Location: Cairns, 'Straya

In the words of the great Bill Bryson, Australia is an interesting place. For example: did you know that the great “dingo fence” is longer than the Great Wall of China (to those poor souls that have as yet to hear of this feat of engineering, the dingo or dog fence was built to protect the fertile sheep pasture of the southeast in the 1880’s – what you didn’t know, ay?), there have been people here for a whopping 60,000 years, and the Great Dividing Range running up the East Coast is the third largest land-based mountain range. Now, this little burst of Australiana was borne of two main antecedents, the first being that I lived over here for a while and, upon reflection, really quite like it; the second is that thus far, we have been treated to some absolutely stunning sunsets over the squeeze – our nightly appraisal of everyone’s favorite parts of the day. The squeeze certainly takes a bit of getting used to – I’ve certainly never come across anything quite like it – but I honestly think it does embody one of the cooler aspects of what we do here. Particularly at this point in the program, it’s a pretty awesome thing to be a part of as it really accentuates the shared experiences and closeness of the community.

Also, in truth, I’m not sure if this made it onto last night’s blog, but I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the effort made by everyone last night in helping to get a couple of the sails flaked. The mainsail, in particular, is pretty amply proportioned, but everyone looked fear and hardship eye to eye as we clubbed together to down rig, flake, and get it packed away, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Today was a cracker as everyone headed up to Trinity Beach for a day of sandy shenanigans. Now I couldn’t make it, unfortunately, as Ian and I are getting stuck into the inter-semester projects that keep Argo rolling, however judging by the sand, tans, and tales of volley balling greatness, everyone had an awesome day of it. The barbecue was ably handled by Raul and Sam, who took this singular opportunity to be able to grill up some kangaroo hot dogs (an absolute texture and taste sensation providing they’re kept on the rare end of the spectrum) as everyone took the opportunity to continue to write cards, play some fiercely competitive volleyball, and take part in some breathtaking gymnastic athleticism – the age-old question of do you still have it in you to be able to cart-wheel down the beach?

All in all, I think what I’m trying to capture here is just how awesome this group is and what a pleasure it is and has been to be a part of that.

Pictured: Anastacia, Kari, Frank, Emily, Garrison, Lucy, Henry, Danny, and Sam at the beach; Henry and Kari enjoying the sun; a view of Trinity Beach.