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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Taco Tuesday

By Conrad

Today we had tacos for dinner! And it was Tuesday too, so that means it was Taco Tuesday.

The tacos were very good, and Mark and I had three. They were very filling, but I wanted a fourth one! Then we moved on to fruit. We had a quarter of a kiwi (fruit) and and apple. The people in New Zealand are sometimes called kiwis, so if you said 'I had a kiwi for lunch' then someone might think you ate their brother or something. Then we had some chocolate frostingish stuff for desert.
It was very good!

We had a lot of time to play because we ate early. I am writing the blog post now before bed. Hope next Tuesday you have yummy tacos!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A field trip to the Rotoiti navy ship

By Conrad

Yesterday we went to the Rotoiti New Zealand Navy ship! It was so cool!

We waited for a while, and then finally got on the ship.
The Rotoiti navy ship

As soon as we got on the ship, Mark asked "Where are the machine guns? I don't see any guns." But then he saw a locker that said DANGER EXPLOSIVES and was very satisfied.

We waited a few minutes more to get inside and we made it to the bridge of the ship. There were lots of buttons, levers, and high tech stuff that I did not touch. If I did, I'd send the ship out to sea at twenty knots firing the machine guns. I did not want that happening.

Then we saw the machine guns. I was very nervous, I do not like guns but we took pictures of me and Mark 'firing' the gun. It was a 50-caliber machine gun.
Mark and I fighting over the gun
Mark 'firing' the gun
Then we headed to the back of the ship and saw the humongous dinghies for the navy, and they made our new dinghy look puny. Soon we headed off the boat. Mark liked the guns, and he said that was one of the only good things on the ship. We went back to the boat and wrote about the boat and had lunch. In fact most of this is from my diary. It was really fun!
Our new dinghy

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Well, that looks like a nice cake

By Conrad

We are having a lot of fun right now. Mom and Dad too. They don't have to do as much work because we did not have to ice Perry ourselves! I bet you're wondering what 'icing Perry' means. Yesterday and the day before that, we were filling in pockmarks on our boat. Those pockmarks were caused from water seeping through the fiberglass, which made blisters in the fiberglass. We had to break open the blisters, which left holes.

Just after we were hauled out of the water, we started sandblasting the boat to get the layers of paint off and then discovered the blisters.

That is what we did yesterday and the day before that: fill the holes. The name of the post? The mixture that the filling people used looks like chocolate frosting. The chocolate frosting is an epoxy based liquid mixed with low-density filling powder.

Back to what's going on. Today we are fairing them. Then we have to repeat the process in case we missed anything and then we have more work to do. The one that I cannot wait for is the Coppercoat. I have no idea what it is, but that is why I want to find out. I know that it has something to do with paint.

Perry the cake looked nice but he is sanded down now (sad face). Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures. But anyways, have cake for dessert, but don't have an extremely hard, fiberglass boat cake with epoxy based frosting filling.