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Dear everyone,

It has been a while since our last update and we have done a few miles since then so we thought it about time to catch you all up.

The last time we wrote in February we were sailing up the Chilean channels to Puerto Montt. Since that time Henk has been home to the Netherlands and up to the Arctic  – not on the boat – checking out the possibilities for chartering there, Bunny and Ruby returned to NZ for three months as Bunny’s father was unwell.

On the 4 of June Henk departed from Puerto Monttt, Chile with Tiama heading for Australia  (a 7500 mile voyage across the “big pond” pacific ocean) with brief stops in Easter Island, Pitcairn, the Cooks island and Fiji.  Bunny and Ruby rejoined Tiama in the Cook Islands in July and we arrived here in Cairns, Australia on 7 August.

The Pacific surely is big and relatively empty of boats we only met one other boat during the crossing, this was at about the half way point (3500 miles out of Chile, mid Pacific) at about dusk we heard somebody with a polish accent making a call for the vessel under the full moon (us), it turned out to be  old fiends from NZ on their boat Nanu who were on there way from NZ to Chile, the likely hood of meeting up with somebody like that is very very remote and here we were on a collision course with them, amazing.

We are working here with Greenpeace Australia for the next three months on a climate change campaign along the Great Barrier Reef. Parts of the reef was badly bleached in 1998 when the water temperatures were unusually high.  A lot of the coral died during that event. Our effort is focused on reaching the public and making the links between the bleaching of the coral reef with the new oil from shale rock development in Gladstone which is just south of here on the coast. The idea being that investment should be into renewable energy such as wind and solar rather than into fossil fuels like oil which are the main causes of climate change. There is a window of opportunity before the oil development goes commercial to stop it by getting the public involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment process.  We are doing open days with the boat and taking people out to see the good, the bad and the ugly on the reef and generally being a platform for Greenpeace to reach the public about the issue. There is a good bunch of people from Greenpeace Australia on the land side of things that we are working with.

The first 10 days here we spent taking Dr Roger Grace, an underwater photographer, David Wooly a cameraman, and a couple of scientists to the spots on the reef that were badly bleached during the 1998 bleaching event. We saw some beautiful coral and some damaged and dead coral. We also saw turtles and manta rays and Ruby got to swim with a mama humpback and her calf that came right up to the boat, which was pretty awesome at the same time as being pretty scary.

We will be here until the end of November and at this point we are planning on being back in NZ over the Christmas/ New Century season unless a job we just can’t resist somewhere cold comes up.

We are all doing fine and enjoying a bit of sunshine, Tiama is going great we haven’t seen a boat we like better yet doubt we ever will.

Cheers Bunny, Ruby, Henk

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