I highly recommend the Whitsundays!!!

We are having a great time. We did 2 trips with the “Cruise Whitsundays” company and I would highly recommend both. We put up some of the pictures from Saturday’s trip out to Knuckle Lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef. However you will have to wait and see the pictures from yesterday’s sailing adventures on the “Camira”.

Australia has been so much fun and relaxing, we’ve met some great people from Australia as well as a few Canadians on the cruise yesterday. I was fun comparing notes as to how much Australians are like Canadians. Personally I have felt more at home here than even when we’ve been through the US.

The family has been getting along really well, eventhough our campervan is rcrowded. Alex complains that she has to share the bed with Luke, but there hasn’t been too many fights. My only complaint would be that there has been several nights where it has been very hot in the van. Humid hot with no breeze, but the kids haven’t complained about it too much. A few times we’ve had to have cold showers before going to bed. Needless to say, I have a new appreciation for air conditioning.

We are leaving today to go visit a Rio Tinto mine near Clermont which is about 3 or 4 hours south. Hope that all is fine with you. Take care, Claudette

5 Responses to “I highly recommend the Whitsundays!!!”

  1. Leesa-Maree says:

    Hi Guys,
    thanks for the birthday wishes. My chicks took me out for lunch on the day and we had a lovely family dinner. Then I went ME shopping on Sat… very fun! Am very busy now and am living on V (enery drink) and coffee.

    Your adventures sound amazing – cave exploring would be awesome but a little scary as I don’t like confined spaces. The Whitsundays and the GBR are spectacular, so I am glad you are enjoying it. I love squeaky sand, I could just imagine you walking on it.

    Where are you going to this mine… Clermont or somewhere nearby? That should be a great experience of outback Australia!

    I hope you are getting these messages, as I don’t really know what I am doing!!?? I love reading your stories. Rick I was killing myself laughing about your sand toboganning story – I could just imagine the look you were giving that boy!

    Have fun and see you all soon.
    Leesa-Maree

  2. Rick says:

    Yes of course we are getting your comments cause you are an awesome Geek inside! The first post a new user makes has to wait to be approved by Claudette or I, after we approve one you are good to go for ever!

    I’m still not sure if you have gone through the entire “Birthday experience” as we intended, but we’ll hafta discuss that further in a week. Hopefully you managed to find a paper to save for us…

    We went to Blair Athol mine (15min from Clermont) this morning for a general public tour which was pretty cool all in all. I am going back tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon for a visit with the Technical Services department (my equivelents). After that we’re heading back to the coast, to meander back down to you guys in Brisbane.

    I’m sure you (and EVERYONE else!) would love the Caves. They are very stable looking (cause perception matters more than reality in such cases) and they are relatively open and unconfined on the main tour.

    And yes, sadly I had to show that young punk that a forty year old ain’t dead yet! (Pathetic I know… but that’s the nature of the occaisionally fragile male ego)

    What did you get while “Me” shopping???? Describe it for everyone to read and envsion please…

  3. Tim says:

    Wow. What great stories. Sorry I dropped out of sight there for a while guys, but we had a brutally busy month in which I spent eight days on the road. (But not the fun road you guys are travelling – the YK-Hay River-Fort Simpson type of road.)

    I have finally caught up on all my reading. Australia sounds absolutely wonderful. Glad to hear you survived driving on the left side of the road. My biggest fear with that would be coming to a busy intersection and then trying to turn into someone else’s lane.

    Leave it to Luke to find a bit of show business in the wilds of Australia. Tell him we send our congratulations on his karaoke win. I bet he loved that! I admit I would have paid big money to see Rick floundering through Alison Kraus’ version of “I Will”! I look forward to the video.

    Sounds like you met some very nice folks during your trip, especially Robert and Leesa-Maree. I agree – you have to lure them up North somehow.

    The kids sound like they are having a good time. Alex certainly seems keen on her surfing. About the only surfing she could do around Smith would be windsurfing. Of course, a nice long lake like Germaine is just made for windsurfing…hmmmmmm. And who are these Australian lads Alex is hanging around with? Are you guys being vigilant?;-)

    I’m still chuckling over poor Claudette’s shower. Who else but Rick could cause a flood while trying to do the dishes? You probably used up a small Australian town’s water supply with that little rhubarb.

    The mine sounds very interesting. Doesn’t Rio Tinto own Diavik, or at least part of it? I get the feeling they’re invovled in the NWT diamond industry somehow.

    Glad to hear you have glimpsed a bit of the local wildlife. Alex’s post on seeing the kangaroos was interesting. I wonder if they were small kangaroos or if they were wallabies?

    The Caves and the Great Barrier Reef sound fantastic, as does the cruise you guys wnet on. It sounds like Australia’s tourist industry is pretty well organized and professional (if occasionally expensive – $20 bucks for digital pics???).

    I gave the kids an update of what you guys have been doing. Ian is seriously missing Luke, and Gracie’s entire world calendar is centred around “when the James’s get back.” We were talking about her next birthday (“Is that before the James’s get back?”), her starting school next year (“Is that before the James’s get back?”), our holiday next summer (“Is that before the James’s get back?”). Clearly, your imminent return to Canada has taken on massive importance is her four-year-old world.

    We had dinner over at the Keizer’s the other day to celebrate Michelle’s birthday, and we cracked open a few of the beers “pops” you sent back. The consensus was that they were…unusual. Mike, Clyde, Ann, Jo and I all tried some, and we saved one for Dan to try. We decided it needed to be a scorching hot summer day before we could truly appreciate the unique character of this particular brand.

    I dunno how current you are on the news up here, but Miltenberger won the election, and he went for Premier but got beat out by Floyd Roland of Inuvik. Michael is in cabinet, but we don’t know yet what portfolio he got.

    Not a whole lot new with us. We have new neighbours on both sides fo us. Young families with young kids, but one of the families has a girl Ian’s age (and in fact she is in his class) so I am sure things will work out well on that front. We met them all and they seem very nice. Only time will tell of course.

    We are off to see Brian and Claire-Ann this weeknd as Gracie has dental surgery on Monday morning in Hay River. Cavities. Lots of them. We don’t get it, really. Ian has perfect cavity-free teeth and they both follow identical dental rituals. The dentist in Hay River said body chemistry has a lot to do with it. Some people just fend off tooth decay better than others. Still, it was pretty dispriting for Jo and I, but Gracie seems to think it is all a great adventure. We have gone totally fascist on sugar, and have introduced an even more fanatical brushing and flossing routine. Speaking of dental-related stuff, did Alex get her retainer? Sorry for the slow shipping, but I wanted to insure it. Northwestern couldn’t do that.

    I have been extremely busy with Cubs, which is going really well. We have four Beavers, 12 Cubs and two Scouts. A really good, keen crew. Kearly and Chris Bird are the other leaders. So far, we have been busy getting the kids oriented to all the rituals of scouting, but they are picking it up quickly. I am having a good time, but the paperwork is tremendous. I have to do a lot of reporting to Scouts Canada.

    Anyway, that is it from us. Glad to get up to speed on your world travels. We miss you guys, but we also envy you like crazy and are glad you having sucha great time. Take care, and try to touch base if you ever find free wifi again.

    Tim, Jo, Ian and Gracie

  4. Rick says:

    Fantastic Tim. Thanks for the updates… We checked the NT elections site to see how Peter split the vote from JMJ, but we didn’t know he had tried for the Big “P”. Bummer…
    Did you get up to date on the (sorta infrequently updated) pics gallery as well. Like that nice big white belly on the beach????
    I changed your “new” user status to admin. as well, just like the old user you had made. I can reset the pw on the old one if you want… just send me an e-mail. Actually, you can reset it with the new user you made as well.
    Hi and love to all!

  5. Tim says:

    Haven’t viewed the pics yet. Had to do my reading first. Yeah, I set up another account so I could post from work as well. If you wouldn’t mind changing the status, that would be great.

    Ian and Gracie say Hi to Alex and Luke. Best to you all.