so they can get air.

On our walk through the rainforest I spotted a Walking Stick. See if you can spot it too?

How about this one?

Strangler vines grow up host trees. Attaching itself to the host, it will eventually take over and kill its host tree.

Below you will see the bark of a black palm. The fungus on the black palm glows iridescent in the moonlight. James Cameron was so inspired by glowing forest created by black palms in the moonlight, he used the idea in his movie, Avatar.

In this location the rainforest comes down to meet the ocean. Mangroves are present on parts of the beach where the Daintree River empties into the ocean.

The ocean looks peaceful and inviting. However, that is not the case. Crocodiles lurk right below the surface waiting for a swimmer to enter the water. If the crocodile didn’t get me the box jellyfish would. They are abundant in the ocean water at this time and they are deadly poisonous.

Looking into the ocean water, I could see rays just below the surface on the sandy bottom.

It was in this location that Captain Cook ran his boat the H. M. S. Endeavour aground on a reef. His misfortune in this location reinforced his sense that this was not a good part of the world.

I enjoyed my day 😃. It was delightful and marvelous.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

It was a leisurely morning. The afternoon was time spent at Hartley Crocodile Adventures. I actually saw adult crocodiles this time.

In this place, the crocodile keepers remove all the crocodile eggs from the nests and incubate them in a nursery. These alligators are used for meat and their skin which is turned into leather.. It is illegal to capture wild crocodiles for their meat and their skins as they are protected.

The largest crocodile is named Zak. He is called Zak because he ate a dog named Zak. One of the keepers explained some of the characteristics of crocodiles. He showed us how crocodiles use either a side-to-side motion to kill their prey or they roll dragging their prey under them.

It is interesting that crocodiles do not make any noise when they surface. In fact, you wouldn’t know they were there until they would be within striking range.

I bought some crocodile jerky but I will need to eat it here as it is illegal to take into Canada.

We spent much of yesterday in pursuit of the Cassowary; however, even though our guide said they were plentiful in the rainforest, I never saw one yesterday. Today I saw one. They are quite an impressive looking bird.

You can tell the males and females apart, because the males have a long red wattle hanging below their beak. I couldn’t get a very good picture of a male, but you can sort of see it in this picture.

Cassowary females do not sit on their nests, the males do. Once they lay the eggs, their job is done. It’s now completely up to the male to incubate and care for the young ones.

We saw quite a few different types of reptiles. I wasn’t able to hold any of them.

I liked the reptiles the most.

While I enjoyed the Crocodile park, I found the day to be uncomfortably hot and humid.

Tonight we are getting ready to join our cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. We board our cruise ship tomorrow. We don’t know what kind of wifi access we will have on the boat, so you might not hear from me until November 9.

Cairns Aquarium

We had time before we went to the boat so we went to the Cairn’s Aquarium. This aquarium was more impressive than the Sydney Aquarium. Their coral reef aquariums were spectacular and the array of fish was breathtaking.

I found a pretty fish, or at least this is one that Nan agreed could be called pretty.

The puffer fish was fascinating. It looked so dorky.

I found a tank for Kerrwin.

A Dogface Puffer fish was scratching itself on some coral tubes. This strange looking fish looks like it has white buck teeth.

This Cow fish looks so cute. It seems to be saying “pucker up”.

I thought this ray was pretty 😂

Papa and I agreed, this was a great aquarium.

We went for a late lunch which was culminated with shared chocolate chip cheesecake.

We boarded our ship around 16:30 and said good-bye to Cairns.

I am off to see the Great Barrier Reef.

G7W7+QC Cooktown QLD, Australia

Our first port of call was Cooktown, named after Captain James Cook who came to this location.

We went to the Cooktown Museum. It was interesting to read about encounter between the local Indigenous community and Captain Cook and his crew. The local community Elders disapproved of all the sea turtles that Captain Cook took onto the Endeavour. They said it was too many to take from one area. The Elders threw some of the turtles back into the water. Conflict erupted and the Elders bore the brunt of Cook’s wrath.

As we returned from the museum we saw a tree that grew sausages.😂

In addition to sausage trees, this region also has beautiful flowering trees.

We say goodbye to Cooktown.

We are now back on board.

I got seasick last night so I missed dinner. I am feeling better today. I hope that I will continue to feel well today and for the rest of the trip.

Osprey Reef

I am on one of most outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Osprey Reef. I went snorkeling with Papa. Papa didn’t last too long as the seas were quite rough, but I stayed out for the full time, about 90 minutes. I saw many different kinds of coral and fish.

It was a great snorkel.

The winds picked up in the afternoon, so we left Osprey Reef and headed into the more protected sections of the reef.

Lizard Island National Park

I snorkeled at Lizard Island today. The water was calm and clear. The sand was the texture of brown sugar, but it was white. The water was very clear.

I snorkeled two different reefs at Lizard Island. One reef had a giant clam garden. It also had lots of different fish and rays. I saw sea turtles swimming in both reefs feeding off the coral. The snorkeling was great.

The water was so nice I didn’t want to get out.

Ribbon Reef

Today we were at Ribbon Reef 10 and 9. The seas were quite wavy with strong winds. A number of people went out scuba diving and a few strong swimmers went out snorkeling.

I didn’t go out because I am not that comfortable jumping into the ocean with no land in sight

You can see where the reef is because the ocean abruptly changes colour. You can also see the waves crashing on the reef.

Mackay Reef

Today I was at Escape Reef in the morning. Some people went snorkeling but I did not. It was mostly the divers who went out to the reef. It was similar to the other reefs, except it was even windier and rougher. There was no land in sight, just a colour change of the water to indicate a reef in the vicinity. I think I would have died had I gone out.

In the afternoon, the boat moored at Mackay Reef. We went ashore to a tiny cay that was all surrounded by ocean and reefs. The winds were very strong and blew the course sand against our legs. \240It felt a bit like being sandblasted.

Papa, Nan, and I all went snorkeling. I saw bright blue coral and lots of parrot fish. I also saw a bright blue starfish. It was such a brilliant blue that it didn’t look real, it looked like a piece of land garbage.

It was really fun in the water. I just floated in the surf for a long time because the water is so warm and clear.

As the tide came in later in the afternoon, the cay slowly disappeared as the ocean reclaimed the small sandbar that served as my snorkeling place.

Sudbury Cay

We spent our last morning of our cruise on Fitzroy Island.

Nan and I spent part of the morning lounging on the sand beach and walking in the water while Papa went on a hike.

There was a sea turtle rescue and hospital centre on the island and Nan and I went to see it. We saw one of the sea turtles that was recovering from floatsim which is a disease they get from eating things like plastic. A section of their intestines get plugged causing the turtle to permanently float. This means the turtle can no longer dive for food and will eventually die.

Watch as this sea turtle eats. Sea turtles expel sea water through their nostrils as they take in food as they don’t like swallowing sea water.

Sea turtles are an indicator species for the health of the ecosystem. Right now all seven species of sea turtles in the world \240are endangered and at risk of extinction.

We spent the afternoon swimming and snorkeling at Sudbury Cay.

It is called a cay, but it is sort of a sandbar that disappears with the high tide. The water was warm and fun to snorkel and play in. I saw a lot of fish, but the coral wasn’t very colorful.

It was quite windy and the waves were powerful. It was a fun last snorkel and swim.

I have finished packing as we leave the boat tomorrow morning. We fly to Sydney at noon tomorrow.

Rydges Sydney Airport

We disembarked from the boat and headed to the Cairns Airport. We had a rather lengthy wait at the airport and then our flight to Sydney was delayed. We arrived in Sydney in time for dinner. We checked into our room at the Rdyges, the airport hotel, and headed out to find food.

Tomorrow we have to check in at 7:35 am so we will have another early morning.

Calgary International Airport

I am home.