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G'day and Aloha, Family and Friends,

It has been over a month since we sent out an update on April 11 and much has happened since. We have been busy making the boat ready to sail north to Thailand. While we were still at Mooloolaba Yacht Club with our car, we provisioned by purchasing 200 large cans of tuna (not quite up to our record of 800 small cans at MegaDepot in Panama!)and three shopping carts full from Woolworth's. We purchased all our prescriptions to update our medical kit. We also washed all our fleeces, blankets, spreads, pads, sheets, including passage linens in about 30 loads of laundry!

David completed our taxes and mailed them off to the IRS (yes, we had an extension!) after finally receiving our copy of TurboTax which had been inadvertently left in our tax book at Julie's. We worked at finalizing all our administration and bills and completed our final phone calls, since we would be no longer have easy access to pay phones as we headed north along the coast to Cairns. We still have our mobile phone: (61) 405 761 819 which should continue to work as long as we are in Australia. We packed up two more boxes and shipped them back to Maui for storage in our condominiums awaiting our return in two-three years.

We drove to Brisbane to obtain our cruising permit from Tony Cameron at the Customs Office. We said our farewells and thanked him for a wonderful stay in his beautiful country! You can see, we are having difficulty leaving!:) We enjoyed one last day at Alexandra Beach near Noosa (we consider this beach to one of THE most beautiful in all our travels!)and said "aloha" to our beach friends. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to visit with many special friends whom we have made here before we left. We never, ever, seem to have enough time!

The guys finalized the boat work: put sails on, took down the sun canopy, and washed the boat. Eric was up and down the mast attempting to figure out the problem with our wind speed/direction instrument which simply stopped working. David was also dealing with an aching tooth. NO need for a root canal was the diagnosis at a dental appointment the afternoon before we set off! We are praying that the x-ray is correct!

We left our very comfortable slip at Mooloolaba Yacht Club early on April 22 with tears in our eyes as we were farewelled by many friends. We had a MUCH rougher crossing of the Wide Bay Bar compared with our last two trips, actually quite an exciting surf ride! It was pretty lumpy and bumpy out there especially for our first day out. We caught a mackerel for our first fish dinner in six months, which we gratefully enjoyed after we were safely anchored near Tin Can Inlet in the perfectly calm waters of the Great Sandy Strait.

We were out of the water, "on the hard", from April 29 to May 4 at Bundaberg Port Marina. We put four coats of paint on the bottom, fixed the wind speed/direction instrument by replacing the cable up the mast, and replaced the paddle wheel on the water speed instrument, which had broken during painting; however, the autopilot problem remains a mystery! We continued writing emails, making phone calls, filing, and washing. We finalized our reprovisioning and topped up our supply of diesel and dinghy gas while we still had our car. We had driven back to Mooloolaba to pick up our car, which we had not sold, in spite of much expensive advertising. We visited the Mon Repons Beach where the turtles nest; unfortunately, the turtles are never there when we are. So, we walked up the beach and looked for shells.

We finally sold the car, paid all our bills, said our "alohas" to the wonderful staff at the Marina and to other cruisers. We have had too many farewells in the past months. We have been sailing north returning to the same anchorages as on our trip down last October from Cairns. We caught another mackerel and TWO yellow fin tuna (Ahi), which have been greatly appreciated! Our second day out was rather boisterous, in fact a 53foot Southern Cross fishing boat sank after leaving Fitzroy Reef. Luckily, the four men aboard were rescued by a dive boat in the area. We spent such a rolly night at anchor at Great Keppel Island that Jason and I were both sick on Mother's Day until we were safely anchored up Island Head Creek, where we waited out the 25-30+knot winds and 3-5m seas. We needed to sew up a rip in our mainsail and a day off from sailing was appreciated.

We enjoyed a short walk in the incredibly fine white sand on Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. We enjoyed our first snorkel in months off the northern bays of Hook Island. We are continuing to head north and expect to spend a few days at the marina in Townsville on May 20. We plan to make our way to Cairns as fast as the weather permits, so that we will have time to enjoy the Ribbon Reefs (Great Barrier Reef) and Lizard Island before heading "over the top" to Darwin by July 1. We will reprovision, visit Kadavu National Park and join the Rally to Kupang leaving July 24.

Grandbaby Update: Paul Kekoa Johnson was 2 months old on May 7 (his Daddy's Birthday!) and ONLY weighs 15 lbs 12 oz and is 24" long. Julie has placed some wonderful pictures on his website at: www.paulkekoa.com so that we may all watch him as he continues to grow!

We hope that all of you are well and enjoying spring as it returns to those of you on the other side of the world. We love you all and miss you. Please keep in touch via email and tell us of your plans and lives! We continue to answer all your nice emails and we will update our website at www.peaceandaloha.com with pictures and hot news SOON! Be safe and God Bless!

with Love, Peace and Aloha,
Ellen, David, Jason and Eric
May 16, 2004
Gloucester Island, Coast of Queensland, Australia

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