It’s hard to get the 5 of us in one photo, but here we all are. (Pearl Bay, Middle Harbour, Sydney)
Wow, is it really a month since we set sail? We’ve been relaxing and sight-seeing in spectacular anchorages in Sydney for a few weeks now, which is so easy to do and makes it hard to focus on organising for our next sailing leg. All this relaxing has also, almost, made me forget that I’ve had moments that have severely tested my courage and made me wish we were all safely home in bed, on solid ground. An image comes to mind of a suddenly dark and wild ocean with lashing winds and rain, the boat keeling over, waves filling the cockpit, with Justin unharnessed on the deck, me feeling useless at the helm and the kids silent, wide peering eyes watching from inside. Us such a mere, insignificant and tiny dot. Not the first day I had expected nor, if it needs saying, that I wish to have repeated. In the proceeding long exhausting hours I realised that ‘can I please get off now, I’ve had enough’ was not an option in this sport, only to be in the moment and get on with it. I have since come to understand that everyone on a boat has a collection of sailing stories that they probably wish they didn’t have. Maybe it is learning the skill to push these memories to one side that allows people to keep sailing? Or gaining courage from making it through? Surely not enjoying the unpredictable wild craziness of it all? I know I sound (and am) very ‘green’, and was tempted to think it was simply my relative newness to sailing, but give some weight to both Justin’s experience that surfing big waves in wild unrelenting winds in Bass Strait was not what we had planned and to meeting other weather battered sailors and boats also seeking refuge.
Well, if a picture tells a thousand words.. a photo that shows exactly how I was feeling! (Refuge Cove, Wilson’s Promontory)
That said, there has also been occasion (once ocean courage recovered somewhat) when smiling, singing PINK loudly, off key and alone at 2 am, under bright moon and rolling black ocean just seemed like the appropriate thing to do. Whilst sailing we have been visited by a huge turtle, flying fish, dolphins, sting rays and eagles and have been towered by awesome coastal cliffs and overall some pretty speccy views.
Awh…Do we have to stay here another day? (Our trusty steed Arcturus II at Montague Road, Jervis Bay)
We have had plenty of time for hanging out in the sunshine and exploring beautiful spots. That has meant lots and lots of walking, some early morning trail running, sand castle and tunnel building, snorkelling, more walking, swimming and rock hopping explorations. Did I mention lots of walking? This includes walking for food supplies and essentials. Why don’t ‘they’ build a fruit and veggie shop, a bakery, toilets, a coffee shop and a laundry a short distance from where ever I chose to anchor?
With the bar crossing behind us, we were treated to an awesome sunrise. (Lakes Entrance)
On board, meals, weather (current and predicted), tides, poker games (where Jarrah and Khan have generally wiped the floor with me) and daylight generally provide some structure to our days. But not necessarily in that order. Jarrah and Khan have creatively made their cabin space their own, with lovingly created adornments covering every available space.
We love food. Dinner at Chinta Ria (Darling Harbour, Sydney)
Does Jarrah love that we bought a big box of Mangoes? (Blackwattle Bay, Sydney)
Lovely to have our first visitors, my brother Simon and sister-in-law Frankie, come and play with us on Australia Day (Sydney Harbour)
So now we need to focus on our next move, the Tasman crossing. Anxiousness has morphed into ‘let’s get on with it’. Making sure our weather communications are working well is high on my personal list, along with a substantial supply of cola Chupa Chups! (for those ocean times when food is not my best friend). So preparation ahoy.
oh……and I miss my bike……a lot.