Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Indonesia--To Bug, or Not to Bug, That is the Question

By Conrad

 As most of you know, I love bugs (and macro photography)!

So far, Indonesia has been rainy, hot, and humid (not to mention it has a large amount of tropical rainforest) and that equals lots of bugs. So I can say that macro photography has been going pretty well so far. Here are some of the numerous adventures with bugs so far.

This ant mimicking spider is in the genus Myrmerachne and I suspect it to be a female Myrmerachne Japonica.  


This was my pet spider, Jubilee. She is in the Chrysilla genus. 
This nice blue damselfly landed on a blade of grass, but flew away as soon as I snapped a second picture.

A green beetle we found on a walk through Sorong. It was a very metallic green, but it doesn't show up well in the picture.
The first scorpion I've seen in a while. I saw another one before this one, but it died, so I call the second scorpion Scorp the Reincarnated.
Not much to say about this ordinary wolf spider.
A very hairy jumping spider.
I don't even know what this thing was.
A (green?) huntsman spider.
A cool moth that flew into the cockpit.
A neon green beetle. It doesn't show up very well in the picture.

A green jumping spider in my arm!

A hunched up, grumpy spider.
Soon we will head to Australia, and I will be in paradise (tons of bugs)! So get ready, because this day or the next, a flood of bug photos will rain down from the sky!
Until next time...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Chain Icon On The AIS

by Conrad

After a long few weeks in Kavieng waiting for our new chain, it has finally arrived! Dad told us that he was watching the ship's position on the AIS (aka the chain icon).

After that, we had to wait another day before we could get the chain. Then we loaded the chain into the dinghy and headed back to the boat. After that, we had some great fun replacing the chain. We re-anchored and started working kinks out of the chain. Dad threw it in the water, hoping that it would untwist. We pulled and pulled and pulled, but the chain was just too heavy. Then we spent the whole rest of the morning and part of the afternoon pulling the chain out of the water, agonizing inch by agonizing inch.

We traded the old chain to Shawn, the owner of Nusalik Resort for dinner at his all-you-can-eat buffet. Now we are waiting to leave Kavieng.

Until next time!

-Crazy Dirt Monkeys

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Solomon Islands (Boil and Fry)

By Conrad
We are in the  Solomon Islands right now. It is the hottest place in the world. It is a very nice country, and everybody is nice. We are here with our boat friends so we can play on the beach every day. We were here for Christmas, too! I got a Solomon Islands war club, a Solomon islands fishing float, and a chisel  set.

We went to a bunch of different islands, but I want to tell you about  the one that we are in. It is called Roderick Bay. There is a shipwreck of a boat called The World Explorer, a cruise boat. It hit a reef, so the owners drove it aground. When we approached the wreck, oil and diesel was still leaking out of the boat into the water! On New Year's eve, we had dinner with the locals. They were selling carvings, but for a holiday special, so I got a nice canoe carving. Mom and Dad got a fish bowl carving.
We went to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon islands, for a little bit, then we went back to Roderick Bay where we are now.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vanuatu, The Country With Everything

By Conrad
If you're planning a vacation to Florida, cancel it and come to Vanuatu instead. Vanuatu has everything from volcanoes, to caves, to river drifting.
Mt Marum's lava pool
Let's start with Ambrym.  Ambrym has a volcano just like Tanna. But instead of lava exploding out of the crater, there is a sheer drop hundreds of feet down into a bubbling, boiling pool of lava. But you do have to hike through the jungle, the ash fields, and up the side of the volcano. But anything for a pit of bubbling, boiling lava. 
Then we headed over to an island called Santo. We stopped at some other islands, but I forgot what we did there. So anyways, we are in a place called Luganville right now.  We went on a tour called the Millennium Cave Tour. It was really fun because we got to  stop at a village, hike through jungle, then we went into the caves.
 Me, the face painted

The waterfall
Going into the cave
Before we went into the caves, we got face painted. We met some people named Cole and Caroline, too.  They work for Peace Corps.  Then we went canyoneering after a lunch stop.  After that, we swam around and then went back to the village and had some lemon tea. Then we headed home. Now we are heading to the Banks islands in Vanuatu.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Yasur, the Big Boom

By Conrad

We left Fiji, and headed over to Vanuatu. Mark and I did not want to go on another long passage, but agreed instantly when we found out there was a volcano. The volcano is called Mount Yasur. The passage was three days long, and some parts were bumpy.

We got to a place called Aneityum. We stayed there for a while, got partially checked in, and then left for Port Resolution, which is on an island called Tanna.

We headed up the mountain to see the volcano. There were some cool dances, and the ground shook when the dancers jumped or stomped. Then we drove further up the mountain to Yasur itself. The mountain boomed when we were about to climb up, and a friend from Amelie IV, Meghan, got scared. I got scared too!

The ground would shake when the dancers jumped.

Megan and I got scared because the mountain boomed.
A photo of Yasur to prove it is the big boom.
We climbed up the volcano, and saw some lava spurt out. I call it a belch. You can feel your ears pop when there are big explosions, and you can also feel the heat of the lava. Then, it got dark. The lava was a lot brighter in the night. It was really windy up on the volcano. I was being blown slightly towards the volcano.

Near the end, we were heading back to the cars when another belch came up. We watched as a chunk of molten rock flew onto the observatory! Dad ran back up to get a look. He said it was about the size of the pickup truck's carrying bed that we were riding in.

Mount Yasur was very cool!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fiji is fun (again!)

By Conrad

After New Zealand, we headed out to Fiji to help with the destruction caused by the hurricane Winston with a group called Sea Mercy. It was a lot of fun to help, but I was sad because so many people's homes had been destroyed.

I helped build a pig fence for a garden and a rowboat for the fishermen to use. It was fun working, but it was tiring. Still, that didn't stop Mark and me from bickering our heads off.

I polished my nautilus shell with mineral oil
These are the peppers that we used for the hot sauce
Then, after a while, we could not help more, so we headed over to Savusavu. That is where we are right now. We made hot sauce, too. It is very spicy. When we were helping with Sea Mercy, we found some Nautilus shells. Dad found two, and then the next day, I went looking for some, and I found one. Now we are heading down to south Fiji.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fishies go free

By Conrad

We just got into the water four days ago. I was very happy to be in the water again, and I was very, very, very, very, very, very exited. But we sprung a leak and got it fixed. Then we tested the engine. Vvvvvvv (exchange looks) thruuumm, the engine came to life. Then we helped our friends s/v Field Trip haul out, and then things went very wrong.

The lift, the machine that lifts up boat lifted up the boat on the prop shaft, and it went through the bottom. Our friends boat was taking on a lot of water, and it was very scary.

We were also collecting cans to recycle, so we gave them to the scrap metal place a few days before we splashed.
Save the animals!

The day before we got splashed, we had nachos as a celebratory dinner.
Nom, nom, nom, nom.

Now we are working on the boat, and Field Trip is working on theirs. We still have things to do, even though we are out of the boatyard. The fishies are free, and I'm a fish so... I guess I go free.