Arizona- New Mexico
San Blas & Panama Canal
Bonaire to Cartagena
Florida to Bonaire
Ventana arrived in Australia
or Oz as it's often referred to, in late October of 2003. Over the next
several years we explored by car south to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and
the offshore Island of Tasmania. From Canberra we rented a small plane and
Rob piloted us into the Snowy river country and out to Adelaide where we
picked up friends who live there. With Mark as our guide we flew into the
Outback and visited Wilpena Pound and Arkaroola before returning along the
Murray River to Canberra. We climbed Mt. Kosciusko, the highest mountain on
the continent and rode horses near the Snowy River Mountains.
When not traveling Rob spent
his time fixing the boat or flying gyroplanes and Dee made visits to a local
Buddhist teaching center. We also enjoyed the zoos and wildlife sanctuaries
and several music festivals.
During the cruising season we
sailed north to the Whitsunday Islands where we were visited by Rob's nephew
Jon and his friend Max as well as friends from Sydney, Harley and his son
Jake. Later in the year our friend's Frank and Tina made their 3rd visit to
join us but this time rather than staying on Ventana they brought their
family and chartered a Catamaran of their own. A week after they departed
their sister- in-law Vanessa visited us for a short stay on Ventana as
In May of 2006 we began the
loooong sailing trip north from near Brisbane to Darwin on top of the
Australian continent. From here we will depart for Indonesia with the
Pacific Ocean behind us and the Indian Ocean ahead.
For one last land trip in
Australia we decided to head to Ayers Rock in the Red Center of Australia.
Australia is roughly the size of the U.S. but imagine if you can that there
is only 1 medium size town between L.A. and NY. That would be Alice
Springs and nearby is famous Ayers Rock- a giant sandstone monolith that
looks like a giant loaf of bread rising from the flat Australian plain.
For several years Rob had
been in email touch with an Australian gyro pilot who uses his gyro to
herd cattle on his cattle station (ranch) and since he was only a few
hundred kilometers from Alice a visit there seemed a natural add on to our
trip. Our visit to his 11,000 sq. mile cattle station was to provide
our most "dinkie die" (authentic Australian) experience of our 3 years
Indiana station would be a
gigantic ranch anywhere in the U.S. but here in Oz where the big ones are
larger than Great Britain at over 300,000 sq. miles, his is average but he
has the very good fortune of being only a 4 hour drive to a town, while some
stations are 12 hours or more from anywhere.
After watching Birdy's
impressive gyro flying we returned to Alice Springs where Rob had rented a
Cessna 172 from the local flying club for our trip to Ayers Rock.
Seeing the Rock and the nearby Olgas from the air and then next day hiking
around them was a perfect way to conclude our time in the land down under.
Clicking on any photo will
enlarge it. Clicking the Back
button on your browser will return you here.