Sam Butz

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My Final Blog…

After leaving Thursday island and Horn island, we sailed for 5 days to Darwin. Darwin was a hot city when we came, there was a lot of wind, so it got a little cold in the morning and at night. Our first night we went out to dinner to celebrate our last sea passage, and woke up and ate breakfast at a yummy restaurant. After that, we went to the wave pool for the day. The wave pool was chilly but refreshing after being in the heat. You could ride the waves, but they were not as fun as real waves. After Darwin, we drove a long way to Bamurru Plains. This resort was very fun, and everything was free including all the safari tours the fan boat and the quad bikes, which was my favorite thing. Another cool thing was ‘the nursery,’ which was where all of the baby buffalo live with their relatives while the mother is out getting food. When we were there, we saw a circle of buffalo welcoming a new baby into the world. Then we got to see the newborn buffalo. The resort was enjoyable. Then we went back to Darwin and are flying home today, for 36 hours.

The whole trip has been enjoyable for me. My favorite activity was heli-biking in the Remarkables, but I liked everything we did. I tried lots of new food, but my favorite was a pizza place called A La Pizzeria. We met lots of new people, but the best was coconut Doug. And it is hard for me to pick a favorite place. This trip was epic.

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From the “Top of Australia…”

As we were leaving Lady Musgrave Island, the engine broke and started a fire. Dad put out the fire, but we only had one engine. We re-anchored and decided to go to Gladstone, a small town, to get the engine fixed.  After spending two days in Gladstone we sailed overnight to Hamilton Island. I liked Hamilton Island because from the marina you can bike 2 minutes to 4 pools, there were lots of cool shops, and instead of cars people used golf carts instead of cars to get around because the island was not too big. We spent two nights and three days on the island and my favorite thing we did was eating breakfast with koalas. The breakfast was very yummy and they had eucalyptus trees near tables and koalas across from you.

After that we sailed a long way to Cairns, not using much of the engines. Cairns has lots of cool stuff. There is a community pool and free wifi all over the city. There are also many diving/snorkeling tours, and we did one. On the tour we saw lots of interesting fish, but I also saw two turtles. We didn’t see any sharks, but we saw a gigantic barracuda named ‘Barry’ and even a school of huge fish. The best thing about Cairns was Josephine Falls. Josefine Falls had a natural water slide that was very fun. We spent a long time there. The car ride was long but worth it. After Cairns, we traveled to Lizard Island and anchored off a beach. Sharks quickly came swimming around our boat, and we fed them little fish that we bought and other big fish came as we fed them. As you can imagine, we did not go swimming!  We spent an afternoon at the beach and then in the morning we did the Cooks Lookout hike. It took us about one hour up and 45 minutes back. We left Lizard Island and sailed for four days to Thursday and Horn island. There are only 13 more days left on the trip, and it’s going by very quickly.

Sam’s Gold Coast Blog

After leaving The Boat Works marina we motored to an anchorage in the gold coast. The Gold Coast looks a lot like Ocean City but bigger skyscrapers and houses. We went to the beach 4 days of the week and there was a festival during the 2018 Commonwealth Games. There were many free performances. We went to two of them and they were really fun. Then we spent one day at a great big mall and 2 other days of the week at a gigantic floating inflatable water park (that was really fun too) and a beach next to it. After our week in the Gold Coast we sailed over to Couran Cove Resort. They had a pool, a sports center and a very cool virtual reality gaming room, but it cost money. After the resort we went to the Tangalooma Shipwrecks and it was great snorkeling. After that we sailed over to Lady Musgrave Island. They had crystal clear water and it was great to jump off the boat again. We are headed to the Whitsunday Islands next.

Australia!

It has been fun in Brisbane, Australia so far. We have been here for 1 week and have done lots of things. We are at a boat yard called The Boat Works in the water and we have done lots of work on the boat. So far we have been to 2 different amusement parks. Dream World and Movie World. The rides at Movie World were better but the water park at Dream World was fun. My favorite ride was called the Hyper-coast.

We started school back up and yesterday I finished my math course which was the worst and took forever. Now we only have a little bit of school left. My Ipad cracked and we don’t have wifi on the boat. There is a lounge that has wifi though. We are leaving for a new spot in a couple of days. We went to a beach called Surfers Paradise and we are going back. That was fun. We are trying to fix the bikes so we can ride them and go back to the beach. Our next week is looking fun!

 

February, NZ

In Queenstown, New Zealand there is so much to do.  At the start of January, after saying goodbye to the Moon family, we started homeschool back up and went on great bikes and hikes after completing our lessons for the day.  One of our favorite hikes, Wye Creek, had a waterfall at the top that you could drink from. In early January, we learned how to sail and competed in a regatta that only I took part in.   The next week all of the kids raced in a 2 day long regatta in Wanaka. This was very fun and competitive, with many capsizes! The next week we got a tiny break in school to go to Dunedin. We spent 1 overnight there and went surfing on my birthday, and then we visited the Moeraki boulders afterwards! We had a week of school, and then my cousin Catherine came and we went kayaking down the Dart River, and that was a lot of fun.

For my birthday gift, I got an experience: I got to go heli-biking down a mountain! This was the best birthday present, it was epic. Dad and I got good GoPro footage. And at the end of the month, we did the Ben Lomond hike, which was very hard, hot, and we ran out of water near the end, but clearly the best view and hike this trip.

Months are flying by and it’s already deep into February. We are done more than half of our summer in Queenstown, New Zealand. New Zealand has been very epic and I have had more fun than I have expected. Living in Queenstown instead of traveling to different islands has been a bit different but not boring, because we picked the best place to spend a Baltimore winter, (New Zealand summer) there are a ton of fun activities. I don’t think I will forget much about NZ, even the lame school that wasted so much precious time.  A Monday usually looks like school from 8:30 to 12:30 sometimes more, and then a fun activity such as a hike or bike. On a Sunday we sleep in, (or get up early to get to something) and then do something quite epic. (Ben Lomond, kayaking rapids, Shotover Jet, heli-biking/birthday experiences, sailing regattas and so much more). Wednesday, is also a very fun day, Sara and Mom go to Gore for ice skating and Max, Dad and I go downhill mountain biking.  Max doesn’t like it as much as me, so when Max doesn’t go, Dad and I like a trail called Vertigo.  We are at the intermediate level.

Downhill mountain biking is one of the best things in NZ for me and I didn’t even know it existed until we came here for the summer. I wouldn’t change a thing except maybe buying a better mountain bike when we came in Baltimore’s spring.  New  Zealand has been super fun and we have more to look forward to, especially the end of NZ white water rafting trip.

New Zealand

New Zealand has been awesome so far. For me the best thing we have done is downhill mountain biking. Max, Dad and I go every Tuesday while Sara and Mom go to the ice rink. Mountain biking is the epic-est. Our first month has been great except for school. We have to do 4 hours each day, which is horrible. We  have started our math which is better because writing and reading suck. Another super fun thing we did is go mountain carting on Cardrona, a mountain for skiing and mountain biking. Mountain carting is epic. What you do is get in a cart and  zoom down the mountain. It  goes very fast and you can do epic drifts. We hope to do this again. Another place we visited was Dunedin. This was a great place to go surfing. The waves were nice a big and good for practice. Sara, Max and I had an instructor who gave me some good tips. Biking is our main activity because there are so many biking trails to ride, we have the Queenstown trail right by our apartment so it is very nice. We also have kayaks now and it is quite awesome when we go on the lake. We also bought a miniature sailboat called a Bic One and we are going to learn to race and enter regattas. And one of us can enter the Bic One (or Open Bic) world cup. Coming up is going to be super fun and it has already been an epic  journey.        


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New Caledonia

The Island of Pines was amazing, like French Polynesia.  It had super clear water and it was teal and light blue.  Some of the snorkeling we did was amazing.  There was a super cool light blue coral forest right next to a beach that we had a bonfire on for two nights.

The first night we let off a ton of fireworks that we had had on the boat from 2 years ago that Uncle Mark left on board from Dad’s birthday.  We met another family about a week ago when we were anchored outside the marina in Noumea.  They came with us and had many more, bigger fireworks. 

We went to Casey Island with them also.  There was a dog named ‘Moose’ that was the island dog. If you feed him, he will take you on a walk of the island (very slowly as he was very old) but it was very cool.  We went faster then Moose 3/4 of the way because he was getting worn out, but Sara stayed back with him and got lost from us.  We found her.  The ‘Isle de Pines” was the most fun because I got to wake board with the two girls on s/v DreammakerTwo. 

Vanuatu

In Vanuatu on the island of Tanna, there is not much to do except for hiking an active volcano1

The first of our 2 days in Vanuatu were quite a journey. We drove across the island on a bumpy road in the back of a pickup truck. It was painful but super fun. Once we got to the other side of the island we tried to get cash because they don’t take credit cards in Vanuatu. The bank didn’t have an ATM and the bank only traded american dollars for vatu, the Vanuatu currency. Dad only had a little american money and not enough to go to the volcano. Stanley, who is the guy that rode with us in the back of the truck- he worked at the yacht club- also was helping us out. He told us in order to get cash we would have to go to a resort. The first one had none, but we found another resort. They only traded enough money for Dad and Mom to go to the volcano. After that Stanley told us that the village who does the volcano tour would take American money. So we decided to go back to the boat to see what american money we have. Max, Sara and I gave up all of our American cash and Stanley gave us some of his vatu. When we were driving to the volcano Stanley called the people to say we where short of money. When we got there we realized we where short of one child ticket but they let us go. When we went up the volcano and it was epic. The sun was setting and the volcano became orange and red. There was a small eruption every once in a while and it threw red rocks and bits of lava up. The volcano was one of the coolest things on this trip.

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Unforgettable Yasur Volcano

My Top 3 Memories so far…

So far on this grand adventure, we have been to 10 islands. We have done many exciting things. I am listing three of my favorites, but each island had its own character and was very enjoyable.

1. Ziplining Fiji

Ziplining is always really fun, but the zipline we went on in Fiji was extremely fun. On the course there were 16 ziplines. 6 on the way up and 10 hiking down. Going down was a lot faster and a lot more fun. And the second to last zipline was 250 meters and excellent. This zipline course was super fun and the guys who built it also served as our guides and got to play on the course. Also at the top we explored a cave that smelled really bad but was huge.

2. The caves and swimming holes in Niue

Our second day in Niue, which is a rock in the middle of the sea, was super epic. During the first day in Niue we picked up a car to rent. The second day we drove up north and explored lots of caves. It was really cool. After checking out 2 caves we went to some natural pools and swam. We saw a sea snake and the water was hot on the bottom but cold on the top because the freshwater was pouring in and it went to the top and it was cold. After that we walked a trail to the arches, a cave and a big rock arched shaped like an “n”. After the arches we went to a “chasm” a place where the rock split and there was another swimming hole. This chasm was the favorite part of the day because of the water change and how big it was and you could jump off the sides. Overall Niue was great.

3. Surfing Tahiti

IN TAHITI, THE SURFING IS JUST NICE. THE FIRST DAY WE TRIED TO SURF IT WAS FAR TOO WINDY AND TO ROUGH TO GO SURFING, ONLY FOR PROS. ONE LOCAL TOLD US IT WAS “A WASHING MACHINE DAY.” THE NEXT DAY WE FOUND A BETTER SPOT TO GO SURFING. I WAS A LITTLE RUSTY BUT I CAUGHT SOME WAVES. MY DAD TRIED TO FILM ME ALTHOUGH I COULDN’T CATCH A WAVE FOR THE GOPRO AND I ENDED UP WITH A BAD WAVE FOR THE VIDEO. THE SURFING WAS REALLY FUN.

All of this trip has been super epic and I am having loads of fun, but these are my top three memories from this adventure.

Fiji

So far we have been in three cities an Fiji: Denarau, Nadi, and Lautoka.  Yesterday we went to the city of Lautoka.  It was surprisingly big.  There are a lot of things to explore in Fiji.

In Lautoka there was a shopping mall.  The all was big for the size considering this is an  island.  It had a Nike store and also an Indian candy shop, and we got some!  One candy we tried was called ‘Barfi’, but I didn’t like it.

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My dad and I were looking hard to find xbox games.  More importantly, a rugby xbox game for the xbox one.  We were searching everywhere and wandered down side streets and went into ‘Prouds’, one of the main stores in Fiji.

After exploring Lautoka we went to look at resorts to stay in while our boat is getting hauled out and worked on.  We decided on a resort called Nila. It is a good place to stay. 

We have only been in Fiji for 4 days and there is a lot more to do including the waterpark (see Max’s blog) which we are going to tomorrow.

Fiji pt.2

We woke up at 7 am to go on a river tour where we got to visit a Fijian village, and get to it by a jet boat.

After we woke up, we got straight in the car and started to drive to Sigatoka, to go on the river safari tour. It took a long time to get there for me because we did school the entire two hours up.

As soon as we got there we checked out the town. It was cool but not as big as Lautoka. There was a ‘Tappoo’ the big chain store in Fiji. In Tappoo there was a Billabong store with super cheap prices, so Sara got 2 bathing suits and Max and I each got new board shorts. Max got a rash guard.

Next the river safari bus came to pick us up to go to the river. When we got to the stop, we got lifejackets on and headed out. Jet boating is a fun way to get to a Fijian village.

At the village we did a Kava ceremony to be welcomed into the village. Kava is a drink that the Fijians like. After Kava, Dad got the drone out and all the kids in the village loved it. Then we had a big feast. After the feast we danced with the villagers and listened to the men play music. After that we had to go.

On the jet boat ride back our driver did a bunch of 360’s and we all got soaked. 

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Niue is a giant rock in the middle of the sea that is going to fall over one day because of the waves. We got there at night and We didn’t know if there was a reef or not when we got there but we arrived there safely. The next morning we went to explore the island and we heard there where lots of caves and fun stuff to do

The day after we got a car and drove north. We explored a bunch of sea tracks and caves. The first cave was super awesome and we thought it was so cool. But then we kept driving and found a bigger and better cave. It was huge. After we went to some natural pools called lima pools. It was almost better than the second cave and during that swim we saw our first sea snake. sea snakes are more venomous than land snakes but they wont bite you. After the pools we went to a place called the arches. It was so cool! There was a cave and at the  end there was a gigantic rock formed like and arch. After that we went to a place called the chasm. That is a space between two rocks where fresh and saltwater meet and you can swim. Afterwards we where done exploring and we went back do the boat.

Hiking on the Cooks!

After climbing Bora Bora, going across Rarotonga was not that hard. The guide said that it would take 4 hours but really it took us 2 hours 30 minutes. It was fun. We took another sailing crew with us and one of them got to the top of Bora Bora! There were a lot of tree roots that worked as a ladder and there was one rock climb at the top to get to the very top called “the Needle.” There were also really cool trees; giant ferns, banyan trees, and lots of vines. After we got down we got ice cream but we were on the other side of the island. We had to wait 30 minutes for the bus, eventually we got home.

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And before we leave Bora Bora…

This is for Eli, our next door neighbor in Baltimore…

July 29th, 2017

Tuesday, we decided to skip school and hike to Bora Bora’s top peak. My dad got a screenshot from another sailor but there was no picture so it was confusing. We started walking up and then we came to a fork in the road. The directions said to do a left switchback but then we saw some locals going down and they said to go straight. (by the way, those locals didn’t have shoes on!) We went further and reached the 1/5 point where you could see the harbor and there was a green flag, that is where most people stop. At this point it started becoming a climb. We kept going a little and there was a split, left or right, we chose left and we climbed up 40 minutes, and it was a dead end and we went back to the intersection and we found the right trail, this time there where ropes to pull yourself up, we got up one of the ropes but the second one stopped some of us, so we went back.

Two days later, we took our friend Robby and went up the mountain. We passed the fork in the road and we went right, this time we all got up the second ropes section. We hiked two and 1/2 hours further up! Sometimes we wanted to stop because it was so hard and sometimes we had to use our own ropes, but we made it to an amazing looking point. The third set of ropes we couldn’t do because mom stayed back and it was straight up and there was a hangover, this was to hard for some of us, so we went down. Its was treacherous. Coming down we basically slid on our butts until stopped by some very steep rocks, then we started again. Our pants turned brown from the dirt. After we got back to the boat we all jumped in the water with our clothes on to wash out the dirt!

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July 3rd, 2017

My Life as Crew

I am going to talk about life for the crew Me, Sara, Max, Mom and about my dad, The Captain.

Everyday my dad has a better lunch and drink than I do. I am mistreated because I never get the refreshment of seltzer water. The only person who can save me is Mom who will sometimes, without dads notice, give me the delicious bubbly taste. Dad will make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then make himself brie or nachos with seltzer. He rarely lets us pick out a treat in the grocery store and when he does he has to approve it so that he can eat it later. This might be funny to you, but its not! In fact he does it right in front of my face. Totally bad! Plus, we have school and during school he goes swimming when we can’t.

There are some good things about being crew on Alyosha. Each of the kids gets to make dinner sometimes with dessert. Also we basically have an endless swimming pool within 50 feet of walking distance. We have floats, a paddle board, surf boards and entertainment; an Xbox One, movies and tv.

So maybe, just maybe, life isn’t so bad on Alyosha. 

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June 20th-

After Swimming at our mooring, we walked to the town of Utoroa, Raiatea. We started walking to the town, about 2 miles in and found our same taxi driver who took us to the marina from the airport two days before. And he could speak English, witch not many people can. On our way we saw lots of crabs and we asked him about them. The taxi guy said they were called tu’paa, and then reminded himself of a song that goes “tu’paa, tu’paa, tt-uu’pp-aaaa”, which he sang for us!

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After the drive to town we went to the market and got a ton of food, including baguettes, which are very common here. You see many people walking with them. We went back to the boat and stared swimming again. We have a fun time swimming as we jump off the very top of the boat- check out my video.  We haven’t done much yet, but maybe soon! Next we are headed to the island of Ta’aha.

Earlier entries…

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   Hello we are live in pico, I am your announcer Bill.

It’s Monday night and we are playing a game on the water trampoline. It’s called seaweed!! Here is what it is:  you run around the tramp, you can also jump and you try to avoid falling in. The game was made up because at night the tide comes in and seaweed goes with current. (also Jellyfish…) And we saw a lot of seaweed! Players:Max, Sara, and Sam

 

Looks like nobody wants to go in. OH look at that Sam jukes the other way and Max goes flying off! The trampoline is shaking every witch way and then Sara pushes sam off! I can’t wait to see Sam’s reaction, he’s probably furious with Sara!! Splash, Sam comes up and SCREAMED a line of profanities and is trying to get up the ladder fast ! But Max is climbing up the latter from when fell he off. And Sam’s back up on the trampoline but this time he is screaming in pain is it a jellyfish sting! Oh look now his dad is taking him into town on the dinghy to see what they could do about this jelly sting. All the locals say put cream on it, and the cream is at the pharmacy or the hospital. Looks like a nice man took them to the hospital. 30 min. Later… and Sam’s back with a cream on his arm he is still VERY hurt and still in pain. I’ll see you next time!

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The next day we saw 8 jellyfish around 8:00

 

Açores

Flores Island, Açores

Hiking

We start hiking up a super big and steep hill, walking our bikes! We get up the steepest part of the hill and I run out of water because it was so hot. We finally make it to the top of the hill where the trail starts.  We could see the edge of the cliff. We started going down the trail.  It was very steep. I found a walking stick and I named it Bambi because it was made from bamboo. The trail was grass, rocks, bamboo and dirt. Also ♬Wet grass, you could slip at any time♬ (to the tune of Sharp Knives). And dad fell on his buttush. “Oh Dear!” He yelled.” As we make it down I see a Jepic volcanic beach!! There portuguese man of war everywhere😱! We start going back up the trail-we are sweating SOOOOOOOOOOOO much. We need water!on are way down we saw a waterfall so we are counting on that the entire way. The hike is 4 miles long and the waterfalls were very close to the top.we finally get to the tiny waterfalls and pretty much take a shower. Then we make it to the top. Then we ride our bikes down the very steep hill we walked them up!!!!
A link to the hike we did is here!

  • Waterfalls –  water falling down a rock  I put my hands in it  it was cold
  • Walking sticks- made of bamboo, we each picked our ‘permanent stick’ and max got a splinter from his Bamboo Gripo 3000
  • Epic adventure-
  • Long walk –  it took about 2 hours to go down and back.  About 4 miles.  
  • Steep – Dad slipped and Sis said “oh Dear!”
  • Beach – with rocks.  The rocks were rounded and you could stack them.  I climbed up a cliff and almost started an avalanche.  
  • Portuguese man of war
  • Max smashes one with a big rock (pop goes the weasel) (squishi)

 

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